Dxfferent Autotask & MSP Knowledge

Autotask on steroids! 10 cheats so you can use it smarter.

Autotask has a lot of information standard fine-tuned. I always advise to work as little as possible with UDF’s, customization and the like, but sometimes it is convenient to work with UDF’s. Here are some smart ways to use UDF’s, take advantage of it!

Date of latest firmware upgrade check

On Configuration Items, create a UDF with a calendar. This can be used for various options where it is useful to create a periodic ticket, for example. For the annual maintenance or manual control of a Configuration Item, for example, this is good to use. Link a workflowrule here to this automatic “Peridoek Onderhouds Ticket” with the correct checklist if this date for example is more than 365 days in the past.

Hoppa, you never forget to do periodic maintenance and you don’t have to create a recurrence master ticket.

GPDR and Processing Agreement

As a Managed Services Provider, you are often a sub-processor, so this requires a suitable processing agreement. The practice is sometimes a bit stubborn and sometimes you just don’t get a response from your client. Do you want to know from whom you did or did not receive an agreement? Create a UDF on Account/Customer level with GDPR and make a list with a number of options, in any case Processor Agreement does/does not signed return.

Then you can create a Widget with the right filters and you will have one overview of GDPR status.

Data Protection and Data Leakage Officer

 It’s also nice to know who to inform if there is a security breach or data leak, right? Create a UDF at contact level with Customer Contact, usually this is already included in Autotask with for example Primary IT Contact.

Expand this list with for example Billing Contact, GDPR responsible or Security Officer.

Grip on reason expired warranties

I regularly see that in the Configuration Item overview all filters are applied because the Warranty Expiration Date is dirty. For example VOIP devices that are out of warranty are not a problem but they remain out of warranty.

You can get a grip on your CMDB by creating an extra UDF in which you indicate the reason why the warranty has expired. For example: Simple CI, is okay. Or how about, customer does not want to extend?

Now you can apply filters to your CMDB and your widgets to instantly see the status of which CI without manually filtering things out. This costs a lot of work but it gives you a much better grip.

Stop manually excluding Configuration Items, apply filters to your UDF based widgets.

Grip on requests by the right people

We deal with it every day, someone calls and makes a request. Then we don’t have to look for the documentation or other shadow administration whether or not a person is allowed to request things. Or we write the information fields of tickets full of rags of text to prevent engineers from making mistakes.

The solution: A UDF with a list in which you indicate whether a person is authorized and for which they may be authorized. Keep this simple, for example, if there is nothing in the list a person is not authorized.

Ticket Categories and UDFs

To be honest, I find it blood-irritating when customers have all these ever weird reporting requirements. If a client already has specific requirements and you have created a UDF, you want engineers to always fill them out.

For those customers where a particular UDF is required, create your own ticket category and make sure you clearly state the UDF to be completed via Ticket Details / Insights at the top. Also make sure it is mandatory on this Ticket Category.

Invoicing and UDFs

Linked to customer-specific reporting, you can get very nice information on a customer-specific Invoice template with a UDF. You can show the content of a UDF on the Invoicetemplate. Via Invoice Preferences, you then give your customers your own custom template and you have a happy customer.

Signed contracts and UDFs

Are you going to start with a new customer or project and is the contract neatly created in Autotask? Great!

But how often does it happen that you have to wait for a contract and after a while you forget that there has to be a signed contract anyway. You can create a UDF with: Signed Contract Received and then Yes, No, En route, Saved on Sharepoint, etcetra.

ISO Certification

Almost all of my customers where I help to implement ISO 27001, NEN 7510 or ISO 9001 work with Autotask. Part of obtaining and maintaining the ISO certificate is keeping an incident register, I prefer to do this in Autotask. Why an extra system like this is fine. I help customers with setting up a register within Autotask so that they can easily see Compliancy related Problems, Changes or Incidents.

But you want, for a good cause analysis, to have a grip on closed incidents related to information security. For this purpose, create a UDF with, for example, Controlled by Security Officer. This way you can create a widget that shows all Compliancy related incidents that this UDF does not yet have on yes.

If you don’t have time or priority for this, fine! If you have the time and space to do so, you can grab the notifications and for example update the policy and/or organize an Awareness session.

VIP clients

I am very much in favor of having a VIP client per week. What I mean by this is that this is the focus client for that week to pull everything together, group responsibility. You can build a widget that shows all the reports of focus customers for that week.

After you have decided in the week consultation which customer(s) will get your full attention as a VIP customer that week, the IT manager or Team Leader in Autotask for example can set the UDF VIP Customer to yes with these customers. With the right settings on your central Dashboard you will then immediately see the customer name and/or even a widget with all relevant tickets.

Final tip

I hope this has been of some use to you. What I especially want to say is that there must be a certain goal in realizing a UDF. You don’t have to work in exactly the same way as you used to or that you worked in your old system. First look at the possibilities within Autotask and if this is really not possible or if there are other reasons, then create a UDF.