Speeding Up IT Support

The Valdosa State University in Georgia has been working to improve their IT service while reducing costs by launching a new program called TRU or Technical Response Unit. TRU trains student lab assistants to deal with more responsibilities such as regular maintenance visits.

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The training for TRU involved a one week orientation and teaches the students the specifics. Afterwards, they shadow an experienced technician for another week followed by an evaluation of their performance. During their regular maintenance visits, they go through a checklist of things to do such as checking the printer, the projectors and sound systems to be working for the next class.

The program has also set up TRU centers around campus since the student technicians are no longer based in computer labs. Sterling Sanders, assistant director of IT, mentions that “the secret is not keeping all of the student technicians in one location, but actually having different TRY center locations to maintain that 15 minute response time.”

The program also has a service catalog that keeps track of requests. The help desk looks at the task and if it is something simple such as installing a keyboard or mouse, a student technician can be sent immediately. If it something that would take longer, it would go to the Technical Support Services team.

In addition to those features, they’ve added IP Cameras, two way radios for communication, remote support systems, and cost saving tactics. Benjamin Li, coordinator of the IT department, mentions that “ensuring that the technology is functional for both the faculty teaching in the classroom as well as students working on their homework in a computer lab” will prove a difference in IT services.

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