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Introduction to Franklin OIT

The Franklin College Office of Information Technology (Franklin OIT) is a member of the Franklin College Dean's Office and supports the mission of Franklin College through support and leadership in information technology. As an HDI Team Certified Organization, Franklin OIT is dedicated to providing exceptional IT support characterized by optimism, accountability, teamwork, and continuous improvement.

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The HDI Team Certified Award recognizes an IT service team for its commitment to service excellence achieved through the adoption of best practices and the acquisition of enhanced skills and knowledge.

Franklin OIT is made up of the following functional teams:

Client Services

The Client Services team provides client support and computer maintenance services to all faculty and staff within Franklin College. Client Services is the first point of contact for faculty and staff who need assistance with technology and often works as a liaison between the client and other Franklin OIT teams. In addition, Client Services team members also provide consultation and training addressing a wide variety of technology products and solutions used at the University of Georgia. Client Services team members are grouped into support hubs and housed in a variety of locations across campus to facilitate collaborative and sustainable relationships with units of the Franklin College.

Instructional Technology

The Instructional Technology Team provides support for teaching and learning activities taking place within the college. The team provides training and support for a number of campus-wide technology tools including eLearning Commons, Blackboard Collaborate, Student Response Systems, and Kaltura digital media storage & streaming services. Additionally, the team provides planning, training, and troubleshooting support for classroom audio-visual equipment and services.  The Instructional Technology team can also provide customized individual or group workshops for supported tools and services, either independently or in collaboration with other UGA-affliated support teams.

Systems Management

The Systems Management Team provisions and maintains the hardware and software infrastructure that powers various IT services provided by Franklin OIT. They monitor Franklin College's technology assets, ensuring a high level of security, stability, and availability. In addition, the Systems Management Team provides consultation on a wide array of IT services including server hosting and support, guidance on technology budgeting for grant proposals, and best practices for data storage and backup solutions. 

Web Services

The Web Services Team provides a full range of Drupal-based web services including planning, design, and development for clients within Franklin College. The team develops and manages departmental websites as well as the design and branding guidelines for all Franklin College-related websites. They offer these same website services for units (centers or institutes) for a fee well below market rate. The Web Services team also provides initial setup of self-maintained websites for faculty and research labs for free.

Availability of Support

Franklin OIT is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Franklin OIT is not available when the University of Georgia is closed for holidays or inclement weather; however, support requests will continue to be monitored for emergency situations.

Franklin OIT provides technology support for Franklin College faculty and staff as well as graduate assistants and teaching assistants in their administrative and instructional responsibilities. The Client Services team responds to all requests for service on the basis of priority and severity and resolves requests as quickly as is feasible; however, there may be times when service is not immediately available. We request your patience and understanding while we strive to serve and address all of the needs of Franklin College in the most efficient manner possible.

Requesting Service

While Franklin OIT does its best to anticipate the needs of our clients, not every challenge can be proactively addressed. It is important for our clients to participate in the support process by reporting emerging issues as they become aware of them. Franklin OIT can then intervene to minimize the severity and impact of the problem.

When submitting a request for service or support, please contact Franklin OIT using one of the following methods. Utilizing these methods will allow Franklin OIT to better provide timely support and service. Franklin OIT will respond to your request or issue as quickly as we are able.

Please be sure to include the following information with your request so that we can address your request in a timely fashion:

  • Your location
  • The computer(s) involved with the request or issue (which may include additional identifying information such as an IP address or UGA property control number as requested by your Franklin OIT team member)
  • A detailed description of the request or issue including any error messages you encountered and any troubleshooting steps already performed
  • Confirmation of your best contact information so that we can easily communicate with you

Franklin OIT Helpdesk Ticket System

Franklin College faculty, staff, and graduate TAs and RAs can request service through the Franklin OIT ticketing system using our web-based helpdesk accessible at https://helpdesk.franklin.uga.edu.  The helpdesk is monitored by all members of Franklin OIT in order to facilitate the best level of service to our clients. Requests and issues are routed to appropriate teams for action and response as they are received. Clients can use the helpdesk at any time to view the status of their requests and will receive email updates as their support request is resolved. The Franklin OIT Ticket System is the preferred method of requesting service or support.

Franklin OIT Helpdesk email

Franklin College faculty, staff, and graduate TAs and RAs can also request service by emailing helpdesk@franklin.uga.edu. Emails sent to this address are actively monitored by all of members of Franklin OIT. Upon receipt, a helpdesk ticket will be created on the client's behalf so that the service request can be properly documented and routed to the appropriate team for action and resolution.

Franklin OIT Helpdesk phone number

Franklin College faculty, staff, and graduate TAs and RAs can also request service by calling 706-542-9900. A Franklin OIT team member will answer the client's call and document the service request. The team member will attempt to resolve the issue, fulfill the service request, or route the request or issue to the team member best able to provide further support. While there will always be a Franklin OIT team member ready to answer your call, there may not always be a team member who can immediately respond to your request for service or support. As always, members of Franklin OIT prioritize requests or issues on the basis of impact and severity and seek to respond as soon as is possible.

