This documentation supports the 22.1 version of BMC Helix Digital Workplace Basic and BMC Helix Digital Workplace Advanced. Icons distinguish capabilities available only for the Advanced and External license levels. For more information, see License types and features.

Setting up help desk appointments

Besides helping users solve problems themselves, BMC Helix Digital Workplace also makes it easy to get help from IT and human resources by scheduling in-person appointments. As the BMC Helix Digital Workplace administrator, you can set up calendars for help desk appointments.

The following video (6:30) describes how to set up help desk appointments:



 https://youtu.be/vO2PXRgHHH0

Calendars for appointments

The availability calendar enables the BMC Helix Digital Workplace administrator to set availability times and capacity so that end users can see available time slots for requesting appointments. If you use BMC Helix ITSM, you can set up calendars for IT appointments. You can set up multiple calendars to reflect different campuses and situations.

You can also configure calendars to automatically create services that correspond to the help desk appointment. Services from BMC Helix Digital Workplace Catalog and BMC Helix Business Workflows. Requests for only simple services are supported. Bundled, dependent, and bulk services, or services that have a Required field in the questionnaire are not supported. 


Example

A company is allowing its employees to return to work after an extended shutdown. The company wants to enable its employees to book workstations in the office. Britney, an end user, submits a help desk appointment to book a workstation, after which the following actions take place:

  • Britney's manager receives an email to approve or reject her request to work from office.
  • The Facilities team receives an email to approve or reject Britney's request for a workstation.
  • A service request is created to make the workstation and the required IT assets ready for this help desk appointment. 

Before you begin

  • Add Service Desk assets to the room that is associated with your location. For details about how to add room assets, see Managing assets on floor maps.
  • Make sure that appropriate service requests are automatically created with help desk appointments by creating services that have at least one text-type field and no required fields. For more information, see Adding and updating services.


To set up or update a calendar  

  1. In the BMC Helix Digital Workplace Admin console, go to Help Desk > Calendar Configuration.
  2. Select an existing calendar to modify, or click Add Calendar to create a new calendar.
  3. In the Appointment Will Generate section, select whether an appointment generates an incident or a request. 
  4. (Optional) If you select Request, select one of the following request categories: 
    • HR Cases for an HR appointment calendar
    • SRM Items for an IT appointment calendar 
    • Catalog Items for Catalog service request. Only simple and bulk services are listed. Do not select bulk services.

      Important

      If you select bulk services, the service request is created, but it is not associated with the help desk appointment. If the help desk appointment is canceled, the associated service request is not canceled. 


  5. In the Available requests list, select the applicable HR solution, service request, or a Catalog service.
  6. Details of the appointment in the IT calendar appear in BMC Helix ITSM.
  7. In the Create Calendar or Edit Calendar section, enter or update the following information:

    FieldAdditional information
    NameYou can name the calendar after the campus location (for example, San Jose) to communicate the geographical association. If you are setting up calendars for both IT and HR appointments, indicate whether the calendar is for HR or IT.
    Enable Calendar

    You can disable the calendar if, for example, the location or campus with which it is associated does not use the BMC Helix Digital Workplace calendaring system for scheduling appointments.

    Associated Location

    To create a calendar for appointments, select a location that has Service Desk room assets associated with it. If you do not specify a location, specify a time zone for the calendar in the Time Zone field.

    Important

    The location and/or time zone of the calendar is used to display the help desk appointment time to the end user. For example, if a user in Los Angeles requests for a help desk appointment in Austin, the time will be displayed in Central Time even though the user is in Pacific Time.

    Default RoomSpecify the location of the in-person help desk. To create a calendar for an appointment, select Asset, and then select one of the available Service Desk assets. To create a calendar for a room asset, select Name, and then specify the default location name.
    Assigned GroupIf the appointment generates a request, this field is hidden.
    Days AvailableSelect the days that are available for appointments.
    Users can schedule appointments up to x days in advanceThe value x represents calendar days, not business days.
    Users can schedule appointments a minimum of x hour(s) in advanceThe minimum value is one hour (to prevent users from attempting to schedule appointments seconds after encountering their problems and to allow for efficient management of help desk resources).

    Important

    You cannot change the Associated Location, Days Available, and Time and Duration fields after the calendar has been created.

  8. In the Time and Duration section, specify time slot parameters.
  9. In the Email options section, specify contact email addresses and the BMC Helix Digital Workplace email subject.
  10. Click Save.

Important

  • After a calendar has been created, you cannot remove it; you can only disable it. As a result, you cannot remove a calendar that has appointment data. Changing the selections for a calendar does not change data for existing appointments.
  • If an end user cancels an appointment, the corresponding HR case or service request is also canceled. 

After calendars are set up, you can add information about resource availability in the Availability Calendar page on the Help Desk tab.


To set up a weekly schedule for HR or IT staff  

  1. In the BMC Helix Digital Workplace Admin console, go to Help Desk > Availability Calendar.
  2. Select a calendar from the Calendar list.
  3. Select the Every Week Default Schedule tab.
  4. Select a day of the week by clicking the < or > button.
  5. Select a time slot and click Edit Availability.

