Going back through our SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) blogs, I noticed we talk a lot about automation in the data center. One of my favorite demos from Frane Milicevic, a member of our brilliant product management team, shows how SAP ITOA can be used in conjunction with a third-party orchestrator to proactively add more disk space to avoid catastrophic incidents. I even wrote an article for Databased Trends and Applications about the rise of automation in the data center just for fun!

In contrast, something that is not fun is IT tickets. A ticket means something is wrong and someone is unable to perform a task that needs to get done. This could be a faulty server or a broken checkout button on a website. Or maybe the paper towels need to be restocked in the bathroom (at SAP’s Vancouver office we submit tickets for EVERYTHING, including facilities issues). In any case, IT tickets mean that your business is being negatively affected and the problem needs to be fixed, quickly.

Luckily, SAP ITOA is an excellent tool for determining the root causes of IT issues because of the holistic, real-time view it provides of the entire IT landscape. And with the advent of SAP IT Operations Analytics 2.0 Support Pack 04 (SP04), crucial information can be passed back and forth between SAP ITOA and IT ticketing systems. The best part? It all happens—you guessed it—automatically!

Sending Data to Ticketing Systems

Like the disk space example above, an alert registered in SAP IT Operations Analytics can trigger the execution of a script. With the new functionality in SAP ITOA Support Pack 04, these scripts can raise a ticket in an external ticketing system such as Remedy, ServiceNow, or OTRS. Because SAP ITOA has already collected and analyzed the relevant data, the ticket is populated with detailed information and assigned to the correct queue.

A ticket in OTRS generated by a script executed in SAP IT Operations Analytics. All salient data is passed from SAP ITOA and registered in the ticket.

In addition to the technical information, a link to the corresponding story in SAP ITOA is provided. When the support team clicks on that link, they have instant access to the information needed to diagnose the issue and contact the stakeholder responsible for infrastructure.

This direct connection saves the support team from searching through multiple monitoring tools for the issue or wasting valuable time contacting a host of siloed teams that blame each other and compound the issue further. By gathering the relevant IT data in the story and bringing in master data to show which team is responsible, the issue can be dealt with quickly and cleanly.

The story in SAP IT Operations Analytics linked from the ticket above. Common metrics such as CPU, Storage, and Memory are available as well as master data showing the stakeholder and SLA priority.

Bringing Ticket Data in

In addition to creating tickets using scripts and pushing information to ticketing systems, SAP IT Operations Analytics can also receive ticking information in the reverse direction. Dashboards can be set up that show the number of tickets that are open coupled with a heat map of which pieces of IT infrastructure are the most affected. These results can be filtered based on individual instances, such as servers for example, or whether a ticket is open or closed.

Details like processing time can also be brought in from the ticketing system. However, other information about the issue not available to the ticketing system is accessible as a result of the holistic view SAP ITOA delivers. For instance, master data about the business owner or support team can be gleaned which can decrease the time to resolution and close out tickets more quickly.

An SAP ITOA dashboard displaying information received from an external ticketing system. The information found in the table is enhanced by master data being brought into SAP ITOA.

Bottom Line

The ability to automatically generate tickets and connect those tickets to stories within SAP IT Operations Analytics makes for a more powerful tool when resolving IT issues in a fast and efficient manner. And while the disk space video is still my favorite, I’m excited to see what Frane and team can do with this new functionality.

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