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Al Moayyed International Help Desk System

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1

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DESCRIPTION
Introduction Background of the organization Problems encountered Scope of the system System current used Department usage Competitive advantage Project feasibility System design specifications Hardware requirements Software requirements Task sheet Budget sheet Conclusion References Appendix A Data flow diagram B ERD

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Introduction
In this part, we are going to provide readers with an introduction of the project and what it is about. We will begin by introducing in brief what is a Help Desk System and then we will provide, with some details, general information about Al Moayyed Intl and International Turnkey Systems (ITS). After that we will explain about what were the project objectives, scope and the problem statement. A help desk is an information and assistance resource that troubleshoots problems with computers or similar products. Corporations often provide help desk support to their customers via a toll-free number, website and/or e-mail. There are also in-house help desks geared toward providing the same kind of help for employees only. Help desk is a broadly applied term referring to a staffed resourceoften, an actual desk, or a telephone servicethat can help persons answer questions or to use resources such as audio-visual or computer resources. (Ref: Middleton, I "Key Factors in HelpDesk Success (An analysis of areas critical to helpdesk development and functionality.)" British Library R&D Report 6247, The British Library 1996

Background of the organization Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons BSC (c) (YKA) is the sole agent for Nissan in Bahrain and is a diversified group having business interests in, Construction, Heavy Automobiles, Electronics & Home Appliances, Consumer Equipments Related, Medical Technologies, Technical Services, Building Air Conditioning, Real Estate, etc. Since its establishment more than six decades ago, the Group has emerged as one of the most successful and professionally managed enterprise in Bahrain. 4 Years ago in Bahrain, ITS Company was having only a single Help Desk to handle all of its Customer Request in Bahrain as they were and still supporting many companies in Bahrain. After these companies grow up, a different Help Desk was put in each of these companies business location to reduce the work load and improve the quality of services provided to customers. This help desk had been placed in the FM section of that specific company that ITS is serving. The FM is responsible for effectively and efficiently provide services that support the Al Moayyed Intl staff in pursuit of excellence in their institutional work objectives. This service is directed toward maintenance and operation of all facilities. In Al Moayyed Intl, it is called Al Moayyed Intl -FM the FM has 4 groups and a Help Desk Coordinator. These groups are: System Operation Group (SOG), Service Desk group (SDG), Security and Network Group (SNG), Application Support Group (ASG) and a Help Desk Coordinator. Each one of these groups is has specific tasks in his field of

specialty and they are called engineers except the SOG because they don't do any troubleshooting or fixing. Every engineer is responsible for certain issue to handle when the company staff requests a modification, fixing errors and bugs...etc. For example: ASG engineers are responsible of handling the applications that AL MOAYYED INTL staff are using and making sure they are performing properly and respond to any modification from them. Problems encountered The following are the problems found: 1- Single user of the system. There is one user only that holds all the system processes who is the coordinator. The coordinator receives the requests by phone and enters them into the system then the coordinator calls or tells the engineer that there is a problem to be solved. 2- Data are entered manually may create mistakes or incorrect data and consumes time. This is also may lead to massive data entry errors as the existing system has no validations that triggers when an error occurs. 3- Usability of the system: The next and previous buttons used to navigate between the calls are put at the top with an incorrect order (e.g. the save button is near the delete button, the next and previous are

not even close).Initial user interface is unorganized and not appealing to the users (e.g. unnecessary fields are shown even when they are unnecessary). No confirmation messages are issued to the user. When a user performs an operation nothing is displayed to him to confirm that this operation is done or not.

4- Databases problems of the system: Not normalized, there is a lot of replications in the tables and they are using only two tables that store all information in them. Unclear fields which makes the user confused as he do not no what to enter in that field. Inconsistent with the interface. Some fields are shown while they are not used.

Scope of the help desk system This help desk system will support or impact the following departments 1- Al Moayyed Intl -FM Department 2- Al Moayyed Intl Branches and Departments. It is important to notice here that these departments are initially involved in the proposed system. This system was mainly designed to ease the tracking and following-up process in Al Moayyed Intl -FM Department, where other departments and branches of the company could get to use it upon submitting issues and requests.

System currently used


Al-Moayyed is using for the time being a Microsoft ACCESS application that has only two forms, the main form and an entry form, and designed from four main tables that are not normalized well. The staff should enter every detail into the system, for example: it has neither selection from drop down menus nor any data generation that could fasten the way staff enters the data. Furthermore, Microsoft ACCESS doesn't support the need for such help desk system that multi-users can login to the system at the same time nor the disconnected environment that are features available in more advanced Database Management Systems (DBMS).

