Helping the Help Desk

Helping the Help Desk
  • It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that there have been more devices and appliances added to the enterprise network in the past three years than in the previous three decades. On average, users are connecting more than one device to the network, and that's putting a pinch on the help desk. Terry Vahey, Associate Vice President and CIO for IT Services at San José State University (SJSU), is looking to change the help desk dynamic based on human behavior.
  • "Now the calls come into one help desk area and they get triaged. The central help desk area has a number of questions that they ask a caller, and do some troubleshooting. Most of those calls can get resolved right then. If not, the call goes to the next level person," Vahey said. With the number of new technologies added to SJSU, her department is working on “question-flows,” to anticipate what people will be asking to help isolate the problem and provide a solution to our callers.
  • But Vahey has also made a practice of walking around the campus and asking students what they want. "They want to find the answer quickly. They're 18 to 22 years old—they communicate with their friends all day long on their cell phones and laptops. They don't want to spend time talking to people to get help. They are used to the Amazon and Google model. You can't call Amazon, or Google." Vahey is ultimately striving for the Google model, "The goal is to have things be so well documented, to solve more problems with self-help methodologies and have the answers be understood easily, and found quickly," Vahey said. "This is in reaction to what people have asked for, and it is what a service organization should be doing."

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Cindy Davis is a contributing editor of AV Technology magazine.

Cindy Davis
Brand and content director of AV Technology

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.