Autotask

With the Autotask integration, issues detected by Panorama9 can be set up to generate tickets in Autotask making tracking and handling of problems and incidents available in your favourite help desk system. All the ticket management tools that Autotask offers will then be at your disposal. Panorama9 can also make a round trip to Autotask tickets and close them automatically when the issue is resolved.

You can also have Panorama9 add detailed information about an asset on the ticket. This option will add a ticket note containing details about the issue, the offending asset, the user and links for remote controlling the asset, all accessible from with in the Autotask ticket. This way, you have all the information available about a machine when trying to troubleshoot and fix a problem.

The Autotask integration may be used as an addition to any of the Panorama9 notification abilities or be fully integrated so escalations or notifications are completely handled within Autotask. Antivirus not installed on a machine? Automatically have Panorama9 create a ticket for follow up by your IT team.

 

Setting up the integration from the MSP control Panel

To make things easy when handling multiple clients you can create a template with Autotask account settings and apply them on the clients that need them.

Create a new Template and add a user name and password for your Autotask account in the "Autotask" section. Save the template and test the connection to verify the credentials (takes a few seconds).

Check the "Asset info on comment" toggle to have Panorama9 add extra info about the asset, user and links to remote control on the ticket (added as a ticket note).

If you wish to hide the account settings for clients (in "Manage" -> "Extensions") check the "Hide settings" toggle.

Next click the "Configure" button to complete the set up. You only have to do this once for each Autotask account you enter as it is a global configuration inside the Autotask account specified.
This step will create user defined fields required for the Configuration Item part of the integration (see below). Two user defined fields are created on the Configuration Item entity, but these fields are by default not visible to users when editing a configuration item. They can be viewed by selecting in "Admin" -> "User Defined Fields" in the main menu and then expanding "Products and Services" -> "Products" -> "Configuration Items" -> "User Defined Fields". As mentioned, the fields are not visible for users, but if added to a Configuration Item Type manually they will appear. We recommend leaving the settings as they are.

If you delete these fields you can just re-configure the integration from the template you just created.
Note that if one or both fields are deleted the data they contained is permanently lost, which means all pre-existing links between configuration items in Autotask and assets in Panoranma9 are lost and have to be redone.

Important: as the final step you have to apply these settings to a set of clients to make them active. Press the "apply to clients" button (next to the "version" text) and follow the instructions. No further actions are needed on the clients for this to work at this point.

autotask_template.png

 

Setting up the integration directly for a client

Note: if you have an MSP account at Panorama9 and have set up the integration from within the MSP Control Panel you can skip this section.

Make sure to add a user name and password for your Autotask account in the Panorama9 "Manage" -> "Extensions" section. Test the connection to verify the credentials.

Check the "Asset info on comment" toggle to have Panorama9 add extra info about the asset, user and links to remote control on the ticket (added as a ticket note).

Finally click the "Configure Autotask" button to complete the set up. This last step will create user defined fields required for the Configuration Item part of the integration (see below). Two user defined fields are created on the Configuration Item entity, but these fields are by default not visible to users when editing a configuration item. They can be viewed by selecting in "Admin" -> "User Defined Fields" in the main menu and then expanding "Products and Services" -> "Products" -> "Configuration Items" -> "User Defined Fields". As mentioned, the fields are not visible for users, but if added to a Configuration Item Type manually they will appear. We recommend leaving the settings as they are.

If you delete these fields you can just re-configure the integration from the "Manage" -> "Extensions" page.
Note that if one or both fields are deleted the data they contained is permanently lost, which means all pre-existing links between configuration items in Autotask and assets in Panoranma9 are lost and have to be redone.

Screenshot_from_2014-09-17_14_26_16.png

 

Integration requirements

Note that the access permissions of the Autotask user account may restrict access to data that the integration will need. Panorama9 utilizes the Autotask API where user permissions are a reflection of those set in the Autotask Dashboard.
The user will need certain permissions to interact with Autotask. By choosing the standard security level "Full Access" all these will be enabled (and more of course). If you wish you can fine tune the security levels to the ones below.

Section Read Write Integration
Accounts X   Help desk - Configuration items
Allocation codes X   Help desk
Contacts X   Help desk
Installed products (configuration items) X X Configuration items
Products X   Configuration items
Resources X   Help desk
Tickets and ticket notes X X Help desk
User Defined Fields (UDFs) X X

Help desk (read) - Configuration Items/Extension configure (read/write)

 

Creating Autotask tickets from issues detected by Panorama9

Panorama9 will detect issues within your IT environment and through the Autotask integration you can quickly and fully control who should be notified and manage case escalation. Detected issues can be created as Autotask tickets allowing you to fully control and track progress.

You can through the Panorama9 dashboard configure in every detail the notifications and types of issues that should result in a ticket. Need to see if a machine is low on disk space? Antivirus not installed? Machine not reachable? Configure notifications for any of these issues to trigger the creation of a Autotask ticket.

To do so, navigate to "Notifications" -> "Notifiers"-> "Settings" in Panorama9 and create a new notification by clicking on the "+".  Fill out the following fields to create a new notification.

