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Introduction

SUNY Delhi, a residential campus of approximately 3000 students and 500 faculty and staff is exploring supplemental user support models for extended service after traditional business hours (4:00pm - 8:00 am).

In order to assess our options, Computer Information Systems, SUNY Delhi's IT department has, released a Request for Information (RFI) as well as a Request for Public Comment (RPC) to collect specific information about technologies and services that could satisfy our need for extended help desk services after hours.

The goal of this document and the discussions within are to help SUNY Delhi better understand our current user support services, our end-users' expectations, the gaps that may arise and potential solutions. SUNY Delhi welcomes responses to help the campus assess our options.

There is no defined time line for responses or even local implmentation as this is a discovery phase, however SUNY Delhi would appreciate timely contributions.

Background

As CIS undertook documentation of the department's and Service Center's current service levels, gaps were identified for reporting and notification. This discussion is an attempt to define those gaps and identify potential solutions.

Issues

Ambiguity in reporting methods after business hours (how CIS and the campus becomes aware of an issue)

Ambiguity in notification methods after business hours (how CIS informs the campus and  end users of service interruptions).

User Stories

Lack of Reporting: On Sunday afternoon several students approached the Library staff to say that they could not get to Vancko Hall (Moodle). The CIS Service Center was closed and the Library staff did not have any contact information for CIS staff or the third party provider (Moodlerooms). The Library staff also had no way of assessing the issue with Vancko Hall orchecking any technical issues. The Library called the Campus Librarian who happen to have one of CIS' staff member's phone number. He then called the CIS staff member who managed online learning (both of whom just happen to be home). The Coordinator of Online Education, then called Moodlerooms to report the issue.

Use Cases

Supplemental (After Business Hours) Support for Online Educational Resources: Support from a third party provider for all services and systems related to online educational programs. This would include

  • Email
  • Moodle (Vancko Hall)
  • Self-Service Banner

The provider would handle user support (training related issues, i.e. how to's, log-ins, features and functionality), service requests (submitting tickets on behalf of end-users for specific tasks for CIS staff), and technical support (notifying Moodlerooms of any service interruptions). Note Email would be handled as a service request ticket for next business day.

Reviewing Wonderdesk data, it is estimated that CIS receives 200 Moodle/Vanckohall specific contacts per year at all times. It is unknown how many Moodle/Vanckohall specific contacts are received after normal business hours.

Supplemental (After Business Hours) Support for Educational Resources: Support from a third party provider for all educational/residential services and systems. This would include:

  • Cable Television
  • CADI Services (CBORD)
    • Point of sale (cash registers)
  • Door locks
  • Email
  • Housing Management System
  • Moodle (Vancko Hall)
  • Networking
  • ResNet
  • Self-Service Banner
  • Telephone
  • Website

The provider would handle user support (training related issues, i.e. how to's, log-ins, features and functionality), service requests (submitting tickets on behalf of end-users for specific tasks for CIS staff), and technical support (notifying other campus service providers and/or staff of any service interruptions).

Reviewing Wonderdesk data, it is estimated that CIS receives 350 educational/residential resource support specific contacts per month at all times. It is unknown how many educational/residential resourcespecific contacts are received after normal business hours.

Scenario Three

Supplemental (After Business Hours) Support for All Services & Systems: Support from a third party provider for all educational/residential services and systems. This would include:

  • Banner
  • Cable Television
  • CADI Services (CBORD)
    • Point of sale (cash registers)
  • Classroom technology
    • Projectors, document cameras, DVD/VCR, etc.
  • Door locks
  • Email
  • Labs
    • Desktop computers, printers, scanners, etc.
  • Housing Management System
  • Moodle (Vancko Hall)
  • Networking
  • ResNet
  • Security Cameras
  • Self-Service Banner
  • Telephone
  • Website

The provider would handle user support (training related issues, i.e. how to's, log-ins, features and functionality), service requests (submitting tickets on behalf of end-users for specific tasks for CIS staff), and technical support (notifying other campus service providers and/or staff of any service interruptions).

Reviewing Wonderdesk data, it is estimated that CIS receives 450 Moodle/Vanckohall specific contacts per month at all times. It is unknown how many contacts are received after normal business hours.

24/7 Support for All Resources: Same as the above Supplemental (After Business Hours) Support for All Services & Systems, however extended to 24 hours per day.

Current Resources

Currently CIS manages a CIS Help Desk providing user support, technical support and request submittal. 

CIS currently uses WonderDesk(company site) for ticket submission and job tracking. 

Discussion

The Service Center has recently hired two students interns to compliment the current Help Desk staff.

