The ITS Service Desk is gaining more clients across campus as it takes on the job of providing Tier 1 support for more University departments.

The Service Desk has always had a policy of offering services to all University affiliates. In recent years, though, the Service Desk has been serving even more campus units. Transferring responsibility for Tier 1 support to the Service Desk enables departmental IT staff to focus on more specific projects.

Supporting more departments

Now the Service Desk provides Tier 1 support for School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the School of Dentistry, the Facilities and Operations group, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Tier 1 support tickets amount to 8,000 of the Service Desk’s monthly average, with some months being as high as 12,000 tickets.

Sharon Glover
Sharon Glover

The Service Desk has provided Tier 1 support for the School of Nursing for several years. This change occurred during a revision of many of the School of Nursing’s programs and policies.

“The quantity and quality of service that we received from the Service Desk during our progression has been commendable,” said Karen Echols, the School of Nursing’s ITS Manager. “The expertise level, amazing. Professionalism, consistent. In a word, phenomenal.”

The newest addition is the School of Medicine. The Service Desk has always provided Tier 1 support to all campus groups, but the Service Desk and the School of Medicine worked together throughout 2018 to restructure IT support so that the Service Desk was the primary Tier 1 support provider for the School of Medicine.

Expanding Tier 1 offerings

ITS classifies the types of technical support that it provides into three tiers. Tier 1 includes universal, straightforward service requests like password resets and software installations. Tier 2 support includes troubleshooting or issues that require content owners and service managers to resolve. Tier 2 may also include assistance with systems applications that may be unique to the specific University group. Tier 3 support usually requires escalation to vendors and platform providers.

In addition to providing Tier 1 support, the Service Desk will assume responsibility for routing all incoming tickets to the correct destinations. This shift is in response to the campus-wide change from Remedy to ServiceNow as the ticketing platform. New ServiceNow tickets will go to the Service Desk to be fulfilled or sent on to the appropriate fulfillers.

The School of Medicine was an interesting project for this workflow change because of the existing IT structure within it, said Sharon Glover, Service Desk Director.

Kelly Brown
Kelly Brown

The School of Medicine is composed of many discrete units, like individual clinics and departments. Before relying on the Service Desk for support, each of these single departments had in-house staff members who handled all of their technical support needs. The School of Medicine and Service Desk collaborated closely to handle the substantial planning and restructuring, Glover said.

Restructuring IT service workflows

The individual departmental IT groups reorganized to staff seven hubs, rolled out during 2018. These hubs were designed and located to best serve groups of departments with one single location. The hubs are responsible for on-site support for the School of Medicine.

The Service Desk has always worked with clients from the School of Medicine, so it was intuitive to shift those responsibilities to the Service Desk. Many of the service requests that come from the School of Medicine are the same kinds of issues that the Service Desk resolves daily. Having the Service Desk handle these tickets frees School of Medicine employees to spend more time on department-specific tasks, like application development and internal systems support.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the ITS Service Desk to share information and adjust IT service workflows for School of Medicine clients,” said Kelly Brown, Director of Client Services and Support at the School of Medicine. “Leadership within the Service Desk has been deeply involved in planning and implementing how our clients will engage IT and has quickly worked to improve our processes as issues arise.”

This restructuring has been possible through careful planning and a strong relationship between the Service Desk and the School of Medicine. The Service Desk and School of Medicine were technologically compatible in that they already used several of the same platforms, making integration and communication easier.

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