ESUP-Portail Helpdesk: user support at establishment-level (EUNIS 2006)

The advent of University portals accelerated a phenomenon that has been observed for a long time, notably the progressive replacement of locally-deployed applications (in entities, for instance) with centralized applications that permit a software development geared to and around a specific institution's Information System.
This transformation, which has already occurred for services (e.g., website and email) and equipment (e.g., for storage and/or backup), has not yet taken place in user support applications. esup-helpdesk, the helpdesk developed and distributed by the consortium ESUP-Portail, remedies this lack by natively integrating the multi-entity nature of educational and research institutions. This helpdesk has already been adopted by many universities, colleges, and research laboratories in France.
This article is based on the results of a study conducted in 2004 by a French information technology (IT) working group who surveyed opinions about the distribution and use of helpdesks in the French educational/research community. These results provide a general idea of the perceived problems—both technical and human—encountered when implementing a helpdesk tool. In this article, we demonstrate how the helpdesk distributed by the ESUP-Portail consortium employs original solutions in an attempt to avoid these problems. Our goal is to convince the reader that the esup-helpdesk is not just another helpdesk application, but rather is a well-adapted response to the specific needs of the educational/research community. We also intend to promote esup-helpdesk at the European level, and elsewhere in the world.

ESUP-Portail Helpdesk: user support at establishment-level,
Pascal Aubry and Alexandre Boisseau, EUNIS2006, Tartu, Estonia, June 2006
Pascal Aubry, JASIG Summer 2007, Denver Colorado, June 2007