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Customer Service Issues

Fred Gertler, Santa Clara University
Dean Leith, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Jan Marotta, Ashland University
Richard Blood, San Francisco State University
Ronnie Monterrosa, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

The session focused on the partnership that exists between the new customer and the staff of Innovative Interfaces from the day that the contract is signed, through implementation and finally day-to-day maintenance of the system.

Dean Leith discussed the Implementation Services Department which now consists of three managers. This department works with new libraries from the time the contract is signed until all modules are satisfactorily functioning. The three managers oversee the hardware installation, software profiling and staff training. Each library works with a project manager who coordinates all the details of the implementation.

It was announced that the Getting Started manual is currently in beta testing for Web access. In the future, the worksheets will be filled in online via a Web interface. Additional implementation procedures under review include a review and update of all introductory documentation and the calling in of all trainers to the home office once a year to retrain them and update them on new products.

Jan Marotta noted that the hardware implementation at her library was easy since the computer center at Ashland University handled it ably. She joined the IUG listserv as soon as she knew that they would be installing the INNOPAC, made site visits to other Innovative libraries and enlisted other IUG members as consultants to help with the implementation. Her library migrated from a Gaylord Galaxy system and encountered problems with the data migration. Innovative staff was able to help solve this problem. Her suggestions for new libraries included early checking of everything shipped to the library in case there are missing parts; channel all local questions through the systems coordinator so that one person knows all that is happening with the installation; work with the trainer for aspects of the system to be covered; and ask for a formal handoff from the implementation team to the helpdesk for ongoing support so that you know who to contact and when.

Richard Blood mentioned a three-way partnership between San Francisco State, Innovative, and LTI as they reauthorized their database as part of their implementation. His library utilized an in-house implementation team consisting of task forces for all modules that included faculty and students as well as library staff members. His suggestions for a successful implementation included lurking on the IUG listserv, checking the IUG Directory for libraries with similar setups, working closely with the Innovative implementation team, and using the CD-ROM manual for answers to many questions. He also offered some cautions to new users: Be aware of time zone differences when calling; if you allow individual team members to correspond with Innovative staff, be sure to copy everything to the project coordinator; look at everything in TestPAC including searches, punctuation, indexing (especially music) and formatting of data. Above all else, the new library needs to keep an open mind when asking the trainer questions. New users must be flexible to try things differently with the new system. What worked in an older system may not be practical in the new.

Ronnie Monterrosa explained what happens when the library receives its formal handoff from the implementation team to the helpdesk. Thirty people work in the Customer Services Department which includes technical and application experts. The new library is assigned a Team Leader who is there to help escalate service calls when problems have not been resolved within a reliable period of time. The department is currently working on web pages that will allow member libraries to track and open their own service calls and will include pages of online resources including FAQ and tutorials.

Recorded by: Karen Perone, Rodman Public Library

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