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How do you do....it? Thread, Thinking of an overhaul of the way things work... in Technical; Originally Posted by mrbios 1. i need helpdesk software then where by i can enter a ticket for someone else ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    1. i need helpdesk software then where by i can enter a ticket for someone else yes? So if teacher smith sends little billy down to change his password rather than logging it, i then need to create a ticket under smiths name so that he gets the update on what has happened and that it logs it as being fixed for him, which helpdesk software will allow me to do this?
    I use OTRS (OTRS::Open Source Trouble Ticket System - Service Support System::Welcome!). It takes a little setting up, but is highly configurable. We have it configured to check for helpdesk email, these are automatically entered into the log, and an email reply sent. The support technicians use the web interface and the 'customers' use email. If you want a web interface for the 'customers' then that is possible.

    You should also consider looking at FITS (The FITS Foundation - Professional qualifications and support for ICT staff within education). Take a look at the overview and implement FITS in the areas where you get the most pain. What you will find is that most of FITS is common sense and you are probably doing most of it.

    What ever changes you make to your ICT support methods you must get SLT to buy into it. If they don't agree to follow the procedures then nobody else will either.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    I was thinking of allowing students to send support requests, possibly walking into a mine field with this idea though, is there any helpdesk software whereby i can block access to specific users, so if it is abused it can be blocked? Then i have the issue of kids jumping on there mates account to abuse it so i would need a way around that too....hmm
    In the way I am using OTRS it is possible set up filters to allow emails to be filtered. They can either be ignored or moved into a junk queue where you can check them at your leisure. It my also be possible, depending on email address formats, to filter staff email into one queue and student emails into another queue. You then give the staff queue more priority (I think I may implement that tomorrow).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    *Seriously* don't agree with you. If you can't log it you can't quantify it. It is not about being a jobsworth about it ... it is about problem management. If you are not logging frequent password changes from an individual then you might miss something.
    We know who the regulars are, being only 2 of us. We just have no time to log them. It takes longer to log it then reset it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    if you don't log user error calls then how can you work out what areas need more user training?
    Something we have been asked not to get involved with.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    If nothing is going to be done with the information anyway why even bother with a support desk system? Dry wipe board would work just as well.
    It for anything else that doesnt get done there and then. (most things)

    We just dont have time to log every little thing, it would take allot of time in a week.

    *Seriously* dont agree with you
    Last edited by FN-GM; 20th May 2010 at 08:08 AM.

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    What about this?

    Home Access Plus+

    It's mainly focused around RM EasyLink, but also provides an online booking system, and helpdesk etc.

  4. #19

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    @Mr Bios:

    Liberum helpdesk here and webman has adapted it for our system but it is simple for the staff to use and you can query the database and pinpoint issues of training, problem staff, vandalism etc etc.

    You can even tag it to google charts and it will give you a lovely pie chart:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #20

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    We are at that point of trying to work out what to log & encourage others to use the system. Part of me wants everything logged so I can analyse what we are doing, have a real record of what we are doing and how busy we are, see if we are 'wasting' time on any one person or department and just be able to present data if any one questions what we do. Also I would be interested to see what we do as it sometimes all passes in a blur! But also aware as said that those 2 second jobs would suddenly be made longer by filling it out and having a hundred, turned it off and on again, tickets will get boring. But they will still show something! I think in the end it will be a judgement call to begin with, along the lines of if we have to leave the office, virtually or in reality, fill a ticket.

    @Bossman: Do you log kids coming for space as well then? That was going to be one I didn't bother with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    We just dont have time to log every little thing, it would take allot of time in a week.
    I realise you dont have time as in reality you can be very busy doing things that SMT dont see. BUT if you dont document what you are doing, how do you justify your job? Most people are going to see you as the person who resets passwords or fixes a printer because thats all they see you doing. Documenting everything is useful for staff appraisals (if your lucky enough to have one) and it is through the documentation of your work you can justify making changes in processes or even highlighting areas you(or others) may need to be trained in(or even negotiating a pay rise).

