What is Service Desk (and more…)? – ‘What is’ Series – Part 2

This is part 2 of our ‘What is’ series. In this post, we’ll cover questions related to service desk and related topics, like SLA and self service. We’ll answer questions along the lines of “What is service desk?”, “What is a watermelon SLA?” and more.

Hope you find this piece as resourceful as the last.

About service desk:

What is service desk?

A service desk serves as a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) between a service provider and its customers (internal or external). A service desk typically handles incidents as well as service requests.

What is a service desk analyst?

A service desk analyst attends the service desk. Typically, a service desk analyst analyzes and resolves incidents and requests. They are responsible for providing an end-to-end customer experience.

How is a service desk different from a help desk?

In broad terms, a help desk is a subset of a service desk. While a help desk focusses on solving incidents, a service desk also caters to service requests and communication with the user. Read more…

What is service desk software?

Service desks are operated using specialized software that enables operations like ticket tracking, asset management, change management, automating workflows, et al. Service desk software also enables users to request services and use self service capabilities. Read more…

What are the activities performed by a service desk?

Under ITIL, a service desk performs activites like incident management, problem management, change management, asset management. A service desk also offers self service, service catalog, solution articles et al.


About Self Service:

What is self service?

Self service is the practice of serving oneself while buying or availing services. In ITSM, self service broadly describes the practice of solving one’s own queries using a knowledge base.

What is a self service portal?

A self service portal is an online page accessible through the internet or the intranet, which lets users perform actions such as submitting support tickets, request services and browse through the knowledge base. Read more…

 Why is self service important?

Self service is important to empower users to solve basic as well as complex issues on their own, which reduces their dependence on support for functioning. This creates a culture where users want to solve problems rather than wait for someone to solve it for them.

What is self service app?

A self service app is a mobile app that can be used to access the self service portal in order to submit service requests, complaint tickets, or to browse the knowledge base on a mobile device.

What is employee self service?

Employee self service is a technology widely used by organizations to empower employees to perform functions related to their jobs, like applying for reimbursements, filling out personal information, browsing support articles et al.


About SLA:

What is an SLA?

SLA stands for Service Level Agreement. It is an agreement between a service provider and its customer, that states the services that need to be furnished by the provider and the standard that needs to be met.

Why are SLAs important?

SLAs are important for a couple of reasons. For the service provider, to set customer expectations and to clear themselves of liability under defined circumstances. For the customer, to ensure the provision of a certain quality of service and to have a process for redressal of grievances. Read more…

What are SLA metrics?

SLA Metrics are parameters that are measured to keep track of the quality of service. By measuring metrics like:

  • Time to first response,
  • Time to resolution, and
  • Number of resolutions through the knowledge base,

the service desk’s performance can be quantified and improved.

What is Watermelon SLA?

Watermelon SLA is a situation wherein the service provider is meeting their SLAs (making them green on the outside) while having dissatisfied customers (red on the inside). Read more…

What is an SLA report?

An SLA report is a report typically sent from the service provider to the receiver, which outlines the status of the service provided. It includes metrics like service uptime, response time, resolution time, number of tickets resolved, number of times the service went down et al.

What is a service based SLA?

A service based SLA is a type of SLA that is the same for all the customers availing the service. For example, if the IT department of your organization is providing email service to the HR department and the Finance department, the SLA between IT – HR and IT – Finance departments will be the same.


That’s all for this blog. Stay tuned for more!

Cover image by Srinivas