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Help Desk Operation

Legacy information for 1985-2003

Help Desk Request Form

Mission Statement for the ODP/IS Help Desk Operation

The help desk operation provides a single point of contact for all users in order to provide customer services and ensure that the service levels provided meet expectations by providing response, action, feedback, and solutions.

Level of Support Provided by the Help Desk Operation

The planning committee agreed that the help desk at ODP Information Services Department (ISD) should provide a "mid level" form of service to ODP computer users. "Mid level" is best characterized as: (1) providing telephone and e-mail support; (2) dispatching support staff to fix problems; (3) tracking problems to resolution and providing feedback to the users; and, (4) providing low-level problem solving, i.e., basic troubleshooting and walking the user through simple procedures. The committee also agreed that certain administrative functions, e.g., receiving purchased computer items, researching computer products, and providing selected training, should be performed by the help desk coordinator.

Customer requests to the help desk are characterized (by order of importance) as: emergency, immediate, high priority, moderate priority, a request, and a suggestion (see table for response times and definition of terms). The committee determined that all emergency and immediate needs should be relayed to the help desk via the telephone (845-7918) if they occur between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The help desk telephone will be continuously monitored during the 8-5 work period. For emergencies outside normal work hours, please refer to the ODP emergency phone card for the appropriate number to call.

All non-emergency/non-immediate requests need to be submitted to the help desk via the e-mail system. The committee determined that a two (2) hour response time to notify the user that the request was received and acted upon was required. All requests, big and small, need to be logged with the help desk. Thus, it is imperative that every ODP computer user must use the e-mail system to register their particular service request. A web-based mail form has been created in order to make this part of the system as efficient and effective as possible. Users are strongly urged to use this form, and to fill it out completely when submitting a help desk request.

The Information Services Liaison

The Help Desk Planning Committee unanimously agreed that ODP create a new policy which establishes the position of IS liaison for each department. The liaison is an existing FTE position, not a student worker position, who interacts with IS staff in the performance of certain agreed to data processing functions. The committee believes that such a position would allow departments to engage in certain functions under the supervision of an IS consultant, thus allowing flexibility to handle certain data processing requests, increase communication between departments and the Information Services Department, and ease the user request backlog pressure on IS staff. Where appropriate, the liaison would perform agreed upon work, thus freeing up time for IS staff to address more critical problems and to complete important projects. It is not the intention of the committee to place a great workload burden on the departments. On the contrary, it is expected that sharing some of the burden will actually make a department more productive. An interdepartmental agreement is the mechanism by which this policy can be implemented. The agreement will be flexible enough to allow a department to independently deal with certain agreed to data processing functions. This issue will be presented to the ODP Managers for discussion and approval/disapproval.

Duties of the Help Desk Coordinator

  1. Provide telephone and e-mail support to ODP computer users by logging each service request into the "Hitchhiker" racking system, assigning the request to an ODP IS computer specialist or the microcomputer specialist (who will either undertake the task or assign it to the appropriate personnel), and notifying each customer via e-mail with the request number and assignment information.

  2. Provide low-level problem solving, i.e., basic troubleshooting and walking the user through simple procedures and applications, e.g., email, word processing, etc..

  3. Provide certain user training as determined by the Shore-based Systems Manager.

  4. Track the status of service requests through resolution and provide feedback to customers.

  5. Perform or coordinate research on various computer products and pricing for ODP personnel.

  6. Prepare purchase requisitions for all computer-related items for all ODP departments and the JOIDES Resoluton or ensure their preparation.

  7. Ensure that all hardware and software purchase requisitions comply with IS/ODP standards.

  8. Receive all computer items, reconcile invoices with requisitions/purchase orders, and forward information to accounts payable office.

  9. Register selected software and hardware serial numbers with manufacturers to activate warranties.
The committee decided that once the help desk coordinator receives a request, a form letter would be e-mailed to the requestor indicating that the request is in the queue, it has a certain priority, and that a technician will respond according to the priority level assigned. The committee noted that all users need to understand that the technician is required to respond within the allotted time to assess the problem and fix the problem, if solution is obvious, or notify the user of the next step to be taken. It must be clear that the problem may not be resolved during this first visit.

To prevent the loss of a request or to ensure that all requests are handled in a reasonable time frame, there is an escalation process outlined in the table at the end of this document. To evaluate customer satisfaction and provide feedback to ISD, a customer satisfaction questionnaire is being developed.

Expected priority levels

Priority level of customer requestDefinition of "priority level"Expected response time by priority level for the ISD assigned technicianMode of request used by the customerEscalation process
EmergencyMore than one person down or in danger of going down.Thirty (30) minutesBy phone
None required
ImmediateOne person down or in danger of going down.Sixty (60) minutesBy phone
None required
  1. Must be done now or in the very near future to prevent a problem from developing.
  2. Promised on this date.
By close of business,
next business day
By e-mail None except within this category
ModerateNeeds to be done, but does no harm if not done now.Three (3) business daysBy e-mailEscalate to "high" priority
RequestGenerally, first request in /first request out, if no other time constraints felt. Not all requests are considered equal. Immediate escalation possible. Five (5) business daysBy e-mailTo be determined by the ISD Manager
SuggestionThese are addressed as time permits. Not all requests are considered equal. Immediate escalation possible.Five (5) business daysBy e-mailTo be determined by the ISD Manager

Note: All requests must go through the help desk coordinator.

Help Desk Request Form

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Modified on Tuesday, 11-Sep-2007 16:21:39 CDT.