A few customer have asked me how they can escalate incidents based on the time elapsed since the incident was opened if it is still active.  The typical requirement is something like this:

  • If the incident has been opened for more than 2 hours and the incident is still active reassign the incident to a different team/person and send a notification to that team
  • If the incident has been opened for more than 4 hours and the incident is still active reassign the incident to another team/person and send a notification to that team
  • And so on…

There is a limitation in the SCSM subscription infrastructure that makes it impossible to set up these kinds of workflows using the UI.  That limitation is that there is no way to set up a subscription that will run on a schedule and get objects that match certain criteria.  Normally subscriptions are triggered by the object changing state in some way.  For example you might want to trigger a notification to be sent when the incident is created or when the incident is updated and the support group property value changes.  In this case, you need the workflow to run regardless of whether the object changed state or not.

You could create a workflow in the SCSM Authoring Tool that used a PowerShell script to do this using the Get-SCSMObject | Set-SCSMObject cmdlets, but since not everybody is a PowerShell guru, Jim Pitts and I put together a demonstration for a customer on how to do this using Opalis the other day.  Especially if you already have Opalis set up this is a pretty easy workflow to create.  Jim even put together a blog post on how to do it.  Check it out here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/opalis/archive/2010/12/03/opalis-6-3-incident-escalation-using-the-system-center-service-manager-ip.aspx 

Thanks Jim!