Showing posts with label help desk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label help desk. Show all posts

March 30, 2019

This Is The IT Help Desk

This was a funny true story that happened recently. 

Someone found a roach walking around their desk in the office. 

Not knowing who to call...they call the (IT) Help Desk.


Hello. What is the asset number on the device you are calling about?


Asset Number! You don't need my asset number.


Well, what is the nature of your problem?


I'll tell you what my problem is. The problem is that I have a cockroach walking around on my desk!"


Ah, do you know that you are calling the IT!!! Help Desk?


Ah, yes I do. Can you give me the number for who to call about this roach?


Ah, you are calling the wrong number. Why don't you try finding out who your facilities person is?


Facilities person! But you guys are the Help Desk! Can't you tell me how to get help to get rid of this roach? And by the way--where there is one, there are definitely more.


Ah, We don't typically handle roach problems, but thank you for calling the Help Desk. {{click}}

I know many organizations are moving to Enterprise Service Desks where you can call and get help for all sorts of issues at work. 

Even then, I wonder if the employees answering the line will be trained in who to call to get a Roach Motel or some Raid. 

Perhaps this is the next evolution of support.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2016

Agile Processes As An Enabler

So something that I've learned is that processes can be an enabler or a hinderance to progress depending on how it's used.

On one hand, without a standardized and clear process where people know what they are supposed to do and when, we are likely to end up with a lot of chaos and not much getting done for the customer or organization.  

This is especially the case where tasks are complex and numerous people are involved requiring there to be solid coordination of team members, sync of activities, and clear communications.  

On the other hand, rigid processes that are so prescriptive that no one will get out of step for any rhyme or reason can be counter-productive, since this can hinder productivity, time to resolution, and customer service. 

For example, we all understand the importance of a help desk ticketing system in IT to document issues and deploy resources for resolution and measure performance. However, when customers, especially VIPs are in a bind and need help ASAP, it may not make sense to tell them to go open up a ticket first and foremost, instead of helping them to quickly get back online, and even opening the ticket for them and in parallel or as we get to it afterwards. 

Process should be an enabler and not obstacle to progress. Process should be followed under normal circumstances, but rigidly adhering to processes without adapting to conditions on the ground risks being out of step with the needs of the organization and a customer service model. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 15, 2015

Your Bowling Help Desk At Your Service

This was the sign in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Bowling Ally that I mentioned in a post yesterday.

[Note: I've removed the phone number so don't try calling.] 

Yeah, I've heard about a help desk for a lot of things, especially for Information Technology, but for bowling???

Thinking about calling a help desk for trouble with bowling [equipment], I couldn't help imaging how this may go and chuckling a little:

"Hello, this is the bowling help desk at your service--what is the nature of your bowling emergency?"

Or

"Press 1 if your bowling shoes are too tight.

Press 2 if you've dropped the bowling ball on your foot.

Press 3 if you've bowled 2 or more gutter balls in a row.

Press 4 if the bowling machine is in a frustratingly stuck position.

Press 5 if you've lost your bowling ball or need a replacement.

Press 6 if you need additional scoring sheets.

Press 7 if you're a lousey bowler and need bumpers to help your game. 

Press 8 if your fingers are caught in the ball and you can't get them out. 

Press 9 if you'd just rather be ice skating or going to the movies. 

Press the # key, if you need to speak to a bowling representative."

Lastly, I wonder if they open a help desk ticket for the bowling challenged and what their response time is. 

Yep, help is only a call away when you've got a bowling problem in the works. 

Now, if only they could fix the highly troubled DC Metro system--there should definitely be a robust help desk for that!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 14, 2015

Bowling With The Prez

Tonight, we went bowling at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

It is just to the West of the White House and is occupied by the Executive Office of the President.

It was very exciting to go there and be surrounded by all the action. 

The bowling is in the basement--just 2 lanes and a lot of beat of balls and smelly shoes. 

There was a weird sign that said "For trouble with bowling equipment, please call the GSA Help desk"--whose ever heard of a help desk for bowling (that really is service!)? 

