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Exceeding customer expectations: Ten years of collaboration between UCOL and New Era Technology

Whenever a student, or staff member at the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) has a Tier 1 or Tier 2 IT support issue, they call the UCOL Service Desk for help.

And they get it. Fast. 80% of the calls are, on average, resolved immediately by the Service Desk team. The remaining 20% of calls, for the most part, are resolved within hours.

These impressive metrics are the result of a very successful ten-year partnership between UCOL and New Era Technology. New Era’s dedicated Tertiary Managed SLA Team operates and staffs the UCOL Service Desk to resolve Tier 1 and Tier 2 issues, works closely with the UCOL IT team to identify and rectify faults before they impact on IT service performance and ensures that the user experience for stakeholders and customers exceeds expectations.

Indeed, the UCOL / New Era support model is transparent to stakeholders. Customers might not even be aware that the UCOL Help Desk is outsourced. All they care about is resolution. If their support issue is resolved in a timely manner they are more than satisfied. And they are.

Reputation for excellence
“During their time at UCOL, New Era have created a reputation for excellent service and the feedback from stakeholders and customers is consistently positive,” says Craig Collis, Director of Information Systems and Technology, UCOL.

UCOL, with campuses in Manawatū, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Horowhenua, is a modern Institute of Technology and Polytechnic with specialty in Applied Engineering and Trades, Health and Sciences, Humanities and Business. Student enrolment across the four facilities exceeds 6000.

“The main benefit we see from New Era’s Tertiary Managed SLA Team is their professionalism,” continues Collis. “Users with Tier 1 issues receive immediate attention, expert advice, a clear indication of what the issue might be and how and when it will be resolved.”

New Era’s Regional Managed SLA Team currently has a staff of 16 with 64 years of combined experience. Six of those team members are assigned to UCOL.

New Zealand-wide support services
Many educational institutions in New Zealand partner with New Era for IT support. “New Era has an annual client base of over 700 schools,” says Richard Hall, Lower North Island Regional Manager at New Era Technology. “Our core business is providing end-to-end network support and management to the education sector.

“In this role,” Hall continues, “we remotely service and support 1,856 servers, more than 45,500 desktops and in excess of 30,000 1:1 student devices. In fact, 1 in 5 primary and secondary students in New Zealand attend a school where the network is managed by New Era.”

Collaborative approach
The New Era Tertiary Managed SLA Team assigned to UCOL works very closely with the UCOL IT team to ensure smooth network operations. “We are generally the first to identify a fault,” says Tahu King, Technical Team Leader at New Era’s Palmerston North support facility. “We’ll troubleshoot the issue as much as possible before raising it with the UCOL IT Team. Depending on the fault, we work collectively with the UCOL Team to identify the fault, test and resolve the issue.”

New Era’s support goes beyond Tier 1 and Tier 2 help desk issues. “We meet with Tahu or one of his team at least once a week,” says Collis, “to discuss a range of IT operations. They are our eyes and ears on the ground, identify areas where we can improve and allow us to be proactive in adding additional services. In addition, they can fill any gaps we might have for either trouble shooting or capacity planning.”

Conclusion
The ten-year relationship between UCOL and New Era has just been extended an additional year (as of October, 2019). “We are pleased to know that we will continue with New Era’s expertise and professionalism for at least another year,” concludes Collis. “With the upcoming restructuring of the polytechnic sector in New Zealand, continuity for IT services will be paramount. It will be a time of major change. But with New Era as our tech partner, we can look forward to the future with confidence.”

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