A Guide to CSS
If you are using SupportDesk to run an externally facing helpdesk, you will probably have SupportDesk CSS,
our SupportDesk system pre-configured for your type of environment.
This guide explains the main features of SupportDesk CSS. It is not a definitive guide and does not tell you
how to customise your SupportDesk system. If this is what your require, contact us to arrange some
consultancy or to discuss your requirements.
2 Call Folders
SupportDesk CSS comes pre-configured with one Call Folder. Click this to access your existing Call records.
Click the Folder icon to access
the Live Calls list
Figure 1: Calls selection
Set Call defaults and more at the Folder setup form. To access this form go to Setup/Folder
Management/Open. From Folder Management. You can also select NEW to set up an extra Call Folder
should one be required.
Rename the Folder as required
Give Calls logged in this Folder a prefix
Set Folder-wide defaults for new Calls
Figure 2: Folder Configuration
3 Logging and Tracking Calls
Click on the Call Folder to display the Live Calls view, where you can access all live Calls, search for particular
Calls and log new ones (depending on privilege levels set by an administrator in Login Management).
Click NEW to open a new
Select a View to apply to the
Sort by any heading, or use
the Find tool to search for
keywords or reference
Double-click to open any Call
and view full details
Total number of Calls being
displayed in current view
Figure 3: Live Calls List
Click NEW to log a new Call or double click an existing Call in the Live Call view to open the Call form.
. Details of the 2. Select relevant
ustomer and CATEGORIES
ontact reporting including TYPE,
he Call STATUS & PRIORITY
. Record a brief 4. Fill in Response,
ubject for the Call Warning & Action
with the Call SLA
. Select a
RODUCT or piece
f INVENTORY 6. Set Assignee of
. Record a
olution upon 8. Add Notes to the
esolving the Call Call to keep track of
Figure 4: Call record
Customer and Contact
Use the drop-down to select a Customer and then select the Contact from the available Contacts for that
Customer. You can import Customers and Contacts from an Excel spreadsheet, CSV file or input them
Use Categories to label your Call for ease of identification, to aid workflow and set priority. Categories are
also very important for reporting – if appropriate categories are not setup or incorrectly selected, reporting
can become meaningless. See the section on categories later in this guide.
The subject is a brief description of the reason for the Call, a bit like the subject of an email. You can record
further description as the first Note.
These fields record the SLA deadlines associated with the Call. You can select these manually or generate
them from the selection of one of the categories (such as Priority). See the later section on categories for
details of how to auto-populate these based on a published SLA structure.
Products and Inventory
This drop-down can be configured to show either Products or Inventory records (configurable from the
Company Configuration form). Choose which configuration is best for your service desk:
A general list of products is ideal if you support a finite number of items and you are not interested in
tracking particular assets. Select from the same list every time you log a Call.
Inventory items (sometimes called assets) are like Product records but are associated to a particular
Customer or Contact. As a result, while you will only have one Product record for ‘product x’, you will
likely have many ‘product x’ inventory items, each ‘belonging’ to a different Customer (this is handy for
tracking an individual asset, its performance and even its contract and level of cover).
Assignee and Owner
The assignee is the person or group identified as responsible for the Call. If the SLA is breached, it is the
assignee’s statistics that will be affected. The owner is the person who originally logged the Call. While the
assignee may change several times during a Call, the owner will usually remain the same.
Note: Groups are a way of assigning a Call to a team (for example, First Line Support).
Always enter the solution at the point of closing the Call. It is a summary of what the assignee did to resolve
the issue or another reason for closure.
Add Notes to a Call to keep track of actions towards resolving the Call. Notes are free-text, are unlimited in
length and you can use them for further detail that cannot be fitted into the subject field. There are also
automated Notes as a result of changes to the Call (configurable by switching on the Audit Trail under
4 Categories & Service Level Management
Use Categories to set up an SLA structure, record data for tracking and reporting, and record the workflow
of a Call. To set up your categories go to Service Level Management on the Setup menu (only administrators
(Supervisor logins) can access the Setup menu).
Figure 5: Service Level Management form
1. Types and Sub-Types
The first tab on Service Level Management is one of the most difficult to define since it is hard to explain
what should constitute a Call type. Suffice to say it needs to encapsulate the reason for the Call and is closely
linked to the subject field. If required, sub-types can be used to add a subsidiary level to your types.
