The unique challenges of deploying educational help desk software.

The unique challenges of deploying educational help desk software.
July 11, 2014 Daren Nelson

From public school districts to the nation’s oldest universities, unique challenges are presented in deploying educational help desk software. Education can benefit greatly from automation when the right tools are deployed. In this article we will discuss a handful of these challenges and how iSupport has successfully helped thousands of schools focus on educating the work force of tomorrow.

No discussion can begin without acknowledging that funding in the education space can differ widely from year to year. As one of the most successfully bootstrapped companies in history, we understand making the most of every dollar. We understand that unlike a commercial business, you have little control over the economic factors affecting enrollment and the unique peak demand situations that schools face. Because of this we never charge for your end users – only your representative licenses.

Our end user support technology, mySupport, enables you to support your students and faculty through unlimited self-service portals.
  • These portals include live chat, social media integration such as Twitter, FAQs, and web forums with polling and voting features. Unlike other software vendors, we develop all of our own code so as your enrollment grows there are never additional charges for more students or faculty. Likewise, if your enrollment shrinks you are not stuck paying for licenses that you don’t utilize.
  • mySupport enables you to set up an unlimited number of self-service portals. Many educators choose to deploy portals for faculty and portals for students. Using mySupport to its fullest you could further divide your portals by grade, field of study…you could even set up support portals for parents.
  • You can save even more money when deploying these portals in the cloud. Being able to take down unused mySupport portals during the summer can save significantly on your hardware costs.
Limited support resources and/or student labor place unique training and staffing demands on educators.

With budgets focused on student/teacher ratios, many schools have limited resources when it comes to deploying educational help desk software. In many cases universities use student labor which is very transient, and there is a unique need to re-train much of the work force every year. Because of this we include all of our training resources for universities as part of our fixed maintenance contracts. You can train or re-train your staff as often as you like, taking advantage of our weekly instructor-led web-based training on all aspects of iSupport and mySupport.

Schools have to maintain the latest technology in order to train the work force of tomorrow.

The adoption of Twitter and Facebook as support channels in mySupport was actually driven by a suggestion that came to us from our customer at Indiana Wesleyan University. This is perhaps the best example of how students are shaping the future of educational help desk software. We noticed that students were constantly on social media and working together we devised a way to provide low cost, high quality support through tools students wanted to use.

We blend leading technologies like HTML5 with proven infrastructure products such as Microsoft SQL. A great example is our shift to an HTML5 interface. Instead of having to manage multiple apps for each type of mobile device, iSupport ships with support for almost any device your students or faculty might wish to use.

The unique challenge of asset tracking.

We have already covered a lot of ground just focusing on the unique needs of supporting educational help desk software for faculty and an ever-changing student body. Properly tracking and supporting your assets is also a big part of this puzzle. In the near future we will publish part two in this series taking a close look at how iSupport can help you manage your purchasing and assets.

Recently our customer Steve Young, the CTO for Judson Independent School District, wrote about his experience looking for new educational help desk software.  Read about his search and eventual iSupport solution on his CTO blog – it is far better than I could ever describe.

1. Help us help our customers please!

2. My requirements list for a solid IT help desk. 

3. The best purchase we have made in recent years – iSupport. Taking help desks to another level

Another longtime higher ed customer is Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). You can read a complete case study about the benefits they received by following this link.

In addition to these customers we have active installations at:

Oklahoma State University  –  Cypress+Fairbanks ISD
San Jose State University  –  Regis University
Keiser University  –  Wayne State University
University of Mississippi  –  The Earth Institute at Columbia University
University of Toledo  –  Ohio State University
Clackamas Community College  –  Multnomah Bible College
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology  –  La Salle University
Walters State Community College
…and many, many more.

For over 23 years we have understood these and many other unique needs of our nation’s educators. For more information on our help desk or service desk offerings, check out our educational product overviewcompare our editions or watch the YouTube video below. When you are ready to take the next step start an instant evaluation.