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Remedy: Take the Cure

By Christopher Strauss, Computing Systems Support Database Administrator

What is Remedy, and what it is trying to tell me?

This is an extensive March 2000 revision of an article that was in the September 1998 issue of Benchmarks Online, and in the February 2000 Benchmarks Online.. More revisions may be made in the future and the latest version can always be found at the UNT Remedy Website HELP DESK CENTRAL.

My Remedy what!? has been resolved???

Wondering what the following e-mail message that you just received means? Are you curious about what Remedy is, and why it is sending you mail? Wondering what an EUID is, and why you have been assigned one? Then read on...

To: <your email address here>
From: arsystem [arstrap@unt.edu]

Subject: Case HD0000000017022 has been resolved.

Please open  http://arsweb.unt.edu/cgi-bin/expandhd.pl?case=HD0000000017022 on the web.  Click on the "Modify" link, select Close Case or Reopen Case in the Confirm Resolution field, then Save Changes.  Description: <whatever the support staff used to describe your problem>

Initial Development and Implementation

The answer lies in a project that the University's computer support staff embarked upon in 1997. The Distributed Computer Support Management Team (DCSMT) of the University of North Texas, a subcommittee of the Information Resources Council (IRC), resolved in 1996 to select and deploy a campus-wide trouble call tracking system for computer support problems. We selected and purchased the Remedy Action Request System in the fall of 1997, then spent the 1997-1998 school year installing, configuring, and customizing it. Interface re-design was actually facilitated by a graduate team project in CECS 5310, Human-Computer Interaction. During the summer of 1998, we implemented the system in most of the campus computer support groups and part of the central Computing Center.

Recent Upgrades and Expanded Access

In December 1999 we upgraded to a new version of the system (Help Desk 4.0) that featured a consolidated Service Console interface and tabbed forms, as well as significant improvements in User control over notifications. By switching to the new Enterprise-Wide User-Id (EUID) system for login names, we were also able to make authenticated access possible for all of our University customers via the web (ARWeb). We were also able to add capabilities to enter new trouble tickets by email, and to provide supplemental pager notifications. As we begin the year 2000, all of the academic units and most of the administrative units have been trained and are in production, using Remedy as their automated trouble call tracking system.

Additional areas (TeleComm) and processes (wiring requests, premium remote access subscriptions) are being moved to Remedy this spring semester. As the use of this system increases on our campus, the likelihood that YOU will receive a message from arsystem [arstrap@unt.edu] increases as well. You may find it useful to have a little bit of background information about our system, and about the messages it sends. The following articles provide background, explanation, and illustrated instructions.


Background:

What the Remedy Action Request System does for the University of North Texas

EUID - What is it, why do I have one, and (for Faculty and Staff) why isn't it the same as my network login?

How-To:

Interpreting Remedy E-mail Notifications

Reporting a NEW problem using Remedy ARWeb  (caution - many large screen shots)

Modifying your Resolved Trouble Ticket (Case) using Remedy ARWeb

Completing a Customer Satisfaction Survey for a Closed Case using Remedy ARWeb

Using Remedy Web - the Java Client (basic instructions, and HUGE SCREEN SHOTS - just like the real client)


Notes:

As of December 1999, the email notifications will appear to come from arsystem@antidote.acs.unt.edu instead of arsystem@remedy.acs.unt.edu, and will show a Reply To: address of arstrap@antidote.acs.unt.edu ; These are both automated mailing addresses, and do NOT route to the technician handling your trouble ticket.


Direct questions regarding this article to the Computer Systems Support Database Administrator (Christopher Strauss). Additional information on the Remedy Implementation Steering Committee web is also available. The Remedy Steering Committee is a sub-committee of the Distributed Computer Support Management team (DCSMT).