Autotask To Roll Out New Ticket Interface With Visual Timeline, Checklists

Autotask will introduce a new ticketing user interface early next year that will provide a service progression timeline and a checklist of sequential tasks for the technician.

The East Greenbush, N.Y.-based IT service management vendor expects the new interface will streamline repetitive tasks through increased automation and reduce the amount of time MSPs are spending on predictable use cases, according to Pat Burns, Autotask's vice president of product management.

"The ticket is the most heavily used, operationally repetitive task in the platform," Burns said Monday in Hollywood, Fla. "We're really excited about this, and we know it will make a big difference."

[Related: Autotask CEO: We've Doubled The Size Of Our Business Since 2014]

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Burns told the more than 900 attendees at Autotask Community Live 2016 that the visual service-level agreement (SLA) timeline will provide an instant and intuitive visual representation of how much progress has been made on a particular ticket.

"It's the story of what's happening on a ticket," said Burns, noting that Autotask is 65 percent done with building a new ticket interface.

The new ticket interface will also feature configurable checklists with specific assignments that technicians must complete sequentially as the ticket progresses through the workflow, Burns said. The checklist will essentially allow MSPs to create a mini project within the ticket, Burns said, to ensure that technicians comply with the defined business process.

Autotask put a lot of thought into the visual hierarchy of the new ticket interface, Burns said, specifically around where particular tasks are located. This resulted in the persistent action bar being relocated from the top of the ticket to a fixed location along the left side of the screen so that technicians always have access to these actions without having to scroll to the top of the screen, saving them some time.

The new ticket interface will also allow MSPs to create up to 50 configurable ticket types, Burns said, up from just four options currently (incidents, problem, change and service request). Burns said this will allow MSPs to more narrowly target their ticket specifications based on the particular issue being addressed.

The massive amount of configurability means that tickets can be customized to the point where everything appearing on the screen is applicable to that particular use case, Burns said. The status summary will appear in the upper right-hand corner, Burns said, while color coding will be used to designate the most important fields and status priorities.

Valiant Technologies is most excited to have an internal checklist features that ensures engineers are completing the work to the MSP's standards without having to manage those lists using alternate sources, said Tom Clancy, president of the New York-based Autotask partner.

Clancy said the new interface will cut down on the amount of time spent hunting and pecking for both major and minor pieces of information.

"The ticket is the core of where we work," Clancy told CRN. "It looks like it's going to be worth the wait."

Meanwhile, Juanita Ellis, operations director at Loomis, Calif.-based Team SOS, likes how the new ticket stacks information so that users don't have to scroll down to get critical information.

Even though the scrolling up to get commands only takes seconds for each individual ticket, Autotask partner Tech Guru said the time saved will quickly add up to the work of a part-time employee after factoring in how many tickets the Minneapolis-based company processes, according to President Micah Thor.

Thor said being able to instantly evaluate timeline expectations with a single line graph will make it much easier to figure out whether or not Tech Guru is hitting its SLA.