Tag Archives: labs

Service Desk Digest 8/6/2018

Please read on for important updates and reminders regarding Banner 9, Webex, and Campus Labs.

Banner v9 Upgrades

Banner v9 Student Roll-out on August 15, 2018. We are reviewing our documentation now in light of this change. This change is likely to impact more people than previous Banner upgrades. Many questions may need to be referred to one of the core offices: Enrollment Management, Office of the Registrar, Office of Admissions, or Business Affairs/Administration.


Banner Finance v9 will be rolled out on September 4, 2018.

Banner 9 landing page screen shot.
Banner 9 landing page screen shot.

Webex U/I Changes

On Friday, July 28, Webex changed to a more video-centric meeting experience. For more information about the changes, see the following:

Also note: the name is now Webex, not WebEx. The change in capitalization is part of the new look and feel.

Webex meeting experience before and after screen shots. Image from: https://collaborationhelp.cisco.com/article/en-us/norgje1
Webex meeting experience before and after screen shots. Image from: https://collaborationhelp.cisco.com/article/en-us/norgje1

Campus Labs and the Service Desk

Reminder: The IS Service Desk is the first point-of-contact for support of the campus labs and computing classrooms. If someone in one of the IS-provided campus labs contacts us for support, we can help over the phone, send a technician to help immediately, or schedule an appointment for a tech to visit later if the room is currently being used for a class. ScreenConnect is available on all campus labs computers and Service Desk technicians have local admin access.

When making a campus labs ticket, set the form on the ticket to “Campus Labs“.  If you need to escalate the issue to the Campus Labs team, set responsibility to “Campus Labs” as well. Make sure to collect sufficient information in the ticket, and detail what troubleshooting you have already tried.

How to make a Campus Labs ticket from RefTool.
How to make a Campus Labs ticket from RefTool.

Campus Labs Resources (Note: these documents currently being reviewed and updated):

  • Campus Labs Infosheet – what we support and how to escalate
  • Campus Labs website – which rooms are supported and what software is available; links to request forms for after-hours access in Milne and to request software installation in labs or on Citrix

Note: campus labs customers responding to ticket surveys last school year consistently reported that the help from the Service Desk was “good” or “excellent”. Well done, team!

Service Desk Digest 5/16/2017

Student Meeting on 5/18

Most of you are scheduled to attend a mandatory meeting this Thursday from 5PM-7PM. We will record the meeting so that anyone who is not able to attend can catch up later. Food will be included (pizza).

The agenda so far includes the following:

  • Richard Turk – Computer lab support overview
  • Chris Evans – Beaverprint overview and troubleshooting
  • Nathan Power – Citrix XenApp overview and troubleshooting
  • Jason Appah – Exchange troubleshooting and road map
  • Josh Crowl – Wireless network troubleshooting
  • Andrew Wheeler – IS and Client Services strategic plan and direction
  • Max Cohen – Time off and scheduling procedures
  • Kirsten/Max/Andrew – OSU-Cascades tier 1 support
  • Jeff Bonnichsen – Reminders about ticket updates, professionalism
  • Kirsten/Max – Congratulations to graduating students

Appointment Ticket Troubles

Pat has been reviewing all on-site appointments and has been seeing the following issues repeatedly. Please make sure you are following proper process when creating appointments:

  • Ticket type still set to service desk / intake. This should be set to the type appropriate for the appointment.
  • Responsible not set for field technician. Responsible needs to be set so on-site techs can find their tickets.
  • Calendar notes field void of ticket # or ticket URL. On-site techs need these details so they can prepare for appointments.
  • Requested placement time (length) doesn’t match calendar appointment length. This can lead to problems with overbooking. Please pay attention to the placement time notes in the ticket.

Steps to create an appointment are outlined here. If you need a refresher, please talk to Pat or Robin.

LAN Party Finals Week

The next LAN party will be Friday, June 16 at 6:00PM in the Milne Computer Lab.

If you would like to contribute towards pizza, please see Kirsten.

If you have questions about what games we will be playing or what tech to bring, talk to Thomas.

Security Items

If you are not familiar with common strategies for account phishing and identity theft, please read up. I will provide some training materials shortly.

