In the Breakout Release of xMatters On-Demand, we introduced Temporary Absences - a new and improved version of our previous Temporary Replacement feature. The most notable difference is that with Temporary Absences, it’s now optional to select a replacement while you’re away.
This update reflects feedback we received from our customers that there are times when you’d like to be taken out of the shift rotation, and you don’t need someone to replace you. For example, this is useful if the rest of your team is already part of the same shift, or the next person in the on-call schedule will cover for you.
Let’s take a closer look at how Temporary Absences work, as well as at some future updates we’ll be releasing for this feature.
How it Works
As shown in the image below, the new Temporary Absence configuration screen allows you to set an absence with - or without - a replacement. If you specify a replacement, the feature works the same way as it did previously. If you leave the replacement field blank, you’ll be taken out of rotation, along with any of your associated escalation delays.
- View absences in Groups and the Who's On Call report. Until September 13th, the Group calendar and Who's On Call report will still display that you're on call when you're absent - don't worry though, you won't actually get notified. We've updated the functionality of these features to respect absences, and we're now updating what's displayed in the web user interface to reflect this.
- Remove escalation delays displayed for absent users. Starting October 15, we'll remove the delays associated with absent users that are displayed in the Group calendar and Who's On Call report. Again, the functionality of xMatters has been updated to skip delays before absent users and automatically continue to the next on-call user - we just need to remove this text from the web user interface.
- Modify Temporary Absences. In the future, we'll do another update to allow you to edit Temporary Absences (currently, if you need to make an adjustment to an absence you can delete it and create another one).
- Include direct notifications. Another future enhancement we'll be releasing for this feature is the ability to select if you'd like to receive notifications that target you directly (not as part of a group) while you're out of rotation, or if they should also go to your replacement user:
Want to know more?
For more information about Temporary Absences, see the following resources:
- Breakout Quarterly Release Overview - 'End User Controlled Temporary Absences'
- xMatters On-Demand Online Help - 'Temporary Absences'