Network Operation Center Nimsoft Dashboards

Service Level Management (SLM) is the process of ensuring that IT services are linked to business processes and providing detailed visibility of service. By monitoring SLAs (service level agreements) and operating level agreements (OLAs), business and technology units can talk in terms that represent a common denominator in departments that used to be world’s apart. SLA dashboards can not only help visualize the data, but bring the management issues out in the open where they belong.

Thanks to long time Dashboard Spy reader and availability dashboard enthusiast Ken Vanderweel of Nimsoft Inc, we have the opportunity to study an extensive series of performance dashboards that monitor the availabilty of services for Amway Online. Powered by Nimsoft and used by Amway’s Germany-based IT organization to monitor a host of service statistics, the Network Operation Center dashboard has been instrumental in improving the organization’s quality of service.

Let’s take a look at a couple of photos of the dashboards in action and then we’ll zoom in on the performance dashboards themselves.

Here’s a peek at the ticker showing the bottom line, an “all clear” signal. I didn’t know what the numbers meant on the top ticker and Ken informed me that it was simply the local time in different European cities.

noc critical alarm ticker

Here are the happy dashboard users:

nimsoft dashboards

Here is the closeup of the dashboard monitors.

noc dashboards

I’ll let Ken explain the series of screenshots he sent me. Please note that because of the number of dashboard screens, I’ve place thumbnails in this post. You can click on each one to enlarge the screenshots. You’ll want to read the various annotations as they are very informative.

Amway’s Germany-based IT organization successfully achieved their goal of “IT to Business alignment” through the implementation of service level dashboards powered by Nimsoft. With these dashboards Amway’s IT organization is able to demonstrate to their business counterparts the services and service quality being provided. Dashboards made it possible for Amway’s IT organization to communicate in a language the business understands; not technology-centric but services-centric via business-centric dashboards that include quality of service statistics for Amway Online customers.

The dashboard sequence that follows gave Amway the increased visibility they needed to lift quality of service for business customers interfacing with their online web services from 96.5% to 99.5% in less than one month. Dashboards provided heightened ‘business visibility’ to improve end-user quality of service and overall business performance. Heightened visibility was accomplished through a combination of Nimsoft end-user and end-to-end IT infrastructure monitoring software plus Amway’s creative use of the Nimsoft service level dashboards and dashboard design toolkit.

At the front of the dashboard sequence is a clear view of Amway’s Eastern European business region and the quality of service their customers are experiencing as they interface with Amway Online services. Amway’s IT organization can click to drill down to underlying dashboards that reveal more granular health status perspectives which accelerate problem isolation and resolution.

At the back of the stack of dashboards is an interesting business metrics dashboard that shows the health status of all sales orders channels. This particular dashboard was made possible through integration into Amway’s business process integration software. The dashboards display the number of online sales orders; dashboard alarms would indicate breaks/bottlenecks in the sales order/fulfillment process, for example, a failure in the backend processing such as a lost connection to the credit card bank.

Click to enlarge these dashboard screenshots:

Amway NOC Dashboard

Nimsoft NOC Availability Dashboard

Nimsoft Dashboard

SLA Dashboard

SLM Dashboard

Server Availability Dashboard

Network Monitoring Dashboard

Order Status Dashboard

ebusiness Dashboard

These last 2 SLA dashboards are my favorite, so be sure to check them out!

Thank you very much Ken of Nimsoft.com for sharing these dashboards with us!

PS. Help Desk and Service Desk Dashboards can come in many forms. Check out the range of approaches – from mobile dashboards to desktop dashboards.

SLA Dashboard

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) Dashboard comes courtesy of a Dashboard Spy in the IBM Service Management organization who has worked on multiple projects in the area of Process Management. Process Managers are applications that implement and manage procss flows involving people, information and technology components. The goals of PM applications are to improve organizational productivity and also provide the means of meeting goverance and compliance requirements.

Monitoring service level performance and SLA administration are key features of Process Manager applications. SLA dashboards are perfect for providing executive level views of overall performance.

Here is a screenshot of the IBM SLA Dashboard used by the ITIL Rapid Deployment Extenstions project team:

Service Level Administration Dashboard

Click on the more link to read more about this service level administration dashboard:
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Service Desk Dashboard – tracking support call KPIs for a helpdesk operation

Service Desk Dashboards: For the enterprise’s IT trouble-shooters, a service desk dashboard is likely one of the most valuable tools in their collection. Few teams in the enterprise suffer from more real-time urgency than the service desk which makes the need for an effective help desk dashboard more acute.

First we examine a typical help desk dashboard, then we have a quick glance at a desktop dashboard for service desk dashboard reporting.

