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Supporting 12 buildings with 1.5 techs

By nathanstrimling ·
School District with 12 buildings.
1 full time hardware technician.
1 half time hardware technician that works mostly at the high school.
1 helpdesk phone support person who takes trouble calls and creates tickets.
Approximately 1500 PCs & 400 WYSE terminals (thin clients).
Internal courier service that delivers everything from furniture to computers - they operate MWF.
No budget to hire additional personnel at this time.

When there is a problem with a PC or equipment that cannot be resolved over the phone, i.e. the PC is completely dead, it is sent via the Courier Service to the District Office where the repair depot is located and the full time tech sits. He works on these and then sends them back out via the Courier service. If it?s urgent the user will drive their machine to the repair depot and pick it up when done.

There are issues that need attention in the schools or require that a user be visited in person. The full time tech is extremely busy with moving work through the depot and has trouble finding time to get out into the schools to deal with the on-site issues. He goes out as he can and where he is going is very ad-hoc based on need and time available/distance to travel. The half time tech also goes out on some calls but most of his time is tied up at the high school. The helpdesk support person receives calls from people who have reported trouble wanting to know when someone is going to come out and help them and they are unable to provide a specific date and time.

We?ve discussed this internally but I?d like an outside perspective and some input on what others are doing.

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Build a Schedule, and stick to it!

by Maevinn In reply to Supporting 12 buildings w ...

Schedule a rotation of on-site visits. Ie, Monday and Wednesday will be travel days, and each location will have at least 4 hours of time if needed. The Help person can create the tickets for everything the tech will need to cover, and that list should be finalized by noon the day before so the full time tech can review, estimate times, etc. Since the half timer is primarily at the HS, that one doesn't appear on the rotation as often.

Second--any of these machines still under warranty? Be much easier on the in-house folks if the manufacturer did the repairs they've already been paid for! If support isn't built into the contract--make sure it is next time around!

Of course, there has to be room for some flexibility--emergencies happen. But, once something like this is in place, it's much easier to keep it going, and users learn what to expect.

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grrrgr - I got nothing left to say after reading

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Build a Schedule, and sti ...

this post, you got it right on

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I do

by Roger99a In reply to grrrgr - I got nothing le ...

Remote access to the computers will cut down on travel or down time in a lot of cases. This assumes they are networked. I recommend xVNC since it doesn't require any initial set up on the client machines. This will enable the phone tech to accomplish more work and it will be faster than telling the client what to do over the phone.
Another suggestion would be to have tickets submitted by email/electronically in all but emergency cases. This will allow you to prioritize your work and your time better.

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Many schools and govt agencies do not allow

by Deadly Ernest In reply to I do

remote management for security reasons - yes I know it can be done safely, but that is the policy in many areas. Thus I left that one out.

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by Maevinn In reply to grrrgr - I got nothing le ...

But this is one thing I can do--I had 95 users literally in all corners of the state of Wyoming to worry about. When you have to deal with an 8 hour drive just to get to the computer, you organize! Otherwise you spend all your day driving!

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