Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services has assumed a new responsibility: comprehensive desktop support.
Desktop support stands at the frontline of day-to-day computing. These are the folks to call first when Firefox or Internet Explorer suddenly isn’t working, or when you need help hooking up your shiny new laptop to the campus wireless network.
LAITS is creating a more centralized structure to both reduce costs and enhance support for Liberal Arts faculty and staff. While each department will be assigned two primary support technicians, all 12 members of the support group will serve as a central resource and help desk for the college. Patrick Boyd, the new desktop support manager, says the name of the game is customer service.
With a background in the corporate sector, Boyd envisions a “Ritz Carlton” approach to computer support. All support technicians will be top-tier experienced professionals who are fully empowered to resolve the common technology issues that faculty and staff often encounter. If they can’t solve a problem over the phone, they will come to you in person. In the event that a technician encounters a problem that needs an additional specialist, the technician will identify, make contact, and follow up through the entire process to make sure your issues are satisfactorily resolved.
There will be four staffed locations around the college where support technicians will be available for one-on-one support. These locations will be at Mezes 2.302 and 4.106, Parlin 125, and BRB 4.130. “One key goal is that if you call our new support phone line (471-5000) during business hours, Monday through Friday, 7am to 7pm, you will get a real person—every time,” says Boyd. It is an ambitious goal, one that Boyd and his professional staff of 12 technicians are ready to fulfill. Also, you can reach support via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change is never easy, but as Boyd points out, it also brings opportunity. To help his seasoned support team adjust to this new approach, he’s sharing with them copies of the management classic, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. This slim New York Times bestseller uses a metaphor of mice searching for cheese that keeps moving to describe how people deal with change in the workplace. This is a particularly adept metaphor for dealing with technology, a field in which there is nothing but constant and fast-paced change. With technology, we are all a bit like mice in a maze: in the end, the best advice, says Johnson, is to “move with the cheese, and enjoy it.” Boyd and his team are prepared to make the Liberal Arts Desktop Support launch as smooth as possible for everyone.