Reviewing external proposals and internal hiring options provides the following possibilities: 

  • An additional 40 hours/week of Help Desk coverage (e.g. 3-11, Sunday - Thursday): 1 FTE (40 hrs/)@ $30K
  • An additional 40 hours/week of Help Desk coverage (e.g. 3-12, Monday - Friday & 8-11, Saturday/Sunday): 2 FTE (80 hrs/wk) @ $60K
  • An additional 68 hours/week of Help Desk coverage (e.g. 5-9, Monday - Friday, 24hours, Saturday/Sunday): co-sourced @ $50K
  • An additional 128 hours/week of Help Desk coverage (i.e. 24/7): out-sourced @ $77K

Related Discussions

Service Levels
Systems Monitoring
Proposal for Extended Systems Monitoring

Activity Log

December 8, 2008: Spoke with Darren Sapper of Presidium to define various service levels for supplemental support.
December 9, 2008: Sent email to OGS contracted Help Desk Service Providers inviting them to participate in this RFI/RPC.
December 28, 2009: Presidium responds to RFI with an outline of services to meet the needs presented in the Use Cases.

HOW TO RESPOND

Those interested in responding should make their comments directly within the this web page by clicking "Add Comment" located at the bottom of the page and submitting the following (if you have any problems please feel free to contact Patrick Masson):

  1. Organization Name:
  2. Contact Information:
  3. What services/systems do you or your organization currently provide related to those outlined in the body of the RFI?
  4. Which of the features/functionality would you or your organization be capable of delivering?
  5. Please include any specifications that would need to be met by SUNY Delhi in order to implement your services or systems.
  6. Do you have any comments or suggestions for SUNY Delhi related to Help Desk Services that would help us better define the scope, budget, etc.?
  7. What critical information would you need to see in an RFP, if one is released, in order to decide whether or not to respond with a proposal?
  8. Do you have any questions for SUNY Delhi regarding the our current Help Desk Services and/or RFI?
  9. Would you interested in submitting a proposal for this project? If you answered NO, why not?
  10. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you and your organization?

Contact Information:
Patrick Masson
Chief Information Officer, SUNY Delhi
massonpj@delhi.edu
607-746-4670

IMPORTANT INFORMATION---PLEASE READ BEFORE RESPONDING TO THIS RFI

Cost of RFI Response Preparation
SUNY Delhi will not reimburse any vendor or respondent for any costs associated with preparing a response to this RFI.

Proprietary or Confidential Information
All information contained in the Response will be considered public.

Amendments/Addenda
SUNY Delhi reserves the right to change the RFI timeline or other portions of this RFI at any time.

Right to Cancel
SUNY Delhi reserves the right to cancel or reissue this Request for Information at any time without obligation or liability.

No Obligation to Buy or Issue Solicitation
SUNY Delhi will not contract with any vendor as a result of this RFI. While SUNY Delhi may use responses to this RFI to draft a competitive solicitation for the subject of these services, issuing this RFI does not compel SUNY Delhi to do so.

Exclusivity
The information provided by any Respondent may be used by SUNY Delhi to define our ultimate service contract. There should be no expectation by the Respondent that any service introduced to SUNY Delhi will be reserved exclusively for fulfillment by that same submitting entity.

Information provided in response to this RFI will not be considered when evaluating bidders responding to any future solicitation.

Thank you for your consideration,
Patrick Masson

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5 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Patrick, it was great to see you last week in Orlando. I'd like to continue our discussion and explore ways that Presidium can assist in improving overall student/faculty satisfaction at Delhi.  Our support capabilities are rather diverse and there are a number of ways we can partner in a co-managed capacity to achieve 24/7 Level-1 IT support coverage, address more issues on first contact, free up your existing staff, and help you plan for change associated with new applications and upgrades (based on CMDB constructs from ITIL).

    Like you, I prefer to start small and scale scope iteratively.  Perhaps we can initiate a small consulting engagement, in which we would gather information necessary (onsite) to create a multi-phased Education Services Management (ESM) roadmap for SUNY Delhi?  The deliverables may include recommendations on best practices workflow, escalation, reporting, knowledge base deployment (internal and external), training, telephony, etc.  If you're on board with the concept, I will draft a short proposal.

