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Federal Desktop Support White Paper

Please take a look at another writing sample from my Tech Writer days. In this white paper, I wrote about my team providing federal government desktop support services.

The client is highly knowledgeable and experienced in providing Unclassified and Classified desktop system integration, client security, and desktop support. The Desktop Support Team is well-versed in the strengths and weaknesses of leading-edge commercial, enterprise network topologies, collaborative environments, operating systems, data collection technologies, and modeling and simulation techniques. The client’s personnel have applied these technologies to:

•Facilitate the elements of enterprise IT systems, Information Assurance (IA) support, Information Management (IM), and operations
•Enable seamless and deep exploration/dissemination of massive quantities of data
•Discover items previously unknown as important to operations
•Enable credible representation of multivariate factors in a simulated environment
•Facilitate stakeholders’ interactions and capture associated data via web-enabled platforms
•Visualize and report information in a way that is digestible to users

The Desktop Support Team’s approach to enterprise operations leverages the strengths of technology in order to balance it for optimal results. The Team has and will adapt, as relevant technologies evolve due to the innovation of its personnel or industry at large. The Team’s approach continuously offers, in its Navy Medicine contracts, several benefits over other service delivery methodologies:

•Structured, efficient, and effective project management implementation
•Managed releases, bundle defect repairs, new features, and modified features in a single deployment, minimizing the impact on the user
•Software feature or defect repair verification for a new release occur at key points within each phase; therefore, issues for a given release are resolved before promotion to the next applicable phase occurs, minimizing the potential negative impact on the production environment and ensuring a quality product is presented to users
•Centrally stored version-controlled documents and software source code with requirements traceability, which ensures usage of the artifacts’ correct version

The client’s Desktop Support Team uses the proven industry standard Tiered Structure-Generalist model to run helpdesk support. In this model, Tier I technicians answer and log incoming calls and handle the issue or elevate it to the proper level (or Tier), to ensure fast support. This organizational structure guarantees that the most important customers and the most serious issues are handled first. In addition, this standard reduces the number of calls required by the customer to resolve their issue. The Team provides an enterprise approach to operating and managing information technology assets associated with helpdesk support. The personnel have extensive experience in desktop, laptop, printer, and mobile device helpdesk support. The Team provides baselines that assist in the implementation of a seamless and transparent service across all Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) helpdesk customer base. The personnel adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which provide a core responsive set of common helpdesk IT services to the BUMED enterprise.

The Desktop Support Team resolves common laptop or desktop problems and aggressively pursues resolutions to unique issues, while following established escalation procedures. The Team supports Remedy, the customer’s primary means of submitting, tracking, and monitoring trouble tickets. When a problem is outside local control, the personnel elevate the ticket to the proper team. The Team follows DoD, Navy Medicine, and industry best practices to support resolutions and corrections of configuration errors. Further, the Team conducts surveys with the BUMED customer base to assess services and improve overall IT support.

To ensure issuance of secure assets to users, the Desktop Support team maintains and deploys a computer baseline image, updating the image monthly at a minimum. This guarantees timely system deployment, which meets all required security guidelines. The Team continuously updates its systems and network with the latest security or functional updates as policies dictate. The personnel monitor network performance and security policies to detect performance or intrusion attempts. The Team adjusts its organizational policies and responds appropriately by making network or system changes in response to issues.

The Desktop Support Team is well-versed in maintaining Unclassified and Classified enterprise desktop deployment. Capturing current software and hardware on user machines is part of the Desktop Support Technicians’ responsibility. When new hardware is deployed, the Team cross-walks users through safeguarding information and performing data back-up filing. This process enables users to be vigilant in maintaining back-up copies of their data in their personal drives on the NetApp solution. This process also assists Desktop Support Technicians in the event of file moves due to a hardware failure or loss of Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). The Team performs additional backups of the NetApp device, allowing for offsite storage of the data in the event a total system failure. Currently, the helpdesk installs software that is identified in Department of the Navy (DON) Application and Database Management System (DADMS) and is part to the Enterprise standard image. The BUMED Desktop Support Team developed SOPs and checklists that provide instructions and steps in the migration of user data from old to new equipment.