  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for other days of the week.

    Tip

    You can select and edit specific time slot(s). You can also click the check box at the top of the page to configure availability for the entire day.


To set up exceptions to the weekly schedule  

  1. In the BMC Helix Digital Workplace Admin console, go to Help Desk > Availability Calendar.
  2. Select a calendar from the Calendar list.
  3. Select the Specific Date tab.
    The schedule for a specific date is displayed.
  4. To select another date, click the calendar icon and select the date in the calendar.
  5. Update the schedule for the selected date by selecting the appropriate check box and clicking Edit Availability
    You can also make the date unavailable.
  6. (Optional) Enter comments in the Notes field to keep track of your reasons for the exception.


To view staff capacity

To view how many HR or IT staff members are scheduled to work with employees and how many are free, on the Availability Calendar tab, select the Current Usage tab.

  • The date is displayed at the top of the calendar; you can change it by clicking the < and > buttons.
  • Time indicates the time slot for that day.
  • Staff Used indicates how many people will be busy with appointments scheduled in BMC Helix Digital Workplace on that day at that time.
  • Staff Remaining indicates how many people are available to take appointments on that day during that time slot.
  • Total represents the total number of HR and IT staff members available to take appointments on that day during that time slot.

You can adjust the staff capacity in the Every Week Default Schedule and Specific Date tabs of the Availability Calendar tab.


To change your default schedule  

You might need to change your default schedule if, for example, on the first day of the next month, your help desk hours will change from a 9:00 A.M. start time to an 8:00 A.M. start time. To change your default schedule, you must create a new calendar and set it up with new parameters. 

Begin this process at least N+1 days before the switchover date. N is the number of days that users can schedule appointments in advance. For example, for a 5-day lead time, perform this procedure at least 6 days (5+1) before the transition.

  1. In calendar with the new start and end times.
  2. Click Availability Calendar, and select the new calendar.
  3. Click the Specific Date tab, and manually set the availability for the first day that you want the calendar to be available and each business day for several days or weeks.
    The number of business days you should set is based on the lead time, and it should be several days more than the lead time. (In the 5-day lead time example, the BMC Helix Digital Workplace administrator should set the availability for two weeks of business days.) You must manually define each date.
    Do not use the options on the Every Week Default Schedule tab to set up the availability for this transition process.
  4. Click Availability Calendar, and select the current calendar (the calendar you want to phase out).
  5. Click the Specific Date tab, and click Make whole date unavailable for each date you defined in step 3.
    You now have two overlapping calendars, but on the transition date, availability is turned off for the current calendar, and turned on for the new one. End users can set up appointments on the current calendar up to the date when the new calendar is available.
  6. After the transition date (for example, the first day of the next month) expires and before the lead time for the new calendar (for example, 5 days), perform the following steps:
    1. Click Availability Calendar, and select the new calendar.
    2. Click the Every Week Default Schedule tab, and set the default schedule.
    3. Click Calendar Configuration, and select the current calendar (the calendar you want to phase out).
    4. Clear the Enable Calendar check box.

At this point, the older appointments on that calendar should have been completed, and the new appointments should be using the new calendar.

After you have configured the calendar, end users will be able to set up a meeting. The following image shows the Appointment dialog box that is displayed when an end user clicks the Make an appointment button on the Catalog tab of the BMC Helix Digital Workplace end user console:


To synchronize the end user's Outlook calendar with the availability calendar

  1. In the BMC Helix Digital Workplace Admin console, go to Configuration > Application Features.
  2. In the Providers table, select the Exchange pluggable provider check box.
  3. Select the Exchange pluggable provider row to configure the settings for the end user.
  4. In the Username field, specify the end user's username.
  5. In the Password field, specify the end user's organization's Outlook password.
  6. In the URL field, enter the end user organization's endpoint URL.
    For example, https://webmail.calbroservices.com/ews/exchange.asmx.

    Important

    Calbro Services is used as an example. When implementing in your environment, replace 'Calbro Services' with the actual name of your organization.

  7. Click Update settings and then click Reload Providers. 
    The end user must specify the work email in user preferences.
    As a result, when the user makes an appointment in BMC Helix Digital Workplace, they can select the Only show available times from my calendar check box to see only those time slots that do not overlap with the events in the end users organization's Outlook calendar.


Result

After you complete these configuration settings, end users can book help desk appointments. The system automatically created service requests that correspond to these appointments. The following image shows how the appointment and service request is displayed along with assets and location information in the My Activity tab: 



Troubleshooting

If end users cannot see the Catalog Items or if services are displayed in the Fault state, make sure that you have created only the following type of services: 

  • Simple service that do not have a required field in the questionnaire. 
  • Simple service with at least one text-type field. 


Where to go from here

Setting up self-help resources

Was this page helpful? Yes No Submitting... Thank you

Comments