OIT Managed Desktop FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. How do I get help?
  2. When can I expect help, and from whom?
  3. Why does my ServiceNow Incident email notification say that my request is Low priority?
  4. What is the process for Incident escalation?
  5. What does OIT Support include?
  6. Do you offer assistance in person, or remotely?
  7. What if my computer repair will take an extended period of time?
  8. How does printing work?
  9. What does OIT expect from its Supported Units?
  10. How quickly will OIT handle my help request?
  11. Which Policies, Rules and Regulations do I need to follow?
  12. Why don’t I have Administrative access to my managed computer by default?
  13. What will my daily computing experience be like when I am using a managed computer?
  14. How do I connect to the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
  15. How is my data backed up?
  16. How often are patches applied to my managed computer?
  17. How often will my managed computer reboot?
  18. Do I have the option to delay or cancel a reboot?
  19. What should I do if my work depends on a software package that is not compatible with the latest OS version or with a recent security patch?
  20. What data are you collecting about my computer?
  21. What is a LANTech?
  22. What can I expect to happen when my department migrates to the managed computing environment?

1. How do I get help?

Call 515-HELP when support is a priority. Calling will dramatically shorten resolution time. Although problems are quite often resolved on first contact, escalation and 2nd tier response times are much faster if you call. When time is not an issue, email help@ncsu.edu. We typically respond to email within 24 hours. Email requests are assigned “Low” priority by default.

For specific response time information please see Section 4 of our Service Level Agreement (SLA).

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2. When can I expect help, and from whom?

OIT delivers its Managed Desktop Service in collaboration with the following providers of environment, hardware, and application support services:

  • Groups within OIT (NC State Help Desk, Infrastructure, Systems and Operations, Communication Technologies, and Managed Desktops and Hosted Services)
  • Vendors and service providers external to the university, e.g., Dell, Lenovo, Apple, or Microsoft.

The OIT Help Desk provides Direct Support. OIT Help Desk staff support campus-wide services such as Google applications, password resets, and enterprise systems and applications. If your issue requires an on-site visit from a desktop support technician the Help Desk will transfer your request to Managed Desktop Support (MDS) and they will respond to resolve the issue. MDS’ standard response times are detailed in our Service Level Agreement (SLA) Section 4. Service Level Objectives – Response times

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3. Why does my ServiceNow Incident email notification say that my request is Low priority?

Every Incident is assigned Low priority by default. As part of our regular Incident Management workflow, our technicians assess the Impact and Urgency of your request based on the information you provide them, and may adjust the Incident priority accordingly. Impact and Urgency are terms with industry standard definitions, and you can learn more about them here:  ITIL (industry standard) Incident Priority Matrix.

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4. What is the process for Incident escalation?

If your IT issue is urgent or preventing you from doing work please indicate that in your comments or directly to the technician. If you would like to speak to a manager please request that and one will contact you to discuss the situation and provide details.

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5. What does OIT Support include?

OIT supports Staff workstations, kiosks, and conference rooms as defined by the OIT Managed Desktop service. Our Service Level Agreement (SLA) describes the Managed Desktop service in detail:

  • Refer to SLA Section 3.1 Scope for information about the scope of OIT’s Managed Desktop service.
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.2 Planning and Purchasing for information about computer purchases. Managed Desktop Support consults with all of our Supported Units to determine configurations that best meet your budget and needs while maintaining compliance with both OIT and university standards. Supported Units are responsible for purchasing computer hardware, printers, and accessories such as hard drives, mice, keyboards, and tablets.   
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.3 Deployment for information about how computers are configured within OIT’s managed computing environment.
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.4 Management – General for information about how the Managed Desktop Support team manages computers and permissions within OIT’s managed computing environment.
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.4 Management – Printing Support for information about how the Managed Desktop Support team supports networked printers. Printer hardware maintenance costs are the supported unit’s responsibility.
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.4 Management – Software Support
  • Refer to SLA Section 3.2.5 Retirement and Replacement for information about surplusing computer equipment.
  • Refer to SLA Section 5 Responsibilities for descriptions of roles and responsibilities (both individual and shared) of OIT support staff and Supported Units.

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6. Do you offer assistance in person, or remotely?

We deliver the OIT Managed Desktop Service through a variety of media and methods. We use phone, email, knowledgebase articles, or remote assistance tools to resolve problems remotely whenever possible. If we determine an on-site visit is necessary, we will dispatch a technician to work on unit-owned workstations. We arrange for replacement parts and perform repairs on manufacturer-warranted, unit-owned workstations. At our discretion, we may repair a workstation at your location or at our offices. If repairs take place at your location, Managed Desktop Support is responsible for the on-campus pickup and delivery of your workstation or affected parts. However, you must deliver any off-campus workstations to us for repairs. If a workstation is not manufacturer-warranted, your unit must purchase replacement parts, but may, with prior approval, allow us to order them and charge back the costs.

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7. What if my computer repair will take an extended period of time?