A lot of the requirements in this project were collected by interviewing the staff of AlMoayyed help desk. We combined ideas, thoughts, and actual functions, then compared them to the functions of real systems, to come up with these requirements. And one of us was a trainee at that division. Some of the information required was based on self experience.

Due to main interaction of the coordinator role we have interviewed the help desk coordinator Mr. Mohammed Khan to get the major needs that we have to fulfill and to make sure of the correctness of the collected data requirement for the system. Also we have interview with some of the engineers to overcome their deficiencies of the existing system. Finally we have interviewed Al-Moayyed manager Mr. Mohammed Hussain as an assurance of the report that is going to be generated by the new system. 7

It is important to clarify that the requirements collection process was iterative. To come up with the finalized functions, we had to go under lots of reviews, analysis, and comparison processes. Its important to clarify here that there are two main types of users; Al-Moayyed -FM staff and Al-Moayyed Intl staff, which are the company staff.

Department usage
Previously in Al-Moayyed -FM, they were using a very nonprofessional and inefficient Help Desk System for tracking users' requests. It was a small MS EXCEL spread sheet that has columns and rows and the HDC has to enter each incoming request horizontally as the case when he need to write any MS WORD document. It was a very improper system because it lacks the basic functionality of any Help Desk System such as: searching, reporting, following-up requests, retrieving information...etc. The process starts when a user calls the HDC for a certain issue that he needs it to be solved, then the HDC pass it to the suitable engineer verbally and prints the Incident Report (IR) for him so that the engineer would have to fill it by himself with the request information, goes to the user, solve the problem and get the user to sign this IR so that the HDC knows the call has been finished.

What they are using for now is a totally new version for Help Desk System implemented on a MS ACCESS database. It has a screen for the HDC to input each request coming from the users. Also he can generate some reports based on some criteria and search calls only by the Help Desk Reference (HDR). This system also generates and prints the IR with the call information without having the engineer to fill nothing but three things, the updates for that call, call duration and the solution of it. Of course the user signature is still needed.

Competitive advantage
A typical help desk has several functions. It provides the users a central point to receive help on various computer issues. The help desk typically manages its requests via help desk software, such as an incident tracking system, that allows them to track user requests with a unique ticket number. This can also be called a "Local Bug Tracker" or LBT. The help desk software can often be an extremely beneficial tool when used to find, analyze, and eliminate common problems in an organization's computing environment. There are many software applications available to support the help desk function. Some are targeting enterprise level help desk (rather large) and some are targeting departmental needs. Large help desks have different levels to handle different types of questions. The firstlevel help desk is prepared to answer the most commonly asked questions, or provide resolutions that often belong in an FAQ or knowledge base. Typically, an incident tracking system has been implemented that allows a logging process to take place at the onset of a call. If the issue isn't resolved at the first-level, the ticket is escalated to a second, higher, level that has the necessary resources to handle more difficult calls. Also note that some organizations have a third, higher again, line of support which often deals with software specific needs, such as updates and bug-fixes that affect the client directly.

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Larger help desks have a person or team responsible for managing the tickets and are commonly called queue managers or queue supervisors. The queue manager is responsible for the ticket queues, which can be setup in various ways depending on the help desk size or structure. Typically, larger help desks have several teams that are experienced in working on different issues. The queue manager will assign a ticket to one of the specialized teams based on the type of issue. Some help desks may have phone systems with ACD splits that ensure that calls about specific topics are put through to analysts with experience or knowledge on that topic.

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Project feasibility
To develop the Help Desk system, a variety of tools and processing software were used. Visual Studio 2003 was the tool used to build the system, it is a comprehensive tool product line and it reduce the development complexity also it has integrated lifecycle tools that increase communication and collaboration moreover it has a broad range of .NET Framework-based solution, including mobile solutions, windows application, web sites and web services.

As a web based system we used ASP.NET technology to write a dynamic, high performance web application. Unlike ASP, it supports many programming languages e.g. VB.NET, C#, JScript.NET, Perlscript and Python.

The actual code of the system is written by VB.NET as a programming language which is the most popular GUI programming language that helped in building the user interface and makes it easier, also its an object-oriented computer language which support concept like abstraction, inheritance, polymorphism and aggregation, although we didn't use them.

Tables and relationship between them was prepared using MS SQL Server 2000 as a database management system. Its the most suitable for the client/server application. In the server side the SQL server provide security, performance, concurrency, and reliable

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backup. For the client side it provides the user interface and may contain such item as reports, queries and forms. Technical Feasibility. The software developed is technically feasible in terms of bugs free and reliability. The system was checked for accuracy and other procedures for smooth flow of the site. The hardware and the software tools utilized were able to meet the requirements.

