Overview of categorization
In Smart IT, categories help service desk agents to categorize issues. For example, system failure related issues are placed under the failure category, or laptop related issues are categorized under the Product category—Electronics. Though specifying categories is not mandatory, it is recommended that as a service desk agent you specify them in order to sort issues as per the operation or action that is needed to resolve the issue such as repair, install, maintenance, and so on, or as per the product type such as laptop, printer, mobile, and so on. When you specify right categories, the ticket can be assigned to the right resource to resolve it. On the Resources tab of the ticket, when you explicitly search for knowledge articles, by using the advanced search you can filter articles with operational and product category. You can refer articles displayed in the search result, relate your ticket with them, and also resolve tickets.
Thousand of tickets are created every year. It is extremely difficult to find out tickets as per a specific thing such as hardware, application etc. Specifying categories in tickets helps you in the following ways:
- When you specify categories, the ticket becomes more specific to capture the customer issue. The agent can identify the exact issue, and start working on it.
- If appropriate categories are specified, the auto assignment engine finds it easy to assign the ticket to service desk agent based on the agent's support group and expertise to resolve the issue. For example, in the Operational Category field on the incident ticket, you select Tier 1—Phone, Tier 2—Desktop phone, and Tier 3—Repair, the assignment engine identifies the right resource who knows about desktop phone repair to resolve the issue. If categories are not set, or inappropriate categories are set, the auto assignment engine finds it complex to assign the ticket, and the ticket might be assigned to a resource who is not much efficient to resolve the ticket. This might lead to a situation where the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is not met, and time is lost in identifying the right resource to resolve the issue.
- Categories also help to identify if the customer has made a request or reported an issue.
Supported tickets and resources
The following table indicates supported tickets and resources as per the categories.
|Types of categories||Supported tickets and resources|
|Operational Category||Incident, Work order, Problem investigation, Known error, Change request, Task, and Knowledge article|
|Product Category||Incident, Work order, Problem investigation, Known error, Change request, Task, Knowledge article, and Asset|
|Resolution Product Category||Incident|
Types of categories
Smart IT supports four types of categories—Operational Category, Product Category, Resolution Category, and Resolution Product Category. All categories are displayed out-of-the-box on the ticket and resource profile. When you move an incident to the Resolved status, on the Update Status pane, you must specify the Resolution Category and Resolution Product Category.
- Operational Category - To resolve any issue, there is a certain activity that has to take place such as repair, install, set up and so on. The nature of the activity that needs to be carried out can be specified in the operational category. For example, you can have Tier 1—Phone, Tier 2—Desktop phone, and Tier 3—Repair as the operational category.
- Product Category - You must specify the product category to identify the product on which the ticket is based. This category captures details of product which is affected or the issue described in the ticket impacts that product. For example, the service desk agent receives a customer issue related to Galaxy Note 2. In this case, the agent can select the product category Tier 1—Electronics, Tier 2—Mobile Devices, Tier 3—Phones. Product name, and the model and version number of the product are also captured on the ticket. Their details are captured in the fields after the Tier 3 field. In this case, the agent can specify the Product name —Galaxy Note, and Model/version—2.
- Resolution Category (incident ticket only) - when the issue reported in the incident is resolved, the agent must specify the resolution category before closing the ticket. This helps to keep a record of the resolution. It might happen that the customer reports that the issue is with laptop and after investigation it is found that the Wi-Fi router needed a patch. In this case, it becomes important to specify the resolution category in order to specify what was the resolution. This information can be used in future to resolve similar issues. You can analyze and find out what kind if issues customers usually face, identify the trend, and the resolution given to the issues, and work towards reducing the issues.
- Resolution Product Category (incident ticket only) - This category helps to identify the product that helped to resolve the incident ticket. For example, you can have Tier 1—Hardware, Tier 2—Card, and Tier 3—Voice card as the resolution product category. When the incident is resolved it helps you to know that the voice card was impacted to resolve the incident.
Tiers in categories
A category is divided into three tiers. Tiers are essential to make specific choices to select the right category. Values in tiers are specified in BMC Remedy ITSM when creating the category. The tiers are dependent fields. For example, for the operation category, if Tier 1—Phone, there are several types of supported phones such as desktop phone, cellular phone, voicemail. In this case, these three types of phones form the second tier. If you specify Tier 2—Cellular phone, there are multiple operations related to cellular phone such as install, repair, service. These operations form the third tier. So you can select Tier 3— Repair.
Along with the three tiers, the product category also includes two additional fields, the product name and model/version of the product.
On the ticket profile, values specified in all the tiers is displayed in the category field. This helps you to get a complete context of the category, and understand the nature of the issue captured in the ticket. You can use one of the three methods to specify categories.
- Enter the category name—When you enter the first three characters, the system searches, and displays categories based on the text you entered.
- Browse for categories—You can use the Browse Categories option, and select appropriate tiers.
- (UC only) Recommendations link—The system displays a list of recommended categories. These recommendations are based on the following:
- Categories you selected previously.
- Based on the ticket title you enter, the system searches for tickets that have similar titles, looks for the categories specified in those tickets, and displays those categories as recommendations.
- (Incident ticket only) The incident type specified on the ticket.
Benefits of categorization
A well-thought-out categorization structure helps you to more efficiently perform the following capabilities:
- Reporting—Provides insights into types of issues being handled by the support teams and trend analysis
- Searching—Improves the effectiveness and speed of your searching process and facilitates faster resolution while reducing escalations
- Workflow—Helps in correct escalations to the right support groups
- Routing tickets for assignment—Facilitates creation and maintenance of assignment scenarios