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Help Desk Growth / Restructuring

By .CUB. ·
With our sudden escalation to over 1000 customers (500 attorneys), I find our Help Desk to be capable but very overwhelmed. I could really use some help in determining
the proper staffing level, organization, etc.
* How many people does your H/D support? Offices?
* Do you have a centralized Help Desk? De-centralized?
* How many people staff your Help Desk (1st line support)?
* What is the current H/D organization? Managers/supervisors? #
* Do have any a telephony system?
* Current Help Desk package used

Any comments welcome

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The Magic Number

by pba2001 In reply to Help Desk Growth / Restru ...

We too have a 1000 users and I don't think there is a magic number to how many help desk people you need. There are too many factors that go into it. Locations, service level agreement, applications, etc. I read 6 years ago about the number of support people needed on a network was 1 per 70 users. I think generally 1 to a 100 is a better number but again it depends.

To answer your questions we have 1 full time person to answer calls and handle level 1 support. Other support is handled by 10 others. Not enough because those ten also do other things. It is a centralized help desk and covers 15 locations in North America. We use a home grown tracking system. It is not run very well because the personnel are not trained well enoughand we need more of them. Also we do not have a structure. It is run by committee so no one takes responsibility for it. That is a mistake. Someone needs to be accountable for it.

We are currently looking into some remote control software to help.

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No Magic Number

by Pet In reply to Help Desk Growth / Restru ...

pba2001 is correct, there is no magic number, only guidelines that you can use. In the downloads section of TechRepublic, there is a set of guidelines that might help you, you can get it here:

We have 300 workstations in 3 different rural towns on our WAN, and we have 1 network admin + 2 technicians (and myself as mgr) all centralized. I would love to have someone permanently sitting at a help desk, butit just isn't possible with our numbers. My projection is that in 2003 we will require another tech support position, I will probably consider 1 helpdesk + 2 techs then.

Our help desk package is currently a homegrown system that I'm hoping to replace, and the only one I've evaluated (due to the enormous number of "evaluation" CDs they send me) is Track-It! by Blue Ocean software ( It's hard to find decent helpdesk software that meets our needs without trying to be everything to everyone, Track-It included. I'm not that impressed yet and doubt their claims of being #1, but I'm still exploring helpdesk software (any suggestions?)


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Helpdesk Growth/Restructuring - Feedback

by SteveM@UK In reply to Help Desk Growth / Restru ...

You may already have succeeded in your reorganisation, but if not, here are a couple of pointers.
- Analyse your current Helpdesk statistics (if they don't exist, buy a consultant in to gather them over a short period)
- Identify the key fault drivers/areas
- Establish goals for your helpdesk i.e is it just to capture all calls (and then what ... ?)
- Define the service levels you and your 'customers' expect for each category of problem(s)
- Build a cost case for either permanent or outsourced resource to help you with all of your calls. You'll be surprised to find that an outsourced helpdesk can be so relatively cheap (when compared to the struggle to startup quickly yourself)
- Ensure you use the Helpdesk calls to build an improvement or change programme i.e to stop people repeating all of the problems, or to change the systems, so they behave better
For an organisation of between 1000-2000 people, its more than possible to run a desk with no more than 4 first-line resources (covers vacations etc. Depends on your rates, but maybe paying less than $200,000 per annum (very rough figure and subject to detailed review so don't take it as true).
Assign responsibility to one person for overall helpdesk management and reporting.
Build the reporting and analysis function to make sure you know what the key issues are. Analyse the times for each problem and allocate a cost (this helps to build any future case for fixes or changes). Produce regular reports to determine whats going on in the business.

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