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User Support. Miroslav Milinovic Croatian Academic and Research Network - CARNet Zagreb, Croatia <[email protected]>. 5th CEENet Workshop on Network Technology, Budapest, Hungary, August 1999. Content. Who are you? Who are your users? Current situation Goals and activities

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user support

User Support

Miroslav Milinovic

Croatian Academic and Research Network - CARNet

Zagreb, Croatia

5th CEENet Workshop on Network Technology, Budapest, Hungary, August 1999.

content
Content
  • Who are you? Who are your users?
  • Current situation
  • Goals and activities
    • Helpdesk/hotline service
    • Training activities
      • Traditional training
      • Training trainers
    • Network based training
    • Complementary activities
  • What is wrong?
  • Strategy
  • Conclusion
who are you
END-USER

INFORMATION

PROVIDER

END-USER

INTERNET

PROVIDER

INTERNET

END-USER

Who are you?
who are your users
END-USER

INFORMATION

PROVIDER

END-USER

INTERNET

PROVIDER

INTERNET

END-USER

Who are your users?
current situation
Current situation
  • rapid growth of the Internet
  • immense increase in the volume and the range of the available information
  • users require
    • basic training
    • constant knowledge improvement
    • competent and current information
    • expeditious helpdesk/hotline service
goals and activities
Goals and activities
  • goals:
    • support user activities
    • promote effective use of network (services)
  • activities:
    • helpdesk/hotline service
    • training activities
    • other (complementary) activities
helpdesk hotline service
Helpdesk/hotline service
  • single, competent contact point for users
    • institutions
    • end-users
  • can be reached by:
    • e-mail, phone, fax, post, personal contact
  • has proper connection with experts
  • provide on-line help tools (FAQ, advisories)
    • collect the data
    • publish information

helpdesk hotline service9
Helpdesk/hotline service
  • provides correct and actual information
  • it is important to keep users informed about:
    • network operations
    • network events
    • new services, software, ...
  • it is good to have documentation archive
training activities
Training activities
  • training for:
    • end-users
    • information providing stuff
    • network support stuff
    • trainers
  • enable constant and scaleable training for each type of user and knowledge level

training activities11
Training activities
  • under constant development
  • two kinds:
    • traditional (courses)
    • network based
  • supported with complementary user support activities
traditional training
Traditional training
  • based on courses (lectures, workshops)
  • design a courses schema (structured, scaleable)
    • recommend schedule for basic, typical, full training
  • prepare companion WWW pages
  • train the trainers
  • ask the users for their opinion

traditional training13
Traditional training
  • courses should:
    • be focused on subject
    • be hands-on (workshops)
    • be short as possible
    • promote IS and the Internet as a knowledge resource
    • encourage users to self-education
    • have companion material (reference card) for each course
training trainers
Training trainers
  • important task
  • prepare trainers to:
    • prepare a course materials
      • slides, handouts, software
    • deliver courses
      • teaching (presentation) skills
      • make class comfortable
      • catch attention; interaction
    • handle technical things
      • preparations for course
      • problems
network based training
Network based training
  • several topics:
    • WWW based training
    • CMC - Computer Mediated Communication
    • distance learning
  • no (spectacular) results, yet
    • pure tutorials are not efficient (boring ?)
  • special software
    • FirstClass, TopClass (http://www.wbtsystems.com), ...

network based training16
Network based training
  • users would like:
    • just-in-time
    • just-enough
  • some problems:
    • on-line courses completely substitute “normal” courses
    • learner left alone
    • missing navigation
    • “media overkill”
complementary activities
Complementary activities
  • use network services as much as possible
  • printed materials
    • absolute necessity for the absolute beginners
    • reference cards
    • user manuals
  • software packages
    • customized software for Internet access

complementary activities18
Complementary activities
  • pilot projects
    • IT penetrates in some fields of interest or communities
    • improves the network skills in a traditionally closed or disinterested environment
  • dedicated events
    • organize or participate
    • chance to widespread the information and basic knowledge
what is wrong
What is wrong?
  • long-lasting phone and “face to face” dialogue
  • fragmented support
  • unscaleable service
  • duplication of effort
  • ineffective support
  • lots of paper
strategy
Strategy
  • provide as many user support services as possible on-line:
    • enable users to easily obtain current information
    • exploit e-mail, WWW, lists, news, …
  • think pro-active rather then re-active
    • prepare and educate users
    • concepts rather then quick fixes
  • involve responsible (experts) in support

strategy21
Strategy
  • design scaleable service
    • good for novice and advanced user
  • plan your activities
    • training activities
    • user support for new services
  • maintain quality and currency of information
  • do not forget:
    • high user expectations
    • lots of novice users
conclusion
Conclusion
  • a wide range of activities is needed
  • remember:
    • competent helpdesk/hotline service
    • on-line help tools (FAQ, advisories)
    • training activities
    • printed materials for beginners
    • constant training for user support personnel
  • Make realistic plans!
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