Give your Type a name
If you have the SupportDesk WebServer,
decide whether this Type should be
selectable by your Customers or whether
it should be internal, i.e. for your use
Figure 6: Type input
Give your Sub-Type a
Give your Sub-Type a
parent Type category
Figure 7: Sub-Type input
Statuses are a way of keeping track of the lifecycle of your different Call types. SupportDesk CSS comes with
a basic set of statuses pre-loaded. However, you are likely to want to edit these to reflect your service desk
Mark whether the status is a
Responded To, Resolved or
If required, Parent to
another status or other
category type to preserve a
Figure 8: Status Details
Milestones/Metrics tie in with your SLA structure and are SupportDesk’s way of deciding whether a Call has
breached any part of its SLA. See the next section on Priorities for more information.
Priorities are the usual way of recording an SLA structure for your Calls. If your SLA structure is not based
around Priorities, you can fill in deadlines on types, sub-types or even statuses. These are non-standard
ways of working but are perfectly valid.
Give the priority a name
Respond within: the point where a Call
should have been first responded
represented by a status change.
Warning after: milestone warning of
impending Action/Fix breach. Often set at an
arbitrary point between other two deadlines.
Action/Fix within: the point where the Call
should be resolved or closed.
Figure 9: Priority Details
The respond, warning and action deadlines are associated with the milestones set on statuses:
Q. How does the system know a Call has met its Respond within SLA?
A. Because a status with a Respond within milestone was selected before the respond within deadline on
The same logic can be applied to warning/action deadlines and the Closed milestone. The resolved
milestone can also be used to mark a status as meeting its action and warning deadlines.
4. Level (sometimes SLA)
Level is only usually required if you have more than one level of SLA.
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1. Urgent 1 Hrs 3 Hrs 8 Hrs
2. High 5 Hrs 8 Hrs 12 Hrs
3. Medium 1 Day 2 Days 3 Days
4. Low 5 Days 10 Days 15 Days
To achieve this setup, you need to parent priorities to levels (in the same way types and sub-types were
parented previously). Remember to put your deadlines on the priorities and don’t be tempted to put any on
the levels themselves.
Activities are also setup from the Service Level Management form but they are not categories. You can use
Activities for various purposes, including recording Call ‘sub-tasks’.
Using Activities to track OLAs
Another use for Activities is to track Operational Level Agreements, including SLAs, you hold with your
suppliers. This also proves as a very good example of how Activities may be of use.
First create a new Activity to record one of the SLAs you hold with one of your third parties and give it a
name to reflect this; for example, ‘Azlan Technical SLA’.
Use these fields to record the details of
the SLA you hold with the 3rd party.
Figure 10: Activity Type Details
If you create a status, you can parent it to the Activity so that when you select it, the Activity will also be
launched and visible from the Call form.
Give the status a suitable
name to reflect its use
Select the Activity to be
Figure 11: Status Details
Figure 12: Call Form
The Scheduled Date indicates the point where the OLA breaches. At this stage, notifications can be
triggered, via email and pop-up, to the assignee of the Call or even the third party itself (requires
SupportDesk Escalation and Email modules).
6 WebServer and Self-Service Module
The self-service module is designed for Customers and support staff to access the system via a web browser.
The system can be administered fully through the WebServer but the user-friendly and intuitive layout
makes it an ideal choice for Customers and third parties to track Calls they are involved in or have logged.
The default Customer homepage appears as follows:
Figure 13: WebServer Home Page
For a member of support (including suppliers and third parties given access), the default page appears as
Figure 14: Support Home Page
The WebServer is highly customisable and you can remove very easily any options you do not want to
appear for any level user. All functionality described in the various sections is also included through the
WebServer. It can also be branded with your company’s colours and logos to fit your environment.
7 Reporting and the KPI Monitor
There are over one hundred default reports in SupportDesk CSS, including our KPI Monitor dashboard that
allows you to quickly and easily slice and dice service desk data at the touch of a button. The KPI monitor
allows managers and support staff to instantly see the level of service Customers are receiving, how many
Calls are approaching their SLA target, and how many Calls are with third parties or on-hold.
Figure 15: SupportDesk Reporting