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Novell-based HelpDesk Solution for IT Support Organizations

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 17 Feb 2004

As a system administrator or manager, can you relate to these statements regarding IT support?

  • "We find ourselves answering the same IT support questions over and over."
  • "The same questions are often asked multiple times in the same department, with the same management and staff."
  • "Most support or help desk questions are not of the overly technical sort; generally questions such as:
    • How do I access my files/email remotely?
    • How do I change my password?
    • or Why doesn't the printer respond?

With a limited IT department, fielding questions such as these, and basic operating questions of every kind, leaves very little time for the hands-on needs your organization is always experiencing.

Here are other probing thoughts to consider:

While you and your fellow IT staff members are working feverishly to answer support needs and questions, is the end-user truly gaining the knowledge of how to troubleshoot his/her problems?

Have you established an educational process that allows end-users the ability to avoid such problems in the future, and allows for an increase in their general computer literacy?

Every IT organization needs a method to help them prioritize their many support needs, keep track of hardware and software trends, and assure that the end-user is part of every support solution by providing dedicated communication with the end-user. The IT organization should make sure it has the ability to keep a record of every question (and response)-especially those which are the most frequently asked/answered. At the same time, the organization should monitor IT staff and evaluate training needs, as well as ensure that staff personnel are fulfilling their responsibilities.

Wish List

In addition to the solution recommended above, wouldn't it be nice if your IT support or help desk solution allowed for:

  • Web interaction (Submit and answer support tickets from remote sites or campuses)
  • Linux options
  • ZENworks compatibility. Automatically displays hardware and software information on help tickets
  • Category specific configuration
  • Integration with your Novell environment (e.g., eDirectory, ZENworks, GroupWise, etc.)


Here is how George Bittles, Director of Computer and Technology Services for Ivy Tech State College (ITSC, located in Lafayette, Indiana) solved this same set of problems. George consulted with his contacts within the Novell community and found high recommendations for the Novell-integrated Help Desk software from GroupLink.

The Novell-based (and Linux, NetWare, GroupWise [or other] compatible) help desk solution George selected allows the IT department the ability to track users in a general sense, and see what universal training they require. The web based solution allows users the option of using other Novell technology, including eDirectory and the power of GroupWise messaging and calendaring.

George's solution at ITSC also enables them to monitor their computer fleet and evaluate which units need maintenance. And, from an administrative point-of-view, it provides tracking capabilities to monitor IT staff and evaluate training needs, as well as ensure that staff are fulfilling their responsibilities.

"There are so many different ways to use this [Novell based solution], I can't begin to discuss them all," relates Mr. Bittles. " ? the implementation was amazing as well ? We started the installation at 4:00 pm; I was out the door by 5:00." By providing keywords on their website ITSC now gives users the resolution of a step-by-step process to allow users the ability to solve their own problems. "By educating the end-users, they do not feel they are unable to handle problems presented to them, and by providing that scenario it frees up much needed time for my IT staff."

For more information about George, and ITSC's successful experience in solving its IT support problems, please go here.

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