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February 23, 2009

DoIT Announces Changes in How to Request Technical Support

In preparation for the new Student Administration (SA) enrollment management system, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) is changing how the campus requests and receives technical support for most campus computing issues. Starting next Thursday, February 26, DoIT will begin phasing out the “Remedy” ticketing system with a new, open-source, web-based system called Request Tracker (RT).

Last Fall, DoIT engaged the services of a technical support provider, Presidium Learning, Inc., to help review DoIT’s existing support structures and processes, and make recommendations on how to improve both. While DoIT had already chosen RT, Presidium has been helping to identify and adopt technical support “best practices” in the RT rollout. They have also made recommendations for improving workflow, communications and root cause analysis within DoIT.

During the first phase of RT’s rollout the rest of this semester, DoIT will use RT to handle all desktop support, infrastructure and Blackboard support issues. However, due to existing maintenance and reporting needs for responding to legislative auditors this semester, Remedy will still be used as an interim solution for all PeopleSoft Finance and HR issues until this Summer.

Also, during this phased rollout, DoIT will no longer be accepting email submission of IT support requests into the new RT system. Why? Currently, DoIT receives about 25,000 technical support requests annually. Well over half of these originate as user-generated email requests to helpdesk@umbc.edu, often from non-UMBC user email accounts with no identifying information about who is requesting help, or even if the person who is requesting help is a UMBC student, faculty or staff member. The resulting "back and forth" process to determine someone's identity, let alone the nature of his or her technical problem, can be very time consuming.

myumbc_help_still.png
On 2/26, the myUMBC "Request Help" link will switch from Remedy to RT.

For this reason, all technical help requests to helpdesk@umbc.edu will receive a standard “reply” pointing to the new RT help request form which will be available on the myUMBC "Help" menu or directly at:

http://my.umbc.edu/help/request

In addition to requesting help, members of the UMBC community will be able to check the status of current request tickets, and find all past tickets that have been resolved.

At the end of this semester, DoIT staff will analyze the RT implementation, including the “time to resolution” and number of “hops” (or transfers/escalations) required to solve the problem, and will make a decision on how and when to migrate all technical support requests.

During the spring semester, DoIT will be collecting and analyzing transaction data as well as user feedback about the move to RT as well as the SA implementation’s impact on technical support. A related reporting and feedback site will be announced later this semester, or you can share your comments by using the form below.

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Comments (3)

Candy Cangialosi:

Hi. After reading the above, I assumed you would ask for certain info on the new form but you did not. If you have problems identifying whether people are students, staff, etc, and their location, why not ask:

Student:____
Staff:______
Faculty:____

Building:___ (Location of computer in question)

or something like that??? I would think that would also be extremely helpful...

Good Luck with your new system


From past experience, your most important task is
to dispatch each incoming message to the
appropriate person.


When the knowledgable DoIT person answers, you
do a great job.

Candy,

Just so you know, the form you looked at currently goes to our old Remedy tracking system and does NOT pre-populate with your own information.

The new form (which will be live tomorrow) will "know" who you are since you will have to log in to myUMBC to access it. It will also pre-populate with your contact info, and when we run reports, we will be able to do so by the user's role (e.g., students, faculty, staff), which will be a big improvement right off the bat.

Thx,

John Fritz

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