IT Desk Now Available 24/7/365

For the first time ever, Montgomery College is offering IT Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. his new service makes technological assistance more accessible and cost-effective, which can potentially further boost students’ success, according to the Office of Information Technology.

“We realize that students don’t just use technology when we’re at work, but that you study all hours of the day and night,” said Lori Rounds, Deputy CIO for Campus Management Services. “This is IT’s effort to enable student success.”

The IT Desk gets calls from faculty, staff, and students. Even the President and the Dean will call the IT Desk for assistance, Rounds said.

Most concern MyMC emergency issues, like trouble logging in, creating accounts, and accessing Outlook email, Blackboard, and Starfish Scheduling, said Varghese Thomas, IT Client Services Manager.

“That’ll be great for helping new students and making sure everyone has a smooth registration,” MC student Lana Bizeau said. According to her, IT services helped her when she was a new student having trouble registering for classes.

Weekend availability will be hugely helpful for new students getting their accounts in order the weekend before school starts, especially since call numbers spike in August and January before the start of fall and spring semesters, according to Thomas.

“We also have students who are working, and they don’t get to communicate with us during normal working hours,” Thomas said.

Since MC’s IT Desk began offering 24/7/365 availability, Thomas has found that 14 percent of calls come in after normal working hours, and 6 percent come in on weekends.

This January 18 percent of calls came in after-hours on weekdays and 6 percent came in on weekends, according to statistics Thomas collected following the launch of 24/7/365 availability.

That makes 24 percent of callers who now get the help they need when they need it. Before this semester, their calls would have gone unanswered.

They can now provide 24/7/365 availability because Blackboard “offered us a great price on this service,” said Rounds. “We were able to leverage our existing contract with Blackboard to provide this assistance to students.”

The IT Desk already used Blackboard IT support during normal business hours, but now someone at Blackboard will pick up the phone after hours when MC students call in need of technological help.

According to a survey at the end of phone calls to the IT Desk, “87% of students have said they were happy with the support they have received,” Thomas said.

“We want students to succeed and complete their degrees,” said Rounds. “We’re excited to be able to offer this to students.”