If a warranted workstation may take a long time to repair, Managed Desktop Support may configure a temporary loaner workstation for the affected End User.

Managed Desktop Support will arrange a suitable time to return a repaired workstation to service. If a failed workstation is not manufacturer-warranted and Managed Desktop Support determines repair is not feasible (e.g., not upgradable to current specifications or difficult to obtain parts), Managed Desktop Support will inform the unit and extend the use of the loaner workstation, up to a maximum of one week.

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8. How does printing work?

For assistance with any issues related to printing call the OIT Help Desk at 515-HELP.

The Managed Desktop service includes access to networked printing and standard print functionality for desktop computers. Wireless printing is not supported. OIT associates network printers to End User computers according to End User request(s).

Managed Desktop Support manages printers through OIT’s print servers on a secure printer network. Managed Desktop Support provides basic connectivity but limited support for unit-owned network-attached devices:

  • Activates port(s) and assign IP addresses to connect your unit’s networked printers to the network.
  • Creates the appropriate print queues on the OIT-provided print servers and install the necessary print drivers on your unit’s Workstations.
  • Provides basic troubleshooting of printer problems as they occur.

If a Supported Unit owns a printer, the Supported Unit will be responsible for:

  • Configuration, address book and associated data.
  • Installation, physical maintenance, repairs, relocation, and consumables such as toner, ink, paper, and fuser kits.
  • Clearing paper jams, refilling ink, toner and paper trays, installing other consumable parts (e.g., fuser kits), and contracting with support vendors to perform physical repairs.

If a Supported Unit’s printer is supplied by WolfCopy, the Supported Unit will be responsible for:

  • Contacting WolfCopy support technicians concerning network connectivity and maintenance.
  • Configuration, address book and associated data.
  • Physical maintenance, repairs, relocation, and consumables such as toner, ink, paper, and fuser kits.

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9. What does OIT expect from its Supported Units?

Both Managed Desktop Support and its Supported Units contribute to the Managed Desktop service. End User responsibilities are detailed in our Service Level Agreement (SLA) Section 5. Responsibilities.

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10. How quickly will you handle my help request?

Managed Desktop Support staff work to address all End User requests and questions as quickly as possible. During the troubleshooting process, response times for questions and information received depend on a variety of factors. Our standard times to respond after receiving requests are detailed in our Service Level Agreement (SLA) Section 4. Service Level Objectives – Response times.

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11. Which Policies, Rules, and Regulations do I need to follow?

Anyone using university-owned computing equipment must comply with POL 08.00.01 – Computer Use Policy, REG 08.00.02 – Computer Use Regulation, RUL 08.00.18 – Endpoint Protection Standard, REG08.00.03 – Data Management Procedures, and the software Clickwrap policy. Other policies such as state and federal requirements, or policies concerning research environments or personal, financial, or student information may also apply to you. Managed Desktop Support assists with the identification, interpretation, and application of policy to ensure security and compliance.

You must also comply with Managed Desktop Support’s Administrative Access policy which states:

  • End Users are not granted Administrative access by default. In addition, Managed Desktop Support does not support any software installed locally by Administrative users.

Any exceptions to this policy require approval by the appropriate Data Steward(s). Directors and/or Department Heads may request an exception to this policy by submitting an exception request to help@ncsu.edu. The exception request should include the End User’s name, Unity ID, and business reason(s) for the exception. Managed Desktop Support management will review and approve exception requests, and may decline requests for a variety of reasons, particularly if a Supported Unit has access to sensitive data. During Phase 2 of the Endpoint Protection Standard implementation (July 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020) and continuing afterward, you must request exceptions with OIT Security and Compliance’s IT Exception Form and must renew them annually. 

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12. Why don’t I have Administrative access to my managed computer by default?

If an End User has access beyond the scope of their role, they may be able to obtain or modify information in unauthorized ways. If OIT delegates access permission carefully and deliberately, we limit would-be attackers from damaging university systems and information. Thus our policy for granting End Users Administrative access on local computers aligns with the “Least Privilege Access” control found in RUL 08.00.10 – Endpoint Protection Standard (see the Glossary for a definition). We adhere to the principle of least privilege by configuring hosts to provide only the minimum rights necessary to the appropriate people, processes, and hosts.

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13. What will my daily computing experience be like when I start using a managed computer?

The user experience on an OIT-managed computer is designed to be standardized and stable. Upon login with Unity credentials, an End User can customize their desktop’s look and feel and use it as one would expect to use any computer in a professional work environment. Computers will lock after 30 minutes of inactivity and require a Unity password to unlock.

The standard suite of software in the managed environment includes the most current versions of Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat DC, as well as a variety of security and maintenance applications. If additional software is needed, submit a help request and we will assist you with procurement and installation. You may need to request a license through the OIT Software Licensing group and we can assist with that process too. Store your files on your dedicated personal 4GB B: drive, or on your shared departmental S: drive.

