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What Is an IT Helpdesk?

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 225

In a nutshell an IT helpdesk (in the modern sense) is an information and assistance resource that helps is there to help solve problems within the computer and IT related industry. These helpdesks can be of two distinct types that are listed below:

Internal facing IT helpdesks

Internal facing IT helpdesks are very often found "in-house" at a company and are geared toward providing IT and IT service support for employees of that company only.

External facing IT helpdesks

External facing IT helpdesks are often set up by business corporations such as Microsoft and Apple to offer helpdesk IT support to their customers via a toll-free number, website and/or e-mail.

The functions of an IT Helpdesk

A modern IT helpdesk has many functions no matter if it is internally (Employee) or externally (Customer) focused. Both provide users with a single point of contact that will help with various computer and IT issues.

Both helpdesk types normally manage IT help requests through very specific helpdesk software that allows the helpdesk to track all IT job requests from start (when the IT helpdesk request is raised) to finish (when the IT problem is fixed). Each IT helpdesk request is issued a "criticality and response level" grading as it enters the job tracking system. These IT Support grading levels are:

IT Support Level 1: This type of IT support is generally seen as phone support. However, there is also although some limited desktop support (see below).

IT Support Level 2: Level 2 IT support is generally a desktop support function. This means that the IT technician will do physical work on your computer, PC or laptop. This is often seen as an escalation from Level 1 IT support if the issue that needs resolving is not a basic level 1 IT issue.

IT Support Level 3 This level is generally an escalation point from the level 1 and 2 IT support grades. Level 3 IT support is the highest level of both internal and external IT support and generally they are industry or company specific.

IT Support Teams

With an IT helpdesk there are a number of different team members (IT technicians) that have different functions. These functions are specifically relevant to the team in which they are found. These IT teams are:

The desk side team:

The desk side team is often referred to as the desktop support team and is responsible for all of the desktops, laptops, and peripherals, such as personal digital assistants in a company or organisation.

The network team:

The network team is responsible for all of the network software, hardware and infrastructure in a company or organisation. This includes...

• Servers • Switches • Backup Systems • Firewalls and Internet (Online) Security

This team is normally assigned work by the helpdesk.

The server team:

The server team is responsible for the servers and server infrastructure within a company or organisation. This includes all of the following...

• DNS or Domain Name System Servers • Network Authentication • Network Resources • Database Storage • Content Management Systems • Industry-specific Server-based applications

Other IT teams:

Certain companies have a IT telecom team that is responsible for the all of the telephonic communications infrastructure. This includes PBX, voicemail, VOIP, telephone sets, modems and fax machines. This team is part of the service desk but generally does not deal with specific IT issues.

The author is a top consultant at an IT company in Cape Town, South Africa. He provides a wide range of corporate and personal clients with both proactive and preventative IT support both locally and abroad and is a regular IT blogger on a number of IT and technical blogging sites in South Africa.

Source: EzineArticles
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