National Support Organization
Discussion overview
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Walkthrough of the organization
Strengths and weaknesses
Services we offer
Current se...
Walkthrough of the Organization
“Who we are”
Walkthrough of the Organization
“Who we are”
• Experience levels (on average):
Sr. Mgmt

DTM

Sys Admin

Techs

13 years

...
Walkthrough of the Organization
“Recent IPM goals”
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Metrics
Cross training
Brown-bag lunches
Certifications
Walkthrough of the Organization
“Our support environment”
• 85 offices across the country
• 3,800 clients
• Standardized h...
Walkthrough of the Organization
“Our support environment”
• Software license pools
• New offices, relocations, and expansi...
Strengths
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Impacts PBS&J’s
bottom line

Experience / skillsets
Customer service
Ability to get/keep our clie...
Areas for improvement
• CADD
• Remote office support
• Standardization
Services we offer
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•
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Remote and on-site installation and support
After-hours maintenance and support
Technology hard...
Services we offer
• Software licensing, inventory, and support
Microstation

Geopak

ArcGIS

AutoCAD

InDesign CS2

Photos...
Services we offer
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Consultant role to technology issues
Data backup/restore/recovery operations
Severe weath...
Service levels
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47 employees in national support
1,800 support requests per week
68.5% weekly closed request ratio...
Nationalize the Organization
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Continue standardizing the enviornment
Expand the Help Desk using VoIP
CADD license ...
Reduce costs w/o impacting service
• Computer, printer, fax assets
• Distribution, allocation, procurement
• Does 45% of p...
Reduce costs w/o impacting service
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•
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POTS line based fax machines
User education and training
Local printers / ...
Overall strategy
• Maintain chargeability of our clients
• High level of satisfaction
• Courteous, knowledgeable support
•...
“Where we’ve been, where we’re going”
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Minimum hardware recommendation
Enterprise-wide deployments
Risk an...
Questions?
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National support organization

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An overview of the national support organization

