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DDS – Fall 2020 Service Changes

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to highlight degradation of the Dedicated Desktop Support (DDS) service during the COVID-19 mitigation efforts being implemented by the University of Colorado. 

"Safety First" Philosophy

In March 2020, as a response to the immediate need to leave campus due to COVID-19, DDS transitioned to a remote-support model. While some problems will require in-person troubleshooting or meetings with customers, the majority of support requests will begin with remote consultation. This model reduces or eliminates the need for in-person interactions. Over the spring and summer, DDS provided support using remote technology tools and processes with great success, and we know our customers and technicians prefer it.

Software Self-Service Capabilities

Many software applications can be installed using the DDS self-service software portals now available for both Mac and Windows computers. Our customers should have received a shortcut to these portals on their desktops as of August 14th, 2020. These portals allow our customers to install and upgrade software themselves, as opposed to required a visit from their DDS Technician. For software not available in the portals, we will assist you with the installation of that software as we always have.

Satellite in-person meeting spaces

For issues that require in-person and on-campus visits, we have satellite meeting spaces on East Campus in the Marine Street Science Center. Because many of our customers are working remotely, we will ask you to meet us in these locations in an effort to reduce congestion on campus and to make it easier for both you and our techs to adhere to social-distancing guidelines. While we will have the availability to meet in a socially-distant manner on Main Campus, we will prefer the use of these new East Campus locations when possible.

Computers may power off or hibernate due to issues beyond the span of our control 

We will perform problem isolation remotely with you. If it is determined that the computer may be powered-off, we will request that you go to campus and verify the power status of the affected computer.  Our DDS Technicians can resume remote problem isolation and resolution at that point. 

Some problems, particularly hardware-related problems, are much more easily isolated and resolved in-person

Since remote support is preferred and suggested by campus social distancing guidelines, we will make every effort to walk you through problem isolation steps that we might normally have performed in-person. In other words, customers may at times be expected to act as our "hands and eyes." Examples may include: verifying the status of physical switches or lights, removal and replacement of batteries, disconnecting and reconnecting USB and other external devices. We ask for your cooperation and patience while we partner with you to isolate and resolve issues that we would normally have handled ourselves in-person. In the event we need to meet with you on-campus and in-person, we are scheduling meetings with our on-site DDS Technicians a business day in advance.

You may be unable to connect to internet services at home due to issues with your ISP or Home Network

While working on campus, your wired and wireless network is maintained by OIT. When working remotely, you rely on the network in your home to reach the internet and CU resources. We will take steps to help you remotely isolate internet access issues. If we suspect a problem with your internet service provider (ISP) or your home network, you will be referred to your ISP for support. 

DDS is unable to deploy software images to computers remotely 

If an operating system or application issue cannot be successfully troubleshooted, a re-image of the computer may be required. Additionally, any new computers that need to be deployed will also need to be imaged before they can be used. The computer imaging process and the need for a fast and reliable internet connection require this activity to be done on campus. The process can also take a significant amount of time, so we will do our best to provide you with an estimate as well as updates on expected completion. If a re-image of your computer is required, we will need to arrange an in-person and on-campus appointment to retrieve the equipment from you. We will then schedule a follow-up appointment to return it and assist you with a first login and initial configuration. Please understand that equipment re-images may require you to be without your equipment for a few days. For those situations where we are interacting with you in-person, we have developed procedures intended to keep both you and our team safe:

Dedicated Desktop Support On-Campus Appointment Guidelines

DDS is unable to remotely deploy loaner computers to customers 

In the event of a critical failure with your supported computer, we may offer a loaner computer, if available, to use while yours is repaired. We will arrange to meet you at a campus location to perform the deployment. 

Apple *does not* dispatch support for hardware problems 

If your Apple device requires a hardware repair, options are limited. Apple does not dispatch support to customer locations for hardware problems. As a result, you may be instructed to take your University-owned computer to a third-party for necessary hardware repairs. One certified Apple repair shop close to campus is the Mac Shack.

Dell *does* dispatch support for hardware problems 

If your Dell device requires a hardware repair, Dell will dispatch support to customer locations for hardware problems. Your DDS technician can help you coordinate that dispatch if needed.

Accessories for working at home

You may find that you need an extra cable or an adapter while working from home. We can assist you in identifying the proper accessory for purchase through the CU Marketplace, a local store, or an online store.