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EMu in-house helpdesk

EMu in-house helpdesk

I understand some organisations have set up an internal helpdesk to support their EMu users. I'd be interested on any information in particular:
- number of EMu users in their organisation
- number/type of queries handled by the helpdesk/day
- number of staff on helpdesk
- structure of support in the institution, i.e. do users call the helpdesk with any EMu-related queries, or are they encouraged to "ask a friend" first?
- is the helpdesk specifically for EMu or does your IT helpdesk also handle EMu calls?
- how do you pay for the heldpesk?
- do you have any particular support documentation, i.e. Andy's "How To" sheets?
- do you log calls using a particular software?

Thanks in advance for your answers.
Marion

Edited by: - 01-Jan-70 09:00:00

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Re: EMu in-house helpdesk

Hi Marion,

The Springs Preserve is probably much smaller than most Emu users, but here's what we do:

Users: 22 (several never log in)
Requests per day: From zero to 4-5.
Staff on "Helpdesk": 1 (me).
Structure: The Springs Preserve is pretty much a division of the water company, which has about 2000 employees. Officially, we should be using the District's helpdesk but we chose to bypass it: all the questions would end up on my desk eventually, so there's no sense in making users go through that extra step. For Emu, our IT helpdesk handles only new client installations and the initial setup of Unix accounts.

We handle support in a few different ways. Once a week, we have a half-hour standing meeting to talk about Emu. Users tend to bring questions or requests to this meeting that we can answer as a group. If their question can't wait, they generally ask other users or call/email me.

In addition to the How-To documentation, any issues for KE are entered into an issues log so we don't lose track of them. I also keep a To-Do list for administrative tasks or larger requests. I do not use a helpdesk application to track all questions, although I probably should.

As an aside, the majority of the questions I get are procedural, which is why I rely on the How To documents so much. Rarely do I get questions about the general use of Emu. I do get very specific things like, "Why isn't my report giving me the data I expect?"

-Andy

Andrew Schuricht
Consultant
Springs Preserve, Las Vegas

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Re: EMu in-house helpdesk

Hi Marion,
Firstly you have a really good grasp of what you think is needed so hopefully my answers will still be of assistance.
1. number of EMu users in their organisation
A. For us this is growing every day and (last count was 172 two months back). The number is often though not the thing that makes life on the helpdesk interesting, it is the type of user (staff, vol, student), plus the level they are at, not just with EMu but in their understanding of technology that you will have to manage.

2. number/type of queries handled by the helpdesk/day
A. Hard for me to quantify for you yet as we are only just about to move into a system that will assist us to manage those sorts of stats.
When I last tried to spread-sheet it I went mad and gave up. However we got together and analysed the trends that we could identify and came up with a type of request list of just 19 types.

3.number of staff on helpdesk
A. One answers and fields the helpdesk as the primary, a second is the back up to the primary and will do the same in the absence of the primary. Both are full time staff. A third is on our team for 40% of the role they perform and will kick in as above where able. Relevant areas of expertise are fielded accordingly between these three in the main. Two part time managers will have relevant matters fielded to them for response by the primary and or other two on helpdesk. Our two IT department support members are sent issues relevant to them similarly. Our IT support provides a vital internal technical role that we are very happy with; from time to time it is necessary to field issues on to Ke of course but we are happily quite self-sufficient internally to a point.

We are about to move into a system called Hardcat. It an overall business asset management system that has a helpdesk module within it. It is overkill for us and not entirely suitable but we are hooking into the helpdesk side - the organisation is providing the support and it will centralise all helpdesks within the one system, helping our IT department to help us to manage our helpdesk actually. The processes I've described above in point 3 will not necessarily be assisted/refined any further but Hardcat will allow us to quantify our incoming issues and help us work out how to target hot spots; provide for systematic analysis/trends/reports; support the processes we have instilled above (help us make sure that issues do not get forgotten and left unaddressed for example). It should contribute to better time management for myself and the other full-timer on helpdesk too, we will see though.

4. structure of support in the institution, i.e. do users call the helpdesk with any EMu-related queries, or are they encouraged to "ask a friend" first?
A. Through internal training and targeting of specific users for enhanced training we do try to set up enough users in each area with the skills provide the staff they might supervise with an initial EMu contact. This will be someone they know and rely on anyway. It is not formal we allow the users to identify themselves and find then support their decision.