Operational Feasibility. By using the evaluation form, the researcher was able to determine the accuracy, efficiency, reliability, and conciseness and user friendliness of the designed system. Based on the results from the evaluation form, proved that the designed system is better and will be widely accepted.

Economic Feasibility. The software development cost analysis method was used to determine the economic feasibility of the designed system compared to the existing manual system. The researchers made use of this method to determine the actual cost of the designed system compared to the existing manual system.

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System design specifications


Submit Request: System should allow AL MOAYYED INTL users to submit software, hardware or network problem related issues as a request in the system whereas the coordinator will have a permission to view them and assign them to the engineer. If users PC are not working they can submit the request by using a colleague PC or by telephone. Approve Calls: End-users who submitted a request and their problem been must will be given the ability to approve the completion and correctness of the engineer works by submitting approval in the system and to avoid arguments between each other that might happen as a result of denial of responsibility from one of the two parties, that are engineers and clients. View Reports: To check the performance or to do some investigating on complains or problems that might occur from the users about the engineers, the system must give the managers, whether the FM manager or AL MOAYYED INTL IT manager, the ability to view reports on demand. Also they will be given a statistics page that shows as much information as possible for them to help in their decision making process. Assign Calls: Coordinator should be allowed to view the submitted call by the users, and according to the information that will appears, he will set the priorities and the assign the call to the right engineer who belongs to the group that have concern with this problem.

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Manage Inventory: The system must include inventory management function in it whereas the IT assets can be traced by which department they are at and which users are using them. This point will be included to follow up with the history of the PC for recurring problems not to mention that its a vital audit point that auditors can highlight against the IT department. Manage Users: The system should give the coordinator ability to work as an administrator of the system, he could add new user (client, engineer or manager), delete user, edit and modify users information. Enter Calls: In case a problem occurred, users should be provided by a login access to the system to submit their problem or if their PC is not working could use the phone to call the coordinator as an alternative way to inform about their issue. Update Calls: Whenever the engineer hand-in a call, mark as waiting or signoff for the user, the system will show the status of the call and the follow up status for that specific call so that the coordinator is continually being updated. View Progress: The system will give access to the coordinator to view the progress of the calls and any new updates that the engineer will make to the calls, for example: Opened and closed call, current status of a call, time take to do a call etc.

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Closing Calls: The system is intended to allow the engineer to close all calls that have been approved by the user after his confirmation on completion of the submitted issue. Assign Device: The coordinator should be able to assign new devices to users that still don't have one or he can assign these devices to departments. Also the system should allow the coordinator to modify the ownership of some devices so that a device maybe assigned to different user or department. Add, delete and update devices are also functionality that should be performed. Project management life cycle

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Project development stages Traditionally, project development includes a number of elements: four to five stages, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology used, the project development process will have the same major stages Major stages generally include:

Initiation Planning or development Production or execution Monitoring and controlling Closing

System development life cycle

Report Inform ation

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Coordinator
Report Q uery Inform ation

View Reports

Q uery Inform ation

Calls

Calls Inform ation

1
Calls Inform ation

Add /Delete / Update Calls

Calls Details

Engineer Inform ation

Engineers

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Hardware requirements HARDWARE PLATFORM 1. Processor Pentium (PIII 1.7GHz equivalents or above) 2. Multiprocessor (2 Intel xeon DP) or equivalent 3. 512 Mb Ram memory (minimum) 4. 2 GB Ram memory 5. 5 HDD 72GB disk space -Application mirror of 2 HDD -Database of 2 HDD RAID 5 -Backup of 1 HDD 6. Tape drive Software requirements SOFTWARE PLATFORM 1. Microsoft Windows XP professional with SP2 (OS) 2. Microsoft Windows Server 2000/2003 (OS) 3. Microsoft SQL server 2000 (DBMS) 4. Microsoft TM Internet Explorer 6.0 or equivalent 5. Internet Information Servers (IIS) 6. .NET Framework Platform Human resource requirements 2 programmers are required to develop this system Usage Client Server Server Client Client/Server Client\Server Usage Client Server Client Server Server

Server

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TASK SHEET Hardware configuration for all systems 256 MB SDRAM 17" Monitor Network tools required Cables sockets Ethernet 100 baseT network interface card routers Hub

Operating system to use Windows XP

Network hardware required Windows 2000 server Dedicated server

Logitech mouse Logitech keyboard Printers Pentium IV 40 GB hard disk 2.66 Ghz processor protocols

By reaching this point it is felt that we achieved the aim of this project by ending up with a Help Desk System that is functioning and fulfilling according to the predefined requirements and objectives, but toward reaching such goal we have faced some obstacles that we should deal with and fortunately we were able to overtake them. The following subsections will firstly introduce some of the accomplishments, obstacles, some discussion about the gained experience and possible enhancements that could enrich and widen the scope that the Help Desk System serves.

