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We are exploring the idea of implementing a tier-1 centralized shared help desk for the university as a whole.  Does your institution currently offer such a service?  If so, would you be able to share some brief thoughts/take aways on how it works, does it meet needs, were there major stumbling blocks?

I'd appreciate any feedback you can offer.
Thanks,
Shuchi


-- 
Shuchi K. Nalepa
Smeal College of Business
Penn State University
11 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: 814-865-0366   Fax: 814-865-1845
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We don't have one now, but I did want to share a stumbling block.  You need major ongoing commitment from senior leadership in order to stay on the "single shared tier-1 help desk" model.  I've tried a couple times, only to have more help desks creep back into the picture over 2-3 years.  After all, we try to be helpful organizations.  It seems that no amount of publishing the contact info directed all the the population to the Helpdesk.  As soon as a unit gets contacts, they want to formalize their help provisions in some way (which does make sense for consistency of customer service).

Theresa

Shuchi,

 

Our situation may not be comparable to yours.  We are a relatively small (2700 student) private liberal arts college.  We have a central and single helpdesk for tier 1 support that is manned totally by student employees.  This has worked out amazingly well for us.  We have a student manager, team leaders, and student technicians.  This group resolves about 70% of calls at time of call . . . we think is a terrific percentage.  We have structured development activities for these young men and women as well as an evaluation system.  They have training in both technical as well as customer service skills.

 

I would be happy to share any of our training and other materials if they would be helpful.

 

Regards,

Bruce

 

Bruce W. Vieweg

Associate Provost

Chief Information Officer

Interim Dean of Students

Concordia College

901 8th Street South

Moorhead, MN  56562

bvieweg@cord.edu

218-299-4737

 

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We are also heavily reliant on student workers.  Would you be able to share the job descriptions and payscales of the Student manager, team leader and student technicians?

Who does the technical and customer service training?  Who do the students ultimately report to?

 

I would love to see any of the training materials you are using.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

James Farr

Information Security Officer

Instructional Technologist

Utica College

jfarr@utica.edu

315-223-2386

 

 

 

Message from jj014747@pomona.edu

I guess I would first ask what benefits you hope to see from the centralized model.   Depending on your energy levels, I could possibly see more benefit from embracing a hybrid approach.  It's practical and realistic.  Even at Pomona College, a small liberal arts college, we encountered a situation in a department where a software was acquired which complicated desktop support.  It was more practical to "bow to the inevitable" and create a workspace in our ticket tracking software (Footprints) for them to use to record first level support, given that they are experts in their area.  Anything they couldn't solve can be escalated to our central support.

I am a fan of Single Point of Contact except where it may create a bottleneck depending on internal processes.  However, I acknowledge that without appropriate communication and shared knowledge, we may lose some control over standards. metrics and efficiencies (which is why I stated "depending on your energy levels' in the beginning). That is not insurmountable though.  I like to think of a situation wherein central IT houses the Mothership of first level support which also coordinates knowledge base articles, training and communications — something along the lines of what Gordon Wishon (Arizona) has proposed in past situations.

By the way, our primary Service Desk is manned by rotating teams of two (every four to five hours, personnel changes).  The fulltimers manning the Service Desk are also desktop support personnel, student managers, knowledge base managers, trainers, and so forth.  We have about 20 part-time students filling the after hours support primarily but also assisting 8-5 depending on their schedules.

Julianne Journitz
Director of Client Services
Information Technology Services
Pomona College
24x7 assistance: http://helpdesk.pomona.edu
ITS Website: http://its.pomona.edu



From: Theresa Rowe <rowe@OAKLAND.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 08:08:52 -0800
To: "CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [CIO] Tier 1 Support

We don't have one now, but I did want to share a stumbling block.  You need major ongoing commitment from senior leadership in order to stay on the "single shared tier-1 help desk" model.  I've tried a couple times, only to have more help desks creep back into the picture over 2-3 years.  After all, we try to be helpful organizations.  It seems that no amount of publishing the contact info directed all the the population to the Helpdesk.  As soon as a unit gets contacts, they want to formalize their help provisions in some way (which does make sense for consistency of customer service).

