Beta, IT Business, Shockey Monkey
Comments Off on Dashboards

dashboardsKey to a successful IT business is communication. At times, marketing does a better job than technical support does in communicating technical events – mostly because marketing has a heads up and technical support is our version of FEMA.

At Own Web Now we offer phone support, online support through Shockey Monkey and we also offer a digital NOC blog. We do not and never will offer email notifications of outages – our primary service is email so sending an email to someone hosted on a server that is experiencing technical issue would border on ridicule.

What we have encountered in our experience is that at times we are just not fast enough at alerting our clients and partners when there are technical issues. The person with the knowledge of what is going on may be the one updating the NOC blog or we may be alerting about issues minutes after the issue has been identified and tickets have started pouring in. Crisis management is tough.

Shockey Monkey Dashboards

We have made a conscious decision that all our systems development going forward must be tied to Shockey Monkey. So even though we’re writing a system for us, we will build it inside Shockey Monkey and share it with all of you for free.

What’s the catch? Well, we hope you know better than us and are willing to share something we may be overlooking.

Click on the image above for a brief overview of what we want to build. Most of it is a lunchtime doodle but here is the summary.

Overall goal – Tied into Shockey Monkey. Provide an API for it from the getgo, allow the partners to customize it and tweak it because everyone has their take on the dashboard.

Issue reporting – Allow the user entering the issue to provide the time and date. The two should support fakery – after all if you’re reporting an issue that has been around for 30 minutes the users should be told when the problem started – ideally I’d like it to show the entire interval of an issue so that users reporting problems will know if it’s related. I would like to list a severity of the issue – I could care less if we’re experiencing performance issues but you better tell me when stuff is on fire. Allow updates to be provided and allow quick creation and updates – I want to be able to let people know we’re working on stuff quickly – but I also want to update them as we go along. I want the ability to remove things as well, if an update was incorrect I don’t want it leading to confusion. Finally, I want canning. We do this for OWN support and abuse the canned update system to it’s fullest – the update should be quick, approved and let the staff focus on addressing the problem not massaging the issue notice.

Subscriptions – Who cares about the issue? Shockey Monkey is used widely – both by businesses that manage their own IT and IT Solution Providers. Some systems are used for external alerting, the others for internal alerting. So the flexibility of displaying this information should be key. I’d like to be able to embed the monitoring dashboard in a web page, in an email, in a sidebar of a blog and I want it to send notifications. I for one will never allow email alerts – but you don’t run the kind of business I run so maybe the email reports are critical to you.

We have been disappointed looked at the dashboards used in our industry and we just did not see something that fit our need. To be specific:

We need an elegant, time efficient and portable dashboard system for internal and external alerts.

So.. what’s missing? Let me know via comments, email (vlad@vladville.com) or chime in at the forums at www.shockeymonkey.com/jungle (must be a current Shockey Monkey user, though the software itself is free)