Faculty Publications


Automating residence hall internet signups

Document Type



Automatic ticket generation, HEAT, ResNet

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings ACM SIGUCCS User Services Conference

First Page


Last Page



As colleges and universities are moving into the realm of providing Internet connections to the residence dormitories (ResNet), the local help desk is becoming the focal point for registration and problem resolution. The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) was faced with an avalanche of 3000-4500 possible contacts for Resnet account setups in a very short time frame at the beginning of fall term. The problem was how best to automate this signup activity while providing the customer timely and reliable service. Another challenge was how to best provide the staff and students (and, if necessary, parents) with some type of reporting methods that would be accessible to all who needed the information. UNI has used a combination of web-based applications, email, and reporting software to solve these problems. The web-based applications automate submittal of a request via email to initiate entry into our HEAT (Help Expert Automated Tools from Goldmine Software) call tracking central database. The HEAT system subsequently provides reports that are generated giving both the current status of the request and where it lies in the work queue. Additional steps are taken in order to ensure the individual request is serviced in a timely manner. Monitoring software with predefined filters is applied to the applications and notifications are automatically delivered to the appropriate managers when applications fall behind the predetermined time intervals. Additionally, as applications are completed, distributed support personnel are able to close out the work requests by using a web page application. The audience for this paper is intended to be support personnel whose university provides Residence Hall Internet access and a central Help Desk positioned as the hub for all computer related activity. Institutions working with limited financial and human resources would also be targeted.

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version