The Desktop Support Team researched and implemented emerging technologies in Navy Medicine contract efforts. A primary initiative was replacing the physical servers with virtual servers at the BUMED Headquarters (HQ). Virtual servers are more efficient, use less power, are easier to maintain, and cost less over their life cycle compared to standard physical servers. The Team worked with the department heads to develop a tablet solution for the government customer. They ordered and distributed 120 Dell Venue 11 Pro tablets across the HQ. Following the lead of the NAS Pensacola HQ command, the Team integrated an Ad Hoc warning program. This program allows designated officers to warn command employees of imminent dangers via email, desk phones, and cell phones.

The Desktop Support personnel are knowledgeable and comfortable with maintaining Classified managed enterprise desktop deployment. The Team is diligent in taking extra steps to keep all Classified equipment and data in appropriate and designated areas only. The personnel are vigilant about maintaining only limited and essential software on the Classified equipment in order to minimize risk. The Team conscientiously runs updates to ensure security of workstations, servers, printers, routers, switches, and other equipment. The Team has extensive experience in installing Intrusion Detection System (IDS) on all systems, including cables, which would enable for alarms to go off if an incident takes place.

The Team developed an Equipment Management Plan, outlining interaction with all equipment vendors to resolve and correct issues to each customer’s satisfaction. Every vendor has different policies regarding how to handle incidents. The Team cultivated strong experience dealing with the various industry processes of different vendors, such as Dell, Juniper, Cisco, HP, Microsoft and many others. Desktop Support personnel follow the documented SOPs and perform the appropriate procedures to communicate, escalate, and solve problems as required by each vendor. The Team also has direct experience supporting current and emerging mobile technology.

Specifically, the Desktop Support Team demonstrated excellent performance in providing Unclassified and Classified desktop hardware and software troubleshooting and repair support in its previous and ongoing Navy Medicine projects. The team provides 24×7 support and monitoring of SSC Atlantic Network Security Operations Center (NSOC) and the Enterprise Security Operations Center (ESOC), which are the backbone for the IT services for Navy Medicine. The Team provides the core Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), strategic planning, lifecycle support, program management, and Tier 1, 2 and 3 positions to SSC Atlantic and their operations. The personnel directly support 60 Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF), 160 smaller clinics, and more than 50,000 medical professionals worldwide that provide treatment to Army, Navy, and Air Force Warfighters, their families, and Veterans.

The Desktop Support Team worked and continues to resolve all trouble tickets from the time of the call until reaching a solution using the BUMED ticket system Remedy. The Team locally provided Tier I and Tier II level support of all network, server, and workstation systems. The average number of tickets that they handled per year was 4,200. Using Remedy as the database, the Team investigated and documented problems, causes, and the corrective actions to resolve each issue. The Team developed a documentation library of lessons learned that helped solve future issues more effectively and efficiently. This process minimized the damage done when personnel changes occurred and reduced the impact of lost corporate knowledge due to attrition.

In the case of individual customer concerns regarding LAN connections, the Team works with the end users to correct and repair the errors and captures all incidents in Remedy. The assigned technician calls the customer, diagnoses, and corrects the issue. The technician then records the incident and all pertinent data in Remedy, including any corrective actions to fix the problem or issue. This process establishes a ticket history of trouble call trends with particular equipment. Analysis of these trends allows the Team to stop greater problems from evolving. The Desktop Support experts are proactive in anticipating large-scale problems and alleviating customer concerns by informing all end-users if the command is experiencing problems, such as network outages, email delays, or erratic wireless service outages. In summary, the Desktop Support Team skillfully interacts daily with BUMED customers and end users, providing hands-on assistance with resolution of Remedy trouble tickets for computers, mobile devices, policies, and procedures.

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