28 November 2006

Heldesk 'centralisation'

Delays in the roll out of the CA UniCenter ServiceDesk software has left the Division in a difficult position.

Latest indications are that the CA UniCenter ServiceDesk application (the centralised replacement to the Divisional Helpdesk system) may be running later this year but training of our staff in using the software won’t happen until 2007 sometime.

In the meantime we are redeveloping our own system as an interim step (including Application and Asset Management functions that won’t be available in ServiceDesk or FinanceOne to our requirements) so that we can continue to serve our Divisional clients until ServiceDesk is operating efficiently. The current helpdesk system in use in the Division is being taken out of service in mid-December 2006 because the server it runs on is out of warranty and we no longer have the skills in the Division to maintain the environment in which the software was developed.

It appears that the ServiceDesk implementation will be required to support the four separate helpdesks (ICT Services, BLIS, HDS and COMEDU) separately. While there is a function to allow analysts (the people who work out what should be done with an request) to transfer jobs to other Divisions, the software would work much better in a centralised environment. Making it work across the Divisions may have been a major cause for delay in the implementation.

Another reason for keeping our system available is that no historical data will be transferred from our old helpdesk to Service Desk. We have over 5 years of data relating to helpdesk requests that is a valuable source of information relating to incidents over that time: it would be a pity to lose it.