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Due to budget and staffing constraints, I am looking into the prospect of using an outside company to provide evening and weekend support. We are currently using BMC/Numara/FootPrint as our helpdesk ticketing system. Regardless of which  product you use, do anyone have any suggestion on companies that provide this type of service in an educational environment?
Thanks,
~ ced


Charles E Drawdy
Manager, Help Desk, Media, and Classroom Support
Gallaudet Technology Services
Gallaudet University
charles.drawdy@gallaudet.edu
Video Phone: 202-250-2662

Comments

Hi,

MCCCD contracts with PerceptIS for our SIS, Financial Aid, and LMS system support.  We have 1 college that uses them for extended hours of support and I've heard that another one was looking into that.  If you'd like to talk to them directly about that support below is the contact information:

Melvyn Price, Director College Technology/Help Desk Manager
Rio Salado College
480.517.8633

Chuck Fortino, Manager Technical Support/Help Desk Manager
Phoenix College
602.285.7974

I'll need to confirm with Phoenix College that they did move forward with a separate contract than what our District Office provides however Rio has used them for a number of years and can provide assistance if it helps.  Good luck!


Regards,
Keli

**************************************************************
Keli Cole
Assistant Director Communications/IT Governance Liaison/OCM
Office of the Vice Chancellor ITS
Office Hours:  Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm

2411 West 14th Street, Tempe AZ 85281
phone | 480.731.8227 • fax | 480.731.8850
email | keli.cole@domail.maricopa.edu



Good morning!

 

Depending upon your needs and the types of support required, here are several companies that provide this type of support.

 

CedarCrestone

Ellucian

Xerox

Blackboard

 

Best regards,

Art

 

Arthur J. Fridrich

Director, Distance Education

Virginia State University

afridrich@vsu.edu

(804) 524- 3194

 

 

 

Great question!!  Here at CNM – for standard technical support, we operate our ITS Service Desk (currently) M-F, but we have hours from 7:30am to 8pm – and outside of those hours, we don’t (currently) have human coverage – we do take in voicemail messages that are automatically fed into our BMC/formerly Numara Footprints system, so those tickets are triaged and handled the next morning.  Weekends are the same way – the voicemail system is on and “taking in tickets”, but they’re handled the following Monday morning.  BUT – our LMS/Blackboard folks have a support contract with a company called Embanet – and outside of our normal operating hours, DL students and faculty can call Embanet directly and get basic support questions answered regarding Bb.  I don’t know how much they are paying Embanet, but – it’s enough that they’ve asked us about the possibility of extending our hours even more….So – we’re starting to get the feeling that we’re going to get a mandate in the very near future to extend our hours even more.  We may be looking at having to provide weekend support, and probably support even later in to the evening?? 

 

Bottom line – I’m having to look at 1 of 2 options:  1) Extending our hours “internally”, by bringing in 2-3 more FTEs (we use only about 20-25% of student workstudy folks – I’m from the old school where I want senior/experienced field techs for phone support – it’s served us well!); or 2) Extend our hours “externally”, by talking to an outside agency like Embanet to see if it’s cost effective for us.

 

Anyone else in this kind of boat?  Is anyone else using an outside agency to provide extended technical support to students and faculty?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Michael

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Support Services Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITSUPPORTSERVICES@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Keli Cole
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:08 AM
To: ITSUPPORTSERVICES@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITSUPPORTSERVICES] HelpDesk After-Hours/Weekend Support

 

Hi,

 

MCCCD contracts with PerceptIS for our SIS, Financial Aid, and LMS system support.  We have 1 college that uses them for extended hours of support and I've heard that another one was looking into that.  If you'd like to talk to them directly about that support below is the contact information:

 

Melvyn Price, Director College Technology/Help Desk Manager

Rio Salado College

480.517.8633

 

Chuck Fortino, Manager Technical Support/Help Desk Manager

Phoenix College

602.285.7974

 

I'll need to confirm with Phoenix College that they did move forward with a separate contract than what our District Office provides however Rio has used them for a number of years and can provide assistance if it helps.  Good luck!

 


Regards,

Keli

**************************************************************

Keli Cole
Assistant Director Communications/IT Governance Liaison/OCM
Office of the Vice Chancellor ITS
Office Hours:  Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm

2411 West 14th Street, Tempe AZ 85281
phone | 480.731.8227 • fax | 480.731.8850
email | keli.cole@domail.maricopa.edu

 

I've worked on both sides of the equation, for a service provider and as a client. All I can suggest is that you give it considerable thought. It is usually difficult to have a successful arrangement--especially if you are thinking that it will save you money.

What questions are asked off-hours? Investing a little in automation or extra communication might be more effective. For example, self-service password reset systems pay for themselves in about 30 seconds. Automated service monitoring and timely communication about outages can fend off all sorts of customer contacts.

