Tech Department Blog

The latest news and tips from the ACS Technology Department

The Secret Truth About the Helpdesk System

I wanted to take some time to clear up some misconceptions and misunderstandings about the helpdesk system. I think sometimes people are afraid to use it because they think their ticket isn’t immediately seen by someone, or that it gets forgotten about, so I’m going to show you exactly what we see and how it all works, then clear up some questions that I’ve heard from teachers at the end. If you have any additional questions please let me know here in the comments and I’ll respond to them.

What Happens When You Submit a Ticket

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When you submit a ticket it goes directly into the main queue. Tickets are automatically ordered based on the time they are entered into the system, and we always try to get to the tickets in order (the exception to that is that if we’re already at one of the locations, we try and address as many of the tickets from the same location as possible to maximize how many we can get to in a given day). Someone from the tech department (typically Dennis, unless he happens to be out for whatever reason) is constantly monitoring the queue, and assigns the ticket to the appropriate technician based on the content of the ticket. While each technician works on a variety of different issues, typically the split goes like this: Nancy handles iPad tickets, Eric handles any tickets related to the network, Jason handles tickets for printers and SMART Boards, and I (Nathan) handle the MacBook issues. Tickets for Windows PCs are usually split between several of us. Tommie helps us with issues out in the field as she is assisting teachers.

Whenever we are assigned a ticket we are immediately notified via email.

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Tickets can have three states in our current system: ‘Open,’ ‘Closed,’ and ‘On Hold.’ Open tickets are the ones that we still need to work on. Closed are tickets that have been resolved and are considered done. ‘On Hold’ tickets are used for when we’ve done as much as we can at the present moment, and are waiting for something else (typically when I put a ticket on hold it is because I’m waiting on an AppleCare shipment or a similar repair, though there are a number of reasons why a ticket might be placed on hold).

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As soon as we log into the helpdesk system, we see an immediate count of how many Open and On Hold tickets we have. We also see any new messages that have come in from users who have responded to the ticket (typically by email).

Whenever we need to get in touch with you we reply to the ticket and it generates an email to the user. It’s important for you not to ignore emails from the helpdesk, as they’re messages directly from a technician needing more information or providing an important update. After you submit a ticket, the expectation is that you will periodically check your email for responses sent by a technician from our helpdesk system.

Common Questions and Misconceptions

Do I need to put in a ticket for [x]?

Yes, please. If it turns out not to be necessary we will close it out, but a ticket is nearly always the best way to get help for technology-related issues.

Should I Have Each Student in My Class Put in a Ticket If They’re All Experiencing the Same Issue?

No, one ticket is plenty, please just note how many students are affected. The more tickets that are in the system, the longer it takes for us to triage everything and make sure they’re all fixed.

Can I Just Email Instead?

No, please submit a ticket for every tech request - even the simple or quick stuff. Having it in a ticket helps us keep track of our workload and get to things in the order they were submitted (or close to it). It also is a record of what issues we’ve worked on and can help us locate solutions we might have already discovered when dealing with recurring problems.

I am experiencing multiple issues or have multiple requests. Can I put them in all in one ticket?

Please submit a ticket for each issue or request you have. Different technicians work on different issues, and putting multiple issues in the same ticket makes it difficult to split the workload in such a way that both issues can be addressed at the same time.

I want to SEND an email to let you know I submitted a ticket. Is that okay?

Please try to refrain from doing this, we get an email automatically when we receive a ticket, and the more messages we receive, the slower our overall response times are because there’s simply a larger volume of messages to respond to.

Can I reply to an old ticket for a new problem I’m experiencing?

No, please be sure to submit a new ticket for each new problem. Posting new requests to old tickets causes confusion and muddies the waters when we go back and use our old tickets as a record of things we have done to resolve issues.

How to I provide new or updated information after I’ve already submitted a ticket?

If you submit a ticket and realize you need to add information to it, please reply to the helpdesk notification email with the additional information and it will be posted into the related ticket. Posting a new ticket results in information getting separated from the issue.

I’ve haven’t heard anything for a while. Should I post another ticket?

No, please avoid posting duplicate tickets. Chances are we haven’t forgotten about your issue, but if you would like to remind us of something, please reply back to the original ticket notification.

Nathan Dyer1 Comment