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IT support for community organisations

By Kerces - 8 November 2005 12

The ACT Government has set up an IT helpdesk for community organisations.

Apparently community organisations often have troubles with their IT equipment but have had nowhere to turn to in the past.

“Community organisations make a valuable contribution to the Canberra community and this IT Helpdesk will assist them in accessing IT support, enabling them to deliver their services even more efficiently,” Mr Hargreaves said.

Infoxchange Australia has been selected to provide IT telephone and other web-based support to the 150 community organisations during the 12-month long pilot program.

A friend who often has to give (free) IT assistance to people who almost know what they’re doing (like me) commented, “Pity those poor bastards! Providing support to unknown (and cheapo) third party systems!”

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
IT support for community organisations
greenbamboo 10:54 am 30 Aug 16

Hi there,

The helpdesk is definitely going to be flooded by older generation folks trying to get and send or open up a computer. It won’t be of much use to us with problems that really matter. Besides the amount of time some people take to understand a few simple instructions is way too long and the chance of our call being answered will be null.

Personally i went with a local I.T support company called Technowand here in Canberra for my problems. Very professional, very helpful. Their website is http://www.technowand.com.au

check em out

zllauh 11:37 am 23 Aug 12

Sorry to wake up the old thread, But just wondering if the report is still floating around and if CASE is still supporting Non profit organisations .

dazzab said :

I wasn’t reading RiotACT when this was posted or I would have had quite a rant about it being the founder and President of Computing Assistance Support & Education (CASE). I did have quite a bit to say about it in other venues but just to cover all bases I’ll post this six years later.

The ACT Gov knew perfectly well at the time that community organisations in the ACT have the most successful model of IT support in the country. It’s the only member based IT support specifically formed and operated by the sector itself and it’s national. Been around for 12 years now and has done a lot of very impressive work. See http://www.case.org.au if you are interested or would like to join us in making sure the community sector has access to quality IT services specific to their needs.

As for this specific initiative, the Gov actually put out a select tender (which also went to CASE) offering $30,000 to provide a full time IT support service for 250 organisations. Needless to say that’s beyond stupidity and not even possible. Also needless to say it failed miserably when InfoExchange started calling organisations just to find out they already had a very professional and cost effective organisation doing their IT support.

I have the final report if anyone wants it which BTW, the Gov didn’t require to be published until CASE requested it.

It was a total waste of tax payers money and a real slap in the face to many people here in the ACT that have given a great deal of time and energy to make sure that community groups can put their resources in to service delivery rather than admin costs. The Gov keeps asking the sector to come up with better ways to get more from less. We met that challenge just to watch them throw these funds down the drain.

I’m sure no one here will be surprised at all by this.

LSWCHP 9:50 am 16 Jul 12

Now this is what I call *really* waking up a dead thread! 🙂

54-11 8:47 pm 15 Jul 12

You are right, Dazza. You and CASE have done a fantastic job over many years for so many organisations.

A bit like a prophet having no honour in his own country, methinks.

dazzab 3:30 pm 15 Jul 12

I wasn’t reading RiotACT when this was posted or I would have had quite a rant about it being the founder and President of Computing Assistance Support & Education (CASE). I did have quite a bit to say about it in other venues but just to cover all bases I’ll post this six years later.

The ACT Gov knew perfectly well at the time that community organisations in the ACT have the most successful model of IT support in the country. It’s the only member based IT support specifically formed and operated by the sector itself and it’s national. Been around for 12 years now and has done a lot of very impressive work. See http://www.case.org.au if you are interested or would like to join us in making sure the community sector has access to quality IT services specific to their needs.

As for this specific initiative, the Gov actually put out a select tender (which also went to CASE) offering $30,000 to provide a full time IT support service for 250 organisations. Needless to say that’s beyond stupidity and not even possible. Also needless to say it failed miserably when InfoExchange started calling organisations just to find out they already had a very professional and cost effective organisation doing their IT support.

I have the final report if anyone wants it which BTW, the Gov didn’t require to be published until CASE requested it.

It was a total waste of tax payers money and a real slap in the face to many people here in the ACT that have given a great deal of time and energy to make sure that community groups can put their resources in to service delivery rather than admin costs. The Gov keeps asking the sector to come up with better ways to get more from less. We met that challenge just to watch them throw these funds down the drain.

I’m sure no one here will be surprised at all by this.

colsim 3:47 pm 09 Nov 05

Yeah, I do a bit of helpdesk work and callers can be pretty frustrating – mostly when they don’t listen. I’m find with dumb questions – after all, I don’t know much about – well, lots of stuff – but not listening when you are trying to help gets me working on my plans for a through-the-phoneline-tazer

Maelinar 11:10 am 09 Nov 05

While I agree with your theories bonfire, the community IT helpdesk is going to be hampered by the retiree generation who want to see what all this ‘instant messaging’ and ’email’ and ‘ebay’ is all about, and the helpdesk is going to be inundated with more of the ‘where do I plug the powerplug into’ type questions than anything too complex.

I certainly hope that for a publicly avaliable service they have a call time limit, because there are some DUMB people out there who will hog the lions share of the service.

I also hope that as a community service, they will be empowered to simply state that a questioner is too dumb to be asking such a dumbass question, and for them to play around with the computer for a few more hours before asking their dumb question again.

Disclaimer: over the weekend I attended a function of a large percentage of Canberra’s IT helpdesk professionals, and heard a huge amount of bile directed towards people who call helpdesks. (That, and shot them up a lot with paintballs)

bonfire 10:31 am 09 Nov 05

all i can think of here is – go ‘trailing edge’.

use systems and hardware one or two generations old.

known bugs worked out.

known solutions and patches in place.

use linux/solaris or other non-windows os.

if they can afford it, use mac hardware or software.

in a former life i oversaw a complex system, and we never fielded anything that was ‘leading edge’ because it had to run unattended in the field and work 24/7.

as for a phone helpdesk system contract – in my experience, all these people want you to do is run windows so they can generate more work for themselves.

in a ‘community’ scenarioi m imagining illicit downloading of non-approved software as inevitable, which will bring with it virus or malware issues.

Maelinar 8:40 am 09 Nov 05

I’m having problems with my Linux distribution at the moment, I wonder if I give them a call they’ll be able to help me out…

DT 8:34 am 09 Nov 05

I’m pretty sure InfoXchange provided the PCs, with basic applications, in the first place. Under their GreenPC recycling program.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 9:46 pm 08 Nov 05

I pity them, but they wanted to do it…

Anyway, as long as they aren’t forced to tow the general ACT Government line of “Open Source + End User = Evil” I will have no problem with them.

Vic Bitterman 8:33 pm 08 Nov 05

Good luck to them… imagine dealing with computer illiterate users who in reality are more than likely using a mixed bag of illegal pirated software running on cobbled together 2nd hand computers.

Better them then me.

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