    Thanks,

    Darren

    Darren Sapper
    Director of Eastern Region
    Presidium Inc.
    dsapper@presidiuminc.com
    Office:  888-383-4709 ext. 4224  |  Cell:  703-624-3161

  2. Anonymous

    1. Organization Name: Spherion
    2. Contact Information: Howard Cohen, Senior Account Executive, Professional Services Tel 212 480-2600, ext. 2013
      Cell 914 645-5001 Fax 212 480-2625 or howardcohen@spherion.com
    3. What services/systems do you or your organization currently provide related to those outlined in the body of the RFI? Spherion provides both Help Desk and Call Center Services 24X7X365 for over 60 clients across North America.
    4. Which of the features/functionality would you or your organization be capable of delivering? All of the features / functionality described we can deliver in a seamless, cost-effective delivery model. 
    5. Please include any specifications that would need to be met by SUNY Delhi in order to implement your services or systems. The only specifications is for us to better understand your environment, goals, objectives and more detail regarding the current operations. From there we would be able to design a solution to address your specific objectives and provide a high level of quality support for your end user community.
    6. Do you have any comments or suggestions for SUNY Delhi related to Help Desk Services that would help us better define the scope, budget, etc.? Not at this time. 
    7. What critical information would you need to see in an RFP, if one is released, in order to decide whether or not to respond with a proposal? Just more specifics regarding the current operations and what objectives you would like to accomplish with future services.
    8. Do you have any questions for SUNY Delhi regarding the our current Help Desk Services and/or RFI? Not at the present time.
    9. Would you interested in submitting a proposal for this project? If you answered NO, why not? Yes, we would be interested in working with you further.
    10. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you and your organization? All of our solutions are built on the foundation of Quality, Flexibility and Continuous Improvement. With our focus on these three areas, our solutions deliver operational excellence and increase the value provided to our clients throughout each engagement.
    1. Thank you Howard.

      We will be in contact as we move this project alone. Please continue to check back here as we further come to identify our needs.

      Patrick

  3. Hello, Mr. Masson

    My name is Joe Cinquemani. I am a Principal in the firm, Integrated Strategies & Support (ISS). We are a 15 year old NYC based WBE. Our company has extensive experiences in developing and delivering complex service and support strategies to mostly large clients in both the commercial and public sector.

    Thank you for including Integrated Strategies & Support (ISS) in this RFI solicitation. We are happy to assist and we are hopeful to be a participant in any subsequent RFP.

    Specific to Help Desk support we have assisted clients in strategy development, RFI/RFP construction, vendor vetting and selection, SLA/OLA, contract negotiations, vendor management and staff augmentation. Additionally, we have provided complete outsourced services, Help desk management and help desk personnel.

    Our approach is to work with our clients to establish a clear set of requirements and then develop alternative strategies for meeting these requirements. Many of our clients have well-established help desk infrastructures and were seeking way to enhance or expand user services. Other clients wanted to implement a full outsourcing solution whereby all Help Desk responsibilities would be assumed by a vendor. Finally many of our customers simply needed to increment staff or bring on specific expertise on a temporary of permanent basis.

    I would like to discuss a project that could be of interest to you. During this past year we completed a major consulting engagement with the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT).   This organization is ostensibly the city's IT Department.

    Currently, NYC is in the midst of a multi - year program to upgrade their emergency communications infrastructure. Known as ECTP, the program is designed to consolidate all of NYC's E911 call takers and dispatchers' into a common infrastructure using a common technology platform and a common set of procedures.  This mega-program involves several NYC agencies including NYPD, FDNY EMS and DOITT. The program was divided into over thirty component projects. ISS was responsible for a component project known as Consolidated Maintenance (CM).

    The goal of our CM project was to recommend a strategy that would allow NYC to provide a high quality of support to the technical and non-technical infrastructure supporting E911. Using ITL standards as a baseline, the project focused on developing a set of requirements, determining existing capabilities, identifying gaps and resolving these service gaps.

    The heart of the recommendations included a hybrid approach to a Help Desk strategy that utilized the most important capabilities on three existing help desks. Deliverables included a set of alternative implementation strategies along with a high-level transition plan that identified app 500 tasks. We also completed a 20 page SLA/OLA that was to be used as the basis for an RFP to allow the city to solicit proposals for the Help Desk. Finally, executive level-presentations were developed for the Commissioner of DOITT and senior IT management within NYPD and FDNY.

    While NYC Emergency Communications and SUNY Delhi certainly have different missions, there are significant similarities regarding the support requirements. In terms of supported users the organizations are about the same size. Both NYC and Suny Delhi have existing infrastructures and need to provide enhanced support. Both organizations need to accommodate both technical and non-technical equipment and user issues and both organizations need customized communications, escalation and reporting strategies.

