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Old 08-14-2009, 11:48 PM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 140

Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
I don't understand why CNS can't fix other laptops yet so many other schools do. It's all very business in my opinion.

Most schools that don't have a standardized laptop program have a huge investment in computer labs and tend to have things like laptop carts for classes. It's expensive, and you need a lot of staff to maintain them. And you need a lot of space, which is at a premium. And, again, a lot of schools that have different support models have more full-time staff doing general user support.

Not to mention schools that charge you for things like spyware and virus removal. While it's a nuisance, why would you give people a disincentive to get their computers fixed?

We did have significant problems - especially last year - with turnaround time. Part of the problem was Vista. There were reasons to select it last year, but it turned out to have more problems in the field than expected. We're dropping back to Windows XP for the new class (and you can get a Windows XP image for the T400) to simplify things and provide a stable platform for the academic program until we can support Windows 7, which we're already testing.

We've made huge changes to the tools we use to handle reimaging computers (far faster and less disruptive), and to manage call / incident tracking a the Helpdesk. There should be announcements about these changes soon.

That should significantly cut down on the Helpdesk queue. That's NOT to say you can get your computer back in 15 minutes - but it should be substantially faster. And the smaller the queue, the less likely something will fall between the cracks or a mistake will be made.

Trust me - none of us was happy with how last year played out - once things started to go wrong in the fall, the resources just weren't there to do more than band-aid the situation as we went. By the winter, we had filled a couple of critical, vacant positions. That really helped, and allowed us to focus on the problem.

While a huge effort went into trying to catch up and keep up as we went into the second half of the year, we also knew that the tools we were using weren't going to work in the long run, and all areas of the department made a substantial investment in terms of time and resources to develop the new tools and procedures we're deploying this year.

And that's going to be an ongoing process - it usually is. We're actually pretty good at quietly making substantial changes behind the scenes. However, sometimes an area of the department gets hit by something unexpected, or a combination of factors hits an area hard, problems are more obvious. When that happens, it's usually best to step back, figure out what the actual problem is and tackle it a different way. The folks responsible for this will be carefully looking at the statistics we're collecting about incidents to see what is working and what isn't, so we can continue to make improvements.
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