Category Archives: Base

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.

Intake

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.

Builds

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.

Placements

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.

Updates to Build Tracker

Good Evening Colleagues,

I have recently added some features to Build Tracker and they are now live.

Features:

  • Build Location now displays relevant locations
  • TDx Asset information retrieval
  • Minor updates to instructions

Build Location:

Prior to this update, the “Build Location” column in the list of was rarely filled in, and quite frankly, not helpful. Now that builds are scattered around across multiple rooms, I feel it’s especially important to be able to keep better tabs on where each build is. With this update, you’ll be able to set your desk location as the location of the build. These desk locations pull directly from Teamdynamix, so any changes to those in the future should be reflected in Build Tracker.

To set a specific location, set “Build Location” to “Technician Desk”, and the “Specific Location” dropdown will appear. Then simply select your desk and click save. This will update the entry in Build Tracker as well as update the Teamdynamix Ticket.

Asset Retrieval:

In our transition from Inventory to Teamdynamix Assets, I have implemented a button in Build Tracker Interviews that will retrieve Asset information. It works identically as retrieving Inventory data, albeit slightly slower in response.

Thank you, and let me know if you have any questions.

ISCS-MDT moved to new core

The ISCS-MDT server (used for Windows deployments at the build bench) has been moved to new core and to the same VLAN as the build bench in Milne. Anyone using a USB boot stick to do deployments will need to update. Some quick notes about the move:

– Cyder workgroups (DHCP options) OSU-MDT-PXE and OSU-MDT-PXE-UEFI have been updated with the server’s new IP address.

Old: VLAN 463, 10.198.0.68
New: VLAN 1112, 10.217.96.133

Note: Next week I will be asking NOC to configure IP helpers on the Milne building router. This will replace the workgroups above for the build bench, allowing any client (BIOS or UEFI) to PXE boot.

– MDT boot images have been updated to use the server’s FQDN/DNS name instead of IP address.
– The build bench firewall (CN2-FW) has been updated to allow the necessary ports through for remote management and OS deployment.

Changes to Coho Salutation and Signature

As of 8/22/2016, I have made the following modifications to the salutation and signature on Coho tickets in the “CN Base” queue. Note: I have not modified other queues yet.

  • The salutation now says “Hello Name” instead of just “Name”. If you feel it sounds awkward in any particular correspondence, feel free to remove it or change it.
  • The signature block now contains two “news” items: a link to an FAQ about what the Service Desk is, and a link to an announcement about the move of the walk-up from the library to Milne.
  • I have rearranged the signature block so that the technician’s name appears first, the news items second, and the “To respond…” section last.

Let me know if you run into any issues with this.

Software Install Best Practices and Reporting Issues

Team: we have some inconsistencies with how we are doing software installations for customers. To address that, Jade is working on a  recommended best practice document for the software packages we install most often; it will be in ITKnows shortly.

Please note: the preferred method for installing Office 2016 ad-hoc is to do so via Software Center.  

If you install Office 2016 via \\software.oregonstate.edu instead, you will need to update the shortcut for Skype for Business in the start menu as it will be broken otherwise.

If you run into issues doing a software install or with other processes, please do the following:

  • Split a ticket and describe the issue
  • Set Max Cohen as responsible

Thank you!

Call Mentors

In an effort to provide better support to call center technicians, a call mentor will be on-shift throughout the day. The call mentor’s main purpose is to assist call center technicians in finding the right information. The other goal is to reduce interruptions for other staff as they work on accounts, recommendations, or escalations.

When you are taking calls, please ask the scheduled call mentor for help first.

The call mentor schedule will be posted on the whiteboard and in the “Community Network” calendar in Exchange.

For more information about call mentoring see the ITKnows article.

 

NEW WINDOWS IMAGES WITH OFFICE 2016

New Windows images with Office 2016 will go live tomorrow.

Windows 7/8.1: Added .NET 4.6.1, PowerShell 5.0, Office 2016 (replaces 2013)
Windows 10 CB/LTSB: Added Office 2016 (replaces 2013)

Added the following applications/packages to the MDT build share:

  • All IE11 prereqs
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 for Win 7
    • Created a custom deployment package with IEAK 11
  • Microsoft .NET 4.6.1
  • Microsoft Windows Management Framework 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows Management Framework 5.0 for Win 7
  • Microsoft Windows Management Framework 5.0 for Win 8.1
  • Kernel Mode Driver Framework 1.11
  • User Mode Driver Framework 1.11

These applications have been added to all applicable build task sequences to reduce manual work on reference images.

Call Center assistance expectations

The managers would like to clarify expectations during times you help out in the Call Center.

