By Jesse Drake
Need your boarding pass printed? Do it yourself. Groceries rung up? Do it yourself.
Whether these tasks are a burden or a convenience depends on who you ask, but most Americans see self-service technology as a good thing.
A critical aspect of “convenience culture” is easy access to information. To that end, UIT’s Network Services team uses a variety of channels to disseminate information to the university community. They want to help users navigate the university’s network environment — from signing on to UConnect to contacting the right people for help.
Below is a quick look at these resources.
UIT Knowledge Base (KB)
The UIT Knowledge Base is one of the best resources for network-related information. The self-serve online library contains hundreds of step-by-step instructions and general information on UIT service topics. Network & Wireless has its own category, and the two most-viewed knowledge articles: Using the virtual private network (VPN) and UConnect wireless access."The Knowledge Base is a great example of how UIT tries to facilitate success by offering self-service resources," said Abraham Kololli, associate director of Network Services.
IT Service Catalog
Tying in closely with the KB is the IT Service Catalog, a one-stop shop for ordering central IT services. It’s used primarily by university employees, and is another way to access or request information on IT services.
The top four network service requests:
Report an issue
If you’re having a “What’s up with my Wi-Fi?” moment, it’s important to report it. You can do a quick check of our system status web page https://uofu.status.io to see if network availability is degraded. If so, teams are working to fix the issue. If not, call the UIT Help Desk at 801-581-4000, option 1 right away. Alternately, you may use this online form (authentication is required) or email firstname.lastname@example.org, but be aware that calling is the best and fastest way to resolve an issue.
Campaigns and outreach
On occassion, the network team launches awareness campaigns, such as "Be a Good Wi-Fi Citizen," which outlines best practices for connecting to wireless networks at the U, in addition to actions that may interfere or degrade the performance of Wi-Fi on campus.
On a more personal level, Network Services staff hold on-site meetings with stakeholders when designing wireless upgrades in campus buildings. They also conduct phone interviews with members of the campus community to gather feedback on their experiences with the U's wireless network. These interviews help identify pain points and opportunities to improve the end user experience.
"We're continuously looking for feedback and actively working to better integrate campus needs into our services," said Clayton Norlen, UIT product manager in the CTO Office.
Of course you can always use our website, it.utah.edu/network, as a central source for network information, and access all of our Network News articles.
Four centuries ago, when Sir Francis Bacon purportedly said “knowledge itself is power,” it wasn't a world of kiosks and automated phone systems. But his observation that information signals strength endures. The issue today is not availability of knowledge, it's knowing where to find it.
We hope this review of network information resources helps point you in the right direction.