By Mark Macmurdo
April 30, 2012
While the IT Service Desk on the fourth floor at 10 Astor Place has long served as a convenient drop-in location for NYU community members with technology-related questions, certain limitations existed because of its physical space. Now, after over a year of planning and two months of construction beginning in late November and ending in late January, the newly-renovated IT Service Desk is open for business and better than ever.
Prior to the renovation, community members in need of assistance had to call or stop by to make an appointment before they could meet with IT Service Desk staff. Now, due in part to new workspaces designed for one-on-one consultations, any community member who walks in with an IT-related issue can receive timely assistance. When stepping off the elevator, new signage directs visitors to a redesigned reception area, complete with a modern reception desk. In most cases, someone will be immediately available—whether to help configure a wireless Internet connection or troubleshoot a hardware problem. For more lengthy procedures, such as an in-depth virus scan, visitors can leave their laptops and return to pick them up later. Even if you walk in with an IT issue that doesn’t directly relate to an NYU-supported service, IT Service Desk staff will attempt to help you in any way they can.
While the above changes will be immediately noticeable to anyone who has been to the IT Service Desk before the renovation, other improvements have also taken place behind the scenes. The IT Service Desk doesn’t just serve as a location to provide in-person services to NYU community members; it is also home to the call center that receives all Ask ITS requests via e-mail to AskITS@nyu.edu or phone calls to 212-998-3333. Changes as a result of the renovation have allowed the IT support staff who answer these requests to improve their efficiency and, as a result, the level of service they provide.
Prior to the renovation, representatives sat at workstations with tall dividers that isolated them from one another. According to Steven Padilla, Director of ITS Client Services, this setup was not the best for promoting a team environment. Having representatives scattered in cubicles throughout the floor inhibited collaboration and the free flow of information. The new open floor plan, by contrast, allows representatives to collaborate with ease, and efficiency has already increased. The renovation literally and figuratively tore down the walls. “There are no walls, just one big team,” Padilla says.
The renovation also involved the installation of a variety of new equipment. All computers were upgraded to the latest hardware and software, and a new large-scale monitor now overlooks the call center area. This monitor feeds vital statistics to those on duty, allows them to see who is available, displays any calls that are waiting for assistance, and scrolls important IT service status updates.
The new physical space is just one part of the recent enhancements to the IT Service Desk. The renovation has also provided an opportunity to institute new procedures to ensure better service for those who call into the center. Now, instead of calls being routed to representatives based on a rotating order, they are first “triaged” by student workers. The student worker can either provide the caller with the information they need directly, or, if the solution the falls outside of their expertise, they can forward the call to the appropriate full-time staff member. “This allows us to handle calls more thoroughly and more effectively,” explains Padilla.
Another beneficial consequence of the renovation is the development of an improved disaster recovery plan. Because the renovation rendered the location uninhabitable, plans and procedures had to be developed to allow staff members to answer calls and conduct work remotely, without distraction and up to service standards. For instance, IT Service Desk staff are now equipped with laptops, which allow them work from alternate locations. Should the threat of a hurricane or blizzard arise, IT Service Desk staff will be able to maintain high-quality service to the NYU community with minimal disruption.
As one final improvement to cap it all off, the IT Service Desk is now officially available to the NYU community as a 24-hour service. By calling 1-212-998-3333, callers will be connected to someone who will resolve their IT-related question day or night, 365 days per year (including holidays). Walk-in service is also available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, at the IT Service Desk on the fourth floor of 10 Astor Place, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The IT Service Desk can also be reached by sending e-mail to AskITS@nyu.edu, and will soon be launching a new and improved Ask ITS self-help knowledgebase. For those seeking assistance from one of NYU's global sites, see www.nyu.edu/its/askits/helpdesk.
We hope you enjoy the services of the improved IT Service Desk. We welcome your feedback; please contact us using any of the above methods and let us know how we’re doing.
Mark Macmurdo is a member of the Publications and Communications group at NYU Information Technology Services.