Assistants

Ivanti Assistants introduce powerful automation capabilities for your IT department. A low code workflow-based engine solves many challenges across IT, from on demand workflows that can be invoked by service desk analysts against a given device to resolve a support issue, to automatically monitoring your estate for security and user productivity impediments with the ability to automatically remediate and alert1. There are many out-of-the-box workflows queries and actions to start solving problems, but Ivanti Assistants are also infinitely extensible thanks to PowerShell and osquery support.

Assistants are typically used by IT administrators or managers who have responsibility for the productivity, health, or security of multiple users, devices, or those who provide tooling for service desk analysts to improve their troubleshooting capabilities.

Ivanti Assistants employ several components of Ivanti Cloud in order to deliver functionality that needs to be configured prior to using Assistants:

ISM Connector: This must be configured with Action credentials in order to be able to create ISM tickets with Assistants.

Ivanti Cloud Agent: This is used for querying real-time date from, and delivering action to, devices. This also deploys and transports osquery data.

Device Groups: The Device list provides the ability to filter and sort devices based on a range of attributes. The resultant set of devices can be saved as a group, which can be used in Assistants to constrain a query or action against that group of devices.

In this section:

Assistants Introduction

Assistants Management

Workflows

Workflow Builder

Advanced Workflow Examples

Workflow Output

Assistant Alerts

Library

Audit History

Assistants Introduction

The Assistants home screen is where you can view and access all your Assistants and Assistant Alerts. There are four Assistants designed around core business outcomes, and each contain some pre-built workflows to get started:

  • Security and Compliance: This Assistant contains workflows that can provide early visibility and action against security threats or compliance issues.
  • User Productivity: This Assistant contains workflows that monitor and take action against issues that may prevent an end user from being productive.
  • Business Continuity: This Assistant contains workflows that monitor and take action against services or devices that may impact business continuity if unavailable.
  • Resource Optimization: This Assistant contains workflows that identify cost or resource saving opportunities.

Assistants Management

Assistant

From the Assistants home screen, click any Assistant to view its management page. This is where you can view and access all the workflows for a given Assistant and see its key performance indicators including the total number of workflows, the total number of active/published workflows, the workflow success rate, and the total count of workflow runs.

All the workflows are listed in a table that includes the following details:

  • Status: Indicates if the workflow is Active/Inactive or Published/Unpublished.
  • Stages: The number of stages in the workflow.
  • Run Count: Number of times the workflow has been run.
  • Last Run: Date the workflow was last run.
  • History: A timeline to show any trends in behavior.

Click the ellipsis to select to Clone or Delete the workflow.

Workflows

Workflows are made from a series of connected stages designed to automate various business processes and can be used to discover, provide insight, and take action. You can create custom workflows from scratch or customize pre-built workflows to suit your business needs using the Workflow Builder.

There are two types of workflow, each based on your intended use:

  • On Demand Workflow
  • Schedule Workflow

Workflows are made from a series of connected stages. Use the stage editor to edit existing workflows or create custom workflows.

On Demand Workflows

On demand workflows are designed to help your service desk analysts resolve support issues by automating processes, they can be published as a custom action which can then be invoked by a service desk analyst against a device in the device view.

Schedule Workflows

Schedule workflows are designed to increased the efficiency and security of your environment by automating the monitoring, alerting and remediation of issues within your estate, giving you key insights and allowing you to be more proactive.

Workflow Builder

My Stages

The My Stages panel on the left contains all of the default and installed stages. There are different categories of stages:

  • Query: Used to present and filter information from devices which meet a certain criteria. For example, show devices with less than 10% free disk space. The output and context from this query stage can be passed through subsequent stages in the workflow.
  • Action: Action stages leverage automation fabric to perform actions such as sending email, or executing custom powershell on user devices. Use of variables is available for some actions. See Variables for details.
  • Common: Includes:
    • Assistant Alert: Designed to generate alerts on the Assistants homepage.
    • Filter: Allows results to be filtered after the query. See Filter for details.
    • Verify Results: Performs actions such as sending email, or executing custom powershell on user devices.
  • Custom: leverage OS Query and powershell to allow you to create bespoke queries and actions. Any custom stages created in the stage editor appear here once installed.

