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Helpdesk Process

What is the Western Oklahoma State College Learning Support Systems (LSS) Help Desk?

The Help Desk Work Order System is the virtual part of the Learning Support Systems LSS team that assists non-technical staff, faculty and students in the use of computer systems, and resolving related problems. It serves as the primary point-of-contact for the LSS department, and coordinates technical issues for the LSS department. Why contact the help desk to submit the work order virtually and not the technician (on campus) directly?

The help desk knows who is on duty and current workloads. If you call a technician directly with a problem it will not get addressed until the technician returns. We have had numerous cases of this happening and work orders that should have been assigned a high priority not getting addressed for a few days because the technician who was called directly was not in the office. The help desk keeps track of help requests, whereas a hallway request, e-mail or phone call directly to a technician may “slip through the cracks”. If we don’t have a sufficient load of work orders documented we should probably question why we have the number of help desk and computer technicians we have.  During the Strategic Planning and budgeting process this is a significant issue.  Finally, the help desk can keep track of broader service issues and can provide data to help the LSS department better focus its efforts.

 

Why do we have a process?

The LSS department supports over 500 computers, over 25 servers, numerous smart and ITV classrooms, software applications ranging from individual desktop applications to enterprise wide applications, and a complex network infrastructure across the entire college system in three distinct campus locations (Altus, Elk City and Lawton). To provide the best possible support, we are using a help desk software package called Big Web Apps, when requests are submitted. Each work order is assigned a priority and then assigned to the most appropriate technician. Depending on the nature of the work order it could either be assigned to a local (on campus) technician or to a system-wide admin/network engineer. This helps to provide continuity and consistency and also allows technicians to collaborate on specific problems as needed very easily, and provides communication with the user as well.

 

Given that, how do I contact the Help Desk?

There are several ways to contact the Help Desk:

  • The best way is to submit a help desk ticket directly in the online work order system. You can log your own ticket directly into the help desk ticketing system once you have logged into the Western Portal.

    1. You may log in by going to http://www.wosc.edu/workorders

    2. Click on the IT button link.

    3. Logging your own ticket is quite easy to do, and allows you to describe the problem in detail.

  • You can call the help desk anytime. We never close virtually.
    The number is 580 477-7907. We recommend that you call for urgent matters.

 

  • You can e-mail the help desk:

    1. In Google Apps, send a message to user: Western Helpdesk

    2. From any other e-mail system send an e-mail to: techhelp@wosc.edu

Please include in the e-mail message text your Western e-mail address, full name, and phone number along with a complete description of the problem.

 

What happens when I call the help desk?

For any technical support request, the help desk staff will:

  1. Answer the phone and enter the work order into the system.

  2. Attempt to resolve the issue on the phone or by using remote control software, if possible.

  3. If not resolved then decide on which technician the work should be assigned to and a priority.

  4. Assign the work order to a technician with e-mail copy of assignment and the work order number going to the user. After the work is assigned, the help desk will continue to monitor the technicians’ workloads and answer user questions.

 

My Help desk Tech is right around the corner from me. Why do I have to go through the help desk?

Let‘s not let “business rules” interfere with common sense. By all means, for an urgent issue, contact your campus PC Tech. If the matter does need immediate attention, he or she will log the ticket into Web Help Desk when the problem is resolved or if it needs to be escalated. You are saving your PC Tech time if you contact the help desk directly, though, and the technicians appreciate it. Please be aware that if you do contact a technician in person, it does not mean that you will always get priority service. Work order priorities always apply, regardless of the contact method. If yours is not a priority issue, the technician may ask you to contact the help desk directly. What constitutes “high priority” and who makes that decision is described later in this memo. When High Priority and Urgent problems are logged by the Help Desk they will contact the PC Tech by pager or cell phone to ensure the fastest possible response time. Creating tickets for problems ensures that work doesn't “fall through the cracks”. It also helps the technicians prioritize their workload, and it helps identify areas where additional training is required. Also, consider this: how does Western know that we need more technical support or equipment replacements/improvements? If we look at the number of help desk tickets being logged campus and find the number very low, there is no reason to assume that there is a problem in staffing or equipment.

 

What happens after the work order is assigned to a technician?