All laptops have Remote access to the NCSU network enabled. The university Virtual Private Network (VPN) client is included on all OIT-managed laptops. If you need remote access to a desktop computer on campus, submit a request for permission to access that machine remotely and follow this process after permission is granted.  

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14. How do I connect to the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

  • Locate the Cisco AnyConnect shortcut on your system and open it.
  • In the Connect To: field, enter: vpn.ncsu.edu
  • Select Connect.
  • When you are finished, be sure to Disconnect.

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15. How is my data backed up?

We retain 28 days of S: Drive and B: Drive data. Google Drive data and Email are retained for seven years.

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16. How often are patches applied to my managed computer?

We patch Microsoft products on managed Windows endpoints on the second Friday of every month. Endpoints that are turned off during the patching window will receive patches on next restart. More detailed information is available on the NCSU Active Directory Patching Policy page. Non-Microsoft applications that are deployed through managed means are patched and updated according to the NCSU Active Directory Patching Policy.

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17. How often will my managed computer reboot?

A managed computer will reboot every Sunday morning at 2 AM unless a logged in user is actively using it. If on two consecutive Sundays a user is logged in and using the computer at 2 AM, the computer will reboot regardless to ensure patches are applied. 

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18. Do I have the option to delay or cancel a reboot?

If you have a business need that necessitates leaving a process, such as code compilation, running over the weekend during the scheduled reboot, please submit an Incident to the OIT Help Desk detailing the business case, Computer Name, and required reboot schedule.

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19. What should I do if my work depends on a software package that is not compatible with the latest OS version or with a recent security patch?

Call the OIT Help Desk at 515-HELP for assistance.

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20. What data are you collecting about my computer?

We track inventory information about computers in the managed environment to help us manage IT assets across their lifecycles. We gather information about the specifications and warranty status of your hardware, as well as the software installed and its version level. This information helps us to ensure compliance with various controls.

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21. What is a LANTech?

The LANTech is a point of contact for OIT in your Supported Unit. The LANTech coordinates communications between a Supported Unit and OIT. The LANTech’s primary responsibility is to disseminate information from OIT to their Supported Unit.

LANTechs act as liaisons and advocate for their units’ needs. They also assist OIT with gathering local information to aid in troubleshooting, service calls, replacement of computers, and incident coordination. LANTechs have varying levels of capability with regard to installing software and managing local desktops in their Active Directory Organizational Unity (AD OU).

LANTechs are appointed to their roles by their local management and are responsible for attending OIT’s training course to orient them to the Managed Desktop Environment. LANTechs are also expected to attend the LANTech group’s monthly meeting on the last Thursday of each month, from 3:00-4:30 PM via virtual meeting.

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22. What can I expect to happen when my department migrates to the managed computing environment?

A typical migration schedule appears below. OIT will negotiate your department’s actual migration schedule with you.

Weeks 1-2

OIT Management will meet with your department’s leadership to explain our service, answer questions, and provide a general overview of the migration process. Together, we will make decisions about scheduling, software, support processes, printer support and additional needs.

Your department’s leadership will communicate IT changes to your department’s End Users as a group. Your department may choose to schedule a town hall style meeting where OIT explains our service, expectations, processes and timelines, and provides opportunities for questions.

Weeks 3-4

Your department provides OIT with the following information:

A list of machines, their locations (buildings and room numbers) and End Users to migrate. The list will include valid phone numbers of migrating users so we can contact them directly with questions.

A list of printers, their locations (buildings and room numbers), their IP addresses and printer configuration passwords. This list must specify which End Users use which printers.

Your department will need to decide whether all workstations in the department will be able to print to all printers. If not, OIT will need you to provide a list of which subsets of workstations should be able to print to which individual printers.

Your department is responsible for granting OIT administrative rights to all migrating systems.

Weeks 5-6

OIT will collect detailed inventory information for the list of computers provided by your department.

OIT will deliver as much of the following information detailing the computers as we are able to collect:

Hardware that may need attention by the department to replace it or to bring it to modern standards to meet compatibility minimums and the needs of the users.

A list of any non-standard software we encounter to ensure compliance and the ability to re-install it if possible.

Weeks 7-8

Your department will work with OIT to:

Remediate issues with hardware, replacing hardware that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of modern OS standards or End User needs.

Collect installation media and acquire necessary software licenses.

Prioritize system onboarding based on which workstations can be re-imaged immediately and which workstations need to be delayed.

Weeks 9-end

OIT will use newly-collected inventories to build onboarding schedules and shares them with your department. Depending on the geographic locations of affected End Users, the availability of support staff, and which onboarding processes we need to follow, OIT may onboard 3-15 machines per day.

OIT will share Windows 10 introductory documents and/or training resources as agreed upon with your department.

Depending on the onboarding strategy, you may be asked to:

Provide application install media and validated license keys for non-standard software.

Back up all your data, settings, and profile information.

Reboot your computer and test functionality after migration.

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