Changes to Reftool2: Hello Duo, Goodbye COHO

Hello team,

Some of you may have noticed a couple of minor changes in how Reftool results look.


Most excitingly, working together with IAM, we have upgraded the way Duo status is reported to Reftool and have added a trio of status reflectors for user entries.  They can be found at the bottom of the “Account Details” bar for relevant users.

The 3 reflectors and their possible values are as follows:

  • Duo Enrolled: “Yes” or “No”
  • Duo Mandatory: “No”, “Excluded”, or a date string YYYYMMDD
    • As of 1/31/2019 – the Duo Mandatory field is not showing properly if there is a date string in the value.
  • Duo Token Eligible: “Yes” or “No”

It is our hope that this added information makes it easier to support Duo users, particularly over the next few months as we move toward mandatory enrollment for non-students.


Somewhat less excitingly, links to COHO have been removed in conjunction with retirement of that service. This includes both the navbar link and the Ticket History link.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!

Service Desk Digest – 1/29/2019

Please read for some important announcements, reminders and updates. At the bottom I have included some kudos from our customers. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Duo Mandatory Announcement

The announcements are going out today from the Provost’s office to campus: Duo will soon be required for all employees and associates.

For talking points regarding this change, see:

Adding Contacts in TeamDynamix

We now have the ability to add a customer as a contact on a ticket, enabling them to view the ticket even if they are not the requestor. It is okay to add an IT Pro or an LRP to a ticket as a contact if they request it.

For steps to add a contact to a ticket, see:

Note: everyone in Information Services has access to login to TeamDynamix and view tickets, but IT Pros outside of IS and LRPs do not have this level of access. They need to either be the requestor on the ticket, or be added as a contact.

Help Customers Backup Data

Help our customers avoid data loss by making sure they get a backup of their data before we work on their computer. For personal devices (and CN computers) we can help the customer transfer their files to cloud storage or removable media. We should also make a backup to \\sd-backups, but that is to help us do the work, and is not a guarantee to the customer.

Let me know if you have questions about this.

Keep ‘Em Moving

Recently we have had a couple computers that sat on technicians’ desks waiting to be built or worked on. If you start a job and don’t complete it, please try to hand it off to another tech. If you sit at a desk and there is a computer already there, check the ticket and continue the work.

Reporting Phish

When customers report phishing emails to us, please help them forward the original message as attachment to Please do so even if we have seen the same type of report several times.

When replying to a ticket about phishing email, please use the appropriate response template under “Spam / Phishing”. 

Avoid Long Hold Times

Before you put a customer on hold, ask them. If you need some time to research an issue, the customer may prefer to end the call and have you call them back, rather than stay on hold for several minutes. Give the customer the option.

Remember, it is okay to AUX out after a call to do research or wrap up a ticket.

Before the Customer Leaves…

We are still having issues sometimes where customers leave with their computer and then have to call back because they can’t login, didn’t get their data, or are missing power adapters, etc.

Always review the ticket before the customer leaves. Make sure they can login, that they have everything they need, and that they know what we did to their computer.

Write Good Ticket Updates, and Read Them Carefully

The ticket is like a medical chart in a hospital: it needs to say what the current status of the computer is, and everything that has been done.

Watch out for tickets that have lengthy, complicated ticket feeds. When that happens, summarize the current status and next steps (“Done”, and “To do”) in the Tech Notes field.

When reviewing a ticket, make sure you know what the status is. If you spend some time reading it to figure it out, summarize that in the ticket to save time for the next technician.

Service Desk Training Update

Several of you have asked me what is currently being covered in our training for new technicians. The short answer is: not a lot yet. We have a full-day orientation, and then shadowing for several weeks. We don’t have a clear checklist of things that a trainee should learn during their shadowing time. We are working on building that in Canvas right now.

Max and I met with Weiwei Zhang last week to discuss using Bridge for Service Desk technician training. The Bridge platform is probably the best option for us, but is not yet ready for our use case.