Workspace

Drag stages over to the workspace to build the workflow. Click on a stage to show the following options:

click to remove the stage from the workflow.

click to add a connector to another stage.

click to break the connection between stages.

Stage Settings

Use the Stage Settings panel on the right to configure and customize each stage. When you drag a stage onto the workspace you can click it to view its settings in the Stage Settings panel.

Connection

Each stage must be connected to another stage so that the workflow can run. Click on a stage and click and drag the connector arrows to the stage you want to connect it to. The Connection panel opens where you can customize the connection type and style and the line thickness and style. You can also amend the color and add a label.

Workflow Settings

Use the Workflow Settings panel to configure the workflow. The settings available will depend on the workflow type.

Filter

To access the filter functionality fields and values select the Preview Query:

A query can then be branched into different actions based on the filter configuration:

Variables

Variables can be used to pass information between stages and pass the output of an action into another action. Variables can be used for the following stages:

  • Assistant Alert
  • Send Email
  • Create Ticket (ISM)

Inserting Variables

To insert a variable open the Stage Settings for one of the appropriate stages; Assistant Alert, Send Email, Create Ticket (ISM). In the relevant fields use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Space) to open the drop-down list of available variables and select the one you want to use:

Available Variables

The variables that are currently available to use are:

  • Workflow Name: [[Workflow.Name]] - the name of the workflow e.g. Blacklisted Software
  • Assistant Name: [[Workflow.Assistant]] - the name of the assistant the workflow lives under e.g. Security&Compliance
  • Workflow URL: [[Workflow.Url]] - a link to the unique Run # instance for the workflow
  • Initiation User: [[Initiation.User]] - the name of the user that ran the manual instance
  • Initiation User ID: [[Initiation.UserId]] - the ID of the user that ran the manual instance
  • All Device Names: ${Ivanti.Devices} - a list of device names that were returned by the query separated by comma
  • All Device Data: ${Ivanti.Results} - a list of all device data that was returned by the query
  • Device Count: ${Ivanti.Results.length} - the number of devices that were returned by the query

There are ready to use templates using the variables. For more complex requirements the fields in Assistants Alerts and Emails support javascript but this uses handlebarsjs

Advanced Workflow Examples

The following examples demonstrate how you can build up a workflow and make effective simple use of Assistants:

Example 1:

This workflow will check devices for low disk space and attempt an auto clean up. It will then re-assess the disk space and if it’s still problematic it will create a service manager ticket with the affected device names for a technician to take a look at:

Example 2:

This workflow will track slow logon times, and will generate an alert but only when it affects 5 or more devices on a scheduled poll.

Workflow Output

From an Assistant’s management screen, click a workflow to view the Workflow Output screen. The Workflow Output screen is where you can view the results of a workflow.

The Run Log lists the full history of runs for that particular workflow. Click on a Run # to display the output details which includes the KPI's for the; trigger, date, duration, and target group. A non-editable version of the workflow is displayed below.

The non-editable version of the workflow shows the success of each stage. If a stage was successful a green tick will display, if the stage failed a red cross will display. To view output details of each stage, click it to open the Stage Output panel.

The following actions are available in the top-right page toolbar:

  • Edit Workflow: To open the Workflow Builder.
  • Run Now: To trigger a manual run of the workflow.
  • Audit History: To open the full Audit History of all workflows in the Assistant category.

Assistant Alerts

The Assistant Alerts display on the Assistants homepage. The alerts table lists all alerts that have been raised for any active workflows that are configured to raise an alert. You can sort the table in order of priority, workflow name, description, assistant or date that the workflow was last run. Click any workflow to display the Workflow Output page with the details for the last run instance.

Library

The library is where you can view and access all of your stages, including default stages, custom stages created by you and stages installed from the marketplace.

My Stages

Contains all of the stages available to use in your workflows. You can add more stages to your Library either by creating custom stages or installing stages from the Marketplace. You can search for a particular stage or filter the stages by Category; Custom, Query, Common, Action, or by Publisher.

Marketplace

Contains all the available stages created by Ivanti that you can install to your library to use in your workflows. You can search for a particular stage and you can filter by Category; Custom, Query, Action or by Publisher.

Audit History

The audit history lists all of the workflow activity including the status of whether it completed or failed, which assistant the workflow belongs to, when it started and finished and the time it took to run. Click on any workflow instance to display the Instance timeline.