Max is the quarterback for the Client Services Call Center; he calls the shots when it comes to logistics. Max may reach out for call center assistance from people who are not regularly assigned to the call center in times when additional coverage is needed.

The managers want to clarify expectations for that assistance.

Phones: If Max asks you to help with calls, you should sign into the split and AUX in to take calls. Using a computer in the call center area is recommended as it facilitates communication with the team. Joining the #callcenter channel in Slack is also recommended. Unless Max specifically asks you to help in the queue only, or do some other specific task (such as assisting other phone technicians) you should assume that taking calls is priority number 1. This is usually where we need the most help.

Prior obligations: If you have conflicting priorities that would prevent you from taking calls (such as an appointment with a customer), please let Max know.

If you have any questions about these changes, please discuss with your manager. If you need training or a reminder on how to do something, please ask Max or another member of the regular call center crew.

Call Center Update – 4/21/2016

Colleagues,

Lately I have been less of a funnel of information and more of a black hole.  We have a lot going on, and I will do my best to hit the highlights here. If you ever want to know more about something, please contact me or your manager.

Speaking of managers:

Some of you who are student workers may not know who your manager is. To clarify: Max Cohen, Samuel Rudin and Jeff Bonnichsen are the current student supervisors. You will work with one or more of them on a daily basis; they will assign you tasks, review your work and give you feedback regularly. Lucas Friedrichsen, Chris Sinnett, Ed Ostrander and I (Kirsten Petersen) are managers. We are responsible for hiring/firing, discipline, conflict resolution, as well as performance feedback. If you have a question or problem, you should generally take it to your supervisor first. If you work in more than one area, take the problem to the supervisor you work with most. If your problem is *with* your supervisor, take it to your manager. If you don’t know who your manager is, please look in the TSS Management tool (linked from RefTool).

Please note that all of the full time staff also have a lead role and may assign you tasks and provide feedback on your work. They may share that feedback with your supervisor or manager as well. They are also a fantastic resource to you if you need advice. Just… read the section below about asking questions first.


 

Asking questions is a good thing.

There is an art to asking questions. You need to be respectful of the other person’s time, you need to bring them the right information to approach the problem, and you need to be willing to learn.

Kirsten’s Guide to Asking Questions:

  1. Gather all the pertinent information and have it ready. The first thing I will ask you is: who is the customer, and what are they trying to do? If you can’t answer that, it’s back to the drawing board for you, and a pointless interruption for me. Also, it’s a delay in resolving the customer’s problem. You should know if this is a laptop, or a Mac, or if the customer is in Hermiston. You should know if they have another computer to use or are dead in the water. You should be so intimate with the problem and what the customer is trying to accomplish that you can speak for them.
  2. Tell me what you have tried. I hope it goes without saying, but: you should have tried some things first. And I don’t mean random things. You should have looked at our documentation and troubleshooting templates (TemplateHub). You should have asked the customer a lot of questions. You should have seen the error they are seeing, or checked the logs. When you come to ask me for help, tell me what steps you have tried and exactly what the outcome was. Be as specific as possible. There could be important clues there to help solve the problem.
  3. Tell me how urgent this problem is. If the customer is still waiting on the phone and they can’t do their job and you have tried everything and are stuck, this is probably urgent. If the customer has a work-around and you are just curious what the right answer is, that’s a very different thing. If I know how urgent this is, I will probably respond differently.
  4. Be willing to learn. Don’t just punt a problem to me and then wash your hands of it (not that any of you would do that, right!?). You should be coming to me because you want to know how to solve this yourself next time.
  5. Help others. Let’s say you went looking for an answer in our documentation and could not find it. You had to ask for help, you got the answer, and you learned. That’s great for you, but doesn’t help your coworkers much. Take the initiative and update the documentation – or at a minimum, let your supervisor know that the documentation is lacking.

 

Things Going On in Client Services, Information Services and OSU

Note: you can always check on the status of large IS projects here: http://is.oregonstate.edu/strategic-plan-projects/project-management

Box

Box is a cloud storage and collaboration platform provided via Internet2 NetPlus. OSU IT leadership met at a storage summit last year to discuss the merits of Box, OneDrive and GoogleDrive, and came to the conclusion that Box provides the best features to meet the university’s needs. In particular, Box should provide better business continuity, better local synchronization tools and better cross-platform feature parity.

In addition, Box is expected to integrate with Office 365 (replacing OneDrive), with Canvas and with Kumo. The project team are targeting Fall term 2016 to make Box available to campus.

