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:
Continue reading

Vendor Compliance Scorecard – Enterprise Dashboard for Service Level Agreements

Dashboard Topic: SLA Compliance Dashboard, Helpdesk Dashboard.

Here we look at how one company tracks the performance of their vendors. First, a note about their vendor management philosophy in general. Upon establishing a relationship with a partner company, a service level agreement is reached and written into the contracts. There is a governance process to overseeing the vendor relationships that is taken quite seriously.  As the relationship matures, data collection and analysis is constantly done. The IT department (responsible for both this SLA Dashboard and the Helpdesk Dashboard) established an SLA Portal with this Vendor Compliance Scorecard as the main tool. The dashboard shown below brings up a real pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand unclear tab onstates. For example, take a look at the two tabs in this dashboard. One says Vendor Breach Summary for last Month and the other says Vendor Compliance. Can someone please tell me which is the on state? On dashboard after dashboard, I find unclear tabs. The top level tab line is clear. It is obvious that we are on the dashboard tab as the red on the tab continues directly under it to the horizontal bar. On the second level however, there is a white line that separates the tab from the bar. I would guess that the vendor compliance tab is on, however, it is not 100% clear to me.

Vendor Compliance Scorecard

Homework: Can we stop designing by accident and take a moment to study some basic principles of graphic design? Take a look right now at The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type. A great source of sample dashboard designs is this book: Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data.

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.

Helpdesk Dashboard Screenshot – tracking SLA, open tickets, urgent tickets, trends

Dashboard Design Topic: Helpdesk Dashboard

The Remedy helpdesk system now uses dashboard displays (they branded their system as "Flashboards" – see http://www.remedy.com/solutions/coretech/flashboards.htm). Here is a dashboard screenshot of what a help desk manager would be interested in. Note the emphasis on open tickets – by priority, by department and by high/urgent status.

The second screenshot shows how a user flips the view. From the Remedy people on the term "flashboard" – "a visual management tool that allows you to create dashboards that graphically monitor business process performance in real-time. Flashboards automatically monitors critical business indicators and proactively alerts process owners to potential issues. Allows you to graphically monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs) through interactive charts and meters, and also allows you to drill-down into the details of a particular process to understand and review the underlying metrics.

Graphical displays highlight problem areas using color-coding to give you visual alerts that conditions are outside of acceptable ranges. Flashboard alerts can also help you to quickly and expertly re-deploy your resources to optimally resolve current issues and address potential problems."

Enterprise Dashboard Screenshot

Dashboard Screenshot

Help desk dashboards can take many different forms. Web-based dashboards such as these are typical but there are also desktop dashboards that are appearing that specialize in the help desk area. A good helpdesk dashboard should help its users spot, process, and preempt trouble tickets that could otherwise turn into call storms. This can be very successfully accomplished via a desktop dashboard. Think of a desktop dashboard as a “permanent part” of your desktop. It’s a app that acts like a gadget or widget that appears on your desktop when you log in. Simply booting up your machine brings you in contact with your help desk metrics.

Tags: Helpdesk Dashboard, Help Desk Metrics and KPIs

Related Dashboard Example:

Service Level Administration Dashboard from IBM

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 dashboard videos.