    I would be happy to share the output of the Consolidated Maintenance Project with you and the appropriate members of your team. From your perspective you may find some of our work applicable to your current challenge. From my perspective, I would hope to better position my firm with you with the objective of building a working relationship.  

    If such a meeting is of interest to you perhaps we can discuss further. Please let me know your thoughts.

     

     

    Regards

     

    Joseph Cinquemani, Principal

    Integrated Strategies & Support

    259 West 30th Street, 8th floor

    New York,NY10001

    212.462.4265 voice

    212.675.4440 facsimile

  4. Anonymous

    1) Company Name
    PerceptIS, LLC
    PerceptIS is a leading provider of advanced 24x7 or after-hours help desk and customer support services to the nation's educational institutions. Through a powerful combination of data analytics, collaborative partnership and highly qualified people, we apply a holistic, tailored approach to streamline the business of education.

    2) Contact Information
    Ed Tola
    VP of Sales
    1250 Old River Rd, 3rd Floor
    Cleveland, OH 4411
    ed.tola@perceptis.com
    (p) 216.458.4122

    3) Service and Systems Supported
    Currently Support Services:
    Call Center Services(Higher Education only)
    • 24 x 7 Help Desk Services
    • After Hours Help Desk Services
    • Dispatched Desktop Services
    • Concierge Service
    • General Purpose Switchboard Services
    • Facilities Support Services
    • Human Resources Support Services
    • Financial Aid Support Services
    • Recruitment and Enrollment Support Services

    Consulting Services
    • IT Strategic Planning
    • IT Governance
    • IT Service Management
    • IT Services
    • IT Cost Rate Analysis
    • IT Project Management
    • IT Communications and Marketing

    Currently Supported Applications:
    • Moodle and other CMS
    • Banner and other SIS
    • Most operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.)
    • Most email programs (Outlook, Eudora, web, etc.)
    • Most web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, AOL, etc.)
    • Microsoft Office
    • Questionmark
    • Respondus
    • Most common virus, spyware and computer protection and maintenance applications
    • Most other common applications (Adobe, etc)
    • Custom university software (Portals, wikis, blogs, etc.)

    4) Features/Functionality Support
    With our service model, we are capable of supporting all services and systems related to online educational programs as well as the educational/residential services and systems listed in the RFI.

    5) SUNY Delhi Requirements
    Assessment
    Using the historical data provided by SUNY Delhi, and in conjunction with our own experiences with similar clients, we will define expected call volumes and staffing, peak periods of call volume, expected content requirements, and local cultural demands for the center during this step. The implementation team will conduct interviews with key personnel at SUNY Delhi to refine the team's understanding of the content and culture. This process has been optimized over time to allow team members to gather the necessary information in a manner that is respectful to the time demands of the client team.
    Knowledge Base Creation
    During on-boarding, the PerceptIS implementation team will document as many procedures as possible including escalation paths, common issues and university specific knowledge. This information is crafted into support scripts, FAQs and knowledge base articles for use by the help desk analysts. Once support is officially live, we will continuously add and update these procedures as changes in your environment happen and/or better information is obtained.
    Other Tasks
    In addition to the Assessment and Knowledge Base Creation, the PerceptIS implementation specialists will create escalation matrices, train staff, refine workflows and perform a pilot (test) run. Escalation procedures and contacts, as well as workflows, will be developed in conjunction with SUNY Delhi and will be regularly reviewed for accuracy and relevance. The implementation specialists will work with help desk team leads to train new and existing help desk analysts on the specifics of a client's technical environment, culture and organizational structure. The pilot run allows both PerceptIS and SUNY Delhi to iron out technical issues, adjust processes and prepare for frequently asked questions prior to a university wide rollout.

    6) Comments or Suggestions
    Not at this time.

    7) Information Needed in RFP
    Requirements of the program.

    8) Additional Questions
    What is your timeframe for implementation.

    9) Interested in Submitting Proposal
    Absolutely.

    10) Additional Information about PerceptIS
    One of our key differentiators is that we provide deep and comprehensive support solutions to our clients. We employ structured root cause analysis that continuously improves the processes that drive the business of education.

    PerceptIS operates fully redundant call centers. Our bicoastal configuration provides excellent business continuity and disaster recovery. If one of the call centers goes off-line due to technical issues, natural disaster or some other unforeseen event, calls can be simply be switched to the other call center. Additionally, if the need arises, help desk analysts can work virtually—anywhere there is a PC and internet access.

    By virtue of working with PerceptIS and its proven delivery methodology, SUNY Delhi will receive an outstanding customer support solution that is customized to meet the unique needs of your institution. We look forward to hearing from you.