Helpdesk outsources its service

Allison Smith

Move to Presidium could save $275K

Kent State’s Helpdesk has chosen service desk provider Presidium to help answer phone calls and technology-related questions on campus.

When a student, faculty or staff member has a computer problem and calls the Helpdesk, a Presidium employee may be taking the call. The service will be implemented at the end of this year.

University officials estimate outsourcing this service could save Kent State $275,000 over five years.

“We want to expand the support and heighten the focus on more strategic initiatives, such as the expansion of distance learning, without hiring additional staff,” said Annette Frye, executive director of information services.

She said when Kent State implements new technology or when more people call than the Helpdesk can handle, Presidium can provide extra resources to help answer the phone calls.

Presidium is a company that provides service desk help for educational institutions from elementary schools to universities.

“The individuals who made the choice was a group of both faculty and staff,” Frye said, “so it was a group from across the university who evaluated all of the proposals and ranked and weighed those proposals and then made a selection.”

Christa Skiles, editorial communications manager for Information Services, said Presidium offers different ways people can get help with technology.

“One of the key points, really, is that it allows us to expand the resources that we can provide, which we wouldn’t have been able to do internally,” Skiles said. “For example, once we make the transition and it’s complete, we’ll be able to offer new services like chat sessions with service representatives.”

Skiles said there’s another service called “Click to Call Scheduling,” which allows students to give a certain time they are available for a service representative to call them back.

“We know that everyone has very busy and very different schedules, so by using Presidium, we’re able to offer some new services that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise,” Skiles said.

She said another service is a new support portal that will be on a Web site for students to look at articles where frequently asked questions are answered.

“So for some people, that may be a more convenient option, even than calling,” Skiles said. “Of course, if someone wants to call, we’ll still offer that service as well, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, including holidays.”

Contact technology reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].