Insights - Meeting student expectations pepperdine
Pepperdine University

Meeting student expectations for 24x7 IT support.

Challenge

Provide 24/7/365 help desk support for students and faculty while reducing the burden on IT staff

Results
  • Improved help desk access and responsiveness 
  • Reduced close rate on help desk tickets 
  • More time and resources for IT projects

Outsourced and expanded help desk services at Pepperdine University enable IT innovation.

“Twenty-four-seven service is expected at any large and first-class institution,” said Abrash Khanmalek, associate director of client services in information technology at Pepperdine University. “But operating a 24/7 call center is just not cost effective.” 

Pepperdine serves approximately 7,700 students across more than five campuses in California, as well as in Washington, DC, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. For nearly two decades, the university managed all the IT help desk needs of its students, faculty, and staff through walk-in and call-in IT support centers on each campus. 

Over time, the complexity of IT problems evolved along with new technology and new systems to support—from students accessing university systems on the latest smartphones to technical issues with new IT investments in application development, network security, and campus Wi-Fi. The volume of support requests across campuses taxed IT resources and plans for innovative IT service projects were postponed due to limited resources. 

In 2008, Pepperdine began a partnership with Ellucian Help Desk Services to operate a 24/7/365 help desk call center. And in 2017, Pepperdine and Ellucian collaborated to integrate their help desk ticketing systems, enabling instant data sharing and easier-to-run analytics. 

The efficiencies gained from outsourcing have allowed Pepperdine’s IT department to move forward on a spectrum of new IT projects and innovations, including projects that improve campus IT security and the university’s Wi-Fi, as well as the start of a new robotics program.

The student expectation of first-class institutions is akin to customer expectations from leading, world-class technology companies, like Apple. They want excellent in-person, over-the-phone, and online service, for everything they need.

Abrash Khanmalek, Associate Director of Client Services in Information Technology, Pepperdine University

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