HelpDesk Notification Profiles, Email Format and Profile Customization

This article explains the different types of profiles you can assign to a new user, email formatting and profile customization. 

 

Notficiation Profiles

You now have the ability to assign notification profiles to a user when you invite them into a Viakoo context. Doing nothing (i.e., not changing this setting) will assign the “Default” notification profile to your new user. 

The default setting gives your new user the same default notification settings as before. Specifically, this means email or push notifications off (disabled) as an initial state, alert-level is defined as any ticket CRITICAL or above, and daily status reports are disabled.  That user can log into Viakoo and navigate to their “My Profiles” window from the pull-down menu or to the “Notifications” subtab of the “Settings” tab to customize their notifications.

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There are four built-in profiles you could assign a new user instead:

  • HelpDesk (HTML)
  • HelpDesk (PlainText)
  • HelpDesk (JSON)
  • HelpDesk (Member)

These profiles are explicitly designed for creating an account to route Viakoo generated tickets to the email input for your help desk system, allowing a case (ticket) to be open in these other systems.

These notification profiles do three things that make them better suited for integrating with helpdesk systems:

  1. They send separate emails for each ticket (problem).
  2. They send only one email in the lifetime of a problem.
  3. They send the message formatted for easier consumption by the helpdesk system.

For a user, getting a collection of tickets in one email is more efficient. However, this is problematic for helpdesk systems. By sending separate emails for each ticket, your helpdesk system receiving the email alerts can open separate cases (tickets) for each Viakoo discovered problem (e.g., each failed device would get their own helpdesk ticket) which allows them to be processed separately.

Additionally, by default, accounts assigned a helpdesk profile will only send one email per alert. With Viakoo’s default notification profile, a user could get an email when an alert level ticket opens, assigned, accepted, and then a final one when it is resolved or closed. If sent to a helpdesk system, unless properly programmed, each one of these separate emails would generate separate helpdesk tickets (cases). Helpdesk profiles, by sending only one email in the lifetime of the ticket, prevent multiple helpdesk cases (tickets) opening for the same problem.  

Lastly, the format of the alerts to users with a helpdesk profile is designed to be easily parsed by your helpdesk system so it can load various fields and route to workflows associated with the ticket. Both the subject and body text of help desk emails contain important values associated with a Viakoo ticket  in the form of <name>:<value> pairs. In this way, parsers in your helpdesk system can more easily parse emails to store in important fields in the new helpdesk case. To review the specific format of these emails, check out the section below.

HelpDesk (HTML|PlainText|JSON)

These notification profiles are useful for automatically generating a helpdesk case in your helpdesk system when problems occur (i.e., the Viakoo Ticket OPENS). They default to alerting on all tickets which can be customized to alert on only those category of tickets and severity levels you wish to respond to. Each profile uses the associated format for the body of the email message. Choose the format most easily accommodated by your helpdesk system.  

To use one of these profiles, create a new user with a STAFF-level role and the email address of your helpdesk system. Select HelpDesk (HTML), HelpDesk (PlainText), or HelpDesk (JSON) as this user’s notification profile. When created this way, the account will be given the following initial notification settings:

  • Email Alerts is ON
  • Push Notifications is OFF
  • Daily Status is DISABLED
  • Alert Level set to ADVISORY (MINOR) priority tickets and above
  • Alert on OPEN ticket status only

This means this user will get an email when any ticket is created (OPENED) in the single ticket email format detailed below.

You can customize what kinds of tickets or the priority level that generate alert emails by logging into Viakoo with this new user’s account and manually customizing from there. 

HelpDesk (Member)

This notification profile is useful when an administrative user wants to curate what Viakoo tickets are given helpdesk cases (tickets) in your helpdesk system. This can be useful in situations where you have a lot of tickets and want to be selective about which ones get the focus of the team operating from the helpdesk system. It is intended to be used with an account set to the role, MEMBER. MEMBERs are users that cannot change the configuration and cannot see any ticket that it hasn’t been assigned to it. This means that it will only get email alerts on tickets that are assigned to this account and not tickets assigned to other users.

An example where this might be useful is if you have a local service provider with on-demand charging. You don’t want the system to automatically give them tickets as each one they work on costs you money. In this situation, you can merely assign the Viakoo tickets to the local service provider’s helpdesk account. Only then will the system send them an alert email to their helpdesk system.

To create such an account, invite a new user with the helpdesk system’s email account. Set the role to MEMBER and assign them the HelpDesk (Member) notification profile. This creates an account will be given the following initial notification settings:

  • Email Alerts is ON
  • Push Notifications is OFF
  • Daily Status Report is DISABLED
  • Alert Level set to ADVISORY (MINOR) priority tickets and above
  • Alert on ASSIGNED ticket status only

This means this user will get an email on any ticket that is ASSIGNED to that user in the single ticket email format detailed below.

You can customize what kinds of tickets or the priority level that generate alert emails by logging into Viakoo with this new user’s account and manually customizing from there. 

