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Office of Computing and Information Systems

OCIS Service Policy


OCIS uses the Three-tier support system.  In order for us to efficiently and effectively service over a thousand computers, it is critical that everyone cooperate with us and use the system as intended.  As much as you would like to be able to have someone in our office as your “go to” person or personal assistant, we cannot work that way.  So here is how the system should work. 

Please submit a service request for any routine matter. The next available support person will deal with your request as soon as possible.  For emergency service (e.g., computer doesn’t work, can’t login, password doesn’t work), call OCIS at 6-2725.  In case of a laptop problem, you can bring it directly to the OCIS office at 0113 Old Dental. 

Please do not ask for a particular person unless that person has already been assigned to deal with your request.  Instead, explain the problem to the person who answers the phone, and you will be helped by that person or referred to the right person to solve your problem.  Please take the time to explain your problem and be willing to try what is suggested.  Do not insist that someone come to help you immediately.  Often all the support personnel are tied up with other requests and are not immediately available.  Most problems can be resolved over the phone if you just will be patient and try what is suggested.  Here is a run-down of who is in the office and what their roles are. 

Tier I: Front desk – Computer Support Technician - Coretta Torain

Coretta screens all calls to the office and is the first person to deal with all walk-in clients.  Please explain the problem to her and see if she can help you before asking for someone else.  She can deal with all password problems.  She is a very well-qualified computer-support technician and can handle many problems herself without referring them to Tier II.  If it is an EPR problem, she will refer you directly to one of the programmers if necessary. If it clearly is a hardware problem, she will help you arrange to have the UNC Computer Repair Center fix it. If it is a problem with software that she cannot resolve in a few minutes on her own, she will refer the problem to the Tier II support analysts by having you fill out a service request.  Your service request will go in a queue to be dealt with by the next available analyst.

Tier II: Computer support analysts - Lynda Turner and Jerry McElreath

The analysts address items in the work request queue based on order of submission and urgency, and they manage all computer set-ups which are submitted as work requests by the front desk when received.  They are the primary people you will have contact with if the problem cannot be solved at the front desk.  The analysts handle overflow from the front desk when things get too frantic or Julia is out of the office.  If they cannot solve a technical problem, they use various on-line support networks or ask for help from Tier III.

Tier III: Systems administrator – John Le

The system administrators’ main duties involve managing the Dental School’s servers and server-based applications including our web services, clinical database systems, and Exchange e-mail system.  They usually are not available to do direct support for individual computing needs.  It is critical for them to concentrate on keeping systems running for everyone rather than dealing with the needs of one customer.  They get involved in direct user support only when we are totally overwhelmed with requests.  When they do so, it usually means they are neglecting important server management tasks.  Please do not ask them to deal directly with your computer problems.  The Tier II analysts will involve them as needed if they cannot handle the situation themselves or the workload is overwhelming. 

Programmers – Jenny Bang, Younus Syed, and Tim Murphy (web admin)

The programmers develop and support clinical and administrative database applications such as the Electronic Patient Record.  Application problems will be referred to them by the front desk when the problem cannot be dealt with at a lower level.  Sometimes problems that appear to be the database application are really problems with your computer and an accurate diagnosis must be made before knowing who needs to be involved in fixing it.

Last Modified: 11/11/2013