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Old 02-08-2005, 08:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help desk staffing

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A client of ours has asked us to provide some guidence on help desk staffing for BlackBerry users.

I'd appreciate any input on how many FTEs (full-time equivalents) are need to support a given number of handheld users.

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We support almost 700 BlackBerrys on three continents, with four BES.

90% of support is in the initial device setup.

We do not have any individuals dedicated to BB support. It is far less than one FTE (a term I despise). Almost as bad as "Human Capital"
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well with about 100 BB users, we have basically myself as the guru, and I have 3 other admins under me. While they aren't sole blackberry admins, they double for groupwise admin, server admins, etc... we take 1 week on 1 week off for an on-call rotation. With a primary and secondary on call each week. The primary and secondary switch places each day.

We have, I think, at minimum 2 help desk staffing the NOC 24/7. They page out problems to the admin.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We currently have 28 devices deployed and BES 4.0. I handle all the handheld support and BES/Exchange administration, among other things.

James
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd pretty much agree...as long as the HD/Desktop techs are decent, you would probably need around 1 Admin for countless devices. I would say it would depend on the HD/Desktop techs though. If you have idiots, then the Admin will be tied up all the time fixing trivial problems, but if they're good, then you will probably only have to spend maybe 2 hours a week doing problem solving. To designate one individual as a HD specialist though...that's a tough sell.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I support our BES from a server/configuration aspect. We have a dedicated Help Desk/Tech Support who handle support of the Blackberry (in addition to the numerous other end-user support issues). I will step in and help out with some users' BB issues (such as our C- and V-level users or my immediate superiors). As mentioned, its rare that we have issues post-installation/configuration.

I would think that our main issue (as well as everyone else's, most likely) is someone wondering why they are not receiving emails to their handset. This is generally in an area that does not have connectivity to a data network.

I think proper training (as well as hands-on) is a must for any support personnel. I also think that having a handset is a must for them as well (I know, a given, but you'll be surprised at those who do not see the relevance of supporting a device you actually use versus one that you've never seen.. heh).
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Old 02-09-2005, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Create Help Docs

We have 1700 Blackberry users and rapidly growing. We are a very large retail company. We have recently transitioned all of our blackberry support to the regular helpdesk. We created knowledge documents for the basic stuff and the more in depth support eventually makes it back to us........the BES admins. There was only 1 of us, then it became 3 as support increased. Currenlty though with the creation of basic help documents that any help desk associate can access, this significantly decreased the amount of time we spend on help calls and increased the amount of time we get to test out new technologies.

1700 Blackberries - 10 BES servers and increasing every day!
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have set-up, trained and am currently supporting 90 Blackberry users. The time is taken up by the insatalls and training. Once its all running, they need little support
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just a thought...but giving your help desk (perhaps incorporate a ticketing system or request system) folks Blackberry's goes a long way. We ended up getting units for all the techs and support calls went down dramatically.

I used to troubleshoot from the papercard they handed out as a business card at seminars. Fun Fun.
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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We have 80 users all over Europe and no dedicated support staff.

Queries go through to our IT Helpdesk who are trained in basic troubleshooting (is GPRS turned on etc.)

Anything more complex is escalated to two 2nd level support personnel who will deal with them.

BES is supported by one person with another as backup.

To be honest, a lot depends on what the BBs are being used for. If they are mission critical and carry a lot of applications, that's where you get into potential full time personnel. It also depends on how much someone is willing to spend.

I have a fair bit of experience setting up call centres for support - feel free to pm me if you would like to.
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with TBESAdmin, all my help desk staff have blackberries so they know the ins-and-outs themselves when users have questions. Not a requirement but it helps.

I do have a question for other admins with multiple staff. We currently were administering BB users by remote desktop into one of the blackberry servers with the service account password. (obviously a security issue).

I am now moving to a method where each user who will have access to add/remove/administer users will use the Blackberry Manager from their local system. We have an AD group that they must be a member of, the group has access to the BES account mailbox and the SQL server BES database.

My question is, anyone know of an automated way to install ONLY the management console and autosetup the MAPI profile and SQL server settings?
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am the main Blackberry guru here in my company. We have about 200 Blackberries deployed, mostly 7280s, a few 7290s and we are not seeing the 7100G. We have the BES admin who take care of the server and putting people into the proper groups (We are a Lotus Notes shop) and then Desktop Support (primarily me) who troubleshoots them. There are 4 of us in our team and we can all setup the Blackberry (728 and 7290) and give a tutorial on how to use it. However, I am the only tech that can install/support the 7100G and do support for the 7290. Seems like the rest of my team doesn't want to learn the 7100G or 7290 (I'm talking Bluetooth support mostly for the 7290 as the device itself is pretty much the same).

Our HelpDesk does not have Blackberries are are clueless when it comes to troubleshooting these. Well, then again they don't want you to call in with a problem.

When we deoply a new Blackberry device, we also give them a Blackberry tips guide that contains basic troubleshooting tips and some shortcuts. It's helped us out with the amount of Blackberry specific calls we get.
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Old 05-19-2005, 07:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobla
I have set-up, trained and am currently supporting 90 Blackberry users. The time is taken up by the insatalls and training. Once its all running, they need little support
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