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Office of Information Technology's Role in
Supporting the Student Computer Ownership Program

19 December, 1995

The Support Posture Recommendation to support student owned computers is a layered approach which we believe will give the students the most cost effective and responsive means of support. In addition, this approach will be a sustainable support structure for the Institute as demand grows.

Level 1: At this level, a core group of students with student coordinators (modeled after the clusters and cluster coordinators) would be established to assist with the normal how to's, this won't work, what is wrong questions. The cluster coordinators could be trained by the Customer Support Center (CSC) and given access to OIT's Remedy system to log problems when they couldn't resolve them.

Level 2: This level could be omitted at first and grow as the program grows. Housing would establish a group of Computer Support Specialists (i.e. OIT's CSS Program), to provide first level support to specific resident facilities. A person available on site or possibly living on the premises of large resident halls or a combination of participating resident facilities, could be used to support student computers. This support personnel (CSSs) could work and reside within Housing, but OIT would provide management and support. This approach would be a complement to a repair depot organization and the above student organization approach.

Level 3: The Office of Information Technology's Field Services (FS) already has the support structure to support student computer ownership. It already is working with GT Computer Store, Housing and students in residence housing, providing network connectivity and services. Students currently carry in their computer equipment to have repair work done by dropping the equipment off at the GT Computer Store repair counter, where it virtually is immediately turn over to FS. The request gets logged into OIT, Field Services helpdesk facility to be processed and monitored by FS repair personnel. Networking is handled in a similar way. The Housing department provides for student connectivity by contracting FS to maintain the electronics involved with connectivity and the GT Computer Store provide the ordering and servicing student requests for individual connectivity. Field Service is an authorized warranty service facility for Apple, IBM, Zenith, and Dell. FS would have to expand its service support group by hiring additional staff and acquiring other resources to provide a quality "turn key" service for students owning computer equipment and using the resident network.

Follow-up data and input: Proposal from John White - Field Services would need to increase the following resources in order to provide support for student ownership:

Personnel - presently Field Services has a staff of one (1) Manager, (1) Administrative Coordinator, (2) Electronic Technician III,s, (3) Electronic Technician II's and (7) student assistants. Our technical support staff for hardware support would need to be increased by a total of (3) full time technicians and (3) student assistants. Technical support staff for support of the RESNET would need to be increased to (3) full time technical, (4) student and (1) administrative. Salaries for full time technical support range from $26,000-$35,000 per year. Students are paid between $7.50 and $8.50 per hour. Projected ADDITIONAL PS Cost - $150,000

Inventory - Field Services presently has a total inventory of approximately $150,000 for the support of IBM and Apple platforms. We presently do not stock parts for all platforms due to the high cost of buying parts and the fact that parts become obsolete within three to five years. We do have relationships with most of our parts suppliers that allows for same day or 24 hour shipment of parts. This allows us to keep our support costs down. We are authorized to provide support for the following platforms: IBM, Apple, Dell, SUN, Zenith, NeXT, DEC, SGI and HP Model 9000 -700 series. We can provide support for all personal computer platforms (A-Z). With the additional growth of computers due to student ownership we would need to increase our parts inventory based upon what platforms are chosen. I would project that our inventory would need to be increased by at least $100,000.

Space - Field Services presently has a total of 2150 square feet. This space is leased from Auxiliary Services at a rate of $1,800 per month. If our personnel and inventory resources are increased we would need an additional 1500-2000 square feet for our repair facility. Additionally, if the Field Services Repair Facility relocates to an off-campus location or one that is not "centralized" or easily accessible then an on-campus depot facility must be identified. Presently, 300 square feet is utilized for a equipment check-in staging area.

Vehicles - Field Services presently has three service vehicles that are utilized for customer pick-up/delivery, parts pick-up and transport of equipment to 3rd party vendors. We would need to increase our service fleet by an additional two vehicles. Projected vehicle cost (New) -$30,000 (Used) - $10,000.


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Last Modified: September 11, 1998 5:00pm
Approved by External Affairs 10/23/97