Help desk software for schools

help desk software for schools

CB

November 29, 2012

Help desk software for schools: 

Chichester High School for Girls transform their service desk environment with House-on-the-Hill’s help desk software for schools.

Chichester High School for Girls Network Manager Jim Turner was struggling with demand for IT support, as calls were coming in from all angles and in all shapes and forms. Using an Excel spread-sheet for the management of helpdesk issues, 50 to 100 calls would be sent Jim’s way every day via personal emails, pigeonhole notes, phone calls, post-its slid under the door of the IT department and even from people stopping him in the corridor. Trying to amalgamate communications into one central spread-sheet was a challenge, not to mention highly time-consuming, with a large amount of Jim and his technical team’s time being spent on administration, instead of being spent on performing technical duties.

It got to the point where Jim felt the department was becoming completely disorganised, and the inability to report on helpdesk statistics such as call volume, calls actioned and calls still outstanding, meant there was increasing pressure from senior management. There was no transparency, meaning that IT were working flat out to juggle their workload, yet management and staff alike were unable to tell whether calls were being seen to, how long it would be until issues were resolved, or even who was fixing their problems. “I couldn’t produce a list based on post-it notes or on things written on the back of my hand!” Jim explained, so he decided that enough was enough and that it was time for a change.

A New and Improved System

Chichester High School rolled out House-on-the-Hill’s SupportDesk service desk software this November, and the change in how the IT department functioned was instantaneous. The first step in rolling out the new system was to let staff know that there would be a shift in the way calls could be logged: “We told people that jobs would no longer be taken via phone, via post-it notes, and that if they did, they simply wouldn’t get actioned. So, staff began to use SupportDesk’s self-service portal to log any issues,” and Jim told of how By day 2, there were 100 calls logged in the system. The transition to using the portal was completely smooth, and Jim was delighted in how the new tool was received: “I’ve never seen a piece of software that people just took up straight away. With a tiny bit of customisation on the Web-Portal, it was just so easy for people to log calls, they love it.”

A Clearer View

Now, Chichester staff can immediately see the calls that they have logged with the IT helpdesk, watch how calls are progressing, as-well as being able to see who is working on issues. This means that Jim and his team are spending less time answering emails to let people know that their calls are being actioned, saving time and allowing Jim to get away from his desk in order to visit staff and help resolve issues in person. This has also been made possible via SupportDesk’s Notes section on call records, which acts as an internal messaging system allowing for complete transparency between service desk and end-user as to exactly what is happening with their call at specific times.

So immediately, communication was greatly improved between the IT department, school staff and senior management, which meant that the volume of calls received by IT was also becoming much more manageable, as end-users were not needing to phone or drop-in for call updates.

RAG Services

Chichester’s IT Department runs many services, and Jim found that the traffic light Red Amber Green service update area within SupportDesk was also quelling the amount of support calls logged: before someone even logs a job, they can instantly see if a service is offline or impacted, and I can put up a bit of news on the communal noticeboard saying what the issue is and when I think it will be fixed by. Indeed, the noticeboard function was proving very handy for Jim, as he explained I keep getting asked to do an IT newsletter, but now I can schedule news and announcements to go up on the noticeboard: whether were running a training session or doing upgrades. He said too that it’s a great way of getting the information out that people get sick of receiving over email. Im constantly sending emails saying that Im running an upgrade or that a certain system will be down. Now I can stick it up on the noticeboard.

A Happier Helpdesk

By improving communication and saving time for the IT department that was previously spent on administration duties, their new service desk and support call management system has added a great deal of value to the school. Jim can now also prove to senior management that the IT department are not sitting still: “[SupportDesk’s] reporting system is great: you can see at a glance how many calls are logged, how many are assigned to certain people, and I can see in seconds which calls I need to assign to my technician.”

So, having everything logged in one central location via a single communication channel, with automatic workflows, increased visibility and reporting functionality helps to give Jim and his team a comprehensive overview of the helpdesk situation. A far cry from the once disorganised environment where life was somewhat chaotic, Jim was pleased to say that since launching their new helpdesk tool, he was now coming in to work with a smile on his face!

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