  • Name:  Description of the notification you are configuring

Autotask tab:

  • Create ticket: When enabled a ticket will be created in Autotask.
  • Complete ticket when issue is resolved: Whether or not you wish to have the Autotask ticket marked as completed when Panorama9 considers the issue fixed. Note that if an Autotask user has changed the ticket status (to other than "New") Panorama9 will NOT complete the ticket, but merely add a ticket note saying the initial issue has been resolved. This policy has been adopted to minimize interference with any Autotask processes requiring support agents to handle tickets in a particular way before closing them.
  • Account: The account (customer) inside Autotask the ticket should belong to (required)
  • Resource: Autotask agent the ticket should be assigned to
  • Assign to Queue: Choose the queue in which the ticket should appear
  • SLA: A Service Level Agreement you would like to use on the ticket
  • Work Type: Type of work activity that will be tracked on the ticket
  • Issue Type: Detailed type of issue reported in the ticket
  • Sub Issue Type: Further refine the type of issue in the ticket

notif_filled.png

 

Lastly, choose the type of Panorama9 issues that should result in the notification by selecting from the listed issue types under the tabs "Vulnerability", "Availability" or "Compliance". You must choose at least one to be able to create a notification.

The ticket created by Panorama9 includes detailed information about the detected issue such as the device name, issue area etc. You can furthermore use this information to create rules in Autotask that applies different policies to different types of issues.

ticket_subject.png

Information found in the subject field of the created ticket: [P9] device – area > category > issue type.

  • Example subject: [P9] server01 - availability > servers > unreachable
    • server01: The name of the affected device. If the issue isn't directly related to a device this part is empty, e.g. issues detected when checking your SMTP service.
    • availability: Is the "Area" the issue is related to. It may be any of "Vulnerability", "Availability" or "Compliance".
    • servers: Is the "Category" the issue is related to. It may be any of the categories each "Area" covers.
    • unreachable: The "Issue type". It may be any of the checks each "Category" covers.

 

Required ticket fields - fill in values per notification

When Panorama9 tries to resolve a ticket all required fields must be filled according to the conditions you have applied on the fields in Autotask - e.g. numeric or phone patterns.
Active and required User Defined Fields are displayed in the "Notifiers" set up making it possible to enter fixed values to be applied if Panorama9 later tries to resolve the ticket.
Note that any changes in the required fields inside Autotask such as changed conditions or addition of new fields must be addressed in Panorama9 to keep resolving of tickets working properly.

notif_filled_required_fields.png

 

API data cache

The data fetched from the Autotask API is cached at Panorama9 to increase speed and usability of the "Notifiers" page. The type of data fetched from Autotask for this page will typically not change very often. Written on the top right is the date and time when the data was last updated (see image above).

The data is automatically refreshed after seven days, but if needed the data can be refreshed on demand. If you know changes have been made and you need to update the notification settings right away simply click the "Refresh cache" button. The Panorama9 system will then connect to the Autotask API and get the data needed. This process may take several tens of seconds before completing.

 

Exporting devices as Configuration Items

One of the main forces of Panorama9 is asset discovery and the information and overview it gives a network administrator. In Autotask these assets can be added manually whereby a wider feature set, like having a ticket connected to an asset, can be utilized.

With the Panorama9 integration this process is made easy by exporting assets just by a click of a button.

On top of that you can "link" an exported or pre-existing configuration item from Autotask to an asset inside Panorama9. This enables Panorama9 to link the ticket to the offending configuration item in Autotask.

ticket_conf_item.png

 

Note: this feature shares the same interface whether you are an MSP or not.

MSPs can gain access by logging on to a particular client from within the MSP Control Panel (impersonate client). The Autotask interface is always hidden if access is NOT granted via the MSP Control Panel, thus securing these settings from being viewed by the clients. Also remember to hide the Autotask integration settings from the MSP template if you wish to secure these from being viewed by clients (these are located in "Manage" -> "Extensions").

For clients that are not a part of an MSP the interface will always be as hown as long as the Autotask integration is turned on.

 

Once the Autotask integration is set up and active, a tab named "Autotask"  becomes visible on the device details page on each device discovered. It contains a list of all pre-existing items found inside your Autotask account on the right hand side and linking/export controls on the left hand side.
Use the Filter Box to filter the configuration item list by "Account" or "Product" type.

Like on the "Notifiers" page the API data is cached in Panorama9 (seven days). A date and time stamp show the age of the data. If you know changes have been made in Autotask since then simply press the "Refresh cache" button to get the most recent data. Note that this process may take several tens of seconds.

conf_item_device_details.png

How to

  • export a device: Press the "Create Configuration Item" button. Fill out the form with the required data and press "Create in Autotask". Note that the creation process may take several seconds.
  • link a device: First select an item in the Configuration Item list to the right. When you are happy with the selection simply press "Link". Again, the process may take several seconds.
  • unlink a device: Simply click "Unlink" and allow for the process to complete.
  • delete an exported device: To delete an exported device first unlink the asset in Panorama9, then log on to your Autotask account and remove the Configuration Item. Note that to get it off the Configuration Item list inside Panorama9 you will have to refresh the cache from the "Autotask" tab page.

With an active Autotask integration Panorama9 will also form an automatic device group called "Linked to Autotask". You can use this group to filter the device and issue lists to see which devices (or issues) are represented in Autotask.

Note that the current version of the integration does not synchronize the configuration items when changes happen to assets in Panorama9.

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