ITS Helpdesk: 24/7 Integrity
If trust and open communications are the backbone of integrity when providing services in an efficient and effective manner, then there is no better example of this within our organization than the ITS Helpdesk team.
Winners of back-to-back Gold Level Customer Service Awards, the Helpdesk team builds a relationship of trust and reliability with their customers, and that relationship is reinforced with every call and e-mail made to the ITS Helpdesk. The Helpdesk customer service agents provide all customers the highest level of support each time they contact ITS. Each contact is a personal interaction.
Even during on-call hours, the team responds to the needs of its customers 24/7. “We run the Helpdesk with a triage model as far as our paging goes,” says Helpdesk Manager Greg Fischer. “So when somebody calls after business hours, they can page us and talk with a person. That customer will get a return call. Someone is always staffing the post.”
In addition to Fischer, the Helpdesk team includes five customer service agents: Elizabeth Bryant, Adrienne Burns, Kimberly Owensby, Suzanne Kille, and Mike White. The Helpdesk team exemplifies the trust you can build when resourceful and certified personnel are empowered to do their jobs and have all the right tools at their disposal. If the building were to suddenly become unavailable for some unforeseeable reason, Fischer is confident that he and his team could manage their operations from just about anywhere with a laptop and an Internet connection — thanks to their offsite contingency strategy.
The ITS Helpdesk team provides unmatched customer support and assistance for their customers. The team is unified in their belief that they should say what they mean and mean what they say. They are thoughtful and considerate of their customers; they make sure that they understand the problem and its impact on the customer and do their best to facilitate rapid resolution. They take pride in their interactions with their customers. In these times, good customer service is just not enough. The ITS Helpdesk team understands this and provides superior customer service 24/7.
GALILEO exemplifies the spirit of innovation and collaboration
Long before Google, the USG library community and ITS took advantage of the brand new World Wide Web to deliver a core set of journals, magazines, and reference works beyond library buildings to users throughout the University System regardless of geographic location, size, or category of institution, 24x7. This innovative effort, GALILEO (GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online), quickly extended beyond the University System to provide valuable services to the entire state. For many of these users, GALILEO was their first introduction to the Internet, much less graphical interfaces, as well as the benefits this technology had for learning and research. The community of more than 2,000 GALILEO institutions includes the USG, K-12 schools, public libraries, the adult technical institutes and colleges, and a group of private academic colleges and universities. Through collaboration and resource sharing, GALILEO seeks to provide equal access to information for all Georgia citizens. While individual libraries benefit from the cooperative sharing of resources — lower costs and increased access to a wider range of materials — the goal is to improve library services for all Georgia citizens.
Merryll Penson, Executive Director of Library Services, says “I believe GALILIEO was the first system-wide technology initiative after PeachNet. GALILEO’s delivery over PeachNet helped people understand the benefits of robust networks for transmitting data, providing the impetus and legislative support for bringing both internet access and GALILEO to public libraries and schools.” Even in this era of ubiquitous information that has followed its early innovation, GALILEO still provides the core resource for the libraries and media centers of Georgia, fulfilling its mission to be “One Statewide Library” by bringing quality, authoritative, and secure digital materials of all kinds to the citizens of Georgia, including encyclopedias, books, thousands of periodicals, and unique materials of historical and cultural significance. In addition, GALILEO now has multiple interfaces that serve different audiences and communities of interest, special tools for federated searching and linking to ejournals across all resources, a toolbar for easy use in common browsers, online training for library staff, and video tutorials for users. More than one billion user experiences attest to the success of GALILEO.
GALILEO turns 15 this year; the birthday is a great opportunity to share and express the value that GALILEO provides to the state of Georgia. The future promises to continue apace, as new discovery tools and tools to assist the integration of library resources into online learning environments enhance the GALILEO environment.
Georgia Summit and the University System Annual Computing conference at Rock Eagle
There is a saying that many hands make light work. That is definitely true about the effort needed to produce the Georgia Summit and Rock Eagle conferences. We all know that the conferences provide opportunities for technology professionals and technology users throughout the System to exchange information with their peers and gain an accurate picture of the current and future state of technology in higher education. But for all of that to happen, the common denominator is that both of these events require a massive amount of planning by ITS folks; in other words, some good old-fashioned teamwork.
Anyone who participates in one or both of these conferences knows that each one is no small undertaking. And the short timeframe for this year’s conferences required coordinated teamwork to pull them off. Employees from across ITS stepped up and worked together to ensure that these conferences met the needs and exceeded the expectations of our stakeholders.
Both conferences were a huge success. Many thanks to the folks from the following ITS areas for providing the teams needed to deliver high-quality conferences for our stakeholders:
- Data Warehouse, Distance Ed, GeorgiaBEST, GeorgiaFIRST, and GeorgiaVIEW: program development/planning/ content for the conferences
- Information and Web Services: setting up and maintaining websites for both conferences
- Enterprise Infrastructure Services: setting up and overseeing the technical infrastructure for both conferences; providing technical support to presenters and attendees (projectors, laptops, audio/visual, wireless connectivity, etc.)
- Resource Management: registration logistics and staffing; vendor solicitation/sponsorships coordination
- Customer Support: communications planning and support; producing program guides (PDF and print) and schedule grids
- Library Services: producing creative after-hour event at Rock Eagle