This peek at a support desk KPI enterprise dashboard comes from a company running the HEAT service management suite to optimize its IT service functions. The IT group takes the performance data as input for this call data dashboard. KPIs include number of open calls, escalated calls, calls received today, percentage of annual daily average, closed calls, calls more than 3 weeks old and a statistic that I really like – calls not updated in the last 7 days. I feel that this statistic is important in terms of customer satisfaction. The client obviously wants fast action. As the open call ages, the satisfaction index would obviously decrease. The 7 day mark seems like a good spot for some “We’re working on it” contact.

helpdesk dashboard

Now we look at using the desktop area as a deployment platform for a service desk dashboard. Take a look at this help desk dashboard from Klipfolio. It actually works as a widget that resides on your desktop!

service desk dashboard

From the Klipfolio site:

Cut response times and increase customer satisfaction

Improve performance across the support department with real-time tracking and sharing of incidents, cases, and metrics. Frontline agents can make choices based on up-to-the-minute data. Management can shuffle resources to accommodate changing workloads – leveraging data from Parature, Remedy, Heat, and other systems. Resolve more problems in less time. Make a direct impact on customer satisfaction.

Put priorities front and center

Desktop dashboards put individually tailored KPIs on support-organization desktops. Key indicators are “top of mind” at all times. Individuals never lose sight of what they are accountable for and must act on. They can do more with less. Their actions are aligned with goals driven by carefully crafted strategies underlying the indicators in front of them. No more real-time data trapped in enterprise systems, in trouble-ticketing applications, or on big-boards, white boards, or flip charts. Priorities are front and center.

Helpdesk Dashboard

Homework: Study up on this subject with these books on help desk management.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s books on enterprise dashboards. His current favorite is Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing executive dashboards.

IT Managed Services

Dashboard Example: Service Desk Dashboard – For the enterprise help desk team, a service desk dashboard is a critical tool in their daily workflow.

We have this enterprise dashboard screenshot submission that features an implementation of the NimBUS Business Dashboard product. Yes, the same folks that gave us the soda machine dashboard. From the Dashboard Spy at nimsoft.com:

“The attached dashboard image visually splits the IT Service Desk function into two halves. The left side of the dashboard view graphically depicts Netstal’s Service Desk process flow. You can see problem/incident inputs occurring manually via calls from end-users into the service desk (depicted top) and inputs also occurring automatically via alerts from our NimBUS monitoring product (depicted bottom). The process flow continues to show incident processing through to problem resolution and communications of incident status back to the persons who originated the problem/incident request.

The right side of the dashboard view has an array of meters that categorize all open incident requests/tickets with ticket counters and alarm indicators when ticket counts rise to warning levels.

Interesting to point out – in the left-side process flow diagram you will find alarm status indicators positioned at key process points. The small and strategically positioned color-coded status indictors will draw attention to bottlenecks and backlogs in the incident handling process. This Service Desk dashboard contains real-time incident-handling performance indicators. This is key to quickly pinpoint and resolve problems in the service desk process.”

Here is the overall dashboard. It is wide so I split up the views in the following dashboard screenshots:

Service Desk Dashboard

Service Desk Process

Open ticket dashboard

Stay tuned for more on IT managed services.

Homework: Take a look at the nimsoft gallery for more ideas. The process flow for the service desk service shown on this dashboard is a great reference, but if you need to brush up, check these books on help desk management.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books on business dashboards.

The EDS Service Excellence Client Dashboard

Business Intelligence Dashboard Topic of the Day: Service Desk (Help Desk) Dashboards

When one thinks of a typical service desk dashboard or helpdesk dashboard, one imagines a helpdesk manager poring over the service level metrics. Yes, it’s true that most service level dashboards are used by the people providing the service. But what about exposing dashboard metrics to those USING the service?

IT services giant, EDS, offers transparency to their client base by publishing a weekly service quality number. It serves as both a Quality of Service metrics as well as a great marketing tool. They survey executives at their 900 clients. As explained at http://www.eds.com/services/excellence/, “We use this Web-enabled, real-time information system to ensure that the quality of services we deliver to 900 clients is known at all times – even at the highest levels of the corporation. Our stoplight, red-yellow-green scoring is simple to understand and consistently used across the globe. By using a private, customized view of the dashboard – the Service Excellence Client Dashboard – clients can check on their status and provide real-time feedback to EDS support teams directly from their desktops. Plus, they can initiate a survey process whenever they wish and invite any participants they feel deserve a vote on EDS’ performance rating.”

Service Excellence Client Dashboard 

For more information on service desk dashboards presented in a novel, attention-getting manner, see Klipfolio.com.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of business dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.