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The road to One TOPdesk user

User management should be simple, keeping maintenance low and risk for security sensitive errors at a minimum. That's why we want to move towards one type of user in TOPdesk. Read on to learn what you can expect, and how you can make this transition a positive experience.

In TOPdesk, operators and callers are registered as completely separate entities. And although both might represent the same person, currently there is no connection between the two in TOPdesk. For someone who has worked with TOPdesk for a long time, this might seem second nature. But the strict separation between callers and operators no longer reflects the daily reality for many TOPdesk customers. For example: someone working as an operator for the IT service desk might be a caller to the HR department. We want to develop features that are available to TOPdesk users, regardless of the task or role they fulfill at that moment. This is why the One TOPdesk User project started.

To make that possible, we need a consistent way to represent all users in TOPdesk. In the images below, you can see the way we want to change how a user is represented in TOPdesk. Image 1 is the old representation: a user that is both a caller and an operator is represented by two separate cards, that the system does not know are related. Image 2 is the new representation: each user is represented by a person card, regardless of their role. If the user is an operator, the operator card is linked to the user's person card. The person card becomes the authoritative source of truth for the user's personal data, and the system knows which operator and person cards belong together.

Old concept of Person and Operator in TOPdesk

Image 1: Old conceptual representation of users in TOPdesk


Image 2: New conceptual representation of users in TOPdesk

Phase 1: Linking person and operator cards – available from April 2024

As a first step we want to make it possible to link a person card to an operator card. This allows you to jump from one card to the other, which makes it easier to check for consistency. But as an administrator, you would probably prefer not to register the same personal data about one user on two different cards. It is double the amount of work and more error prone. So, what we want is that you don't need to maintain registration of a single person on two different cards. But there are a number of other steps that we need to take before we get there.

Phase 2: All users have a person card – coming later

The next step is to make sure that every TOPdesk user (operator and end user alike) is represented by at least a person card, with an optional link to an operator card. Because operators and SSP users are currently separate entities, almost anything that is developed for either operators or SSP users is not available for the other. This means that if we want to – for example – provide permissions for SSP users with a system like permissions for operators, it needs to be built from scratch instead of making use of the existing solution. If instead we register all types of users in a singular way, this will enable a faster and cheaper delivery of new features to all our users.

Phase 3: Unification of identities – coming later

Once all TOPdesk users are represented by a person card and all the necessary links with operator cards exist, we can finally start unifying the identities. This is when we will see some big changes: for example, we can start synchronizing data, such as the login details. Or a user that is registered as both operator and SSP user, should no longer have to log out and log in when switching between the SSP and the operator section. Eventually, you will only need one user import to synchronize all your user data with a source like Active Directory.

Start linking your users

We want to make these changes a positive experience for our end users. As an application manager, you can help us make that happen by starting to link your operators and persons. The first step needs to be taken with care, because it will affect the scope of access that users get at the end of the road. Because of that, we cannot create all the links automatically. Instead, we will provide you with ways to create the links; first one-by-one, and later creating links in bulk.

It is important to know that creating and managing the links will be possible for a reasonable but limited amount of time. We will make sure that customers on both SaaS and the Virtual Appliance have enough time and the tools available that they need to create all the required links. To further move towards the one user concept after this point, a linked person and operator card will be considered to represent one user. Creating new links would be the same as merging two users, and deleting links you created before would be the same as splitting one user in two. This is technically complex and inevitably results in data loss in some situations, and that is not a direction we intend to take.

In practical terms it means there is a deadline for linking, which will be communicated in due course. You can start linking as soon as the first options for creating links are available to you, which will make the transition to the one user concept smoother. There will be a period when you are required to link, and by which time you should have all the necessary tools to help you with this (such as bulk linking).  After the deadline, all operators that are not linked will be linked to an automatically generated person card. So please, start linking when you can!