Connecting the Dots between Chat and Incident Management with User Linking

by Nov 21, 2017 Serhat Can

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Chat applications are integral parts of an incident management system. As their popularity increases, aim to understand their capabilities and make the most out of them.

OpsGenie recently published a tech brief called “Six Must-Haves When Using Slack® for Incident Management” which presents essential features of an incident management system’s chat application to help you respond to incidents faster. In this blog post, the goal is to focus on one of those six features, Control Access.

You have accounts in your chat application (Slack, HipChat / Stride, MS Teams, etc.) and OpsGenie. These integrations are ideally bi-directional, meaning you receive notifications and take actions from within the chat application. OpsGenie identifies which user is executing the actions because of the reasons explained in this next section.

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Why link (map) the users

When you have a team assigned to an alert, you expect someone from that team to take care of it. A user who doesn’t have access to team’s resources shouldn’t have the right to acknowledge, close, or assign an alert to someone. With chat user mapping, you make sure that only the people who have access to see the alerts can act on them.

Another important reason is to get visibility. When someone executes an action such as Acknowledge on an alert/incident, you want to know who took the action. Reaching the right person at the right time is very important during an incident. Without connecting the users, this isn’t possible. Later, OpsGenie can use this information to give you the full picture for reporting.

Note that OpsGenie doesn’t force you to map your users. Thus, if you prefer, your chat users can operate on incidents anonymously.

How does it work?

You can use a /genie connect command and click the link in the received message to complete the process from Slack. Unlinking is also pretty simple. You can again say /genie connect or go to your profile to unlink the connected account. There is a comprehensive document written for Chat User Mapping; go ahead and read if you want to learn more.

Here is short video demonstrating how to link your OpsGenie and Slack users. Note that although Slack is used in this video, this is also applicable for other chat integrations like HipChat or Microsoft Teams.