New York Help Desk IT Outsourcing Program Begins

As part of an arrangement with state workers, those being replaced on the Help Desk won't lost their jobs.

by Rick Karlin, Times Union, Albany, N.Y. / October 3, 2016

(TNS) — The first batch of outside contractors working as part of a privatization of based state agency computer Help Desk functions are set to arrive on Monday.

The change, taking place at the state Office for Information Technology Services, or OITS, calls for using private contractors to perform so-called Level I help desk calls in which employees across the state bureaucracy use to answer basic questions or to resolve basic computer and software problems.

As part of an arrangement with the state workers, who were represented by the Public Employees Federation, those being replaced on the Help Desk won't lost their jobs.

Instead, they are supposed to be moved into more demanding or responsible positions commensurate with their skills.

Here's an excerpt from a letter about the coming changes, which was obtained by the Times Union:

"Hi everyone,

As a follow-up to our meetings this week, I promised to send tech locations, and also to describe my vision for the shadowing.

The tech locations are as follows. I'm going to hold on to the names until I hear that they passed our internal background check and drug screen process next week:

  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Binghamton
  • Syracuse
  • Albany/Capital District (5)
  • Orange County
  • Brooklyn/Queens
  • Nassau/Suffolk

They are coming in on Oct 3 & 4 for two days of orientation, and by the end of the week or for the week of Oct 10 I'd like to deploy them into the field for a few weeks of "shadowing". The nfrastructure techs would shadow regional resources that you would identify to us. We need to work together on the finer details of the weeks leading up to Go Live on November 22, but I was envisioning the techs shadowing up to a Pilot Phase around Oct 24, and then they could run some break-fix tickets independently in region leading up to Nov 22. XXXXXXX, we haven't spoken about the local area yet, but I will have five techs available for the Capital District area after Oct 3.

I've been learning a lot over the past few weeks about the current and future states of ITS and EUS and the cluster/agency users, and it would benefit the technicians and our project team greatly if they could become familiar with the users, locations, unique characteristics of the users and locations (such as accessing specific locations, etc), and especially what I've been calling the "end user restoration" process. Our scope includes full restoration of the user back to their original state, and we are going to need to learn how this occurs across the state. Basically I'm picturing the shadowing as primarily facilitating local "knowledge capture", while enabling the techs to become familiar with your staff, users, locations, etc.

We are going to customize nterprise's "Field Tech Manager" application with survey forms to capture information about site access, restoration processes, and other information that will improve our project documentation and our delivery. This information, along with our communication plan with the techs, will be fed back in to our project plans and procedural documents. I'm envisioning a deeper, more detailed set of plans, process documents, and other project-related documents as we progress from this initial shadowing, to Pilot, completion of the Startup Phase, and through Stabilization into Day 181.

XXXXXXXXXXX, we'll provide you with a demo of "nterprise" in the near future.

I'd be interested in feedback to this plan. At the least, I am scheduled to speak with XXXXXXXX again this Wednesday, and I'd be happy to facilitate a conference call with the seven of us for next week to discuss it further.

Have a nice weekend!

©2016 the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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