We have had a handful of incidents recently where a Service Desk technician gave really bad advice to a customer. Please be aware of the following common issues:

  • Tech Support Scam. A customer is directed to call a support number due to vague “security problems” on their computer. The person on the call wants to remote into their computer and install software. THIS IS A SCAM. They may be attempting to compromise the person’s computer, gain access to their data, or encrypt their data in a ransomware attack. If a customer asks about an attack like this, tell them it is likely malicious, and not to call the number. If they allowed someone to remote into their machine, help them check for malware. If they are a CN customer, make sure to ask first if they handle PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as credit card numbers or social security numbers.
  • Account Phishing. If a customer has received an email telling them their account is going to be deactivated unless they take some action, help them review the email. If it does not look like a notice from the ONID system, and/or directs them to a website that is not at OSU, it is most likely a PHISHING ATTEMPT where an attacker attempts to gain access to their account, usually to send spam and more phishing email.  A good technique is to mouse over any links in the email and wait for the URL to pop-up – it is is not an oregonstate.edu URL, they should not click on it. This is a good technique to train customers on.
  • If Unsure, Change the Password. As our CIO Lois Brooks said, if someone is asking whether they should maybe change their password, we should tell them to change their password. If a customer has clicked on a suspicious link and then provided their username and password, help them IMMEDIATELY CHANGE THEIR PASSWORD.  Please also ask them for details about the phishing attack and record that in the ticket. Notify ONID Support of the potential compromise so they can check the account to see if there is any suspicious activity such as open connections from another country.

Client Services Code Moved to GitHub Enterprise

Our code repositories are moving (have moved?) to an IS-wide GitHub Enterprise account. If you have questions, please ask in #sd-development on Slack.

Restricted Groups in Active Directory

For some groups we manage for CN customers, the customers have indicated they do not want us to make any membership changes without explicit approval from the group owner. In the past, we have had a few issues were we made changes to these groups anyway, without the customers’ permission.

To avoid this problem, the naming convention for these restricted groups has been changed to: RESTRICTED-Name-RESTRICTED

If you are asked to make a change to a group with this naming convention, please check the notes on the object. If you are unsure what to do, please check in with a full-time staff member.

Out-of-Order in the Computer Labs

If an item in one of the computer labs is out of order, please do the following:

  • Post an “Out of order” sign
  • UNPLUG THE DEVICE (otherwise helpful customers will turn it back on)
  • Make a ticket with Responsible set to Campus Labs
  • If urgent, post in #is-campus-labs on Slack for assistance

Service Desk Digest 1/20/2017

Salmon Bowl

Jeff will be helping out again at the Salmon Bowl in February and April this year. Todd and Jeff were able to secure from CPHHS a laptop cart with Dell laptops for the event. With help from Thomas, Jeff and Jim Galloway, we will be able to upgrade the drives to SSD by re-purposing old lab hardware. Nicely done, guys!

Exchange Issues

The issue with “Microsoft Exchange administrator has made a change that requires you quit and restart Outlook” should be fixed by emergency maintenance tomorrow, 1/21/2017. The root cause was a configuration problem at the load balancers. This should also resolve the issue for customers who see this error when roaming between wired and wireless. More info: 2433305

The intermittent Exchange outages we have been seeing for the past couple weeks are a separate issue. It appears to be a problem with some Mac clients. In some cases, it appeared to be an issue with malware, and in one case with an out-of-date Mac Mail app. The clients open too many connections to the server, causing a performance hit and resulting in disconnects for other users talking to that mailbox server. Server Support are monitoring for clients making too many connections, and are disabling them and notifying desktop support teams as they see this happening. More info: 2531723

Field Techs

Vu Le is now a trained field tech. The current list of field techs available for on-site appointments has been updated. See the Appointment Scheduling Workflow section under Call Center Processes in the ISCS Service Desk Process Guide for details.

Walk-up Access to Back Office

The walk-up area now has a key for after-hours access to the back office, where CN computers are stored before and after the build process.

The West door to the back office area should be unlocked during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM). At all other times, it should be locked as no one will be staffing those areas.

Thank you to Angela and Max for taking care of that. And thanks to Thomas for bringing up this issue.

Professional Conduct

As a general reminder, please note that food is not allowed in the walk-up at any time, even if you are not on shift. Everyone is welcome to eat in the call center. Please do not eat while you are taking calls – no one wants to hear that, and I don’t care how careful you are with the mute button.

