Service Desk is the new Help Desk

Over the last year, a variety of changes have been implemented across Campus Technology Support (CTS) to help improve efficiency and better assist our faculty, staff, and students. Many of these changes have had a strong impact on the Technology Help Desk, evolving the unit’s traditional role into that of a Technology Service Desk. As a Service Desk, the unit will be able to better track, prioritize, and escalate technology issues affecting the university community.

What is a Service Desk?

The concept of a Service Desk became more concrete in 2007, when version 3 of the Information Technology International Library (ITIL) was released. ITIL is a set of practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of a business. Prior to ITIL v3, the terms ‘Help Desk’ and ‘Service Desk’ were used interchangeably. Now, however, the Service Desk takes on more responsibility in managing the IT needs with corporate strategy. In line with ITIL, the Technology Service Desk will now act as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) between users and the rest of Instructional & Campus Technologies (ICT). As the SPOC, the Service Desk is better able to manage information and deliver services that best meet the needs of the end user. Further, as a Service Desk, our analysts are responsible for actively monitoring and owning incidents and user questions, providing the communications channel for other IT disciplines (e.g., Application Technologies, Systems Administration) and the user community. Our Service Desk also strives to showcase the fact that ICT delivers a set of services, and not just a bunch of applications with a number to call when you need help.

The components of a Service Desk

As a Service Desk, our unit will work with others within ICT to focus on 5 core ITIL service lifecycles:

  • Service Strategy –Evaluate current services and ensure a plan is in place to, modify and implement new and existing services when required.
  • Service Design – Evaluate and ensure a new service will meet current and future needs.  Ensure a new service can be introduced into the live environment.
  • Service Transition – Define a plan that ensures no service outages or gaps during a service transition, thus the effects of the transition on the corporation are minimal.
  • Service Operation – Responsible for the ongoing monitoring of a service that is used to deliver services.
  • Continual Service Improvement – Review and analyze opportunities to improve all IT process and functions.

How does this affect me?

While the Technology Help Desk is evolving into the Technology Service Desk, this does not mean that users will experience a drastic overnight change in what they have come to expect from our employees. In fact, faculty, staff, and students should notice a change in receiving streamlined information that is not watered down by having too many cooks in the kitchen.

In fact, the changes users will experience should be overwhelmingly positive. For several months now, members of the Technology Service Desk have been following up with users when their IT tickets are closed to ensure that our services and resolution meet their expectations. Additionally, by acting as a SPOC, users should feel comfortable contacting the Technology Service Desk for updates or additional information on their problems. This provides benefit to the community in that it removes the need to track down someone for information when they may be out on vacation or out sick.

The biggest change that the Technology Service Desk is implementing to help ensure quality service and resolution time is asking university members contact the Service Desk directly with any technology needs.

Why can’t I call the person who always helps me?

Since one of the core aspects of a Service Desk is acting as a SPOC, we now ask members of the community to contact the Service Desk and no longer reach out directly to an employee who, in the past, may have handled your issue with a simple phone call or email. There are a variety of reasons why this is important:

  • The employee you contact directly may be out of the office sick or on vacation, resulting in an extended resolution time
  • The individual may have altered or new job responsibilities and is unable to complete your request
  • Your request may need more than just one person to complete; by contacting one person directly, other involved employees may not receive the proper notification to complete their portion of your request

Ultimately, by contacting the Technology Service Desk from the start of your technology-related issue, you will be guaranteed that the issue is addressed correctly and started as soon as possible. In the end, this will result in faster resolution times and increased customer service.

Faculty, staff, and students should be assured that the new Technology Service Desk is still the same Technology Help Desk they have relied on for years, just with a little extra polish and flair. Over the coming months, we will continue rebranding our unit to reflect this dedication to providing top-notch IT customer service.

The Technology Service Desk will continue to send out random customer service satisfaction surveys. We encourage you to complete one of these surveys so that we may continue to improve our services. For any questions, or to report a technology-related issue, please contact the Technology Service Desk at (336) 278-5200.

Image by Flickr User Seattle Municpal Archives

Ryan Gay

Ryan Gay

Ryan is the Manager of Service Management & IT Project Lead for Instructional & Campus Technologies. He has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from UNC-Greensboro.

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