    I would say document eveything, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Thats why you need to train staff to use the helpdesk themselves when reporting problems so you dont waste time filling in forms for them.

  7. 2 Thanks to penfold:

    GrumbleDook (20th May 2010), john (20th May 2010)

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    Teachers here have the ability to change pupil passwords, but they still get sent my way. It's the same network setup in the other secondary schools in the authority, and everyone has the same problem. One technician is currently handing out instruction sheets to any pupils that come in, and are told to take them to their teacher to do the password change. We're all waiting to see how that one works out!

    Anyway, Spiceworks is being used here. I like it, as asset management and the helpdesk is all tied in to one system, which is nice. My main gripe is getting people to log calls via the helpdesk, so from September I'm going to try and get them into the habit of doing so.

    Those that log password change requests: Who do you list as the initiator? The pupil, or the teacher from the class they are sent?

  9. #23

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    I'm in anecdote mood this week ... so will go through a chat I had with a project manager in a large BSF program, who had previously worked in schools before giving it up to go to work for a large petrochemicals firm but now back in education (sort of...)

    he was unbelievably frustrated that schools and IT Managers were moaning about managed services being imposed on them. He couldn't understand why he kept having the same conversation with SLT about that their techies were not that busy as they only seem to have x number of jobs either on their board or the support system ... yet he knew that the various support staff were doing a heck of a lot more ... just not logging it.

    SLT also didn't understand the process of change involved in a major upgrade program so they simply saw moving to a managed service as the same as when the support team put some new computers in during the holidays.

    I am not saying that should it be all documented you would protect yourself from managed services ... probably too late for that ... but it is going to be one hell of a shock when you are TUPEd across and are having to log everything ... the MSP will just say that you are doing the same jobs as always ... but now you have to be accountable to someone.

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    It really depends on your school I've work in a large college before with a full ITIL database, everything was logged and then searched for trends, jobs per day,week, month who did them ect an asset database was build in, the dogs really (numeras Footprints). But now im a network manager at a small ish school school we have Cpanel here does what is needed but as for logging all calls its something we can't do were just to busy thoughout the day! but without the SLT team on our backs we will not be logging the calls, if they were then we would log them. Its all about what the higher powers want really I know my techs are working and at the moment they do, when they ask what there doing I know. But some SLT teams want pretty pictures showing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    I realise you dont have time as in reality you can be very busy doing things that SMT dont see. BUT if you dont document what you are doing, how do you justify your job? Most people are going to see you as the person who resets passwords or fixes a printer because thats all they see you doing. Documenting everything is useful for staff appraisals (if your lucky enough to have one) and it is through the documentation of your work you can justify making changes in processes or even highlighting areas you(or others) may need to be trained in(or even negotiating a pay rise).

    I would say document eveything, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Thats why you need to train staff to use the helpdesk themselves when reporting problems so you dont waste time filling in forms for them.
    We have a good SLT who know what we do etc so again there would be no need for us to do that.

  12. #26

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    I think Tony's hit the nail on the head with his anecdote - with impending public sector cuts & BSF looming large (also having its budget strangled) we're all directly in the firing line. You & your SLT may well know vaguely what you do but the business world doesn't work like that (and they're the people being brought in to find ways to slash spending). They expect things to be quantifiable & accountable. If you were asked to give a breakdown of exactly what you did last week could you? You might rightly say "I was busy every hour of every day" (and have witnesses) but doing what? You may well be busy all the time because you're using your time inefficiently - there's no way of proving otherwise if you can't show the details. Logging your activity is a right royal PITA but if you don't do it you're not giving yourself a chance when the cuts come.

    As far as Spiceworks goes, we use it here and, although I agree it's bloated, it works well for us. We only take urgent jobs in person (i.e. computer room down) so get all other IT requests via email which are therefore automatically entered in the log. Jobs are allocated, get prioritised properly & get done. Staff now know that if it's not urgent & it hasn't been emailed to IT Support (i.e. Spiceworks) it won't get done (well, not quite that bad but almost). Make your users do the work - you shouldn't have to do that much job logging yourself.

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