Project to improve IT customer service wins second major award

"Building a Service-Oriented Culture"--a project to improve the quality and organization of IT customer service for faculty, students and staff at UC Davis--has won its second major award this year.

In August, the project won a Larry L. Sautter Golden Award from the University of California. And in October, it collected the 2014 HDI Service Improvement Award.

"The recognition is great for our team," said Information and Educational Technology Client Services Manager Anita Nichols, "but with or without awards, it's our goal to provide the tools the campus needs to deliver IT services."

"Building a Service-Oriented Culture" helps people find and use IT services. The project has several components:

  • ServiceNow, a Service Management system to track and respond to customers' requests for service
  • The IT Service Catalog, which gathers IT service information in one consistently maintained online catalog, instead of spreading it over a maze of websites
  • The IT Knowledge Base (KB), which collects articles, how-to instructions, and troubleshooting guidelines to help faculty, students and staff use technology at UC Davis. It replaced the similar but outdated xBase this year
  • IT Self-Service portal
  • Service Level Management, which creates agreements on the level of service provided

The project group also defined its mission, values and governance model; revitalized the IT Express Service Desk; and established a student support group.

The program is from IET, but the ServiceNow and KB components are collaborations wi th other departments on campus. The Sautter award announcement lists other participants. ServiceNow is also used by the School of Law; School of Education; Offices of the Chancellor and Provost; the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; College of Engineering; the Arts Administrative Group; Student Affairs; and Campus Planning, Facilities and Safety.

"After just a year, this multiphase initiative is still in its infancy, and yet it has already yielded many important benefits. At UC Davis, it has resulted in greater operational efficiency, and it has enhanced customer service. It has also brought the IT service community together in the pursuit of common goals," says the HDI blog announcing the award.

HDI, an international trade association for the technical service and support industry, also trains and certifies employees in best practices. IT Express earned HDI certification for customer service in 2013.

The Sautter program recognizes IT innovations that advance teaching, research, public service and patient care, or that improve the effectiveness of university processes.