Request fullfilment with OTRS

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in EriZone & OTRS | 0 comments

OTRS is a Help Desk and ITSM system, ITIL v3 certified by Pink Elephant.   Indeed it makes available the basics for most of the ITIL Service Operation (and Transition) processes  and  combines them with a customer centric communication model.  All ITSM features are described by OTRS except how processes are defined. For this reason I will talk about the Request Fulfilment Management (RFM) process, even if some of the considerations are valid also for Incident and Problem Management.

Request Fulfillment Management deals with a request from a user for information, advice, standard change or for access to an IT service. Regarding the RFM process ITIL suggests to have a request catalog, a clear definition of range of services and  a user friendly front end. In all of these points OTRS can fully support you.

ITIL suggests also to implement standard workflows in order to fulfill the different types of service requests. Here, the standard OTRS approach is to give to the agent (OTRS operator) the possibility to follow a process without giving him actually a well defined workflow. All activities are delegated to the agent who should know what to do any time – answer to the customer, ask for more info, request authorization, escalate the request and so forth. Till version 3.2 it was possible to design a workflow using ACL (perl based access control list) and developing (at least copy and paste) modules. And more complicated the process was more critical ACL became. Fortunately the version 3.2 introduced a new feature, namely the processes management that made possible to design processes using a simple graphical interface.  Well, now you are really ready to design your process as suggested by the ITIL best practices in a user friendly way. Talking about the ITIL RFM process it worth noting that it is possible to identify some common activities for all requests concerning validation, authorization, categorization and escalation. Those parts can be designed once and then reused (an example is shown in Img 1.). In this way you can focus on your particular request models designing only few steps (red rectangle in Img.1.).

Img. 1 – Example of a Request Fulfillment Management process

And then just enjoy your process. Some sample screenshots:

  • give information or go forward eventually requesting authorization

  • trigger the access management process, request a functional escalation or apply your particular model steps

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Merry Christmas

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the name of the whole Würth Phoenix team we would like to thank you all for your cooperation and for being part of our business in this year. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

At the turn of the year we would like to take the opportunity to remember people, who are in need. Therefore we will support the Caritas Italiana projects for the flood in Sardinia and for the Haiyan typhoon that hit the central islands of the Philippines.

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The Open Source System Management Conference 2014

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in EriZone & OTRS, NetEye, ntop | 0 comments

We are proud to officialy announce the sixth edition of the “Open Source System Management Conference” , which will take place on April 10th, 2014 in Bolzano. Held annually, the Conference addresses topics of the greatest relevance and concern to IT professionals active in the area of IT System and Service Management. It is widely considered to be the main conference broaching the issue of Open Source strategies solutions in Italy and for the special topic of System Management also on a European level.

Part of the agenda has already been defined. Among the speakers confirmed by now we find ntop founder Luca Deri, who will give an overview of the Network Monitoring approach with special focus on End User Experience approach – or Michael Medin, who will introduce the new version of NSClient++ for the Windows and Unix monitoring.  Another guest from Sweden, Andreas Ericsson, chief developer of Nagios Core will present the future strategy of the Nagios Core 4 version (which differs from the commercial Nagios Enterprise version).

One highlight of the conference will be without doubt the keynote of John Rakowski from Forrester Research, who will provide concrete examples of the growing Open Source initiatives in the Service Management area also in the commercial environment. The customer now decides according to the needs, security and benefits and no longer driven by ideological criteria, this statement summarizes the opinion of the analyst company. Flavia Marzano, journalist and President of the general states of innovation, will participate by sharing her knowledge and expertise in Open Source based System Management solutions and aiming to respond to the need of Innovation for the Public Administration.

Other surprises will be announced shortly. You can already expect an exciting agenda focused on current technologies and the future trend of Open Source IT System Management solutions.
IT managers, system administrators and anyone interested in the Open Source field can already register at the conference site http://www.wuerth-phoenix.com/events.

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Windows process tracking with Safed

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in NetEye, Syslog | 0 comments

As well known, the Safed agent for Windows can collect events from the event log, filters them and forward the matched records to a centralized syslog server. There are some preconfigured set of events concerning basic activities that have to be tracked.

The first one, and probably the most famous due to existing law conformity requirements deals with the tracking of Login/Logoff to the system. The second one it is worth to be pointed out is aimed at tracking process start/stop on Windows.

Indeed it is easy to set a rule for collecting and filtering events for all processes of interest with Safed. From the left side menu select “EventLog Objectives Configuration”, then add a new rule selecting the “Start or stop a process” option and filling the “General Search Term” field with the regular expression best matching your objective (Img. 1). All the rest is done by Safed, namely audit setting and data collecting, filtering and forwarding to the server.

Img. 1

On the server side all collected records (Img. 2) can be further filtered and correlated to obtain very interesting information about software use on windows systems (think about concurrent running instances licenses), and undesired or prohibited processes execution.

Img. 2

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