The technician is notified via e-mail of the work order and the priority. Technicians are also required as their first step for the day to login and check their work order load when coming to work. The technician then has to balance this new work order with his/her current workload and determine when to address the issue. For more complex problems the technician may document the steps they are taking to resolve the problem in the help desk system. After investigating the problem they may also want to get other technician involved in solving the problem and this is also documented in the help desk system. Whenever the ticket is updated in the help desk system, the user is sent an e-mail so they can see the steps that are being taken to resolve the problem.

Finally we have initiated a Work Order Quality Control component where the Quality Control Technician scans all work orders to identify those that are delayed beyond the classification in our work order Priority Matrix.  They will then contact the technician to determine why the work order is still outstanding.  If there will be a significant delay they will generate an email to the part to notify the end user of the reason for the delay.  These reasons could include a need to order parts or supplies.

 

What happens after the work order is completed?

After the technician completes the work order, they document what they did to resolve the problem, and close the work order. An e-mail is sent to the user with the resolution.

 

What if the problem still exists?

If you receive a closed work order notification and the problem has not been resolved correctly:

  • You can simply reply to the e-mail message that you received from Web Help Desk—this will automatically re-open the ticket.

  • Or you can call or e-mail the Help Desk and we will re-open the work order.

All work orders that are closed before the problem is resolved will be reviewed. It is helpful if you include the original ticket number with your e-mail or call.

 

What if I am not happy with the service provided?

If you are not satisfied with the work completed or any other issue with the LSS department operations, please contact steve.prater@wosc.edu the Western Oklahoma State College Chief Technology Officer. The only way we can improve our operation is to know if users are satisfied with the support we provide. If the problem is related to a certain work order, please include the work order number. We appreciate your help and aim to provide excellent, responsive service to Western computer users.

 

Work order priorities

We wish it was possible to address every work order immediately as they come in, but this is not possible. Therefore, we assign work order priorities according to our Priority Matrix (shown below).

The Priority Matrix provides LSS staff guidelines for assigning priorities to help desk requests. It also offers the Western community the opportunity to understand when to expect they will receive service. Please keep in mind, that a technical issue that seems initially easy to solve may take longer than anticipated. Following is the time frame for response to issues escalated from the Help Desk. Resolution time will vary depending on the nature of the issue. If you are concerned about the status of your problem, contact the help desk.

Priority Matrix

Priority

Criteria

Initial Response*  

Examples

Urgent

Mission

Critical

(please call for urgent issues

Emergency. Needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Major impact on more than one person or VIP.

Within 15 minutes

•  Network Server Issues (multiple user)

•  Major service down (e-mail, Datatel,)  
•  Classroom Down (Class in session or a
•  Board of Trustees/President Issues  
•  Widespread service attack  
•  Maintenance to avoid imminent failure
•  Critical service data integrity issues  
•  Online library services (OHIO Link)

High

User Critical

(please call for high priority issues)

System or component is down, requestor cannot carry out normal work responsibilities and no alternative is available.

Within 4 Business Hours

•  Unable to log into Network (single user)  
•  Unable to log into account (single user)  

•Database/Server/Application Access Incident  
•  Classroom Down (No current class impacted)  
•  Computer not booting up  
•  User data integrity issue

Medium

General Requests

System or component is down or degraded, but requestor can carry out normal work responsibilities and/or temporary alternative is available.

Within 2 Business Days

•  Network Printer Down  
•  Application Errors  
•  Desktop System Performance slow  
•  Minor Equipment Failure (Soundcards, Local Printers, etc) •Database/Server/Application Access Changes   
•  User data integrity issue  

Low

Routine Requests,

Change, Questions

Enhancement, planned change, general application questions.

Within 5 Business Days

•  New Software Installation  •  General Application Questions  
•  System Enhancements  
•  Routine office moves  
•  Create new user account  
•  Provide new phone/network connection
•  Routine purchase of new software/equipment

 

* It is important to note the difference between the “Initial Response Time” and “Resolution Time”.   “Initial Response Time” is how long it takes for an Western campus technical support person to acknowledge and contact the user.  The Western  technical support person will typically be the Help Desk Technician at the campus or may be the central IT Network or System Admin., depending on the problem.  “Resolution Time” is how long it takes from the time a problem gets reported until the time it gets resolved.  Resolution Time can be effected by a number of issues, such as its priority, delay in getting parts, etc.