If you have identified a training need that you feel is important to address right now, and you are willing to create the training content, please come talk to me or Max about that.

My general recommendations for building training are as follows:

  1. Focus on a single topic area and don’t try to cover more than 10 key points. Really think about what you want people to know.
  2. Refer to documentation in the TDx KB as much as possible, and avoid duplicating information that is already documented there. In many cases, you will find you need to update documentation as you create training.
  3. Training format can be a one-on-one session with you and the trainee, small group instruction, videos, or written instruction with assignments and a quiz. The format is not too important. Videos can be hosted on under the TSS account (see Keepass), and other content can be hosted in the TDx KB or in the ISCS All folder on Box. When the content is ready, Max and I can add it as a training module in Canvas.
  4. Let Max know if you train someone so he can record it in Management. This will allow us to keep track of who has been trained, and who still needs to be.

KCS Update

Some of you may be wondering what happened with the KCS initiative, and many of you have probably never heard of it.

Very briefly: KCS stands for Knowledge Centered Service and is a framework for support based on documentation. One of the key ideas of KCS is that as knowledge workers, we all create knowledge every day, and leveraging that knowledge effectively can help us provide a higher quality, more consistent and more efficient service to customers while reducing our own frustration.

At the heart of KCS is the KB article, which includes the customer’s request and environment, and the resolution. Ideally, every request would have a matching KB article linked to it.

We have taken small steps towards KCS so far. Lucas Friedrichsen and I are KCS trained and certified. We have configured the TeamDynamix KB as best we can for now to make it KCS-compliant, and have provided feedback and feature requests to the vendor to improve TDx on that front. In the CN Accounts queue, we have started creating a KB article for each request type, and using this as a method to help train technicians on accounts processes.

While I believe KCS is the next important thing we need to do, the training program is the more pressing need so I do not have a road map for KCS adoption yet. I will provide more updates on this in the near future.

Kudos from Customers

The following is a sampling of comments from customers on surveys submitted last week:

“Staff advised me of the issue, then were patient to allow me time to make the necessary corrections on my end to resolve the issue. Had I been unable, they would have graciously stepped in to assists. OSU’s IT Service Desk staff are A-#1 in my book and always have been! :-)”

“Kind and supportive staff who was able to get me squared away quickly. Thank you!”

“Tech provided excellent service!”

“The young man who helped me was very polite. When I told him what I needed he told me he was pretty sure he could help me but he would like to check with someone to ensure he was correct. I appreciated that he would let me know he wanted to confirm rather than just try something and be wrong. He answered my question.”

“Many thanks for a quick and effective response.”

“The team was energetic and responsive”

“Everyone was very friendly and willing to help. The first person couldn’t figure out a solution so he brought me to someone who was more familiar with macs but stayed so he could learn. I thought that showed a lot of dedication. Great job!”

“Really nice and helpful.”

“He assessed the situation and quickly was able to resolve it.
Thank you.”

“The staff were very helpful and kind, and helped me with fixing my computer.”

“Nice job ladies and gentlemen! Thanks for the assistance. Since I’m now going to be a distance student in Arizona, after attending the physical campus in 83-86, I thought it would be wise to post a photo so people I’m speaking with can match a voice to a face. Thanks again. Go Beav’s!”

“The staff member was very patient and kind and seemed eager to help!”

“Very helpful staff and excellent service”

“I always receive great service from CN”

“The person helping me was very patient!! She guided me through it patiently and, unfortunately, several times. I so appreciated the help. Doing all this is certainly different than when the internet on campus was Mosaic or even when we had the first web sites. I appreciated her help as I still use the onid account for the library and I get a number of food industry publications that prefer university e-mails. Thanks AGAIN!!!!! ”

“When the first person answered the phone they didnt really understand my issue. Then he asked his co-worker who told him to ask me a question. Afyer which they understood my problem and fixed it right away. Awesome teamwork!”