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In this project we have discussed various important features any modern helpdesk application should have, and developed a system which can be used in the real world. Much of the information in this report has been collected by personal experience, and various technicians in the Al Moayyed Intl company.

Task sheet S.No Tasks Applications required 1 central server required with Windows 2000 server application connection software back ups & company datas to be provided for 40 users connection for 40 users email facility between 40 users Help desk system fixing cables Time required

1 Servers 2 Back ups 3 Internet connection 4 Printing facility 5 Emails 6 HD installations 7 Cable wires

5 days 3 days 3 days 3 days 2 days 2 days 2 days

The "Help Desk System" not only manages and coordinates the technical support activities in any organization, but it also reduces the workload and eliminates some paper work that is still being done in the existing system.

It is almost impossible to develop any system in a smooth process from the beginning to the end. Any system must face some obstacles or problems. While developing this we

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came against various small obstacles that we passed by asking friends, and looking through books and the internet.

Some difficulties we have faced were around the programming part of the project. The main challenge was to get the benefit from VB.NET and ADO.NET techniques starting from the very basic things about Visual Studio.NET as no member of the group has worked before on it. We have good skills on Visual Basic 6 and a reasonable knowledge of ASP.NET to start with but with the .NET features we have been motivated to learn about a new way to develop applications on the web. A lot of reading and searching was done to learn about ASP.NET web applications. The task was divided among the members according to their interests and skills to save more time and produce more qualitative work.

Some tasks where done in group while many others where done separately. One of the members lead the analysis part and others shared them with their ideas, where other lead the programming part and others gave their ideas as well. Finally, Conflicting requirements, such as speed and performance against space was one of the difficulties that we did not found a suitable way to overcome it as we have used simulated data for testing purposes and did not implemented the tests in a real client-server environment.

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Budget Requirements Requirements HDS installations ASP software router switch Cables Internet connection Fax machine printer machine Scanner machine Windows XP Total Cost -BD Remarks 12000 at BD 300 each 600 Multi license 4 computers connected to each router 1600 10 routers at BD 160 each 6 switches to connect 40 systems at 900 BD 150 each 30 cable wires 160 per month cost at 80 GB capacity 50 60 30 300 40 licenses -multiple user package BHD 15,730.00

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Conclusion
Several things are driving the development of the virtualized help desk. According to IDC, key market factors include the proliferation of remote workers in the enterprise, the expansion of the small and medium-sized business (SMB) and small office/home office (SOHO) market and its increasing dependence on IT, and the need for a cost-effective way to support the consumer market. As workforces become more dispersed 83% of companies say they operate a virtual workplace, in which more than one-quarter of employees work away from their supervisors or workgroups responding to IT issues can be complex and costly if travel is required. One of the main reasons to develop this system is because Al Moayyed Intl is using a huge and complicated help desk system in their company. The Al Moayyed Intl has complicated software, which has been implemented at the branch office and head office. Most of the staff are unable to utilize the software properly and find it difficult to understand its various functions. Thats why we wanted to make something simple and small just focusing on the Help desk system and not the whole management system of Al Moayyed Intl

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References [2] ASP.NET Web, What is ASP.NET? Available at http://www.asp.net/whitepaper/whyaspnet.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=1 [3] Basics of .NET, What is .NET. Available at http://www.microsoft.com/net/basics.mspx [4] BMC Remedy. Available at http://www.remedy.com/solutions/servicemgmt/help_desk.htm [5] Dot Net Spider, What is .NET? Available at http://www.dotnetspider.com/tutorials/WhatisNet.aspx [6] Electra Code. Available at http://www.electracode.com/hda/hda.html [7] Ezy HelpDesk. Available at http://www.ezyhelpdesk.com [8] MS SQL City, The comparison of Access 97/2000 with SQL Server 7.0/2000 by Sergey A. Vartanyan. Available at http://www.mssqlcity.com/articles/compare/sqlvsaccess.htm [9] MSDN, Comparison of Microsoft Access and SQL Server SQL syntax. Available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/enus/off2000/html/acconComparingAccessSQLSSQLSyntax.asp [10] ORACLE Technology Network, PHP and ASP.NET Go Head-to-Head by Sean Hull. Available at http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/hull_asp.html [11] Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft SQL Server 7 in 21 Days by Richard Waymine & Rick Sawtell (Book preview). What is Database? Available at http://www.samspublishing.com/library/content.asp? b=STY_Sql_Server_7&seqNum=11 [12] VB.NET HEAVEN, Why VB.NET? by Deepak Agarwal. Available at http://www.vbdotnetheaven.com/code/apr2003/013.asp

