December 18, 2014

The transition of technical support to Dell: Frequently asked questions

In the last few months, many of the technical support functions serving Vanderbilt University Medical Center have transitioned from Vanderbilt IT staff to Dell staff.

Support of Clinical Workstations and a portion of the IT Help Desk transitioned to Dell in October. In the second phase of this transition, LAN Management Services (LMS) will move to Dell beginning February, 2015. LMS Support at One Hundred Oaks, 3401 West End Ave., Crystal Terrace and Grassmere will transition first with the remainder of LMS supported areas transitioning a few weeks later.

Please reference the FAQ below regarding how your support may change. This information is also available online.

What is the cost of support for FY16?
The cost for support services will remain the same for the remainder of FY15. In FY16, support will be an annual cost of $475 per device.

Will the same technician help me every time I need assistance?
Support will be provided by Vanderbilt and Dell teams, using a dispatch model. This means you will not necessarily see the same technician each time you have a support need because IT support staff will no longer sit within departments. All teams are composed of professional IT staff members who are dedicated to providing quality service to all users.

What will Dell support and not support?
Dell is providing a 24/7 Nashville-based help desk, which is an IT support desk that provides first-level triage and resolution of most software issues. This IT help desk works closely with the Vanderbilt-staffed Clinical Applications Support Team (CAST), which is supporting the more complex clinical applications.

Dell’s field support team will provide support to Vanderbilt University Medical Center sites, both local and remote. The Field Support Team will assist users through remote support tools and on-site assistance. This team will support Vanderbilt-owned computers, laptops, tablets and attached peripheral devices. Their responsibility is to respond to tickets entered into Pegasus.

All requests that are specific to proper operation of your computer are handled by these teams, including, but not limited to, installing, moving, adding, changing and configuring all approved applications/software/devices on the desktop or laptop. Dell will also replace broken or failed hardware that is under warranty and will consult with the department to decide whether to repair or replace failed equipment that is no longer under warranty.

Items to consider with this new arrangement:
• Tickets entered into Pegasus are required. While a field technician will always do their best to answer questions, they are typically supporting multiple employees. Ad-hoc requests for support can affect the support of other employees.
• Hardware repair of Apple equipment must be handled by Apple. If a repair is needed, Dell will facilitate Mac Authority’s pick up of in-warranty Apple hardware.
• Support of personal equipment will only be for application questions. Dell cannot install any software or fix any hardware that is personally owned.

Who will support functions that Dell will not support?
For assistance with any IT service needs, contact 343-HELP. The following are specific functions that your LAN Manager may have supported in the past. The teams that will be responsible for support of these functions are noted next to each.
• Computer purchase assistance: VUIT Implementation Team
• Servers: VUIT Hosting Services
• Security: VUIT Network Security
• Clinical and Departmental Application Support: The Clinical Application Support Team (CAST) will provide initial support and will escalate to resources in Health Informatics Technologies and Services (HITS) if necessary.
• Site assessment for new installs: VUIT Implementation Team
• New Computer Imaging: VUIT Request Team (NOTE: Computers will need to be shipped to this team for build before deployment.)

How will users get IT support under the new model?
Within the new IT support model, you will work with the help desk to resolve your issue. There are multiple ways to submit an issue to the help desk. You can call 343-HELP to speak with an agent on the phone or you can submit a Self Service ticket through Pegasus. If you are unfamiliar with the Self Service option in Pegasus, you can find the form at https://pegasus.mc.vanderbilt.edu/CreateESS.aspx.

You may also choose to designate an administrator to help submit issues to the help desk.

Who will perform VUnet Service Administrator (VSA) functions? Will departments need someone to assume these responsibilities?
VUnet Services Administrators (VSA) are trained and authorized by VUIT to perform tasks for their departments, such as issuing invitations to allow guests, contractors, and new faculty and staff to create a VUnetID. VSAs have access to tools that enable them to check the status of VUnetIDs and determine whether user accounts are properly configured. Many departments have administrative staff who provide VSA services. If you do not have someone within the department to perform these functions, you will need to designate an individual. VUIT provides training for staff who need authorization to use these tools. More information and the application for VSA are located at https://it.vanderbilt.edu/support/lsp-support/index.php.

Will users spend more time on the phone troubleshooting before a technician is sent out?
Troubleshooting over the phone is designed to quickly identify and resolve your issue. As soon as it is clear that a field technician is needed, the help desk will send your issue to the dispatch team. The service desk and field services technicians also have a remote support tool with which they can fix many issues quickly by taking control of your system.

How will the location model work?
Currently, there are five planned dispatch locations to serve Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including remote clinics. Dell will be adequately staffed to manage travel times between locations. The five dispatch locations are:
Medical Center North: This location serves Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH), The Vanderbilt Clinic (TVC), Medical Center East (MCE), Oxford House and all other main campus locations north of Pierce Avenue.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt: This location serves Children's Hospital, Psychiatry and all main campus locations south of Pierce Avenue.
One Hundred Oaks (OHO): This location serves OHO, offices in Green Hills, Grassmere and all remote clinics east of main campus.
3401 West End: This location serves all supported areas along West End Avenue and all remote clinics north and west of main campus.
Franklin: This location serves all Williamson County locations and all remote clinics south of Williamson County.

If a department has to take on tasks that a LAN Manager was responsible for, who will help the department learn how to do those tasks?
All technical responsibilities will be handled by VUIT or Dell. If your LAN Manager had other business responsibilities, such as entering eProcurement orders, managing vendor relationships, storing departmental spare computers/equipment, replacing printer paper/toner and taking inventory of software licenses, these will need to be absorbed by departments. Training for eProcurement is available at https://dof.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ft/Pages/pub/eproctraining.aspx.

The Desktop Engineering team is absorbing some higher level tasks and the Implementation team will be available to ensure a smooth transition.
(Service levels and hours of support are addressed in “What should I expect for response time when I need onsite support?”)

What should I expect for response time when I need onsite support?
We have Service Level Agreements with Dell to ensure that we are receiving quality support with standardized response times. The service levels, along with examples of priority levels, are published below. Additionally, support will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week for clinical workstations and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for administrative workstations and remote clinics. For remote clinics that operate outside of the normal business hours, support will be provided while the clinic is open.

Where can I go to get other questions answered?
If you have other questions about the new IT support model, please email dellquestions@vanderbilt.edu.