There were pictures of many of the presidents bowling, including Obama, Bush, and even Nixon. 

It was funny that the bowling ally is called the Harry S. Truman Bowling Ally even though it is in the Eisenhower building.

I learned that AMF Bowling company donated the lanes to the Federal government. 

There are also a couple of lanes in the White House as well. 

Well back to my game--no gutter balls please. ;-)

(Thank you National Institute of Standards and Technology and Dannielle Blumenthal for a terrific evening.)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)  
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December 3, 2009

Federal Computer Week - Discussion of ITIL and EA

Services listed under ITIL and enterprise architecture models are
different in nature, said Andy Blumenthal, chief technology officer at
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who did not
speak on behalf of the agency.

“When we talk about services in an EA context, we refer to those that
are used for mission and business purposes,” he said. “In contrast,
ITIL-type services are underlying support functions to the customer,
such as problem identification and resolution. An example of an EA
service versus an ITIL service would be a document management solution
versus a help desk or network management function.”

...

“Traditionally, architecture efforts have been notorious for being an
ivory-tower effort that results in shelfware,” Blumenthal said. ITIL
proponents also tend to be squirreled away in data centers and not
inclined to consult with architects.

A cultural shift is necessary, Blumenthal said. Enterprise architects
in particular must become more user-oriented if they’re going to stay
relevant in a changing technology environment, he added.

To read the entire article go to:
http://fcw.com/articles/2009/12/07/comparing-ea-and-itil.aspx


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May 7, 2009

Rolling Out New Technology: Lessons Learned


Lessons learned:
  1. The more things change, the more they stay the same; even though the technologies may change, the people and process issues still need to be dealt with.
  2. You can't just role out new technology and expect that people will just "catch on"; what's intuitive to one person is not necessarily intuitive to another.
  3. Different people learn in different ways; some can read a manual, others need more human interaction or hands-on training.
  4. Communication is critical to progress; we need to listen to others before we can effectively solve their problems.
  5. Learning needs to be repetitive; once is often not enough.
  6. Training needs to be part of every technology rollout.
  7. People, process, and technology need to be unified to bring results; otherwise the "new" technology may just end up sitting there.
  8. Many people are afraid of and/or resistant to change, and we need to be compassionate, empathetic, and help bring people along, always!

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February 2, 2008

IT Consolidation adds Up To Cost Savings and Enterprise Architecture

For CIOs, one of the secrets of the trade for building cost efficiency is consolidation of IT assets, such as data centers and help desks. Of course, to accomplish this you need to executive commitment and user buy-in.

The Wall Street Journal, 29 January 2008, reports that “H-P Hits Snag in Quest for Savings through System Consolidation.”

“Since July 2005 [the Compaq merger]…the firm [HP] has been in a project to cut the number of computer program is uses by more than half [from 6000 to 1600], and reduce the number of its data centers…to six from 85.”

Have the benefits of consolidation been documented?

In a survey of 1500 CIOs by Gartner last year, “reducing costs through IT consolidation and other means is one of their top ten priorities.”

Further, according to Forrester Research, “the benefits can be significant” In a survey, last fall, of eight companies that consolidated IT, “nearly all ‘lowered …overall operational costs by at least 20%.’”

What are some of the critical success factors?

  1. User buy-in—“vice president often aren’t used to taking order from the chief information officer on what computer programs they can use. ‘It’s about politics.’” The way to get around this and develop buy-in is to set the targets with the CEO and CFO, but let the users decide which systems to keep and which to fold into the consolidation.
  2. Executive commitment— “The solution is to get management support from the top. ‘Getting the CEO lined up is hard, and that’s the key person.’” At HP the CEO “threatened some with termination” that didn’t follow along with his commitment to consolidate.

From a User-centric EA perspective, IT standardization, consolidation, and cost efficiency are important goals. Of course, this needs to be done in the context of developing a sound, secure, reliable, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. Achieving cost effectiveness must involve building enterprise solutions, merging disparate data centers and help desks, consolidated purchasing, and otherwise standardizing products and streamlining operations. Of course, user buy-is a prerequisite when using a User-centric EA approach.


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