Help is at hand! How the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) Helpdesk support process works
The AODN maintains, enhances and supports numerous applications and platforms (not just the AODN Portal); these applications include the IMOS Matlab Toolbox, Animal Tracking Database, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Images Viewer and IMOS OceanCurrent. The AODN Helpdesk is in place to ensure that any queries received are addressed, monitored and recorded in a centralised location.
The majority of Helpdesk queries arrive via email to info(at)aodn.org.au, on the odd occasion a phone call, and more recently enquiries via social media. Email is the AODN preferred method, it ensures the query is never missed as it is distributed to a group and it provides an accurate record of the initial request.
The first respondent to a helpdesk enquiry is the Helpdesk co-ordinator, who triages the contact, determining if the answer has been provided before and therefore can be immediately distributed again, or if it is a new query, in which case an acknowledgement email is sent while investigation begins.
If the query is new and hasn’t been answered previously, the Helpdesk co-ordinator forwards it on to the AODN team member(s) best equipped to deal with the query. If required the query may be forwarded to external parties for a direct response or responses sent back to the Helpdesk co-ordinator who then liaises with the user.
In many cases answers to queries about The AODN Portal can be found in the Portal User Guide - previously featured in our story on 17 August "The AODN Portal User Guide". The Helpdesk co-ordinator will also use the content from queries and subsequent replies to continually update the Portal User Guide content.
The Helpdesk co-ordinator aims to provide support within 2-3 days, however this can vary depending on what the query is and who is supplying the answer, and most of the time it is much sooner than this which is a great outcome and enables users to carry on with their activities.