Escalations and service level agreements

Escalations monitor processes to ensure that service providers meet the commitments in service level agreements. When you create an escalation for a service level agreement, the escalation is applied to the business object (such as service request or incident) that is used in the service level agreement.

Each service level agreement has a one-to-one relationship with an escalation, and each commitment in a service level agreement maps to an escalation point in the corresponding escalation.

Escalation rules

The following rules apply when you create escalations in the Service Level Agreements application:
  • You can create service level agreements at the site, organization, or system level. If you specify an organization or site, the service level agreement's associated escalation is restricted to that site or organization. If you do not specify an organization or site, the escalation is available to all sites and organizations.
  • When you create a service level agreement, the status of the service level agreement is set to draft. When you create an escalation for a draft service level agreement, the associated escalation is set to inactive.
  • After you set a service level agreement to active, the associated escalation is activated, if the escalation contains one escalation point and action or notification.
  • If you create an escalation for an active service level agreement, you must use the Escalation > Activate/Deactivate Escalation action to activate the escalation.

Escalation points

An escalation comprises of escalation points that represent a monitored condition or threshold, such as measuring elapsed time. An escalation is triggered when records that meet the condition or threshold that is defined in the escalation points.

After you define commitments for a service level agreement, you can create escalation points for each commitment row. The values from the commitment row are used in the escalation point to define the conditions that trigger an escalation. You can associate each escalation point with actions and notifications. You can also specify an organization, organization calendar, and shift to determine how the escalation points are calculated.

The following are typical uses for escalation points:
  • Measuring elapsed time against an attribute (time period from now to an event in the past), such as how many hours an assignment has been untouched in someone's inbox
  • Measuring time until lapse (time period from now to an event in the future), such as how many days until a contract expires
  • Using for a standalone condition without a time measurement, such as using to automatically accept or reject an assignment in a workflow process

Example of escalation point

An escalation point can measure elapsed time against an attribute. If you want to measure elapsed time for a specific attribute of an object, specify a value for the elapsed time attribute to choose a date-related or time-related attribute that you want to measure. Then schedule how often or when to check the object. For example, if the service level agreement applies to incident records, specify TARGETSTART as the elapsed time attribute with an associated value of -15.00 minutes. If the condition for the escalation point is met, the associated action or notification is triggered 15 minutes before the target start time for the incident record.

Actions and notifications

An action is an event, such as changing a status, and a notification is an e-mail. You can associate actions and notifications to an escalation point. You must associate at least one action or notification to an escalation before you can activate the escalation.