SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: SYS-CON MEDIA

SYS-CON MEDIA: Press Release

The Value of Online Task-Based Video Training

Free Video Training Membership Now Available from Industry Leading Video Training Service

By Brien M. Posey

In many organizations, users who have questions about how to use various application features typically call the help desk for assistance. However, it has started becoming apparent that the help desk may not always be the best source of support in these types of situations.

The Limitations of a Help Desk

There are several reasons why the help desk may not be able to help the user to the degree that might have once been possible. The first reason revolves around the fact that the help desk staff is often overworked. When a user calls the help desk for assistance, the chances that they will receive immediate assistance are slim.

More often, someone will gather information from the user, and then queue the user's request. The user will have to wait for assistance until a support technician becomes available. In the meantime, the user's productivity is being impacted because they must wait just to get what may be a simple question answered.

This problem has been compounded by the recession and by the fact that many organizations have had a considerable decrease in the number of help desk staff members that they employ. Even if an organization's primary help desk support hasn't been affected by the recession, the odds are good that after-hours support has become a casualty of the seemingly ubiquitous corporate budget cuts. As such, an employee who needs help after-hours may not receive the help that they need until the next day.

This can be especially problematic for employees who are traveling and may be working in a different time zone. The time difference may mean that the remote employee has limited support options, even during business hours.

Another reason why a help desk may not be the best resource for a user who has questions about how to use an application's feature is that often times, help desk staff members are simply not trained to provide those sort of answers.

Help Desk staff members are usually experts on general networking and on the inner workings of desktop operating systems. This expertise allows them to quickly solve things like printing problems or blue screen errors, and to assist users who are having trouble logging in. However, if a user calls and asks someone on the help desk staff how to import data from a Microsoft Access database into an Excel pivot chart, then the chances are good that the help desk will not know the answer without looking it up.

The Anywhere/Anytime Self-Service Portal Solution

In my opinion, one of the best ways that an organization can cope with the help desk's limitations is to provide users with a self-service portal that they can use to get answers to their questions without having to wait on the help desk. Of course most users are not technology experts, so the help system needs to be designed in a way that makes it easy for the users to find what they are looking for, and the information needs to be presented in a way that is easy to understand. Such an environment would ideally include videos that are task-based demonstrations that walk the user through the answer to their question in a simple, step-by-step manner.

The Results: Increased Productivity, Lower Support Costs

This type of solution would ultimately boost productivity for both the end users and the help desk. The end users no longer have to wait for the help desk to get back with them, because they have been empowered with the ability to get answers for themselves. Likewise, the help desk staff will be able to focus on helping users who have technical problems, rather than spending time teaching users how various software features work.

The end result should be increased productivity and lower support costs.

Brien Posey is a freelance technical writer who has received Microsoft's MVP award six times. Brien has written or contributed to about three dozen books, and has written well over 4,000 technical articles and white papers for a variety of printed publications and Web sites. Prior to going freelance, Brien served as CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare companies. He has also served as a Network Administrator for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox, and for some of the nation's largest insurance companies.

To learn more about how an anytime, anywhere self-service portal solution can improve training in your organization, sign up for free trial access to ClipTraining at http://www.cliptraining.com/news_082610.cfm

END

More Stories By Derek Harris

Derek Harris Sr. is a senior technology writer and blogger with more than 20 years experience in journalism.

While covering a broad spectrum of technology segments, his focus is weighted on enterprise technologies in the data storage, security and infrastructure spaces.

Latest Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
Blockchain has shifted from hype to reality across many industries including Financial Services, Supply Chain, Retail, Healthcare and Government. While traditional tech and crypto organizations are generally male dominated, women have embraced blockchain technology from its inception. This is no more evident than at companies where women occupy many of the blockchain roles and leadership positions. Join this panel to hear three women in blockchain share their experience and their POV on the futu...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Docker and Kubernetes are key elements of modern cloud native deployment automations. After building your microservices, common practice is to create docker images and create YAML files to automate the deployment with Docker and Kubernetes. Writing these YAMLs, Dockerfile descriptors are really painful and error prone.Ballerina is a new cloud-native programing language which understands the architecture around it - the compiler is environment aware of microservices directly deployable into infra...