The IT Helpdesk can help
The IT Helpdesk can help
The services provided by CSL's IT helpdesk are diverse. In the central contact point for answering technical questions and troubleshooting, specialised supporters support system users. "We take care of the concerns of employees and customers," Marc Huber (HUM) and Patrick Mörth (MPA) tell us in an interview, in which they also discuss the special challenges associated with the home office.
Marc and Patrick, you are responsible for the IT helpdesk and support at CSL. What services do you provide in this environment?
HUM: We take care of the concerns of our employees and customers, whether they are of a general nature and can be quickly implemented (first level support) or are somewhat more complex and require more clarification (second level support), which we also partly handle in the helpdesk. This involves a wide range of issues, such as client support, hardware, all programmes and mobility.
MPA: The issues are wide-ranging and cover all areas. We create and prioritise tickets, which we use to initiate problem handling and resolution.
For two years now, we have had special conditions and many people work in a home office. How has this affected your work?
HUM: The requests were immense at the beginning of the pandemic, Patrick and I were busy setting up the new home office environment on our customers' home computers. For this, we rely on a VPN solution (Virtual Private Network), with which we establish a secure connection between the server and the device used in the home office. This is secured with two-factor authentication via a mobile phone app. Employees can choose whether they want to connect centrally to a terminal server or directly to their PC in the company, which is also possible without any problems nowadays. The customers decide whether BYOD is possible in accordance with their company strategy or whether it is set up on company devices.
The enquiries we receive have therefore become even more diverse. Direct contact with our clients was always guaranteed during the pandemic and also today in the home office. Clients can reach us at any time via "Jabber Mobile", a so-called phone app with which calls can be made from the company number.
MPA: We were also able to increase our service quality because we can ensure secure, direct support at the customer's site via the "TeamViewer" we use.
Has the switch to home office generally worked well?
HUM: Before the pandemic, home office was never a widespread issue. When our customers knew that they "had" to switch to home office due to official regulations, our infrastructure team set up a complete home office environment for all customers within a few days. In doing so, economic aspects always had to be taken into account. The home office environment is still used today, be it for a quick look in when working away from home, in case of accident or illness of an employee or due to quarantine caused by a pandemic.
MPA: The changeover to home office worked great. The users were ready to go immediately after setting up the necessary environment and were able to do their work in the home office. It was a strong team effort by all of us!
What were the biggest challenges?
HUM: The changeover to the home office environment was the biggest challenge. Within a very short time, several hundred people had to be equipped with the "Jabber" telephone app and the two-factor authentication app. If necessary, or depending on company policy, complete home office equipment with PC, monitor and all accessories was also provided. The users had many questions in connection with the installations at home and the telephone line was literally glowing.
MPA: A big challenge was also the search for error sources when the user is not in the house. Hardware problems could therefore not always be solved as quickly as is usually the case. However, due to our many years of experience and with the necessary tact, we were able to overcome this challenge as well. The less stable WLAN networks at home were also an issue again and again. Here, there were also some users who strengthened their WLAN at home.
You have also been in a home office. Did this make the work more difficult?
HUM: No, not at all! Working was a bit "getting used to" at first, but you soon saw the advantages that you could benefit from. For example, the time saved by not having to travel to work or the less time needed to prepare lunch.
Communication and social contact with our work colleagues, the customers and their employees was guaranteed at all times due to our phone app "Cisco Jabber" and the video conferencing solution "Cisco Webex". The weekly internal CSL IT meetings were simply held in the virtual meeting room of "Cisco Webex" instead of in the physical meeting room. By means of screen sharing, all participants could also follow when something was presented.
MPA: The server landscape, which was specially set up for the home office, was also stable, so that there were fewer technical support requests in general. Communication among the IT and CSL teams was flawless thanks to "Jabber". Here, team spirit was required above all, but this did not present us with a challenge.
Many companies are now back in the office or have reduced the home office. Does this mean you have more time again?
HUM: Not necessarily, for most of our clients, home office access can be switched on at short notice at any time after the corresponding approval. We are quite flexible in that respect. The home office environments at the clients' sites generally continue to exist. Because of the pandemic, we have made another big push forward in the development of the digital workplace. A project is currently underway to further optimise the possibilities. Again, this is taking into account the economic component. Patrick and I are then responsible for activating the access and also have to make sure that the customer's access works perfectly.
MPA: In addition, certain processes must always be adhered to, which do not work the same way for all customers. We have to take that into account when we implement them. There are also clients who return home office work sets, others need them again, and so on. There is always a lot to do.
What do you think is important in your daily work?
HUM: It is certainly crucial to keep an overview of the numerous daily requests. In the helpdesk, you also have to be able to prioritise, i.e. recognise what is really important in a certain situation. You also have to be open to new things. That's exactly what's fun about the job. When you come into the office in the morning, you never know what to expect.
We, as CSL Corporate Services Est. We, as CSL Corporate Services Est., stand for first-class, professional support with a constant focus on fulfilling the "wishes" or solving the "problems" of our customers and their employees. Patrick and I have been working together for many years, so we are a well-coordinated team that has mastered the "wildest" situations. We can trust each other blindly. Everyone knows what the other is doing at all times.
MPA: Teamwork and coordinated processes are particularly important here. Our ticket system helps us to keep track of everything. This makes the work fun.