Time Warner division moving to latest HelpStar software

FRAMINGHAM (01/06/2004) - The Columbus, Ohio-based division of Time Warner Cable Inc. said it plans to upgrade its help desk software to include asset management capabilities.

The new version of Toronto-based Help Desk Technology Corp.'s software, HelpStar 8.0, will help Time Warner Cable track its IT equipment from purchase to the end of the product life cycle, helping streamline an already existing process, according to Bill Myers, network administrator for the cable operator's Columbus division.

The asset management feature in HelpStar 8.0 comes in addition to a range of other features that Myers already uses to support a six-person help desk, which in turn supports about 1,000 Time Warner personnel in central Ohio. Most of the personnel run a call center used to serve Time Warner Cable customers.

Gemma Young, product manager for HelpStar, said the new version also includes analysis tools for evaluating help desk performance, such as how many help desk incident reports were resolved on the first call.

Myers said turnover on his help desk, and the reliance on part-time contract workers, makes the analysis tools valuable. "I've always found the new guys can use it Day 1," he said, noting that his division has used earlier versions of HelpStar since 1999.

Myers also said Help Desk Technology has always responded quickly to any problems and has been prompt with its software updates. He has an annual support package from Help Desk that costs US$3,700.

In 1999, the Time Warner division judged HelpStar to be the best tool for a help desk that was then one-third its current size and supported one-third as many users. But it scaled well as the number of users reached 1,000, with 12 branch offices, Myers said.

Young said HelpStar falls into the class below competing help desk software product Remedy from BMC Corp., which is available for larger enterprises with more than 10,000 users. HelpStar is designed for help desks at midsize companies with between 100 and 10,000 workers, according to Help Desk Technology.

Pricing for HelpStar 8.0 begins at $2,495 for a package covering two help desk representatives and an unlimited number of end users. It was announced Nov. 17.

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