Richmond University utilised Zed Blocks PAYG support to improve student support levels and reduce the number of calls to their in-house team.
Richmond, The American International University in London is a private, liberal university. It is an internationally accredited institution established in 1972 and its 800 London-based students are split between 2 campuses at Richmond Hill and Kensington.
As a residential establishment with students from over 100 countries Richmond is keen to provide its undergraduates with the best environment both for academic work and personal life. A key factor in achieving this is the wireless networks that both campuses have installed. While these are necessary for the students in their working day, the pervasiveness of IT in social situations means that their use outside working hours is also high.
High Level Of Support Care For Students.
This ultimately led to problems as Bill Scott, VP Finance and Administration and head of IT at Richmond explained. “The number of support calls that our in house IT staff were taking from students with regard to non-academic issues was increasing. This was impacting upon them supporting our academic needs and beginning to affect their productivity. As a non-profit making establishment we believe that it is our responsibility to provide a high level of care for our students and as having access to the Internet is now an important part of their social life, we wanted to provide this support.
“As a result we spoke to Zed One about how we could expand our existing Zed Blocks support arrangements to provide the level of care that our students expect and that we want to provide.”
Zed Blocks are prepaid blocks of IT support time that never expires. Similar to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone tariff, but instead of buying airtime, organisations buy IT support time which can be used whenever they need to sort out an IT problem. They deliver comprehensive 24/7/365 support usually found only in the most expensive annual contracts, but with no annual contracts or fixed monthly fees.
“We incorporated our students’ personal IT support requirements into the utilisation of the Zed Blocks,” said Bill, “up to the point where their laptop or device can see the wireless network. Beyond that the responsibility is the student’s themselves. Zed One also helps the students with these issues but at the student’s own expense.”
On-Site Help To Get Issues Sorted Face-To-Face.
As well as providing telephone support, as part of the agreement Zed One engineers spend a day a week at each of the 2 campuses so that students can get issues sorted face-to-face. This not only directly benefits the students but has also removed this element of support away from the in-house technical team freeing up there time to spend on the academic IT needs of the university.
Commenting on the success of the scheme, Bill Scott said, “There have been no problems at all with the level of support that Zed One now provides to our students. We are really pleased with the way that they have solved this problem and recommend them to all our students as the place to go for their personal IT support requirements.”