This is also a good time to remind everyone that trash pick-up is on Tuesday evening only. Please do not leave any food trash in the call center or walk-up.  It smells bad and is not kind to your co-workers. There are trash cans just outside the building that you can use.

As space is sometimes tight in the walk-up, please do not hang out in there for long periods of time when you are not on shift. It doesn’t look good to our customers if they walk in and see us playing games, looking at our phones, or goofing off.

Likewise, when working in the call center, please be aware of how loud your conversations are. Technicians working nearby may not be able to hear the customer well over the background noise.

Campus Labs

Reminder: if a computer breaks in the lab, please put one of the “out of order” signs on it, AND assign a ticket in TeamDynamix to the Campus Labs group. Include information in the ticket about what is wrong with the machine.

If you are trying to fix a computer in the lab, you can always ask for help in the #is-campus-labs channel in Slack. However, this is not a substitute for making a ticket.

After hours “special” access to the labs: starting this week, students and employees can fill out a form to request after-hours access to the computer lab in the basement of Milne. The forms should be submitted at the walk-up, and then will be given to the Accounts team to process and reprogram the doors.


Service Desk Digest 9/26/2016

Welcome to the start of a new school year!

There is a lot going on. I will do my best to capture the most important updates.

As a reminder: if you are ever wondering about the status of something, please ask me. When I get questions, it reminds me to put it in the digest and share the information with everyone.

Milne Computer Lab Staffing and Support

We were not planning to staff the lab this fall, and the building was supposed to be getting locked outside of Service Desk hours. However, we do not have everything in place to make this work yet. For now, we will be staffing the computer lab, but only during hours when no one is at the Service Desk.

During Service Desk hours, customers may pick up the phone at the desk downstairs and they will ring the call center in 213. If the customer needs help in the lab, we can dispatch someone from the walk-up – please ask in #sd-walkup on Slack. If no one in walk-up is available, we can send someone from the call center to help.

Please NOTE: Client Services supports the computer labs. If it helps, please think of them as CN-supported computers. The customers may not be CN customers, but the computers are ours to manage and support. We have admin access to the computers in the labs, and should create tickets in the Campus Labs queue in Coho for any software or hardware issues we cannot address. Issues in the computer classrooms are higher priority than those in the drop-in lab area as they have the potential to impact instruction.

I’m working on cleaning up lab documentation in ITKnows. For now, please familiarize yourself with at least the following: http://itknows.oregonstate.edu/?p=5982

Changes for IT Support for Dixon Rec, MU, SEC and Cultural Centers

Guy Boulanger was the previous DCA for MU and Dixon Rec departments. He is leaving OSU, but will continue to work part time for the university for a bit.

Some of these groups are being supported by department IT, some will shift to Housing IT under Chris White, and some have come on to CN service.

Dixon Rec – Andrew Struthers (millisa) is their IT contact.

MU, ASOSU, SEC (not DCE) – For now support contacts are as follows:

  • Phone: 71193 (students staffing this and Guy part time for a little while)
  • Email: stuadmin@oregonstate.edu

DCE (a.k.a Cultural Centers) – This group used to be supported by Guy and is coming on to CN support, but have not been onboarded yet. Todd Soli is working on that this week.

AABC – Part of this group used to be supported by Guy and has come on to CN support, but have not been added to Inventory yet. Their student worker accounts will be moved from FS_Mail to CN.

Chris also let me know that his team are hiring two new ITCs – one for Housing and one for Guy’s former customers. Both will report to Chris White and the team will cross-train with each other.

I will be meeting with Chris White in a week or so (once the term has settled down) to nail down good documentation on our side of who does what in their team. For now, please be aware that what RefTool shows for support contact may not be correct for the groups listed above.

Know Thy Customer

If the customer you are helping is a Community Network (CN) customer, you should know that we provide a different level of service to these individuals.

Always look the customer up in RefTool and check the “Support Team” field. If it says Community Network, you need to be aware of the following:

  • We provide desktop support and computer consulting to this customer. Avoid referring them elsewhere unless you are 100% sure that is appropriate.
  • We have responsibility for the good working order and security of the customer’s computer, printer and peripheral devices and will help coordinate with Telecom on network issues.
  • A ticket for a CN customer should not be closed until the problem is resolved. Escalate to management if you are not sure what to do.
  • Some CN customers are in remote offices and there are special workflows with respect to network troubleshooting, computer builds and ordering hardware. Talk to Max if you are not sure about this.
  • We support the person and their computer(s).