Were it PC, you could always respond, "Hey, Jr. The 'real world' operates 9-5. Get used to it." ;-)


           
Rand
 
Rand P. Hall
Director, Network Services                 askIT!
Merrimack College
978-837-3532

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions. – Einstein


I'd second that, we did extend our M-F 8am-5pm to

Monday-Thursday 7:30am-9pm; Friday 7:30am-5pm; Saturday closed; Sunday 6pm-10pm

This accommodates the first thing in the morning problems, our night class problems, and returning to campus Sunday problems which are mostly passphrase or wireless connection user issues.  We utilize the non-core hours to work on PC malware/virus problems as their isn't much interruption and we can make good progress.  During orientation we tell parents about the hours and that Friday nights and weekends their student should "get a life" which usually is a very good ice breaker on common sense topics and costs.

Tom
Director, ITS - User Services University of Northern Iowa 36 ITTC Building Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0522 Phone: 319-273-6460 fax: 319-273-2517 "For deaf or hard of hearing, use Relay 711" Website: http://www.uni.edu/peterson "The University of Northern Iowa provides transformative learning experiences that inspire students to embrace challenge, engage in critical inquiry and creative thought, and contribute to society." On 3/5/2014 9:58 AM, Hall, Rand wrote:
I've worked on both sides of the equation, for a service provider and as a client. All I can suggest is that you give it considerable thought. It is usually difficult to have a successful arrangement--especially if you are thinking that it will save you money.

What questions are asked off-hours? Investing a little in automation or extra communication might be more effective. For example, self-service password reset systems pay for themselves in about 30 seconds. Automated service monitoring and timely communication about outages can fend off all sorts of customer contacts.

Were it PC, you could always respond, "Hey, Jr. The 'real world' operates 9-5. Get used to it." ;-)


           
Rand
 
Rand P. Hall
Director, Network Services                 askIT!
Merrimack College
978-837-3532

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions. – Einstein


I've heard good things from colleagues about CampusEAI http://www.getcampushelp.com/ .  They used to run a special deal for off-hours support.

- Scott


Rider is currently using Blackboard Student Services for after hours support. Quality, effective support is a constant challenge and our community's view is that the vendor is not much more than a message taker. We are currently evaluating eliminating the after hours support and enriching online resources to create a stronger self-service, knowledge centered operation.

The Help Desk operation (8a.m. - 5p.m M-F) is managed and supported by 2 full time staff (manager and analyst), plus (predominantly) student staff....also a challenge. Strong leadership and training programs are a must.

Theresa
-- Theresa R. Hvisdock Director of Planning, Consulting & Help Desk Office of Information Technologies Rider University 2083 Lawrenceville Road Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 896 - 5000 x7370 (609) 896 - 3958 (fax)

Greetings!

 

Indiana University provides 24 by 7 support for the ~30 campuses of Ivy Tech Community Colleges and IU for a total of approximately 350,000 users.  Particularly relevant to this conversation, we also provide full support to some of IU’s regional campuses and evening and weekend support for others.  As fellow higher education institution, we’ve found through our partnership with Ivy Tech, that leveraging our combined scale, experience in the academic environment, awareness of culture and closely aligned student-centric goals creates a very successful support environment.  Additionally, leveraging scale during lighter volume periods is an efficient business practice. 

 

If you’d like to chat further about this model, please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Cathy O

 

Cathy O’Bryan, Director

Client Support

University Information Technology Services, Indiana University

(812)856-3527  (IU Bloomington)      (608)333-4547 (Cell)

http://uits.iu.edu/

 

 

 

Cathy,

Thank you.  I'm sharing this email with our Executive Director, Jim Michael, so he is aware of the good things you have done and your availability to share your insights.

Phil


NAU has a split help desk situation, Solution Center is faculty/staff support working hours staffed by 7 full time staff, Student Technology Center is student support 24x7 during academic year with 6 full time staff and 50 student workers.  (We have around 25k student fte, 3200 faculty and staff).  We have had periodic, but not overwhelming requests for extended hours for faculty and staff support.  This year we put in a budget request for 2 full time positions in central IT and two at our Electronic Learning Center (faculty course development support within Blackboard) in order to offer extended support along the lines of until 10 or 12 pm Sun thru Thurs nights and some weekend daytime hours (very few calls outside that window).  The ELC posits are because we recognize that a vast majority of the calls will be from faculty (adjuncts, lecturers, those working off hours, etc.) dealing with Blackboard.  We investigated outsourcing the after-hours support but decided to try to keep our services integrated if the proposal is approved.  It received pretty strong support at a recent campus forum that prioritized budget proposals, but we are waiting Presidential approval. 

 

I would be interested if you find online resources capable of satisfying the level of question that you will receive.  (We went with full time staff because we want them to have access to accounts and applications that we don’t generally give our student workers.) 

 

If you have other questions, I am available to discuss on or off thread,

 

Ricky

 

Ricky Roberts

Director of Technical Support

Northern Arizona University

(928) 523-6950

 

Good Evening Everyone,
I just want to take a minute to thank you all for your responses. There is a lot of good stuff here to digest and I will be reviewing them closely in the next few days/weeks. I will reach out to you with questions and/or clarifications where needed. 
Thanks again and have a great weekend,
~ ced 


Charles E Drawdy
Manager, Help Desk, Media, and Classroom Support
Gallaudet Technology Services
Gallaudet University
charles.drawdy@gallaudet.edu
Video Phone: 202-250-2662