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Services for Providers Convention - 1 October 1997

General highlights on 4 topic areas appear below, followed by more detail for each of 17 support components (e.g., training). Each topic area also has an associated value for level of support (e.g., external referral or in-house delivery for training).

4 Topic Areas: (voted by SUG as most important at a focus group meeting last year)

- Desktop Support
- LAN OS Support
- General Ledger (example of administrative application support)
- Networking Support

Common Themes Across Topic Areas:

- Know us; know our environment; relationship managers; provider database
- Provide more direct access to experts; better prioritization; status reports
- Offer IT at Penn orientation for new providers; including ISC orientation
- Own the standards process; provide early "heads up;" give us opportunities to participate
- Create & maintain a knowledge base for problem solving (A Priori?)
- Serve as an advocate for providers; help us plead our case for resources & training
- Leverage generic training needs for best outside deals; offer Penn-specific training in house
- Continue SUG and SIGs; provide more personal communication
- *Willingness to pay for services; issue is where to draw the line between allocated & for fee

Standards Adoption, Compatibility and Emerging Technology:

Networking (requirement)
- take care of standards; keep up with emerging technologies
- alert providers when new technologies are being considered; let them participate in testing
- provide 6 months heads up for user/budget impact

General Ledger (requirement)
- provide standard method for accessing all central systems (FinMIS, Payroll, etc.)

LAN OS (certification)
- take lead in providing a general set of planning documents
- provide range of recommendations in low to high end
- know local environments; involve providers in developing standards

Desktop (evaluation/recommendation)
- serve as contact for standards
- position for upward migration issues
- provide a range of solutions based on local usage and budgets

Consulting and Planning Services:

Networking (full service & paid)
- work with building administrators
- advise on renovation and new construction

General Ledger (N/A)LAN OS (full service & paid)
- provide guidelines and recommendations for common needs (e.g., initial installation and disaster recovery)
- *willingness to pay for custom support

Desktop (paid/priority)
- *more willing to pay than go outside

Problem Solving (Escalation):

Networking (priority & emergency)
- give providers direct input into priorities
- establish key areas identified as priorities
- know the local environments

General Ledger (refer)
- need an IT escalation channel for technical issues
- need frontline more aware of central administrative systems and where to refer
- recognize the load on local contacts

LAN OS (queue - FIFO or emergency)
- provide easy, direct access to experts (or external service agreements)
- create a trouble-shooting checklist for providers
- know local environments
- provide call log access to local providers (A Priori)
- provide short turnaround on response; status reporting critical

Desktop (queue - best effort or priority)
- own the problem
- provide contact service for designated local support staff
- offer novice level support for new providers


Networking (informal & formal)
- need more personal communications; know the local environments; relationship managers
- need good customer interface -
- ISC and local frontlines need to be informed
- keep providers informed about the status of their own problem tickets
- keep providers informed about general network status and changes

General Ledger (formal)
- provide early status information; involve the local IT people (e.g., desktop printer requirements)
- involve local IT staff in SIG during rollout

LAN OS (formal)
- coordinate and facilitate collaboration and sharing
- continue PCNet and MacNet; provide mtg agendas in advance
- create a shared knowledgebase as a collaborative effort among providers

Desktop (informal & formal)
- offer local provider orientation to IT at Penn, including ISC
- provide user group meeting notes
- develop a Web resource for list postings


Networking (full service)
- investigate fee scale for after-hours coverage

General Ledger (full service)
- keep remote users in mind (e.g., warn about large extracts)
- keep browser demands in mind when recommending minimal configurations
- address response time issues

LAN OS (dispatch & contract coverage)
- provide "rent-a-backup" to fill in for local LAN administrators; KNOW the local environment
- offer for-fee; SLA's should include the pre-work
- *no expressed interest in full-service facilities management

Desktop (informal & formal)
- update the assignments database (IP)


Networking (in-house delivery & coordination & resource library)
- make resources available that would assist providers in better understanding the network
- hold periodic workshops

General Ledger (in-house delivery)
- provide adequate time for advanced planning
- offer orientation for IT support staff
- provide suitably-equipped training labs for departments to rent

LAN OS (external referral & coordination & in-house)
- leverage discounts for best generic training outside; offer internal Penn-specific training
- develop local environment add-ons to generic outside training
- offer provider "boot camp" for qualification/certification

Desktop (external referral & coordination & in-house)
- offer customized internal training geared to local environments
- provide recommendations for outside vendors; leverage for group discounts
- align training with standards

Technical Documentation:

Networking (tech. notes & finished documents)
- provide FAQs on the Web
- maintain local topology maps for each building

General Ledger
- continue Web-based documentation

LAN OS (tech. notes)
- provide tech. notes (Web-based)
- develop custom instructions (e.g., basic server configuration & disaster recovery for Penn)
- develop templates for local providers to document their LAN configurations
- place copies of critical LAN OS patches on

Desktop (tech. notes)
- make startup documents for new software easier to find
- facilitate broader use of A Priori

End-User Documentation:

Networking (finished documents)
- provide site-specific documentation

General Ledger (finished documents)
- maintain documentation on the Web; end users really need documentation

LAN OS (none)

Desktop (reference list or finished documents)
- offer ISC-produced documents for installation/configuration of supported products

Product Licensing:


General Ledger (site license)

LAN OS (full range as appropriate for product)
- coordinate purchases and leverage for best pricing
- function as advocate on behalf of providers

Desktop (volume licenses or site/strategic licenses)
- continue to send notes to providers re: volume purchases or licenses
- increase visibility of site licensing

Product Distribution:


General Ledger (network)

LAN OS (none)

Desktop (network or media distribution)
- use more CD ROM and network distribution
- need virus czar

Support Provider Identification/Certification:

Networking (service & designated)
- advocate orientation/training for new local IT hires
- make new local providers aware of ISC, resources, SUG, etc.
- maintain database of local support providers

General Ledger (none)

LAN OS (designated & certified)
- offer "boot camp" to qualify providers; specific competency requirement not feasible

Desktop (certified)
- identify key resources across the University; provide rewards for key resources
- develop training programs to increase knowledge level
- certify providers on set of standard software

ISC Management Role:

Networking (facilitation, coordination & owner)
- depends on local environment

General Ledger (coordination)
- take larger role in rolling out University-wide administrative systems (e.g., Pillar)

LAN OS (facilitation to owner)

Desktop (referral/coordination)

Non-ISC Management Role:

Networking (information source)

General Ledger (coordination/owner)

LAN OS (information source)

Desktop (owner)

ISC Service Role:

Networking (deliver)
- negotiate a contract between ISC and local environments, with specified offerings for specified prices and guaranteed services
- understand expectations on both sides

General Ledger (contribute)

LAN OS (contribute)
- take the lead to see that services are delivered on campus
- facilitate collaboration among providers

Desktop (contribute)
- provide a multimedia czar
- need better knowledge of SOS
- offer 7 x 24 service

Support Provider Service Role:

Networking (deliver)

General Ledger (contribute)

LAN OS (contribute)
- coordinate collaboration among providers willing to contribute their expertise

Desktop (contribute or deliver)
- depends on independence, size of school/department
- have a support providers appreciation day

Vendor Service Role:

Networking (none)

General Ledger (provide product)

LAN OS (contribute)
- leverage Penn's position for best range of vendor services

Desktop (contribute)
- coordinate provider/vendor interactions
- maintain a vendor list, with service & quality ratings

Time Frame:

Networking (immediate)

General Ledger (immediate)

LAN OS (immediate)

Desktop (dependent on funding or external factors)
- dependent on budget and number of local support providers
- offer dispatch services as local groups ramp up

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