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APPENDIX - A
0.0.1 Context Diagram
Problems Submission Calls Solutions and Updates

Staff

Help Desk System

FM Staff

Views & Confirmation

Calls Details and Requests

Figure 1 Context Diagram

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0.0.2

Data Flow Diagram


1
Submit Requests

Staff

ID & Password

Staff Information

_staff

Staff Information

fm_staff

Associated TAGNO Request Details requests Request Details

2
Assign Calls ID & Password Coordinator

tags_owner

Associated Device calls_log inventory Call Status

Call Details

Call Details

calls_log

Signoff Calls

3
Hand-in Calls Call Details Staff Information

4
Follow-up Calls Signoff Calls

Calls Information & Password ID Calls Updates

Engineers fm_staff Department Detail Staff Detail

_Staff

Coordinator

Call Status

update_calls department

Close Calls

requests

Calls Information Request Information HDR

_staff

Approval

5
Close Calls

6
View Progress Calls Information

Calls Information Inventory Information

Coordinator

Problem History

Calls Information inventory_history Call Status Staff Information calls_log requests Calls Information

inventory_history Inventory Staff Information Details

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TAGs History Manage Inventory Inventory Information

_staff

Update Information Retrieve Information

inventory

Request Information Staff Information

Create and Updated Inventory

8
View Reports

Staff Information tags_owner Calls Information Staff Details Coordinator

_IT_Manager Department Information fm_staff Calls Information Staff Information

Updated Information

9
Manage Users

_staff

Staff Information department fm_staff Create/Update Staff Information

FM_Manager

Create/Update Staff Information

_staff

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Entity Relationship Diagram


KFH _Staff Users _Roles PK Role Role _Group

1..1

1..N

PK

StaffNo SFName SLName DeptNo SPostion Extension E_mail Device _Ownership Password Role

FK 4

Department PK DeptNo DeptName Floor Branch PK

1..1 1..N
FK 3 PRT _Group PRT Group _Name

1..1 1..N 1..1

1..N

Request PK FK 2 FK 4 ReqNo StaffNo PRT Desc Req _date _time TagNo Assigned

Call _Log PK FK 1 FK 2 HDR

1..1
FM_Staff

1..N

FK 3

SID CallStatus ReqNo Prioirty SRT Approved Signned Assign _Date _Time Handin _date _Time Signoff _Date _Time Call Duration Close _Date _time

1..1

PK

SID SFName SLName GroupName Extention E_mail Password Role

1..N 1..N
FK 1

1..N

1..1 1..1
Users _Roles 1 PK Role Role _Group PK

1..N
Inventory

1..N
UpDate _Call PK ,FK1 HDR FollowUpStatus Tag _Owner PK ,FK 1 TagNo StaffNo DeptNo

1..1 TagNo
DeviceType BrandName DateBought devive _Serial Ownership

1..1 1..1

1..1
Inventory _History PK ,FK1 TagNo DateFixed ProblemDesc

1..N

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Application Process Flow We are going only to describe the processes that need some clarification as they have little ambiguity concerned with them. Process (1)

Staff

ID & Password

Submit Requests

Staff Information

staff

Associated TAGNO Request Details requests

tags_owner

Associated Device

inventory

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Process Name

Submit Requests Al Moayyed_staff

Input Data

information, TAG Number

Output Data

Request Details

Seq. 1 2 3 4

Process Steps AL MOAYYED INTL user enters user name and password to login to the system The system retrieves Staff information from AL MOAYYED INTL_staff table and the device details from inventory table for this specific user The user enters problem details and submit it The system gives the request a number and saves its details in requests table. Table 2 process (1)

Process (2)
Staff Information fm_staff

requests

Request Details

Assign Calls

ID & Password

Coordinator

Call Details

calls_log

process (2) Process Name Assign Calls

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Request Details , FM_staff Input Data information (engineer) and coordinator ID & password Seq. 1 2 3 4 5 Process Steps FM Staff, who is the coordinator in this case, enters his user name and password to login to the system. The requests are received either through the system or through telephone. If through telephone, the coordinator fills in an appropriate form to register the request into the system. The system displays all new requests details to the coordinator. Each problem has a group of engineers to deal with it. The coordinator assigns the selected request to the suitable engineer. The system gives the call an ID, which is the Help Desk reference (HDR) and saves all call information in the call_log table. Table 2 process (2) Output Data Call details

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