“Your staff is always very helpful, courteous and professional. They’ve always talked to me while they’re helping me with my issue so I don’t feel like I’m just kept hanging out there. I also appreciate that they don’t talk ‘over my head’ with the computer/program jargon.”

“I always so appreciate all help and support with my questions and IT issues that you provide. Thank you”

“I gave very little notice of my need for the new CN account, but even so the request was honored very quickly. I really like the email I receive with next steps. It is easy for me to give this to the new employee and I don’t have to do a lot of explaining. I’m always very happy with the service I get from CN.”

“I had a wealth of small items to get squared away upon switching positions. The various Service Desk staff members who helped made everything go quite smoothly.”

“Keenan is the best.”

“they knew what they are doing, its fast and thorough!”

“Very patient!”

“As always, the service was quick and excellent. Thanks for your good work!”

“Michael Boe was spot on— knowledgeable, practical, and considerate advice. Also the IS person who took my initial inquiry (Peyton) was professional and able to triage effectively. Kudos to them both. Problem solved quickly. You are lucky to have such engaged team players.”

“Super helpful staff member!”

“Everyone was super helpful and kind. My computer rebuild was done in one quick day – I appreciate the speedy work. Thanks so much!”


OSU-Cascades Transitioning from P: Drives to Box


As of January 2019, OSU-Cascades customers will be gradually transitioning away from personal network shares (“P drives”) to Box for all non-confidential data.

I am adding a field to the CN new account request form today that will ask whether a P: drive should be provisioned. The default for employees will be set to “yes”. The OSU-Cascades IT team will set this to “no” on the form when they request new accounts. They will then work to transition current P drive users to Box when their computers are refreshed. This process will likely take a while.

Please be aware that not all CN customers have P drives today. Going forward, you can expect to see more and more CN customers who do not have a P drive, and this is expected. We should be encouraging customers to use Box as the preferred storage and collaboration tool for non-confidential data. For confidential data, we can still create a restricted share or P drive as needed.

The following KB article covers this topic and will be updated as we run into other use cases that need to be considered with this change:

ITKnows and Helpdocs Now in TeamDynamix KB

I didn’t see a blog post about this, so here it is formally: The ITKnows site has been decommissioned and all content migrated to the TeamDynamix KB.

There were still some references to ITKnows articles in the TDx KB. I have fixed all of those today.

We may still have some ITKnows links out there, such as in any documentation kept in CN-Share or on Google Drive. If you have ITKnows links, please update them. I also encourage you to move your documentation into the KB where everyone can find it.

Also worth a reminder: all of Helpdocs are now in the TDx KB.

Remember: use quotes around your search in the TDx KB for better results.

Coming up: I am working on moving some pages from the old IS website into the TDx KB. I am also working on shutting down the old Client Services Sharepoint site, and will move anything that looks useful into the KB. Most of it is just going to be archived in Box as defunct. If there is something there you are still using, please let me know.

Are there other documentation sources I should look at? Let me know.

Service Desk Digest – 1/7/2019

Welcome to the start of a new term! Please read on for a few reminders and updates.

Changes to OSU Online Directory

The following changes were made recently to the Online directory (

  • ONID accounts that have not yet been activated will no longer display in search results
  • Home address and home phone have been removed from directory display for all accounts (regardless of Banner Directory Profile settings)
  • Anonymous access to LDAP has also been changed to remove home phone and home address and no longer display accounts that have not been activated.

Note – Previously, employee home phone and address were only in the directory if the employee enabled it (opt-in) from the Banner Directory Profile. Student profiles included this information by default (opt-out).

Accounts that are not yet active will still show in contool and reftool.

(Thanks go to Erica Lomax for this update.)

Always Make a Ticket!

When you work with a customer, please always make a ticket. You should try to get the person’s name, but if you don’t, you can still make a ticket under “phone @log”.

If you refer the customer somewhere else, make a ticket using the Referral form. (Referral instructions here.) Use referral with caution. Never “refer” to another group in Information Services. We are Information Services! And for CN customers, don’t refer warranty or other hardware repair – even if we don’t do the repair ourselves, we will coordinate with the vendor. That is part of the value add of the CN service.