 

PlainText Email Format

Helpdesk email format:

Subject Format:

“Ticket: <ticket id> Status: [OPEN|ASSIGNED] of Priority: <ticket priority> at Site: <site name> of Company: <company name>”

  • <ticket id> is a number that uniquely identifies the ticket in the Viakoo system. 
  • status will be OPEN for HelpDesk (Default) and ASSIGNED on HelpDesk (Member) profiles
  • <site name> allows your helpdesk system to associate the case with the correct location
  • <company name> is useful if you are an integrator servicing multiple customers

Body Format:

The body of the helpdesk email is a sequence of attribute <name>:<value> pairs; one pair on a line and a simple parser can scan for attributes that correspond to important fields in your helpdesk case record. The format of the email body for a "Plain Text" email is as follows:

Ticket:<ticket id> 

Status:[OPEN|ASSIGNED]

Priority:[FAILURE|CRITICAL|ELEVATED|MINOR]

Category:<ticket category>

LocationId:<device id>

Location:<device name>

IPAddress:<ip address>

Problem:<root cause>

Recommendation:<recommended action>

SiteId:<site id>

Site:<sitename>

CompanyId:<company id>

Company:<company name>

URL:<url link to ticket in Viakoo dashboard>

 

The meaning of these are as follows:

  • <ticket id> is a number that uniquely identifies the ticket in the Viakoo system. 
  • status will be OPEN for HelpDesk (Default) and ASSIGNED on HelpDesk (Member) profiles
  • <ticket priority> is one of FAILURE, CRITICAL, ELEVATED (Warning), MINOR (Advisory)
  • <ticket category> refer to Ticket Categories KB article.
  • <device id> number which is unique for the device or component that had the problem
  • <device name> name for the device or component that had the problem
  • <root cause> string that summarizes the core problem associated with the ticket.
  • <recommended action> string that provides useful hints or instructions as to possible response.
  • <site id> number that is unique to the place/location of the problem
  • <site name> allows your helpdesk system to associate the case with the correct location
  • <company id> number that is unique for the company where the problem occurred
  • <company name> is useful if you are an integrator servicing multiple customers

By providing unique identifiers for devices, sites and companies, it is possible to track how many issues you might be receiving from a specific device or location. This information also allows you to automate routing to appropriate teams as well as generating charge-backs for services.

Example email

To: support@mycompany.com

Subject: Ticket: 2922883 Status: ASSIGNED of Priority: ELEVATED at Site: MtViewHQ for Company: AcmeCo 

Message Body: 

Ticket:2922883

Status:ASSIGNED

Priority:ELEVATED

Category:STREAM_SYSTEM_DRIVE

LocationId:2921056

Location:Arecont

IPAddress:172.30.1.245

Problem:MTV12-Lobby (172.30.1.245) is recording to the System Partition.

Recommendation:Configure MTV12-Lobby to record to another partition.

SiteId:2920789

Site:Lenel

CompanyId:13

Company:AcmeCo

URL:"https://vk1.viakoo.com/#/dashboard//overview/2922883/ticket"

--------------------------

JSON Email Format

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a format that is very easy for programs to parse. Ticket email bodies using JSON format will have the following structure:

{

"ticket": <ticket id>,

"status": "OPEN",

"priority": <ticket priority>,

"category": <ticket category>,

"location":

{

"id": <component id>,

"name": <component name>

},

"ipAddress": <ip address>,

"problem": <problem string>,

"recommendation": <recommendation string>,

"site":

{

"id": <site id>,

"name": <site name>

},

"company":

{

"id": <company id>,

"name": <company name>

},

"url": <ticket url>

}

Example of JSON email

An example of what this might look like the following:

{"ticket": 64489403821, "status": "OPEN", "priority": "ELEVATED", "category": "CAMERA_MISSING", "location": {"id": 23808720703, "name": "North Lobby"}, "ipAddress": "10.151.10.103", "problem": "Camera device \"North Lobby (10.151.10.103)\" is missing from configuration.", "recommendation": "Check VMS configuration and delete camera from this service if it has been removed from the network", "site": {"id": 23488568099, "name": "SJC-San Jose"}, "company": {"id": 23771971477, "name": "Acme Sprocket"}, "url": "https://vk1.viakoo.com/#/dashboard/23488568099/overview/64489403821/ticket"}

Embedded quotes

Note: If a quote occurs within a problem or recommendation string, it is preceded by a backslash ('\') character to help parsers identify it as a character embedded in the string and not the termination of the string.

Profile Customization

Template Customization:

Different helpdesk systems may have different parsers. If you have specific formats needed for your helpdesk system, Viakoo offers professional services to customize these profiles and email templates.

Ticket State Customization

The pre-defined HelpDesk Profiles alert on a single ticket status event (e.g., ticket "OPENED"). However, it is possible to have the alert email sent on other status events instead or in addition to (e.g., when the ticket is "RESOLVED").

 If you need specific customization to a helpdesk notification profile, contact your Viakoo representative for more details.

Administering User Preferences

For administrators who are trying to assist their users with notification settings, you can find a sub-tab in the User Administration pane labeled “Preferences” 

From the “Preferences” subtab, administrators can view their users current settings and do the following for their users:

  • Adjust their Notification Profile
  • Change email alert or push notification settings
  • Set or modify the daily status report 
  • Customize their notifications

Non-Administrative users can view their own settings but cannot view or modify settings of other users.

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Preferences_Tab_2.png

 

 

 

 

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