New River CTC’s small IT department manually managed all employee and student password issues. With a tremendous amount of password reset calls coming in, the department was overwhelmed.
Alleviating IT requests
New River CTC is a comprehensive community college encompassing nine counties with four campuses located over 100 miles from each other. New River CTC has to support IT requests for students and staff spread across four locations serving a nine-county region. Dr. David J. Ayersman, vice president for technology and library services at New River CTC said, “We have a centralized helpdesk, which is very important, but also a challenge because of the geographical distance, and the number of requests we receive.” The helpdesk received a large number of requests, especially at the beginning of the term, with the most commonly reported problem being requests for a password reset. Students and employees often would come back to school after a break, forget their passwords and be locked out of their accounts. The IT staff is very small and only works limited hours per week, usually during normal business operations. As is the case in most educational settings, students complete work at night or during the weekends and often would forget their required passwords to student information systems. Thus, students would not be able to complete their work and had to wait until the helpdesk staff returned in the morning or on Monday to reset their password. The time lost was overwhelming and prohibitive. “Even with 60 hours a week, it’s not a 24/7 helpdesk,” said Ayersman.
“Taking our number one reported problem and implementing a solution where endDr. David J. Ayersman, Vice President of Technology at New River Community & Technical College
users are empowered to fix it themselves was a great progressive step for our school.”
New River CTC needed a way to handle password reset requests without having to perform them for each user manually. Ayersman said. “Our sister school, Bluefield State College, successfully uses Tools4ever’s Self Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM), so we knew how useful and easy it was to implement.” New River CTC staff inquired about SSRPM and liked what they learned. “It was something we could implement with our small staff and get big dividends,” said Ayersman. New River CTC IT staff worked with Tools4ever’s team to quickly and easily implement SSRPM into the school’s network. “Sometimes, we have projects that go on for months or even years. This (SSRPM) was not that difficult. SSRPM was extremely easy to implement in our network with the help ofTools4ever,” said Ayersman. SSRPM was also customized, providing a link in the student portal where students and staff can go directly to reset their password when needed. Students can click on the link and reset their passwords after answering a series of security questions without needing to contact the helpdesk. Ayersman added, “Being able to empower the user was a large component of why we liked SSRPM.”
Students and staff are now able to reset their passwords from any device, anywhere, at any time that they need. They don’t have to rely on the helpdesk to help with a problem that they can solve themselves. “Taking our number one reported problem and implementing a solution where end users are empowered to fix it themselves was a great progressive step for our school,” said Ayersman. SSRPM also has drastically improved the efficiency of the small IT department. Ayersman added, “We can now handle more complex problems since we aren’t tied up with the simple ones that users can do on their own.” Password resets at any time Whether users forget their password after a break or are locked out of the system after IT office hours, they can easily reset their passwords and continue work. This has allowed students and staff to more efficiently complete their work after hours and not need to worry about a forgotten password. According to Ayersman, “SSRPM has been a great success for us.” He goes on to say that “These days it is difficult to find a solution to any problem that is affordable. SSRPM is definitely one,” proving that you don’t have to break the bank to have a huge impact on your end users