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NEWS | May 20, 2014

690th NSS tests new virtual service desk app

By Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The personnel at the 690th Network Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field Annex are working hard to put an end to long periods of telephone waiting times and put more power in the hands of each user with a new product called the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk.

The product, also known as vESD, is a client-based application that serves as a communication platform between the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk and all 850,000 plus users on the Air Force network. Currently, the product is going through a trial period and is expected to be released in October 2014.

The ESD provides computer related support to all Air Force military and civilian personnel. The 690th NSS is responsible for establishing, operating and maintaining the ESD.

"This tool helps modernize cyber operations across the Air Force," said Lt. Col. Mark Reith, 690th NSS unit commander. "It brings the Air Force into industry standards and allows us to use our precious human resources more effectively."

Work on the application began in March 2014 when the 690th NSS partnered with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and the Air Force Integration Center. AFLCMC is the program management office and AFNIC is the cyber engineering center for the Air Force.

The 690th NSS invited a mix of personnel with different levels of computer based knowledge from across JBSA and the Air Force Personnel Center to test the beta version of vESD at the ESD facility located at JBSA-Lackland Kelley Field Annex, May 16, 2014.

"Our goal is to demonstrate the product and allow users to provide feedback on its functionality and the ease of using the program," said Jessie Mues, 690th NSS information specialist.
Currently, when users experience computer network issues, they must submit a trouble ticket over the phone to the ESD, where wait times can be long depending on call volume.

"For issues that are beyond minor, the user will submit an electronic ticket through the [vESD] to request help, in which case the technician can remotely access the computer to fix the issue," Reith said. "This will be a major culture shift from the traditional route of calling a centralized ESD phone number, but will make the ESD much more efficient by providing all of the crucial information up front."

Michael Ward, 690th NSS flight chief of plans and requirements, added, "Once this application becomes available, users will have the ability to resolve issues instantly without having to make a phone call."

The vESD will benefit the Air Force as a whole by educating and empowering users to resolve their own issues as well as get status updates on existing trouble tickets and allow them to provide feedback. It will also cut-back on call time allowing more time for productivity.

"The vESD project leverages the consolidation and standardization that the Air Force network architecture provides, and in doing so helps realize unprecedented efficiencies," Reith said.

"I am excited about this product and it's potential," Ward added. "The vESD is the future of the Air Force information technology automated support."