Information Center Function: Creating A Help Desk Essay, Research Paper
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INFORMATION CENTER FUNCTION: CREATING A HELP DESK
In today’s world of technology computers have become part of everyday life. In the business environment computer systems has to be in place for the business to even think of competing in the world marketplace. With this in mind colleges and universities have to prepare their students for the dynamic technology that lies ahead of them. There are so many administrators, facility, and students using computers on university campuses today, where can they reach for help if there are technical problems? The manufacturers, and wait several days for a response? They’re fellow classmates that maybe are having the same problems? In this fast paced environment there is a better solution, On campus help desk support. This paper will trace the project plan, staffing, equipment requirements, and estimated cost to establish a workable help desk support environment for Lincoln University.
· The Lincoln University Help Desk will support, Administrative staff, Facility, University resident and commuter students.
· The population of Lincoln University that will be served are Faculty & Staff (420), Students (3000).
· NOTE: The majority of the Help Desk Staff will be Lincoln University students in the process of achieving their degrees in computer science. The Help Desk will ensure that their academic endeavors have precedence over and roles or responsibilities that they may have in association with the Help Desk. Therefore, the Student Support Staff scheduling, and the resultant response of the Help Desk may or may not be adversely affected by the Student Support Staff’s course and/or study schedules. (The possibility of College Work Study students will be discussed with University Administration.
· Computer equipment, software, and necessity furniture will be evaluated and purchased within budget limits.
· Web based on-line helpdesk application may be purchased for added support.
· Telephone system, phones, headsets, and accessories must be purchased.
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· Connecting to the University Network will be of up most importance, that is were the full-time Computer Specialist will come into play. The duties of this position will not only be networking, but software installation and operation.
· Telephone services from the local Phone Company is also a big part of this plan.
· My plan also includes remote access as well as speech to text technologies to update databases from calls received via voice mail during non-business hours.
· Help Desk hours will be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and follow the University’s days of operation.
Help Desk Computer Equipment
Description CPU Hard Drive RAM
Dell Dimension 4100 733 10 GB 128
Pentium III 733 MHz
Operating System Drive 1 Drive 2 Drive 3
Windows NT CD ROM 3.5 Floppy 100 MB Zip Drive
To be used for help desk server as its primary use.
HP 932C Color Deskjet Printer, 19” Monitor included: $2550
The Help Desk will purchase three of these Systems x 3
Total cost $7650
These systems come with: 16 MB ATI rage 128 PRO video card
48x Max variable CD ROM drive
Soundblaster 64v PCI Sound Card
Microsoft Office Professional 2000
Norton Antivirus 2000
Microsoft Internet Keyboard
Network Card 3Com 3c905c TXM 10/100 Remote Wake Up NIC
This is a very good buy with the 19” Monitors and HP Color Printers Included.
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The Help Desk will have three digital display phone “hunt group”.
Hunt Group: All phones are tied into the same incoming number and extension. If an incoming call is placed while one phone is being used and there is another phone in the hunt group that is not “busied out” then it will ring that phone. If all phones are busy, the incoming call goes into the Help Desk’s voice mail.
The Help Desk phones will operate in the same matter that all other administrative phones do: If someone is on the phone with an end user attempting to resolve an issue and no other Help Desk Staff is present to answer the other phones then the call will go into voice mail.
· Venture Three-Line Telephone with Analog and Integrated Caller ID Price: Platform PC $329.28.
· Two Integrated Telephone System with Call Waiting, Caller Id 1- Line Platform PC $57.48.
· 3-Line Digital Answering Machine Platform PC $58.38.
· Three Plantronics Supra-Headsets Lightweight $196.11
· Four 10500 Series 72 x 36 Single Pedestal Desks Medium Oak with 11” conference overhang on front, one box drawer, and one file drawer. Pedestal on left. Price: $1108.80.
· Four 2090 Series High Back Swivet/tilt Chairs; Black. Price: $784.36.
Online Help desk Application
A great online help desk application that is inexpensive, and robust and easy to setup is FootPrints, which comes from a company called Unipress. It allows ticket tracking, dynamic FAQ creation. The software comes with some great administrative functions and assignment automation as well as a cool java remote control pad to operate it by users.
In terms of architecture, a web-based system consists of a central web server that hosts the application and process requests to the system, with the actual data being stored on the same machine or on a separate server if required. Help desk agents can access the application from a web browser, either at their desk top or in the field, while connected to the web server via the intranet or the internet.
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FootPrints has the unique ability to offer end-users a knowledge base of information to search for solutions to their issues and help themselves, reducing call volume to a help desk. Users can access FootPrints with any standard browser. No training, consulting, or programming is required.
When creating an eSupport solution, organizations must keep in mind that numerous audiences have requirements for the help desk – Clients, Help Desk Support Workers, System Administrators, and Managers. The system administrators who keep the help desk system running and the managers or technician who are responsible for the organization also have important and project tracking requirements.
FootPrints software can be up and running in a very short time. FootPrints have been enhanced to meet user requests for increasingly simple, increasingly intuitive issue tracking and project management. FootPrints 4.3 includes enhanced project management capabilities, improved email functionality, expanded server platform and NT ODBC support for Oracle, making it a snap for users to submit, manage, track and resolve client issues and projects online. FootPrints is the ideal solution to manage the help desk or call center.
FootPrints License Pricing
There are two types of FootPrints licenses, Individual and Group: Individual Licenses are intended for internal users, such as help desk agents, technicians and administrators, who need complete read/write access to all of your FootPrints data. These users receive unique I.D.s and passwords. Group Licenses is intended for end-users and other groups who require only partial access to your data. This I.D. can be shared by an unlimited number of people.
Cost of FootPrints:
Starter Pack (includes Software & 3 Individual Licenses). $2995
Access to HelpAnswers.com (Knowledge Base) Free
Unlimited Group User License (Read/Submit Only) 995
First Year Maintenance at 15% of cost 599
TOTAL COST $4589
A complete manual in electronic form (Microsoft Word) is included with every order. Also, as part of FootPrints online help, there are two “Quick Reference Guides”, one for Standard Users and one for Administrators. These manuals cover the basics of getting started with FootPrints.
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Other Costs of Operation
· One full-time Computer Specialist (Technician) $35,000 per year.
· Cable and Lines at an estimated cost of $200
· Unexpected expenses $1000.
· Telephone Company $500
TOTAL OVERALL ESTIMATED COST OF STARTUP PROJECT
TIMELINE FOR STARTUP AND ONGOING PROJECT
· BETWEEN SUMMER 2000 AND FALL 2000 purchase all furniture and computer equipment, hire full-time Computer Specialist, ask for CS student volunteers, and discuss testing and implementation of project with Help Desk Administrator.
· BETWEEN WINTER 2000 AND SPRING 2000 web integration project using FootPrints software for help desks. Testing, Testing, Testing.
· Future Accessibility Plans. Upon completion of the web integration project, using the simpler Student issues database as a test bed, modifications will be researched to provide bi-directional web access to the databases.
· The initial help desk will be up an running by Fall 2000.
To be successful in today’s world you have to be ready for the ever-changing work environment; hopefully, with the new Lincoln University Help Desk in place this change will be a little easier.