Levels of Service

The following guidelines describe how Franklin OIT utilizes its limited resources in order to maintain a consistently high standard of support. When Franklin OIT is unable to fully resolve a client's request or issue, a team member will offer assistance finding alternative resources to help clients meet their information technology needs.

Standard Support

Standard Support is the highest level of support provided by Franklin OIT.

Devices that meet all of the following qualifications are provided Standard Support:

Devices must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • A designated primary device issued to a faculty or staff member
  • A device located within an instructional classroom
  • A device that is part of a check-out pool used for instructional purposes

Standard Support includes support for hardware and software owned or licensed by the University, Franklin College, or other related divisions of UGA. Hardware support leverages existing warranty agreements with our primary vendors to offer a faster and more comprehensive pathway to issue resolution than is available at other levels of support. Software support includes proactive system management such as automated updating and patching services that are vital to ensuring the continued availability and security of devices and services.

Devices covered by Standard Support are remotely managed, often allowing Franklin OIT team members to resolve requests for service with limited or no impact on a client's work.

Requests and issues involving devices covered under Standard Support receive priority service over other non-qualified devices.

If you have questions about your device's eligibility for Standard Support or would like to know how to qualify your device, please contact Franklin OIT using one of the methods described above.

Limited Support

Devices which fall outside of the qualifications for Standard Support will receive Limited Support. 

Limited Support includes a consultation with a Franklin OIT team member in the event of a request or issue. The consultation will determine the scope of the client's request or issue and determine what services can be provided. Franklin OIT may be able to provide additional support beyond the initial consultation depending on the complexity of the request or issue, the condition and configuration of the device itself and their available resources.

Due to the inherent limitations in Franklin OIT's ability to support devices that fall outside of Standard Support, clients whose devices fall under Limited Support may assume additional risk and liability for the security and maintenance of their devices. Franklin OIT team members will work with clients to make certain that they understand what their responsibilities for their devices are as well as providing alternative avenues for support when appropriate.

Devices covered by Limited Support receive a lower priority than devices under Standard Support.

Clients whose devices do not meet the criteria for Standard Support are encouraged to work with Franklin OIT to bring the devices into Standard Support. Contact Franklin OIT using the methods described above to determine what support your device is eligible for, how to bring your device into Standard Support, or if you have any additional questions.

Standard Policies

Franklin OIT is dedicated to providing service and support that complies with all relevant policy requirements as well as best practices of the information technology industry. For your reference, links to many of the policies and laws that Franklin OIT team members and all UGA-affliated clients are required to adhere to are provided below. While this list is not intended to be comprehensive, it is provided in the hopes that our clients can better understand our collective obligations regarding use of technology within Franklin College and how those obligations affect the solutions that Franklin OIT team members provide.

Federal Laws

State Laws

USG

UGA

Franklin College

Inventory Policies

Security Policies

Other Policies

Client Responsibilities

Franklin OIT relies on client collaboration during the support process to achieve the best outcomes. When requesting assistance, clients should be familiar with the information outlined below. If you have any questions about client responsibilities, please contact a Franklin OIT team member for clarification. 

Requesting Service

While Franklin OIT does practice proactive support, it is the responsibility of our clients to notify us of emerging issues or to request assistance. Please be prepared to offer as much detail as possible concerning your request or issue. Franklin OIT often requires an in-person examination of affected hardware or software and may require additional details from the client in-person, so please be prepared to facilitate access to resources required to completely and properly resolve the issue. We rely on our clients to respond to requests for access and information in a timely fashion so we can provide a resolution as quickly as possible.

Policies

Clients should be familiar with Franklin OIT, UGA, and USG policies and guidelines as well as state and federal laws. The Standard Policies section above provides easy access to many of these laws, policies, and guidelines. While Franklin OIT does its best to provide solutions that meet or exceed these standards, it is ultimately the individual's responsibility to comply with these policies, guidelines, and laws.

Data Management

Franklin OIT understands the importance of client data and does everything it can to maintain the integrity of that data. However, clients are ultimately responsible for the management of their own data. It is vitally important to understand where and how data is stored and that all necessary data is consistently backed up in multiple locations. Local external hard drives, mounted network storage, and third-party cloud storage are all options for helping preserve and protect data from loss. Franklin OIT is available to provide assistance with creating a backup strategy and consultation on the various backup options that are available.  For more information on data management, clients are encouraged to contact Franklin OIT team members using the methods above.

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In order to provide fast and comprehensive solutions to issues, it is often necessary for Franklin OIT team members to re-image machines. This process involves completely erasing all of the information on a device's local drive and installing fresh copies of the operating system and all of the software that our clients may require. For this reason, it is imperative that a current backup of your data is maintained and monitored at all times to ensure that all important data is being saved regularly and properly.

