The SLA Model Structure
How Structures Relate
The purpose of this article is to present the key data structures in the IM SLA Extention environment, their relationship to each other, how they effect a Ticket.
First it is important to understand that the SLA Extension only effects the meta data of a Ticket – Priority, Status, and Status duration limit. The operational processes, functions and displays of a Ticket remain identical to the standard IM. Thus, from a day-to-day viewpoint only the information in the “Basics” section of a Ticket is effected.
Figure 1: Ticket metadata affected by SLA Extension highlighted
When viewing an SLA controlled Ticket, the user sees an expanded Status and SLA Priority display. The Status section of a SLA controlled Ticket emphasizes the time durations for the Ticket. The maximum target duration for the current State, the time in current State and remaining time for current State are displayed. The SLA Priority section displays the exact priority description from the agreement.
The graphic below is a preview of the full SLA Extension data structure and relationships.
Figure 2: Quick Look at SLA Data Structures
The next section provides a description of each key Data Structure. The following section returns to the graphic in Figure 2 and discusses the relationships between the data structures.
Key Data Structures
There are five major data structures that interact to create the SLA infrastructure. Two structures are in the standard IM environment and three are in the SLA extension environment. The relationships between these structures is graphically presented in Figure 1 below.
The data structures in the IM environment are:
Client Service Group
This is a standard IM Group. It is the control structure for the Client Staff associated with a specific Service Level Agreement. Members of the Service Group can see and interact with all the Tickets in the associated SLA queue.
Client SLA Queue
This is a standard IM Queue. Tickets in this queue will be controlled by the SLA rules defined for the queue.
The data structures in the SLA extension environment are:
This structure identifies each SLA, or RMA, that is managing ticket response requirements. It also defines the associated Service Group and Service Queue. Some information filed, such as description, notes, agreement number and renewal date, are provided. Note: This structure also relates to a very simple Client data structure which simply defines the client name.
This structure maintains the Priority Level associated with each SLA or RMA. This structure is very flexible and allows each client to have different priority code names and descriptions; i.e. it can be customized to how the client views issues. Note: The structure also maintains a mapping of the client priorities into a master priority level. This allows cross-client analytics to have meaning.
This structure maintains the response rules for each priority level by SLA. The structure defines the name for each State, the next State and the maximum duration for the State before Azaire is out of compliance with the SLA.
Data Structure Model
The graphic below presents the data structure model for a normal SLA that defines service levels for “in field” fixes – the SLA rules – and service levels for “return repairs” - the RMA rules. This is modeled by two queues – the SLA queue and the RMA queue. New Tickets in the SLA queue trigger the SLA response rules and new Tickets in the RMA queue trigger the RMA response rules.
Figure 3: Relationship of SLA Data Structures
In Figure 3 there are four numbered callouts that identify key aspects of the model:
The Client Service Group is the “holding” data structure for all users that are associated with the Client SLA. These users interact with the SLA Extension via the SelfService interface. Adding a user to the Client Service Group will provide that user with all the functionality associated with the SLA.
The Client Service Group is linked to the associated SLA and RMA queues by the rights granted for each queue to the group.
SLA Agreement tied to SLA Queue
The agreement data structure, in the SLA Extension, maintains a link with the associated SLA Queue. The agreement data structure also maintains links to the associated SLA Priorities and each priority maintains links to the associated rules. Thus the SLA Agreement link ties the complete SLA data structures at all levels to the associated SLA Queue. RMA structures are identical.
Ticket in SLA Queue triggers SLA Rules
A Ticket, by being in a specific queue, triggers all the associated SLA functionality including the State rules for each Priority for the SLA. The Ticket in a specific queue also triggers the functionality that, though the associated Client Service Group, determines who can view and update the Ticket.
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