OIT Desktop Support

“Desktop Support” refers to the maintenance of desktop computers, laptop computers, smart-phones, and peripherals as well as assistance to the faculty, staff and students who utilize them.  Desktop support keeps operating system and application software current, keeps systems secure through patches and anti-virus software, and resolves problems that occur.  Desktop support is among the first IT activities to be consolidated.

Jeremy Paje, manager of OIT Desktop Support, began his IT career as a student at UCI in the late 90s.  After a few years helping develop a national help desk system for an outside company, he returned to UCI to work in desktop support for Administrative Computing Services (AdCom).  In 2008, Jeremy was promoted to AdCom’s manager of desktop support, where he supported 600 clients and 700 desktops with a team of four staff.

Jeremy supervised the roll-out of the Thunderbird email solution featured in the previous issue of this newsletter.

This year he was given responsibility for desktop support in the new central organization, OIT.  He wants his team to continue to be seen as “the friendly IT people” as their client base grows.  The consolidated unit will benefit from many of the tools and automated systems developed by AdCom’s desktop support group.

Jeremy’s team has long experience creating a quality desktop experience for staff.  A key tool, LanDesk, allows his team members to distribute software updates (“patches”) and other software over the network, and enables remote access for investigating and resolving system problems.  Through LanDesk, Desktop Support can also grant staff the ability to install custom software without administrative privileges.

OIT Desktop Support also manages a Sophos Enterprise Console system for distribution and update of antivirus software.

A new technology that OIT Desktop Support is promoting is virtual desktops.  This allows staff to use modest hardware on the desktop, and connect to a server for the operating system and computational power.  Advantages include access to one’s personal desktop environment from any console, centralized backups of business data, simple restoration of a non-operational program from a known image, and quick replacement of broken hardware because the data is safe on the server.

OIT Desktop support secures discounted software for staff through the Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement (MCCA), and develops hardware and software standards which promotes simpler troubleshooting and more consistent support.

Jeremy believes that standardization is an essential element to effective and economical desktop support.  Through standardization, Desktop Support can deliver lower-cost service, quicker turn-around time, more security, and more predictable outcomes.  At the same time, he understands that one size does not always fit all and occasionally exceptions to standards must be made to deal with special needs.