Hardware Repair

I’ve added a new section to the IS Service Desk Process Guide regarding hardware repair.

Please note we provide a different service level for CN customers than for personal devices. Ask in #sd-mentors if you have questions.

Banner 8 is Gone; Long Live Banner 9

As of January 1, 2019, Banner 8 has been decommissioned. The links on the landing page and in MyOSU have been updated. Customers may need to update bookmarks.

Banner 9 has been running in parallel with Banner 8 for several months. See the Banner Service InfoSheet for more information and links to the Banner 9 getting started video and Survival Guide.

Reminder: for Banner 9, Chrome is recommended. Modern versions of Edge, Firefox and Safari also work. IE does not work with Banner 9.

If a customer attempts to connect to Banner 8, they will see an error similar to the following:

*ERROR* Object SPAIDEN is no longer authorized for INB access

(Thanks to Chris Young for this update.)

Windows 10 1809 Image in Production

As of 12/31/2018, the Windows 10 1809 image has been tested and moved to production and is now the default for new CN builds.

If you currently use USB boot sticks to connect to the deployment server you will need to update them with the latest boot image: \\\Deploy\Boot

Relevant details:

  • FontSmoothing is deprecated since Windows 10 uses ClearType by default now. Windows customization (unattend.xml) files have been updated.
  • Windows app 3D Builder was removed from the app whiteliste since Microsoft stopped including it in the base install after 1703.
  • New Windows apps have been whitelisted, including:
    • The Microsoft.HEIFImageExtension package enables Windows 10 devices to read and write files that use the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format.
    • The Microsoft.ScreenSketch app gives you all of the functionality of the Snipping Tool with additional improvements. Originally introduced as part of the Windows Ink Workspace, this package is now an app which comes with a variety of benefits, including that it can now be updated via the Microsoft Store.
    • The Microsoft.VP9VideoExtensions package adds support for the efficient open source video codec VP9 developed as part of the WebM Project by Google.
    • The Microsoft.WebpImageExtension package adds support for the new modern image format WebP that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.

(Thanks go to Jim Galloway in Endpoint Management for this update. Please direct questions or comments to Chris Sinnett.)

Duo Required for Client Services Employees

As of 1/1/2019, Duo sign-up is mandatory for all Client Services employees, including student employees. I know Max is working with the few folks who are not currently enrolled. Please also note that you cannot request opt-out of Duo while working for Client Services.

There is a project underway to make Duo mandatory for all OSU employees in the near future. More updates on that as we have them.

New process for outgoing machines

Effective today (1/4/19), completed builds will be placed in the grey cabinets in the Milne 213A hallway rather than the metal shelves in 213.  Each cabinet is numbered and the cabinets will be labeled with dry-erase markers to indicate which ticket is where and what items are included.


Shipping/Receiving techs will be responsible for labeling each cabinet with the ticket number and checklist of all the equipment included with the ticket.  They will make note in the ticket of which cabinet is assigned for the machine and peripherals.  Any items which have not yet arrived from the vendor will be labeled as PENDING; this label will be removed when the item arrives and has been moved from the mailroom into the outgoing cabinet.


Machines awaiting builds will still be found on the metal racks in 213.  When you complete a build, bring it to the allocated cabinet and check the box to show that it’s in the cabinet and ready to go.  Update the ticket indicating that the build is complete and the machine has been placed in the cabinet.  The Location field in the CN Build/Rebuild and CN Device/Application Support forms have been updated to include Outgoing Cabinet; the cabinet number will be required.


When placing a machine, the placing tech is responsible for ensuring that all of the peripherals are present.  If there is anything labeled as PENDING, use a marker to indicate what you have placed and leave the info written on the cabinet; if everything is present, use a paper towel and a bit of Windex (both are next to the cabinets) to erase the entire entry.