Dedicated Desktop Support - FAQ

Last Updated: 01/30/2014
What is OIT Dedicated Desktop Support?

OIT DDS provides professional technical support for university-owned computing devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, printers and multifunction devices (combined copier/scanner/printers). DDS will also support personally-owned smartphones.

OIT DDS offers ongoing technical support and maintenance for devices with Windows or Apple operating systems, and most business applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe software, and PGP disk encryption software, as well as support for certain specialized applications that are used in each department.

Support includes recommendation, specification, installation, testing, and troubleshooting of computer systems and peripherals within established campus standards and industry best practices. Professional assistance includes timely troubleshooting, on location, to diagnose and resolve unique, non-recurring issues. Recurring problems will be addressed through an established problem resolution process, which strives to address underlying causes, develop resolutions and identify workarounds when applicable.

Will I always see the same technicians?

The majority of the time you will see your primary technician. When your technician is unavailable, you will see a member of the local team who is responsible for providing support for your department. Occasionally, when your entire local team is occupied, you may see a member of one of the other Dedicated Desktop Support teams.

Who are the Desktop Teams?

There are five Dedicated Desktop Support teams strategically placed by geographic location, to provide quick response time across campus.The teams are located in the Technology and Learning Center, Regent, Engineering, and the ARC building on East Campus. A team consists of one team lead, who is responsible for providing advanced technical direction, leadership, and cohesion to the technicians on their respective team.

How can I get the fastest support?

OIT DDS has a guaranteed 2 and 4 hour response (depending on the severity of the situation) to our clients and strives to respond in 30 minutes.

The quickest way to get support is to use the Dedicated Desktop Support Service Request Portal at https://desktopsupport.colorado.edu, which allows the client to quickly and easily notify their support team of the issue and level of urgency. If the primary technician is unavailable or assisting another client, other technicians from the team can quickly respond. Additionally, Dedicated Desktop Support clients may also contact an analyst at the IT Service Center by dialing 5-HELP from a campus phone, or by sending an email message to help@colorado.edu, but it is important to indicate that you are a Dedicated Desktop Support client and the IT Service Center will immediately notify your Dedicated Desktop Support team to respond.

How can I provide feedback on the service I receive?

The easiest way to provide feedback is via our customer satisfaction survey, which is automatically emailed to the client who requested service after work has been completed. The survey directly ties to our business process improvement initiative, led by Larry Levine, AVC for IT and CIO.

Additional direct feedback can go to either David Cavalieri, Assistance Director of Support or Chris Bell, Associate Director of Support, or one of the two managers who the desktop teams report to. Finally, DDS service review meetings are scheduled at a minimum of two times per year, and are a great in-person opportunity for reviewing the quality of the service.

What are the specific services I can expect from Dedicated Desktop Support?

Technical Consultation, Planning & Recommendations

Organizations receive a thorough technical and business needs review as part of the initial DDS process. This review is routinely enhanced and is recommended as part of the annual renewal process with the head or chair of the department. Additionally, if the head or chair of the department requests a review prior to the annual review, the desktop support lead can assist them.

Activities and Deliverables:

  • Technical Environment Review
  • Recurring Environment Reports
  • System Inventory
  • Employee Access Review
  • Consultation on new technology

Security

While IT security is critical for every group on campus, the required attention and level of detail is to monitor all possible threats is prohibitive for a department head or chair; therefore, DDS takes care of the majority IT security tasks for the department, ensuring the technical environment is secure.

Activities and Deliverables:

  • Antivirus installation and monitoring
  • Vulnerability scans
  • Private/Sensitive data scans
  • Hard Disk Encryption consultation
  • Encryption implementation
  • Reports on encrypted systems
  • Compliance with ITSO Minimum Security Requirements Policy
  • Compliance verification of the ITSO’s security audit

Software Patches & Updates

Frequent and timely patches and updates are the best way to maintain system functionality and to defend against attacks and malware. In rare cases, however, updates can have undesirable side effects. Therefore, all patches and updates are tested on University of Colorado machines in a test environment before being released to our clients’ computers. Given the existence of a wide variety of hardware, operating systems, browsers, applications, and so forth, this disciplined approach of thoroughly testing patches and updates ensures that the client’s productivity isn’t affected and is essentially invisible to the client. 

Activities and Deliverables:

  • Vetting of software patches
  • Automatic distribution of software patches
  • Installation of software patches at restart
  • Opt-In communication about each patch
  • Routine reports on all patches and upgrades

Computer Setup, Installation, & Customization

As an organization needs new computers, DDS works with the organization as well as the clients to identify the appropriate computer to meet their business needs. DDS orders the computer, sets it up, and provides a seamless transition from the old system to the new system. DDS recommends that computers be updated on a four year cycle.

Activities and Deliverables:

  • Full computer setup and customization
  • Seamless transition from the old computer to the new computer
  • Computer inventory and advice
  • Delivery and consultation with end users
  • Working closely with Facilities Management, appropriate disposal of old systems or advice about down-streaming systems.

Daily Business & Troubleshooting

The daily business and strategic goals of the department or group often results in discussions about how new IT strategies can meet the business needs. These could come up as part of the normal business, from personnel changes, or from new projects. DDS is able to provide consultation and support for new IT needs. Sometimes the IT needs may extend beyond the scope of what DDS can provide. In these cases DDS works with the department or group to identify and bring in an appropriate consultation, which could be with other OIT groups or third party vendors.

Activities and Deliverables:

  • Employee Turnover Technical Coordination
  • New employee computer and device setup
  • Departing employee deprovisioning of access
  • Application Support
  • Hardware Support
  • Network Support
  • Printer Support
  • Personal Device (e.g. smart phone) support
  • IT Consultation with non-DDS groups

System Repairs include:

  • Operating System settings and configuration
  • Software settings and configuration
  • Account access settings and configuration
  • Software Reinstallation
  • Operating System Reinstallation
  • Virus removal
  • Data recovery
  • Replace Hard drive
  • Replace / Add RAM

When the problem involves something we cannot fix, we coordinate getting it fixed including:

  • Warranty repair coordination
  • Communication with warranty service provider
  • Repair or replace advice for older devices
  • Shipping and Receiving
  • Setup & Deployment of repaired/new machine

Note: Actual costs for renewal and replacement of hardware are not included in the service costs and must be factored separately depending on a four year cycle.

How are “users” counted?

The cost is based on a combination of the number of clients (people) within a department or group, regardless of how many devices a client has, along with the number of common/shared computers and devices, if applicable. FTE percentage of a person is not considered in this context (e.g., half-time employees), nor is the distinction between employees and students, because the device must be managed to the same standard regardless of how often it is used throughout the work week.

The total number of users in each department will be revisited annually, in April for the following fiscal year.

What is the cost?

The cost of the service for FY13/14 is $73 per user per month. Greater scale and new technologies have created efficiencies which have allowed the cost to fall from $90 in FY12 and $136 in earlier years. The $73 amount is still subsidized by the AVC for IT, but as more and more departments and groups begin using the DDS service, the goal is to no longer need that subsidy and eventually gain enough efficiency to drop the monthly cost below the $73 threshold.

What expenses are funded by the fees?

The cost of the service is comprised roughly of 90% salary costs and 10% operating costs. DDS strives to maintain a lean operating environment while developing a technically savvy and professional team of technicians.