Support Procedure

Initial Contact

First level Help Desk staff, also known as the front-line or telephone support, fields a problem reported to the Computer Center Help Desk via telephone (282-4585), e-mail ( or web based incident form (Request Assistance Form).

The initial contact follows this procedure

  1. The Help Desk consultant obtains the basic user information from the client, including name, departmental affiliation, telephone number, and e-mail address.
  2. An initial description of the problem is obtained from the client. It is important that the client be prepared to answer basic questions about their computer (i.e., is it a Macintosh, Windows 95, etc.) and about the specific events that preceded the error. Without an accurate description of the problem, the Help Desk can do little to help.
  3. The Help Desk consultant creates an incident report, and enters the report in the Help Desk software application, known as Apriori.
  4. The Help Desk consultant attempts to resolve the incident by finding a document in the Help Desk database that addresses the situation, and applying the solution to the user?s problem. If the consultant is able to find a solution that is not described in the Apriori database, a new document will be created that describes the solution.

If the first level consultant is successful in finding a document that solves the problem, and the matter is considered resolved, the incident is marked as closed by document. If the first attempt to solve the problem is not successful, the Help Desk consultant places the incident report in a queue for second level support, also known as Technical Support with the following "criticality" codes. Each "criticality" has an associated goal with regards to response time

Criticality Response
Stop Work 30 minutes
Critical 4 hours
Urgent 8 hours
Important 24 hours
Minor 48 hours