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  • There are “technical” and “managerial” career ladders
    Benefits:
    Brings us a diverse group of talent
    Results in employee satisfaction. Employees get to wear multiple “hats” instead of being pigeon-holed into a specific task
    Reduces need for specific groups (software group, hardware group, printer group)
  • A majority of national support (73%) upgraded their certifications as part of their 2007 goals and objectives
    Microsoft is our primary certification (since we’re a Microsoft shop)
    Employees who have demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft certification have gone to other technical areas
  • Since the TO re-org in 2006, the regional layer of management was removed to promote consistency and standardization across the country. Employee goals and objectives were reduced in number to result in more focus.
    Work metrics in the areas of
    Remedy- Timing, integration into daily work habits, detailed work logs, etc.
    Work quality –
    Follow procedures on TOPP
    Demonstrate proficiency with TO utilities and tools
    E-purchasing
    SecureFusion
    Altiris
    Encourage cross training to provide support depth among techs. This maintains a level of service when techs are unavailable for whatever reason (illness, PTO)
    Encourage brown-bag lunches to clients to increase knowledge of common support issues (to reduce them in the future)
    Knowledge transfer with fellow TO folks
    Tutorials with clients
    Certifications as shown on previous slide
  • Any downtime directly relates to our clients’ ability to be billable, chargeable
    Support involves more than discussions on the phone.
    The engineer environment varies by location
    The engineer focuses on the needs of the client.
    National support “lives” with them. They know and cater to the engineer’s specific needs
  • I believe that our strengths follow the company’s tagline of “building a great place to work.” (as seen in the firm’s publications)
    PBS&J’s success depends on how employees feel about the Company and their jobs.
    PBS&J is a service organization and its service is dependent on the people who support the service (that’s us!)
    Experience, customer service, skillsets keeps our clients billable which impacts the bottom line.
    We collaborate with other groups (both in TO and outside of TO) to reach a common goal or objective
    We know where to get the information on subjects we don’t have complete familiarity with.
    Knowledge of client-driven applications
    3,000 software titles brings support “uniqueness” to each district
    Act as liasion between client/engineer and software expert b/c we speak the same language
    Adjust to needs of clients / external clients to help them with their technology needs.
    All our clients are not the same. PBS&J is a multi-disciplined organization
    Proactive monitoring of equipment and environment (Est. replacement cost $2.5 M) This cost doesn’t include data/related work-hours that is stored onto these devices
    OpenManage
    Weathergoose environmental room monitors
    Server room checklists
  • CADD
    CADD currently makes up about 25% of support requests
    CADD knowledge is a value-add for national support
    Limited resources make it hard to find and expert in CADD as well as in IT.
    Differentiate support requests from training requests (training should be part of an employee’s work skills)
    Remote office support
    Limited resources available to support remote offices the same way as larger offices
    Standardization
    A regular area of change since it involves a lot of planning and energy.
    They benefit the company by simplifying the support environment and creating efficiencies.
    A ongoing “work-in-progress”
  • Support all clients, regardless of their location
    There are about 17 office relocations per year
    Technology hardware support includes computers, notebooks, servers, printers, and plotters
  • Software license pools
    At least 45 software license pools across the country
  • Less than 30% of requests do not close weekly:
    Awaiting parts, deliveries, approvals – We set early thresholds on purchases in order to maintain a short turnaround time from order to invoice to payment.
    Awaiting client availability
    Project-based requests that span longer than a week
    How do we receive feedback?
    Remedy follow-up requests are sent to national support leadership on every 15th closed support request
    Gets local TO involved with the feedback progress – Shows our interest in this area.
    A Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) project, a Corporate-wide initiative a few years ago.
    Upon closure of each request, the client has the option to leave feedback. Feedback is reported on a monthly basis
    How do requests get to us?
    Released the online help desk last year– 30% of our client base has migrated to this method
    People like variety, and we meet that need by providing multiple ways to reach us for help
    Auto generated requests promote complete-ness to common transactions such as employee hires/termination
  • Standardization a few years ago was regionalized and not everyone did things the same way. We’ve made progress, but have more to do. Examples of items new, in-progress, or complete:
    Printer/server naming conventions
    Network documentation
    Office configurations
    Centralized backups
    File structure (some permission-based, others not)
    Drive mappings (home drive, common drive, project drive)
    Reaction by CADD managers / CADD files and their reference files
    Local computer administrative privileges
    CADD
    License pooling
    Currently configured by division since they are paying for it
    If TO buys CADD software, then there are greater economies of scale
    PBS&J hasn’t purchased a new AutoCAD licenses. Over the last few years, TO has renewed maintenance on licenses (and pooled them) no longer wanted by the technical divisions. A new AutoCAD license costs $3,000+ each.
    Desktop control
    Use GPO’s to minimize customizations
    Risks the impact against company culture because they like personalizing their computers.
    Losing ability to set their own screen saver generated static a few years ago.
  • Computer, printer, fax assets (Assume ownership)
    Decisions are currently handled by 100+ divisions nationwide
    Newest hardware is closest to the money
    Computers sit idle in one division while another division buys new computers
    Notebooks have higher security risks when left in the office overnight (not a true mobile use)
    ----
    Purchase should be made based on need, function, role
    Notebooks cost as high as twice the cost of desktops--- and don’t perform as well as desktops.
    Trickle down: A purchase of one computer leads to a rebuilding/redistribution of 5-7 computers
    Webex
    Substitute Live Meeting for in-house desktop sharing instead of using fee-based Webex
    Asset management and disposal
    Formalize this program-- Either through a recycling program or Ebay or Craig’s list
    Create a notification/action procedure for computers that are near to end of life cycle
  • POTS line based fax machines
    A $25/month cost per fax line.
    Fax numbers printed on business cards. There is client awareness of fax numbers.
    User education and training
    Increase role of PBS&J University from a coordinator to a provider/mentor
    Regionalize training by bringing a single instructor on-site to do training en masse (instead of sending folks to external classrooms)
    Local printers / 3rd party printer services
    Reduce model-specific toner, cables, utility power.
    NAS equipment instead of power vaults for big-time disk space needs
    Uses a special server OS that includes Microsoft’s Single Instance Storage (SIS) which prevents duplicate files on the same volume
  • Minimum hardware recommendation to 1 GB RAM / 1 GHz CPU (October-December 2007)
    Built 160 computers in this time period
    Upgraded 845 memory banks in this time period
    Enterprise-wide deployments (Keeps company running optimally, promotes standardization) (also in a 3 month time period)
    Active Directory, Exchange, Backup Exec, Windows XP/Office 2003: Completely rebuilt 3700+ computers with a standardized image
    This will happen again in the future when we upgrade to Windows 7.
    Windows server 2000 to Server 2003
    Miscellaneous patches, Oracle templates
    Risk and Emergency Management
    Very mobile group
    Support does not follow that of a typical brick/mortar office
    Assembled their mobile command centers – Satellite internet, wireless, plotting, etc.
    Their client’s contracts require them to be mobile in days after a contract is awarded.
    Security initiatives (Example of how we assist other TO groups achieve their objectives)
    Local administrative passwords
    Rogue computers
    Wireless network
    Desktop and server hardening
    Consolidation / virtualization
    Virtualizing servers (using VMWare) to reduce hardware and their associated maintenance and support costs)
    Wide Area File System
    Promotes work-sharing by increasing file access speeds between offices
  • National support organization