Community Network customers pay for contracted desktop support from Client Services, and we need to make sure we are providing the level of service they expect. If you are ever not sure how to handle an interaction with a CN customer, please seek advice from a full-time staff member.

Service Desk Digest 7/13/2016

Please read on for a few important updates and reminders.


If you aren’t familiar, Interview is the process where we collect important information before taking a computer to the CN build bench. Interview has recently been moved from a stand-alone application to a link within Build Tracker. We are working on getting the link in Coho updated.


When setting the “Reason at Bench” please choose the primary reason this computer is being worked on. This information will be used to help understand what drives our workload.

There have been some issues with interviews for Extension. For now, Ken Howard will be taking the lead on those. Please set Ken as “responsible” on Extension interview tickets.

Scheduling Appointments

When scheduling a placement for a computer at the time of pick-up, please remember to allow 5 business days from the day/time of pick-up to placement. If the computer needs to be done sooner than that, mark it as a “rush” and inform the Bench team.

Also, please remember to send an appointment confirmation from the ticket to the customer using the canned response.

Finally, when scheduling field appointments for locations far outside the core of campus, remember to allow 30 minutes of travel time both before and after the appointment.

Student Time Reporting

Thanks to the efforts of Andrew Wheeler, Chris Sinnett, David Barber, and our colleagues in UABC, all Client Services student workers will now clock their time against a single job in EmpCenter. This should make life a lot easier for all of us and for UABC.

Changes coming this Summer

The ITIL-inspired Service Desk implementation is still under way. The call center merger is complete, and the next steps are to redefine processes for Build Bench, Campus Labs and the Walk-Up.

It is not official yet, but we are working on a plan to move the walk-up to Milne Computer Center by the end of summer (thank you, Andrew!). This will improve collaboration between teams, allow us to more easily provide walk-up services to CN customers, and will provide a reception area for the building. More details on this will be shared as the plan firms up.

As part of the change to support for the labs, we are evaluating adding support via chat. Users in the labs would be encouraged to request help via chat, but we will also provide a phone in the lab that rings the call center, and technicians can be dispatched to help in person as needed. We may also consider putting a chat tool or link to a chat web interface on CN customers’ computers.

Communicating with CN Customers

We have been making a lot of changes lately, and more are planned. We need a standard method to communicate these changes to customers. I will be sending a survey out to CN customers shortly to ask how the call center merger went, and where they would like to see us continue to make improvements. I will also be asking how they prefer to receive notifications from us.

If you have items that you would like to see included in a newsletter to customers, please let me know.

OSU and Information Services Strategic Goals

One of OSU’s stated goals is to improve “student success”; in particular, the university is looking to improve student retention and on-time graduation rates. What role can IT play in improving student success? A huge factor for students deciding to stay with the university is feeling a sense of belonging, of being listened to and cared for. When customers call us with problems – can’t login to Canvas to submit a paper, trying to figure out why their professor isn’t receiving their emails, computer infested with viruses so bad they can barely use it – we have an opportunity to show them that we care and are here to help.

At the same time, you – as student workers – have an opportunity to develop your active listening skills and critical thinking skills – skills that will serve you well in any job and really at any time in life. Learn to empathize. Show you understand what the customer is trying to accomplish, and that you care about them as a person. A 2 minute conversation with someone who is having a bad day could be the difference between whether or not they finish their college education at OSU.

Something Fun

Due to popular demand, I am thinking of starting up a regular game night for Client Services employees. One possibility would be a bi-monthly table top game night or LAN game night. If you have suggestions or would be interested in helping to coordinate something like this, let me know!

Service Desk Stats

Weekly Stats for 7/4/2016-7/8/2016:

  • Calls: 581
  • Abandon rate: 7%, 42 seconds
  • Appointments: 60
  • Computers built: 29
  • Tickets created: 600
  • Cascades jobs: 76
  • Surveys: 32
  • Average survey score: 4.3 out of 5

Know Thy Customer

Our customers are interesting people doing interesting things. For example, the Master Gardener Program is pretty cool, and you can learn about it here: