As an IT professional, you’re all about creating the fastest, smoothest, most forward-thinking solutions. Being on the cutting edge of technology, you may have heard of this ChatOps thing a time or two. Joining your everyday tasks with your everyday communications in one central hub—what could be simpler or more potent than that?
We have 5 suggestions for making your IT ecosystem both as effortless and as robust as it can be.
Use Alias group mentions to get your team’s attention—fast
Chatbots have come a long way since the days when IRC reigned supreme. Chatbots are programs designed to listen and respond to natural language. They can deliver information, run integrated services, and execute tasks… sometimes even in response to spoken commands instead of written ones!
HipChat has a number of bots that can help you work better and faster, and one of our most used is Alias Bot. There are often teams within teams, and some news isn’t relevant to everyone in a larger team or company-wide room. It’s awfully time-consuming to @mention every single person you’re trying to contact, especially on a team that has to work at a fast pace (like IT).
Alias Bot lets you set up @mentions for groups of people. Just @mention the name of the alias, and everyone in that group will be notified.Now you can use the time you saved to get to work on getting that server up and running again, or saving the day when the presentation equipment fails.
Know when things break—and are fixed—with StatusPage Dashboard
More and more, teams are relying on cloud services and systems. Which is great! And snazzy! And low-cost!… Until something in the cloud breaks, and all hell breaks loose.
When that happens, it’s crucial to know when your cloud-native tools are broken in the first place, when they’re undergoing maintenance, and when they’re back online. The StatusPage Dashboard integration for HipChat lets you subscribe to your tools’ status pages to get alerts right in your HipChat sidebar.Subscribe to one or a dozen or a hundred services—there are thousands to choose from—and get those vital updates piped into your right sidebar. Just click Add a Subscription at the bottom of your glance view, and a subscription menu will pop up.So when a service encounters a performance issue or is undergoing maintenance, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to be ahead of the game and working around the downtime until the service is back.
Use JIRA to stay on top of your workload
Of course, it’s not just your cloud services you need to monitor. There are also the tickets… the endless, ever-churning sea of tickets. Thankfully, the JIRA for HipChat integration makes it easy to stay on top of them, with JIRA notifications appearing in your right sidebar so you can find them easily.
New ticket comes in? It’s in your sidebar. Ticket gets updated? In your sidebar. Ticket gets resolved? Sidebar. (boom) Easy as pie. And you can filter notifications by project, issue type, priority, and dozens more options.You can also mention issue keys in your HipChat room and get a summary of the issue in chat, avoiding context-switching. And you can create a dedicated HipChat room directly from a JIRA issue, as well as create a one-click link between them.
The ticket-go-round may never end, but JIRA for HipChat makes it so much easier to keep up with it!
Create team and self-service chat rooms for easy answers
The long-standing IT support systems have always been hampered by basic inefficiencies. You put in tickets for each and every thing, which then get taken care of by whomever happens to be available, whenever they happen to have the time. And if the person needed isn’t available or the ticket keeps getting passed from person to person (who are all busy)… well, that’s how a simple program install turns into a week-long production.
The escalation model, while still useful for some things, isn’t the only way to provide support. When a solution is simple and would take little more than a tap on your teammate’s shoulder to solve, why not just do the equivalent of that in group chat? Ask your teammates a question, send over files, links, and screenshots, and get an answer at the speed of thought.
There are other ways you can use rooms, like allowing self-service for your users and a single source of truth for you and your team. Try creating a room for system and network alerts, saving precious time during an emergency; or even help your team stabilize a system that hasn’t yet come crashing down, but is coming pretty close to it.You could create an outage notifications room, which will immediately notify your team and the whole company when something is down and where anyone can pop in and report an outage they encounter, thereby sparing the IT desk an avalanche of emails and calls and tickets.
Temporary rooms are also helpful to solve incidents, problems, tickets, or anything, really. Say you’re rolling out a new operating system to the whole company, which is inherently about as fun as a barrel of screeching monkeys being let loose in the office. Create a support room for the rollout before it happens, and let the company know to direct their questions or issues to it.
Now the ticket avalanche might be more like a gentle ticket snowfall, freeing your support pipeline from clogging. After the rollout is complete and all the kinks have been (mostly) worked out, you can either delete or archive the room.
Reinforce your network security with MetaCert
“But why is the
rum data gone?” “Well, because thirsty pirates came up and stole all of it. And our gold. And our letters of marque. And our tricorn hats.” Not a scene you ever want to enact in real life.
Identity theft and corporate data leakage are the stuff of every IT professional’s nightmares, so you work hard on making your network security airtight. Phishing scams and other malware are getting more sophisticated all the time, and every layer of security you can get helps.The MetaCert for HipChat integration monitors your rooms for suspicious links and warns you about malicious or inappropriate content before it has a chance to do harm to your phone or computer, by checking the reputation of links in real time—but only giving warnings when a dangerous link has been shared. This powerful and invisible layer of security means you won’t have to worry about users clicking on malicious or NSFW links.
Now you can keep all that delicious, delicious ru-… er, data to yourself.
The reason you’re probably in IT in the first place is because you get joy out of building systems that work. ChatOps gives you to the tools to build a system of support that is faster and smoother than anything previously—in a shape that fits you.