5. is the helpdesk specifically for EMu or does your IT helpdesk also handle EMu calls?
A. Specifically EMu and matters pertaining to its use and IT sphere. The IT support use to receive the help requests directly along with us but this is unmanageable and we reasoned it was better to manage/field the requests only that are relevant to them. Working very well so far.

6. how do you pay for the heldpesk?
A. All handled within our group budget. Our help extends to production of Help "How to.." doc, Training Manuals and User Manuals. By hitching a ride with the IT supported Hardcat we are only required to pay the individual licences pertaining to our area, IT manage the agreements with the provider.

7. do you have any particular support documentation, i.e. Andy's "How To" sheets?
A. Stacks. Covering everything a user wants to know about EMu and how to use it. We tease out the high use ones separately and offer all for the user to browse through via our Intranet site. Internal IT support helps us to be this user friendly.

8. do you log calls using a particular software?
A. As discussed above we will move to a formal help desk package, Hardcat. We are not necessarily recommending it, it is simpler and just more rational (budget as well) for us to go with what the organisation is already using. We will receive good internal support as a consequence too.
If this is not possible it is viable to do what we have been doing for a number of years now. Manage helpdesk through a group email eg "EMuHelpDesk" email. All helpdesk staff receive the email and through process management the requests are fielded accordingly. It does require one person to be responsible in either situation though, you need a helpdesk manager.

Hope this helps some and good luck. I can supply documents (how to etc) but don't think sending them to the forum via the discussion replies is the best way to go.

I'll check in with Forbes on whether it is possible to load some files to a dedicated file page for all to pick up when they like.

Regards,
Lee-Anne

Lee-Anne Raymond
Project Officer, Collection Information Management Systems
Museum Victoria

Lee-Anne Raymond
DAMS Manager (Acting)
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Re: EMu in-house helpdesk

>>I understand some organisations have set up an internal helpdesk to >>support their EMu users. I'd be interested on any information in >>particular:
>>- number of EMu users in their organisation
We have approx. 300 users in our organization
>>- number/type of queries handled by the helpdesk/day
As the dba, I handle all queries regarding the use of the system. We have an outside contractor (Conputer Associates) who handle the hardware but I act as a liason between them, KE and our users when their is a problem. Many of the trouble calls I get are simple windows problems since many of our users have enough trouble simply opening ke and their email and do not really know the difference between a windows issue and a ke issue. A number of my queries are realted to data standards and registration/cataloging issues so they are not directly related to ke but since those functions are entered in ke, the calls come to me.

It is not unusual for me to handle 10 or so calls a day and that number is even higher when training is involved or has just been given. I and the assistant dba's are responsible for all training for users of the system.

>>- number of staff on helpdesk
I am the dba and there are two assistants dba's that back me up when I am away. We are also located in two separate locations so one of the assistant dba's is the primary contact at the other location.
>>- structure of support in the institution, i.e. do users call the helpdesk with any EMu-related queries, or are they encouraged to "ask a friend" first?
We encourage the users to call us first since we are trying to get all users involvefd in the system and ask questions. We encourage them to call with any questions and or issues so we get a first hand knowledge of what is happening. Nothing is worse then hearing users grumble about something which they have not called the help desk about and which will take a few seconds to fix.
We do have a separate trouble call line for non-ke issues that is handled by Computer Associates and they forward many calls to me and I forward many back to them.
>>- is the helpdesk specifically for EMu or does your IT helpdesk also handle EMu calls?
We have a separate help desk for non-ke related issues.
>>- how do you pay for the heldpesk?
There is no charge for the ke help, it is listed as duties which we are to perform in our job descriptions (my job description is quite long).
- do you have any particular support documentation, i.e. Andy's "How To" sheets?
We have an faq which we have posted but we find that most users tend to call us first even if we guide them to the answer in the faq. They are used to calling the CA help desk for all non-ke issues so they automatically call the ke help desk no matter how small the issues. I still get 5 or 6 calls a week from people entering the wrong password.
Many users are at beginners level in windows so just describing a problem is difficult. I use CA's remote access software to access their desktop and view the problem.
>>- do you log calls using a particular software?
We do not log the calls. I simply keep a count. I used to log calls in CA's help desk tool, but that was taking too much time and no one seemed interested in the numbers or results. If I do have to start tracking them again, It will be in the CA help desk tool.

Good Luck!!

Robert Patterson
Canadian Museum of Civilization

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