Enterprise service management and escalations are not identical. Service management refers to the policies, processes and procedures an enterprise uses to manage incidents from start to finish. Comparatively, escalations represent a service management component. They are used to notify managers and other high-ranking professionals who may be needed to help an incident management team resolve an incident.
To better understand the differences between service management and escalations, let’s consider an example. If a telecommunications services provider (TSP) suffers a network outage, the company will need to work quickly to alleviate the problem. The business’ incident management team may try to find a short-term solution to ensure customers can regain access to the company’s network. But the longer it takes this incident management team to resolve the incident, the more likely it becomes that the business could suffer revenue losses and brand reputation damage. Additionally, a long-lasting network outage may lead some customers to switch TSPs.
In the aforementioned scenario, the TSP can use a service management strategy to address the network outage. This plan may include steps to resolve the issue and prevent it from recurring. It also may include escalations to ensure the right stakeholders are kept up to date until the incident is resolved.
There are clear-cut differences between service management and escalations. Yet some incident monitoring and alerting systems treat service management and escalations the same. As such, enterprises require incident management tools that offer much more than just simple call trees. Instead, enterprises need incident monitoring systems that provide the following service management capabilities:
- Automatic Escalations: Sometimes, an enterprise needs to go beyond its support team to respond to an incident. With automatic escalations, an enterprise can ensure the right messages are sent to the right stakeholders, on time, every time. Best of all, automatic escalations allow an incident management team to provide regular status updates to affected stakeholders, as well as incident closure updates.
- Workflows: Workflows trigger actions, and they may be triggered by a change in incident status or the passage of a specific amount of time. They allow an incident management team to send reminders to affected stakeholders at regular intervals or based on a service-level agreement (SLA) deadline. Plus, with the right workflows in place, incident management team members can stay up to date about incidents until these incidents are fully resolved.
- SLA-Based Management: Thanks to SLA-based management, an incident management team can define a global SLA based on priority or severity levels, create overrides and trigger time-based escalations and notifications.
- Message Rules: Message rules define the notification delivery rules and workflow actions for effective alert management. Therefore, an incident management team can use message rule and workflow engines to configure an incident management solution based on its needs.
Ultimately, an incident monitoring system should simplify incident management. By using an incident tracking system that offers advanced capabilities, an incident management team can quickly address incidents and prevent them from getting out of hand.