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ITS Announces Plans to Improve SLU Tech Support

Based on feedback from the University community, Information Technology Services (ITS) has developed a set of action items to improve IT support services.

On Oct. 9, ITS held three open fora to receive feedback regarding IT services and specifically IT support/help desk services. Representatives from the help desk call center (Blackboard) attended the fora. The feedback was collected and reviewed along with other feedback ITS has received to-date. Blackboard and ITS have developed a set of action plans to resolve these issues, including estimated timelines.

ITS will address the following major themes related to ITS support concerns:

What is ITS’s action plan about Helpdesk call hold times?

Numerous concerns have been raised regarding long hold times when calling 314-977-4000. ITS has worked closely with Blackboard leadership to improve the hold times. In late September, Blackboard added three additional staff to the call center, which has significantly improved hold times. While hold times could be several minutes in early September, current hold times now average around 90 seconds. The hold time issue is expected to be resolved by the end of October.

How will ITS address the ability of the phone technician to resolve a call?

From reviewing calls and other data, the issue appears to be related to the need for increased training of the phone technicians. To address this issue, the manager of customer service will hold weekly WebEx trainings and will travel to the call center once per month to provide on-site training to support personnel. The first on-site training occurred the week of Oct. 9. The second on-site training will take place during the week of Nov. 13.

How will ITS improve classroom support?

ITS has worked closely with Blackboard Support to increase the staffing and the knowledge base regarding the Classroom Support Triage Line as well as to improve the overall hold time and escalation path. Additional support improvements are expected by the middle of November. ITS will revisit the improvements to classroom support before the end of the fall semester to ensure improvement and sustainable support.

Who should be contacted when issues are not resolved in a reasonable time frame and need to be escalated?

For all IT requests and support issues, or to escalate an issue, please contact these individuals, in the following order:

What is being done about the amount of personal information requested to resolve a minor IT issue?

ITS is working with Blackboard to update the information required for each support call. Additional information will always be needed when individuals request to change their password, but ITS is working to minimize the amount of data collected for most other IT requests. These changes should be in place by mid-November.

What can be done about IT service requests that are not resolved after 20 or more days?

Please notify Megan Gause (contact information above) regarding these situations and provider her with a copy of the ticket/incident number.

What is being done about situations where information is not recorded as described during the service call?

ITS is working with Blackboard to improve the logging of information. For more detailed items, ITS recommends submitting the ticket online so that the user can enter as much detail as desired. Tickets can be submitted online by logging in to MySLU, clicking on “Tools,” clicking on “IT Service Request,” and then clicking on “Submit an IT Service Request.”

For general requests, please click on “Can We Help You?” and then “Create an Incident.”

For questions and concerns not discussed above, or to discuss a specific concern with a recent IT request, contact Megan Greathouse Gause, Kevin Carr, or David Hakanson. Their contact information is above and can be used for escalations of IT-related issues.