Research Data

Research data storage and backup requires special consideration especially with regard to personally identifiable information. It is important for researchers to understand that data storage is a vital part of their work and deserves its due consideration in both planning and grant-writing stages as well as during and after data collection and analysis. While Franklin OIT is not currently able to provide extensive infrastructure or support for research data, Franklin OIT professionals can assist you in identifying your data storage needs and recommending proper solutions for resolving them. If you would like to request assistance, please contact Franklin OIT using the methods described above.

Sensitive Data

Clients are responsible for reporting any machines that contain sensitive or restricted data to Franklin OIT. Franklin OIT follows best practices when interacting with any data but different policies and procedures may apply when handling sensitive or restricted data. When notified or requested Franklin OIT team members can securely erase machines that contained sensitive or restricted data prior to repurpose or surplus of the machine.

Cloud-based Storage

As data storage technology has improved, new options have appeared for data storage. One of these options is Cloud-based Storage. Cloud-based storage is simply an abstracted means of taking data from a place that the client controls (such as their local computer hard drive) and placing it into a centralized and managed location (such as an internet-connected data center). This allows clients to make their data available from multiple locations as well as providing the peace of mind that comes from having their data managed by storage professionals. Some examples of cloud-based storage providers are Google Drive, Apple's iCloud, Box, Dropbox, and Backblaze. All UGA faculty, staff and students have free access to Microsoft's OneDrive as part of the campus Office 365 license.

However, the same qualities that make cloud-based storage so useful also make it more risky in terms of security. Clients are ultimately responsible for the security and integrity of their data and Franklin OIT recommends that clients treat all data stored with these service providers as publicly accessible. Clients should request clearance from UGA Legal Affairs prior to storing intellectual property with any cloud-based storage service. Clients should always adhere to all policies and restrictions for internal, sensitive, and restricted data regardless of where they ultimately decide to store their data.

Data Loss

As always, clients are responsible for reporting any issues that they encounter while using Franklin OIT supported hardware. However, with data and data storage devices, it is vital that any issue be reported as soon as possible. If your issue is caused by a hardware failure, it is likely that continued use of the hardware will make the problem worse and limit our ability to effectively recover any data from the device.

Because clients bear final responsibility for their data, clients also bear full responsibility for paying for any emergency data recovery services that they incur. Emergency recovery services are necessary when hardware failure prevents Franklin OIT team members from recovering your data without risking further, irreparable data loss. While Franklin OIT does not provide these services ourselves, we can recommend third-party providers who do so.

Emergency Data Recovery services are expensive, time-consuming and often result in data that is either incomplete or missing vital contextual information (like file names and dates). You can avoid the need for such costly processes by maintaining and testing proper backups of your data. Your attention to your data can save you valuable time, money and stress. As always, Franklin OIT team members can assist you in identifying your data needs and suggesting appropriate avenues for support. If you would like to request assistance, please contact Franklin OIT using one of the methods described above.

FOIT Responsibilities

Franklin OIT team members strive to offer the highest levels of support to their clients. The following principles guide our team members' conduct in their work and are the means by which we measure success. They also represent our commitment to our clients to provide them with the best solutions to their requests or issues in a respectful manner. 

Professionalism

Franklin OIT team members strive to have a thorough understanding of the needs of our clients as well as the various technologies that we use to meet those needs. Team members seek to provide the most effective and efficient solutions for our clients while also complying with applicable policy and adhering to the best practices of the information technology industry. We work with our clients to provide them with the necessary information in order to best make informed decisions about their use of technology within Franklin College. As industry professionals, we have an obligation to properly report, document and remedy security issues as well as maintain and protect the confidentiality and integrity of our client's data.

Courtesy

Franklin OIT team members seek to properly understand and respond to our client's requests and issues in a respectful manner. We listen to our clients to understand the requests they are making or the issues that they are having and use our knowledge and experience to provide proper solutions that best meet our client's needs. We seek to educate and inform clients when possible in how to make better use of their technological resources and how best to maintain them. We respect our client's rights to privacy and maintain the confidentiality of client data and other information to which we are granted access.

Timeliness

Franklin OIT team members seek to respond to all requests for service in a timely and appropriate manner. While we can't respond to every request immediately or resolve every issue instantly, we seek to address and resolve all of the requests and issues of our clients in the most efficient manner possible.

Accountability & Improvement

Franklin OIT team members are dedicated to continually improving the quality of the service we provide. As such, all client requests and issues are documented in the Franklin OIT ticketing system. This allows our team members to continually review our performance, catch emerging issues as they arise, and make certain that all team members are providing appropriate solutions to their clients. Each helpdesk ticket also provides the opportunity for clients to provide feedback about the quality of service that they receive.

General feedback, including feedback about our processes or procedures, can be submitted by responding to the "How did we do" option on all Franklin OIT webpages.  Feedback from this form can but does not have to be tied to a specific service request or incident.