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Breaking News: University of South Florida Students Using FaceBook

09/30/2011 by: The SunView Team

If you didn't hear that mental " record scratch," perhaps it's a key point that's missing. These college students are using FaceBook as a Help Desk.
Of course, for those that haven't seen The Social Network, or sat in a school desk in the last half-decade, this might be breaking news. However, while college students already represent a large share of Social Media users, the use tends to trend towards personal use, and not something they expect to see when they enter the workforce. However, this is starting to change and the wave is already heading towards a Service Desk near you.
Earlier this month the University of South Florida (USF), with the announcement of a full-service, staffed Help Desk powered by FaceBook, made headlines on USA Today. Now, this Help Desk doesn't really cater to technical questions, though a few do seem to appear now and then. Even so, what can we learn, or how can our IT organizations better prepare?

The best approach is to work towards understanding your users, and in the case of managers, your staff. If you're working in IT (no matter what role), keeping an ear to the ground when it comes to understanding what technologies and services consumers are using will help you better understand how to provide the highest quality service to your users. It will also help you understand what tools your staff will be familiar with while supporting your customers.

In addition to the familiarization of Social Media tools, there is also an important psychological shift that's happening at the same time. In the case of USF, the previous Help Desks were a face-to-face or phone-to-phone experience. While moving the interaction to Social Media still pares the experience down to a half-duplex interaction - much like email, the expectation with regard to speed is greatly increased. In addition, users now have a searchable knowledge database of previous questions and answers - capitalizing on the full-service work with a self-service solution.

In fact, acclimation to a self-service support or help environment is perhaps the biggest gain an IT organization can have from this shift. With ever-increasing dependence on reducing IT staff, or at least not expanding teams, Service Desk solutions must be equipped to provide self-service, 24/7 access to common issues and IT communications. The ChangeGear Service Desk Edition already has this functionality, and it's ready for you to deploy - something most legacy systems lack. You can see for yourself though. Simply take a look at the short ChangeGear Service Desk Demo.