Theresa

Bruce can you share some of the metrics you use to quantify the tier 1 HelpDesk success? Resolution of 70% seems very good for student-manned desk. What are the problems they are able to resolve? Thanks.

 

Tom

 

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We're a large (55,000 students) University in Toronto, Ontario.  Ours is the typical large University organizational model that is comprised of a central unit with a number of distributed IT groups in our Faculties.   One of the biggest barriers that I see is different approaches to the "help desk" model.  A number of our Faculties combine their phone/email based help desk with a "walk-in" service.   They are (justifiably) reluctant to mess with this face to the client approach.  Other Faculties have no help desk but rather a couple of technicians who handle most everything.

What we've done is to move to a single service desk system across all of the IT units.  The ambition is to harmonize processes and speed incident handling because work can be distributed, through the common system, across groups irrespective of where they "sit".  We're still early on in this but I see a big up side.

Bob

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Chief Information Officer
University Information Technology
York University
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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fax: 416-736-5830

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From: Shuchi Nalepa <shuchi@PSU.EDU>
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Date: 2012/03/07 10:40 AM
Subject: [CIO] Tier 1 Support
Sent by: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>




We are exploring the idea of implementing a tier-1 centralized shared help desk for the university as a whole.  Does your institution currently offer such a service?  If so, would you be able to share some brief thoughts/take aways on how it works, does it meet needs, were there major stumbling blocks?

I'd appreciate any feedback you can offer.
Thanks,
Shuchi


--
Shuchi K. Nalepa
Smeal College of Business
Penn State University
11 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: 814-865-0366   Fax: 814-865-1845
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

This is an interesting discussion…Some probably obvious observations….

 

Seems to me what it boils down to is how each institution defines Tier 1 support.  It is interesting that a large institutions Tier 1 seems to continue with the small school model of some face to face support at this level… In corporations, or if you outsource your Tier 1, you are only getting phone support… How many of us at home have called our ISP and only a few of them are sophisticated to be able to actually ping you box and do something remotely…So the in person support is often defined as Tier 2 even if it is walk in…

 

Seems a bit semantic….most smaller schools can maintain more central control for “normal” applications/hardware…Tier 1 is more broadly defined. If you try to do centralize Tier 1 at a big institution you need to more narrowly define what that level of support means.

 

When you get the esoteric faculty person, with the unique OS, interface to a techno gadget… (although fun to help support) usually you can’t afford the time and don’t have the in house expertise…

 

Dr. Robert Paterson

Vice President, Information Technology, Planning & Research

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY 11571

516-678-5000 ex 6443

 

Message from jj014747@pomona.edu

Robert,

Good point.  That's a moving target and obviously dependent on the institution and its culture.  Another item to keep in mind is that one key factor in customer satisfaction is the speed with which an incident is resolved or a service is provided (think of your home ISP service and your relative level of satisfaction).  

The 70% on first call resolution mentioned earlier is definitely impressive.   

That is also something that needs definition by each institution.  In our setup if the transaction is via the phone, it's the ticket that is opened and resolved within the context of one phone call.  If the transaction is via email, it is the ticket that is begun with an incoming email, responded to by staff and confirmed resolved by contact.  We've just begun gathering that metric effectively ourselves.

Generally our Service Desk (full time staff and students) resolve 80% of contacts without escalating beyond their group but not all of those are First Call Resolutions.

That gets a bit off topic regarding Central and Distributed support but the point is, if your customer satisfaction is based in part by speed of resolution/receipt, in some cases Distributed groups may be best able to meet that need, especially if there is a specialization involved (such as the faculty member with esoteric operating systems and applications).

Or you may choose, in that example, for your Service Desk to assist in facilitating a resolution between Faculty Member and Technology Expert (either in-house or third part).



Julianne Journitz
Director of Client Services
Information Technology Services
Pomona College
24x7 assistance: http://helpdesk.pomona.edu
ITS Website: http://its.pomona.edu



James,

 

I’m attaching several documents . . . will need to do some digging for the payscales and job descriptions . . .

 

Regards,


Bruce

 

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