    1. 1. National Support Organization
    2. 2. Discussion overview • • • • • • • • Walkthrough of the organization Strengths and weaknesses Services we offer Current service levels How to nationalize the organization How to reduce costs w/o affecting service Overall strategy “Where we’ve been, where we’re going”
    3. 3. Walkthrough of the Organization “Who we are”
    4. 4. Walkthrough of the Organization “Who we are” • Experience levels (on average): Sr. Mgmt DTM Sys Admin Techs 13 years 14 years 11 years 13 years • Certifications: MCSE MCSA MCDST MCP 8 11 17 47 A+ Network+ Project+ Security+ ITIL CNA/CNE 8 4 2 5 1 2
    5. 5. Walkthrough of the Organization “Recent IPM goals” • • • • Metrics Cross training Brown-bag lunches Certifications
    6. 6. Walkthrough of the Organization “Our support environment” • 85 offices across the country • 3,800 clients • Standardized hardware and software • Dell notebooks, desktops, and servers • Microsoft Windows XP operating system • Microsoft Office 2003 Professional • 3,000+ software titles
    7. 7. Walkthrough of the Organization “Our support environment” • Software license pools • New offices, relocations, and expansions • Video conferencing • 20 sites standardized on Polycom hardware with dedicated circuits • Blackberries and broadband air cards
    8. 8. Strengths • • • • • • • Impacts PBS&J’s bottom line Experience / skillsets Customer service Ability to get/keep our clients chargeable Collaboration and teamwork Collective talents Knowledge of client-driven applications Proactive monitoring of equipment and environment
    9. 9. Areas for improvement • CADD • Remote office support • Standardization
    10. 10. Services we offer • • • • Remote and on-site installation and support After-hours maintenance and support Technology hardware support Remote access support • Home offices, hotel offices, client-side offices • Office planning • Relocations, expansions, closings
    11. 11. Services we offer • Software licensing, inventory, and support Microstation Geopak ArcGIS AutoCAD InDesign CS2 Photoshop HEC-RAS FDOT client Acrobat BDE Civil 3D SelectCAD Illustrator Flowmaster Office 2003 Windows AEView Civil InRoads Project Primavera Crystal Reports HCS StormCAD STAAD Pro GuideSIGN FloodMap VISSIM XPSWIMM SureTrak EPASWIMM WinBDS SewerCAD ICPR SAP SignCAD WordPerfect H2ONET XTOOLS MDX MWH
    12. 12. Services we offer • • • • • • • Consultant role to technology issues Data backup/restore/recovery operations Severe weather preparations Disaster recovery Company mergers and acquisitions Telephony moves, adds, changes Asset inventory
    13. 13. Service levels • • • • 47 employees in national support 1,800 support requests per week 68.5% weekly closed request ratio How requests get to national support • • • • 30% via online help desk 10% via toll free phone number 38% via in-person communication 22% via application auto-generation
    14. 14. Nationalize the Organization • • • • Continue standardizing the enviornment Expand the Help Desk using VoIP CADD license pooling Control the desktop via GPO
    15. 15. Reduce costs w/o impacting service • Computer, printer, fax assets • Distribution, allocation, procurement • Does 45% of population need a notebook? • Reduce trickle down • Webex • Asset management and disposal
    16. 16. Reduce costs w/o impacting service • • • • • • POTS line based fax machines User education and training Local printers / 3rd party printer services Virtualization Centralized data backup NAS instead of file servers
    17. 17. Overall strategy • Maintain chargeability of our clients • High level of satisfaction • Courteous, knowledgeable support • Reliable systems • Provide a productive computing platform • Keep PBS&J’s edge on competition • Continue our staff’s professional growth • Reward and retain valuable employees
    18. 18. “Where we’ve been, where we’re going” • • • • • • • • Minimum hardware recommendation Enterprise-wide deployments Risk and Emergency Management (REM) Security Initiatives Consolidation / virtualization Community Involvement – KidsCLASS Centralized backup Wide Area File System
    19. 19. Questions?

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