INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES. RECOMMENDATION ON Help Desk Software

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1 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES RECOMMENDATION ON Help Desk Software March 1, 2004 Version: Draft 2.0 Denise Seegott, Applications Administrator Desktop Support Services

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS OBJECTIVE...3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...3 CURRENT ENVIRONMENT... 3 RECOMMENDATION... 3 DETAILED ANALYSIS...3 BACKGROUND & HISTORY... 3 PROBLEM DEFINITION... 4 REQUIREMENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS... 4 ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS...5 ALTERNATIVE 1 (RECOMMENDED SOLUTION)... 5 ALTERNATIVE ALTERNATIVE ALTERNATIVE RECOMMENDATION AND JUSTIFICATION /14/2005 Page 2 of 5

3 OBJECTIVE To implement help desk software that is cost effective and meets the requirements of Martin County. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CURRENT ENVIRONMENT Martin County s Information Technology Services (ITS) Department provides world-class computing and communications services in support of the County s services to the community. In order to deliver those services efficiently, ITS must manage the requests that are submitted to the Service Desk. The mission for the Desktop Support Services Division is to provide excellence in Customer Service through timely, high quality software and hardware support, thus meeting the professional needs and objectives of our customer. To establish and continually improve our customer s computer skills enabling them to perform their job functions with minimal intervention from the Information Technology staff on reliable and appropriate software and hardware. Currently, ITS utilizes Peregrine s Service Center Version 3.0 Help Desk Software. Problem tickets have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the limited number of licenses, limitations of Service Center and the lack of adequate funding to upgrade or replace Service Center. RECOMMENDATION Desktop Support Services recommends a plan to replace the current help desk software. The result of this recommended plan would be enhanced service to our customers. We recommend this plan be approved. DETAILED ANALYSIS BACKGROUND & HISTORY The Information Technology Services Department (ITS) of the Martin County Board of County Commissioners is an internal support organization that provides a number of key functions to other departments under the Board, and also to some of the Constitutional Officers within the County. One of the functions is to provide hardware and software support to all of the County employees that use the computer system. We provide support for more than 800 County employees in 13 different departments. We also provide limited support to the Constitutional officers. In July 1996, ITS determined that: (1) Our customers had no procedures to follow when it came to reporting a problem; therefore, each customer reported a problem to the person in ITS that they had a relationship with. This was often not the right person that could fix the problem. (2) ITS had no way of assigning or tracking a call; therefore, the request for service would often fall through the crack. (3) Solutions were not documented; therefore, when the same problem occurred again for another user, the solution would need to be researched once again. (4) ITS completed requests without notifying the customer. This was almost as bad as not completing the request, as the customer would continue to assume that the request had still not been completed. After discussion of these problems, 6/14/2005 Page 3 of 5

4 ITS determined that a tracking mechanism and some type of knowledge base was needed, along with a central course for contacting our department with a problem. Evaluation of these problems resulted in the establishment of Customer Service Desk. The Service Desk was fully implemented on June 23, PROBLEM DEFINITION Currently, ITS utilizes Peregrine s Service Center 3.0. The current release of Service Center is Version 5.1. ITS has previously obtained quotes for upgrading Service Center and the cost was over $50,000. The current annual maintenance cost of Service Center is over $13,000. ITS has 15 licenses for Service Center 3.0 and with over 30 staff members we frequently utilize all licenses therefore leaving some staff members without access to the software. The cost for an additional 5 licenses is over $25,000. REQUIREMENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS The proposed software must: 1. Be based on industry standard tools. 2. Entire software package, including any licenses, must be less than $ Designed with technology that is easy to customize. 4. Immediate ticket number assigned and ed to customer and assignment group with link to ticket. 5. Ability to reassign tickets to other assignment groups and upon reassignment the ticket number, etc. is ed to the new assignment group. 6. Automatic to customer should include opportunity to change contact information and provide special contact instructions. 7. Ticket fields must include estimated time for completion, actual time spent on ticket, priority, assignment queue, and category. 8. System Administration available for Service Desk to update contact information, assignment groups, assignment group members, etc. 9. Ability to import existing contact information. 10. Maintain history of changes, reassignment, etc. 11. Ability to open and close ticket in one step (take call, solve problem, close ticket). 12. Ability to automatically page assignment group based on priority. 13. Ability to mark some fields, i.e., telephone number, as required. 14. Ability to mark notes field as private. 15. Ability to update ticket by sending an to ticket number. 16. Ability to attachment documents, i.e., MS Word, to tickets. 17. Ability to provide concurrent access for ITS staff and customers. 18. Ability to require an entry for resolution prior to closing ticket. 19. Ability to print tickets. 20. Ability to generate reports on total number of calls/tickets for specific time period, by customer, by department, assignment group, resolution, hardware, open tickets per assignment group and first point of contact resolution. 21. Ability to view all tickets in the system. Ticket view should include assignment group and owner. 22. Ability to search on open/closed tickets by customer, assignee, date, etc. 23. Ability to integrate with other systems for automatic ticket generation, i.e., enterprise monitoring. 24. Ability to integrate with a ticket survey system. 25. Ability to execute the application from any internet browser. 6/14/2005 Page 4 of 5

5 ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS ALTERNATIVE 1 (RECOMMENDED SOLUTION) Alternative 1 is to develop help desk software utilizing current ITS resources. By using industry standard tools, i.e., XML, etc. our current resources can develop and implement a help desk software solution that will meet all of the requirements identified above. Several open source solutions may be utilized in this initiative. Also, by using industry standard tools, in the event of staff turnover, additional resources may be or can be employed to maintain the help desk software. This alternative will also eliminate an annual maintenance cost and it will allow ITS to easily implement additional requirements. ALTERNATIVE 2 Alternative 2 is to upgrade Service Center to Version 5. This option is not feasible because ITS does not have adequate funding for any of these products (licenses, implementation and maintenance). ALTERNATIVE 3 Alternative 3 is to replace Service Center with commercial help desk software. Desktop Support has investigated several options including Cobblesoft Coign, Help Star and Track-It. This option is not feasible because ITS does not have adequate funding for any of these products (licenses, implementation and maintenance). ALTERNATIVE 4 Alternative 4 is to do nothing. This option does not meet the following requirements: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 19. RECOMMENDATION AND JUSTIFICATION Desktop Support Services recommends a plan to replace the current help desk software. By replacing Service Center with software that is developed by current resources in ITS the software will be easy to modify and report on, and will not require licenses and an annual maintenance cost. The result of this recommended plan would provide better service to our customers. We recommend this plan be approved. 6/14/2005 Page 5 of 5

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