Reengineering Customer Assistance: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


In 1995, MIT initiated a process to reengineer many of its administrative functions. A key component of the reengineering effort has been Information Systems (IS), the primary administrative unit focused on computing and networking at MIT. For end users at MIT, perhaps the most visible change in IS is a reengineered customer assistance approach, including self-help resources, customer training and online documentation, an IT Partners program with departments, and a consolidated help desk that combined four separate help desks. This paper provides a "warts and all" overview of what IS has learned about customer assistance during two-plus years of reengineering.

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