News from the IT Service Desk

As we head into the new academic year it’s a good time to adopt good habits both at home, and for work or study too. This time of year sees us all incredibly busy and our Service Desk receives thousands of calls. But there are steps we can take to help ourselves for many things. As well as our latest top tip, this article includes information about dealing with lost devices, best practice for multifactor authentication (MFA), the best ways to find IT help and how to track your help requests

Lost your device? 

Losing your device, whether supplied by the University or your own, can be a stressful experience. Did you know that any loss or theft of devices used to process University data must be reported as soon as possible? This includes laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones, even if they were only used to check email.

There are some important steps you need to take for lost or stolen devices. If your device is missing, please check this list and follow the steps to help to get you back to your work or studies as soon as possible. 

Is your second multifactor authentication (MFA) method set up? 

Good practice with MFA can save you time and reduce stress, particularly if you lose your devices.  

One of the most useful things you can do is to ensure you have set up a second method of authentication. This will make your life much easier if you lose or replace your primary MFA device. Take a look at the MFA help and guidance pages which are packed with great, easy-to-follow advice. You can also ask your local IT support colleagues for assistance; they can reset your account if needed.    

Getting IT help  

The lead up and start of Michaelmas term are the busiest times of year for the central IT Service Desk. Throughout the year, the team receives an average of around 600 telephone calls each week - but during September and most of October, weekly contacts increase to around 1000. This year the team handled around 3000 telephone calls and over 2000 Request for Help forms in the month leading up to Michaelmas term!   

The speed with which our team can help you is impacted by the volume of requests; therefore, it is always best to contact the Service Desk by telephone for anything significant or urgent. Where a form must be filled out for your request, by calling we can help you locate this and ensure that the matter is picked up with the appropriate urgency.

We also offer a telephone call-back service, meaning that you don’t need to wait on the phone for a long period of time – one of our analysts will call you back when you reach the top of the queue. During September the average customer wait time for a call-back was 20 minutes. 

Where to find and request help 

You will find a wealth of information on the IT Help website including links to forms for queries and requests in IT Self Service and help guides for the most popular systems and software. In many cases your local IT support colleagues know local systems best and are a great first contact. If you cannot find the answer to your query or need additional support for a service, you can provide relevant written details and screenshots using the Request for Help form. Clear information from you helps all the support centres to understand your problem and help you more quickly.  

Our Service Desk colleagues are available by telephone 24/7 all year round (with support from our out-of-hours service partners). Have your University card to hand and call 01865 (6) 12345

Track your support calls using Self Service  

Did you know that you can track progress and update items (including approvals) by using IT Self Service?

All you need to do is log into IT Self Service using your SSO credentials.  All approval requests, service requests and support calls that have not yet been actioned (or are part way through) will be clearly displayed under ‘My Open Items’. From here, if you need to approve an item or want to see progress on your help requests, you can easily see the status of each item and action as needed.  

For more information about IT Self Service, go to the IT self service help page.

Top tip

There are lots of commonly used services across the University. Check out, and bookmark, this handy list including links to the most popular systems and services, and reminders about how to sign in.