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February 26, 2010

News

Army Enterprise Service Desk to provide new, streamlined computer call center

Fort McCoy will participate in the initial implementation of the Army’s new Call Center philosophy titled the Army Enterprise Service Desk (AESD).
 
As part of its streamlining process, the Army plans to consolidate information technology (IT) call center services at an Army level. The new call center will function as the central repository for all information technology requests and provide 24/7 help desk support.

Ronald Robinson, Director of Fort McCoy Network Enterprise Center (NEC), said the new AESD part of the Army’s efforts to increase efficiency and achieve economy of scale through consolidation of information technology call center operations while providing customers with quality IT support.

PHOTO: Laurene “Susie” Krueger of the Fort McCoy Network Enterprise Center talks with Kevin French of the SRA International, Inc., group about the new Army Enterprise Service Desk system. Photo by Rob Schuette
Laurene “Susie” Krueger of the Fort McCoy Network Enterprise Center talks with Kevin French of the SRA International, Inc., group about the new Army Enterprise Service Desk system.
Photo by Rob Schuette

“Our customers won’t lose any of the services we currently provide as we transition to the Army’s Enterprise Service Desk,” Robinson said. “A vast improvement will be 24/7 access to AESD technicians (call center) for reporting technical issues and requesting IT service/assistance, unlike the former system where NEC personnel were only available during normal business hours.”

Colleen Bonner, a contract employee with the SRA International, Inc., firm of Willow Oaks, Va., was part of a team conducting an onsite fielding conference at Fort McCoy in early February. SRA International is the firm contracted by the federal government to transition to the new system. The system will use a toll-free number — 1-866-276-9096 — to provide a single entry point for personnel in the Fort McCoy work force (garrison/tenants) to submit their IT requests.

“The system will provide efficient, high-quality and cost-effective Tier 1 IT services,” Bonner said. “If we can talk you through a problem you’re having with your computer we will. If we can’t, we will take the information, format it into a ticket for repair and submit it to Fort McCoy IT personnel to fix.”

Pam Needham, a Fort McCoy NEC Information Technology specialist, said Fort McCoy volunteered to participate in the initial implementation and testing for the system. “We formerly used the Remedy software program to record and track customer requests for IT services. The Army Enterprise Service Desk system is an upgraded version of that technology, Needham said.

To use AESD:

Anyone who is currently using the Fort McCoy Network Enterprise Center Help Desk will use the new Army Enterprise Service Desk (AESD) procedures.

Customers include members of the garrison and tenants with which the NEC currently has service agreements.

Customers will be notified in advance of the AESD implementation date prior to the actual migration. 

Anyone who called the Help Desk number at 608-388-3737 for computer repair services will call the AESD at 1-866-276-9096 for these services.

The AESD technician will ask a series of questions to better serve the customers

 Customers must provide their computer name, serial number, customer name, phone and building numbers. 

Jobs at Fort McCoy will not be negatively affected by the new system, Needham said. “The new system will be a force multiplier and will allow our IT technicians to respond faster, which will mean quicker resolution of customer requests.”
“Before when we received a call, it interrupted other work already in progress,” Needham said. “It interrupted our work flow and delayed completing other customers’ requests.”

The new system also will allow the Fort McCoy IT staff, which has been understaffed, to catch up on work requests and relieve the backlog, she said. Another advantage for Fort McCoy personnel is they can use the toll-free number anywhere, including when they’re on temporary duty orders, to get computer support, Needham said.

Bonner said the AESD system also will serve the Army National Guard Bureau and Army Reserve and will allow the Army to move toward a Global Network Enterprise Construct system.

This will provide a single strategy to ensure global connectivity under one network manager and will allow the Army to more-quickly determine and address computer problems as they occur, Bonner said.

The expansion also provides the opportunity for more systemwide solutions.

This will give the contractor greater leverage to go to commercial computer organizations that provide services to the federal government and to get a better or quicker solution to problems, she added.

“It will improve efficiencies, raise effectiveness, enable fighting capabilities, dramatically improve network defense and, eventually, make the Army interoperable with other Department of Defense organizations,” she said. “There’s really no reason to have technicians filing forms when they can be doing computer work.”

Bonner said the system will provide accurate key performance indicator information to support informed decision-making and implementing best practices based on an Information Technology Infrastructure Library. The new procedures also will provide opportunities to expand the system’s level of support as the AESD matures.

More information about the system has been released in a postwide e-mail and also will be available in the NEC newsletter “Cyber Bites.”

Information also is available on the Fort McCoy Corporate Network. The information includes a brochure and frequently asked questions. As the system is expanded, more information about its use will be available.

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