A phenomenal 44,100 enquiries so far this academic year have been responded to by Trinity’s IT Service Desk. Looking after the IT queries of an entire university with some 3,000 staff members and 17,500 students is undoubtedly a busy job.
The IT Service Desk is staffed by a team of 13, one of whom is part-time, with Sinead Sheils heading up the function. Sinead, who has been in her current role of IT Service Desk Manager for the past six years and in IT Services for 15 years, notes that half of the IT Service Desk team are long term employees.
The team works on a weekly roster to cover phone calls, emails, walk-in queries and web submissions. One staff member is located in the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences in St James’s Hospital for one half of the week while another colleague is present in Tallaght Hospital.
The nature of queries received daily by the IT Service Desk is incredibly varied, according to Sinead. There has been a change in the way in which the queries are received – the past few years has seen an increase in contact by email and the new online portal which was introduced in January 2016.
Delivering excellent customer services is central to the IT Service Desk’s ethos. “Our Service Desk performance is important to us. Eighty-five percent of our calls have been answered within our service target for the past six months and the vast majority of these were resolved at the Service Desk on first contact,” explained Sinead. Understanding staff and students’ needs is imperative, there are several ways to provide feedback as outlined in the IT Services Customer Charter including the Service Desk feedback form, email and surveys, which all provide valuable information used to refine services.
The volume of enquiries handled by the IT Service Desk team from academic staff increases markedly in August and September just before the beginning of term and then when lectures start. However, there is a constant volume of requests throughout the year from all other staffing areas of the University.
Each year IT Services recruit a team of 12 Trinity students to work alongside them as Network Access Advisors. This peer support service assists new students to connect their computers and mobile devices to TCDconnect, the Trinity student network and in the first 6 weeks of the academic year over 14,200 students successfully connected over 25,000 devices to the Trinity network. The Network Access Advisors provide help and advice to the many of the new student body via the IT Orientation Information Desk in the foyer of Áras an Phiarsaigh and through their Network Connection clinic service.
“The issue of data security is treated extremely seriously by IT Services,” commented Michael Dolan, IT Service Desk Officer. The IT Service Desk can advise in this regard when it comes to antivirus software and providing a data-encryption solution to users of Trinity-owned laptops. All Trinity staff and students are urged to be aware and vigilant about IT Security, especially with the increase in the prevalence of phishing emails.
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation becoming enforceable from May 2018, data security will become more important for everyone in the University.
The IT Service Desk is located on the ground floor of Áras an Phiarsaigh and is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm on Friday.
The IT Service Desk is just one of the services provided by IT Services within the Corporate Services Division.
IT Services at Trinity has a mission to provide services that are agile and creative, underpinned with robust technology that supports the University’s core mission of excellence in teaching, learning and research. It is responsible for the planning, delivery and support of the University’s main computing facilities for 25,000 users at over 25 sites, including the University's network, which comprises over 2000 wireless access points and 20,000 fixed wired network points, Trinity data centres that house virtual server, data storage and database infrastructure, research IT and teaching & learning IT. The department also runs a Projects Office that ensures it provides significant support to the delivery of change programs to enable the university’s strategic priorities.
Patrick Magee is the new Director of IT Services. With considerable experience in IT management and leadership roles up to CIO level, Patrick joined Trinity having previously worked for a number of global financial services organisations based in Dublin and London. He brings a strong focus on relationship management, change governance, and service delivery. He is continuing to deepen his engagement with stakeholders within Trinity to ensure alignment of funded IT and University priorities.
This article features in the summer 2017 edition of the Provost’s ezine, TRINITY NOW.