A sole source justification has been done for the purchase of Box, and the contract is presently in PACS. A project team has been established, and I am on it. I will provide regular updates here. Currently, we are in a pre-pilot testing phase. The features in the pre-pilot are not what we expected and the implementation team are looking into that problem (it may because we are not under contract yet).

Initially there was much conversation about this service replacing CN-Home and CN-Share, in addition to ONID-FS (the Z drive). CN-Home and ONID-FS home directories seem like a no-brainer, but whether department shares will move to the cloud is a bit unclear at this time.

While it is true that Google Drive is not going away, it is my understanding that the university will declare Box the preferred, supported cloud storage solution.

Exchange Online

The Identity & Access Management team have confirmed that OSU will most likely be migrating to Exchange Online around Fall 2016. They ran into some legacy configuration that held them up, and are working through that now.

Getting all employees unified and enabled for Office 365 is still a pre-requisite for Exchange Online, but is almost complete.

Service Desk, ITIL, ITSM and Team Dynamix

Most of the full-time staff in Client Services attended ITIL and ITSM training this week. All of the directors in Information Services and staff from many other units also attended. The goal of the training is to get to a shared understanding of ITIL principles among IT staff who will use Team Dynamix on a regular basis. We couldn’t send student workers to the training, so I will be doing my best to share what we learned with all of you.

ITIL is a set of best practices that is about aligning IT with the needs of the business it supports, and ITSM is a discipline that breaks down IT management into specific processes.  The adoption of the new Team Dynamix tool for ticket tracking has been a catalyst for us adopting more ITIL practices. In particular, we will be adopting Incident Management, and will be transforming much of Client Services into a Service Desk that serves as the single point of contact for all services provided by Information Services.

Our director, Andrew Wheeler, will be sharing more information with all of you about these changes soon. I know many of you are concerned about what this means for our service to our customers, and for your daily work, so I am working to share as much information with you now as possible. Please be aware that this project is still very much in the planning phase.

The first stage of creating the Service Desk will be to consolidate workflows of the OSU Computer Helpdesk, CN call center and CN field team. This will be my primary focus for the coming weeks. I am working now on mapping out detailed tasks in TeamWork, and you will all have access to view the project there soon.

ITC Recruitment

The recruitment to fill Tom Loveday’s vacant position is in progress. The position has been posted and is open until Friday, April 29th.  The posting is here, and you are welcome to share this with anyone you think would be interested:

https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/23568

The hiring committee members are: Kirsten Petersen, Max Cohen, Keenan Carr and Kaelan Rasmussen. I am also working to add a search advocate from a department outside of Information Services.


Training and Skills Assessment

I will be following up with many of you soon to put together a detailed profile of your skills and to work up a formal training plan. If you already have a LinkedIn profile with that type of information in it, please connect with me there.


Kudos

Kudos to Chris “CJ” Johnson for suggesting that we shift the student field techs to same-day appointments only. This has allowed us to have greater flexibility in responding to urgent site visit requests.

Kudos to Josh Zheng for advocating for the “call assist” role in the call center. We are still ironing out the mechanics, but the idea is that there will always be a seasoned tech in the call center who is available to assist people in calls. This person stays out of the phones, works the queue, and helps on difficult troubleshoots. This is helping to improve the quality of our service and increase first call resolution. Kudos to Robin Castle as well for helping to make this work.

Kudos to Ken Howard for suggesting that when process changes are made, the impact is clearly spelled out for each of our workflows. This came up when we decided to implement named user licenses for Adobe Creative Cloud and I neglected to consider how that would impact computer imaging. I have committed to follow Ken’s suggestion on future communications of changes.

And a sincere “thank you!” to all of you for patiently answering my many questions, putting up with the massive amount of changes we have been going through, and making suggestions that will ultimately make us all more successful.

 

OSU Alert – Rave

OSU is in the process of moving the OSU Alert emergency notification system to a new vendor. The old system was Blackboard Connect and the new system is AT&T Rave. More information about OSU Alert can be found here:

Troubleshooting:

All Client Services employees have “helpdesk” access in the Rave portal. Login with your ONID/Unified account at https://www.getrave.com/login/oregonstate. Once there, you can view settings for customers but cannot make changes.

All current OSU employees and students are automatically populated in the OSU Alert system with their OSU email. They will need to sign into the system to add other information such as home phone numbers, cell phone and SMS text, or additional email addresses. The logic for populating people in the system has changed a bit. If someone is not in the system, ask them if they are a current student or employee. If they are, please escalate the issue to me by setting the ticket responsible to Kirsten Petersen.

For issues with the Rave system itself, we can escalate to their technical support, but please do not refer customers to them directly.

Rave Tech Support: techsupport@ravemobilesafety.com, (888) 605-7164 + Option 3