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UIT Enhances Service Desk Support Hours

Monday, August 5, 2019

Late last year, the UIT Service Desk began partnering with Blackboard, an educational technology company, in a pilot to provide after-hours, overflow and meeting coverage for the 5-HELP support line. The end result: success.

“The partnership allows us to extend our hours in a very cost-effective and efficient manner, as well as significantly reduce wait time,” said Jon Russell, Senior Director for Enterprise Service Desk and Operations Center in UIT. “This model has been employed successfully at institutions like Yale and Georgetown for years.”

Stanford Service Desk staff continue to take calls during the extended business day, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Blackboard picks up calls during the remaining hours, on weekends and holidays, and as secondary support during periods of high call volume. During these periods, you may see your call forward to Blackboard (an 888 number).

Ensuring service quality

The Service Desk answers 350 to 400 calls a day during regular business hours, and this number can more than double during times of high volume (e.g., student intake week, commencement, year-end close, or during unplanned service outages), sometimes causing 20 to 30 minute wait times for callers. Blackboard can supplement the Service Desk during regular business hours during periods of high volume to help retain better service.

The UIT Service Desk will also use customer comments and random reviews of call recordings to make sure service quality is maintained. All calls and incident records will be managed in the Stanford ServiceNow instance.

What hasn’t changed

Certain types of calls will not be handled by Blackboard and will remain with their current workflows. These include calls related to cellular account inquiries and service ordering and billing. Service Desk chat and all issues submitted through the Services Portal will remain exclusively with the UIT Service Desk and will only be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The UIT Operations Center (ITOC) is still available for emergency issues during non-business hours.

“Our intent is to provide more support hours to the university in the most cost-effective way, as well as position existing Service Desk staff to better support our clients through additional professional development time,” Russell stated. “It’s a win for everyone.”

Learn More

If you have questions about UIT’s help services, submit a help request or call us at 650.725.HELP (4357).

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