Prescott, Ariz.—population 38,000—is in one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and the city governments IT needs have increased with its size.
The IT department has grown in just a few years from two employees and 100 computers to 10 employees and more than 300 computers. Even with greater staffing, the demands on the department have increased, and its help desk software has failed to keep up. Prescott went searching for a help desk solution.
Neither of the first two solutions was flexible enough for Prescotts IT department. The first didnt have a Web interface and the second had limited functionality, said Nate Keegan, IT operations manager.
By the end of last year, the Prescott IT department had new requirements. It wanted to reduce the number of people walking in and calling with problems. It wanted to be able not only to track cases but also to track the assets behind those cases (that is, phones, computers and so forth). Whats more, members of the IT department needed to travel to more than 20 sites in the city to do their work, and they wanted to be able to access the help desk system wherever they were.
In addition, IT had been absorbed into the finance department at the beginning of the year and was under pressure to provide more accurate accounting of time and materials, Keegan said.
He began looking at what other municipalities were doing, taking care that the cities on which he focused had needs similar to Prescotts. In the end, Keegan did a Web search using Google and found LiveTime Software Inc.s Support Desk help desk software, which seemed to offer everything he was looking for.
LiveTime Support Desk is Unix-based and runs on the Web using Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. In six weeks, the Prescott IT staff made the decision to purchase the software. Keegan said the basic installation took less than a week, but getting his departments data into the system was a bit more complicated. "Our data was not in really good shape, and a lot of it needed normalization, so we decided to bite the bullet and do an inventory from [scratch]. That took two to three months to collect and input," Keegan said.
Since deploying LiveTime Support Desk early this year, Keegan said, he has seen a dramatic drop-off in walks-ins and calls, resulting in fewer interruptions during the workday for IT staff. More importantly for him, however, his staff can extract more information from the system using LiveTime Support Desks reporting functions than with their previous solutions.
Freelance writer Ron Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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