Community Spotlight - Sarah Kennedy

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Recently Bomgar released the inspiring story of how the Bomgar solution allowed the University of York, ranked within the top 100 universities in the world, to reach new heights in responding to the needs of its community. Instrumental in that project was Community member, Sarah Kennedy. After experiencing so much success with their support endeavors, we thought the Bomgar nation should get to hear a little more about Sarah herself.

Liz Richardson: Which title do you prefer? Techie, IT Pro, Support Warrior, Bomgar Bomber? Or feel free to give your own.
Sarah Kennedy: Support Ninja             

LR: When you aren’t saving people from their technology demons, what do you find yourself doing?
SK: I'm an avid supporter of Leeds United Football Club (soccer to you!). We used to be good (in the 1970s) Famous American player Eddie Lewis used to play for us.     

LR: Is your help desk using Bomgar to support internal employees or external customers? Or both?
SK: University of York; Faculty, Students and Staff.

LR: What specific support problems or challenges does your business face or are unique to your industry?
SK: Funding is a major issue in UK Higher Education. Central government funding to Universities has been cut and next academic year students will pay £9000 a year. So the next major challenge is student expectations and how we can improve the student experience.

LR:How did you or your company choose Bomgar?
SK: We compared Bomgar against other market leaders in UK HE. Had test sites set up for 2 products and let our staff feedback. Bomgar won due to the cost model, feature set and supports/sales staff.

LR: What’s the most interesting Bomgar session you’ve conducted to date?
SK: We've gone international and supported our academics working in the field in New York and China. They think its magic. We're just doing our job!

LR: What tip or advice do you find yourself giving most to your support peers?
SK: Don't put pressure on yourself to resolve everything at first line. As a first line support rep you need to know the basics about every service we provide. Staff at second line know a lot about one thing so they can resolve the more indepth issues. Its not a failure!

LR: What has been your biggest frustration as an IT professional?
SK: Getting second line techies to give a response time. Even an estimated one will do. And people who buy Macs because they look cool but then don't know how to use them!

LR: How prevalent has supporting mobile devices become for you?
SK: We're seeing a definite rise this year in requests for access to our services on mobile devices. Luckily a good set of instructions usually enables users to connect to wireless and email the first time without much intervention from first line staff. We've just started the process of moving to Google Apps for education, so i'm sure this will increase support load as users want to add mail and calendar to their devices.

LR: If you could create any gadget for the future, what would it be?
SK: A screening system which blocks any contact from users if they haven't already gone through exisiting support docs first !

LR: If you had a support professional motto, what would it be?
SK: Keep Calm. Switch it off and  back on again.

LR: Anything else you would like to add?
SK: If you'd like to know more about University of York and Bomgar, my colleague Pritpal Rehal is speaking at the conference in Reading on the 29th

If you have any questions or comments for Sarah, feel free to leave them below!