There is no question that desktop virtualization is coming to offices and businesses near you, and probably sooner rather than later.
It’s the logical next step in the evolution of white-collar information technology that began with the introduction of the telephone,
typewriter, and vertical file back in the 1880’s through the proliferation of personal computers in the 1980’s (when the phrase “office
automation” was a popular buzzword) and into the networked 21st century. Its triumph is not yet a done deal – there are still enough
reservations about the technology that substantial caution is urged, as the following article indicates:
Reliability Edge. (n.d.). Is enterprise-wide, web-based Software right for you? It depends on the application! Reliasoft. 7(1)
Retrieved from http://www.reliasoft.com/newsletter/v7i1/software_right.htm
Although virtualization and “the cloud” are both based in the network infrastructure, they are not identical ideas; it’s worth drawing
some distinctions to avoid being bowled over completely by either trend:
Isobel, K. (2011, October 14). Virtualization vs. cloud computing FAQ. AppNeta | The Path. Retrieved from
The following two articles, appearing in the same journal and by the same author, present a reasonably balanced view of the current
state of these approaches in the business context. Please review them carefully, since you’ll be applying these ideas (among others)
in your paper:
Marshall, D. (2011, April 6). Top 5 reasons to consider VDI in 2011. InfoWorld. Retrieved from
Marshall, D. (2011, May 4). Top 5 obstacles to wider VDI adoption. InfoWorld. Retrieved from
The background readings also identify a number of optional sources that you may wish to draw on to help you understand particular
issues and/or terminology. Also, there’s no shortage of online information that may also be of help to you in examining these issues.
Now here’s the situation you’re going to examine. You’ve undoubtedly been going to school here, or at least at some university, for
several terms now, and you’ve encountered quite a range of faculty and faculty behavior. Some of you may even be faculty
somewhere, or at least involved in teaching and related stuff. Trident has quite a lot of faculty, and relatively few of them are actually
located in the main offices in Cypress CA – most are spread around the country and even across the world. Relatively seldom does
this actually matter to you as students, and in fact it doesn’t matter a lot to the faculty most of the time, except when we’re trying to
coordinate real-time meetings, usually involving conference calls (old technology, we know, but that’s life.) However, it’s recently
been learned that in the near future, Trident University will be rolling out some form of “virtual desktop” for use by all faculty,
wherever they are. It’s not clear what this is going to look like, but the first step toward it will be making available to faculty the same
SharePoint-based applications and related tools that were recently made available to you students. But to be of real utility to faculty,
it will have to go beyond these relatively simple tools and encompass a wide range of other tools. Here’s the point – we don’t know
more about it than you do. So we’re asking you to help us think through the implications of these developments, based on your own
reading and experiences.
So when you’ve had a chance to read these articles, review information from the background readings, and perhaps research other
sources on your own, please prepare a 3-5 page paper on the topic:
“How desktop virtualization for Trident University faculty will change how faculty work”
Try to think about all the kinds of work that you know that faculty
STUDENT ORIENTATION Student Email COURSE NET STUDENT
ITM424 – Intro. to Software Use and Tech. Support
Module 5 – SLP
Software Technical Support
The dominance of Microsoft in general and of Windows as an operating system has led to the emergence of an interesting “cottage industry” based on finding problems with Windows and recommending solutions to them. Some of these problem solvers do fairly straightforward consulting, on a fee for service basis. There are also a goodly number of instances of a rather different business model, a model based on sharing tips and secrets about the systems and applications that are widely used. These sites are generally supported not by direct charges to users, but by serving as portals for advertising, for-pay services, and the like. Some are membership-based, usually free. Collectively, these sites add up to an enormous body of practice wisdom about computer systems.
The problem is that they don’t always add up, and it is not clear just what is being said at times.
For the Case for this Module, you are to research how some of these Windows-supporting advice sites work. A few to start with would
include: STUDENT ORIENTATION Student Email COURSE NET STUDENT
ITM424 – Intro. to Software Use and Tech. Support
Module 5 – Case
Software Technical Support
One of the most critical problems faced by the information technology department in virtually every organization is how to provide effective help to end-users facing problems with the technology. The help desk is the point at which every frustration, every concern, and every mistake known to humanity is brought for resolution. Typically staffed by lower-level and often new personnel, help desks often have a reputation for minimal service and buck-passing. It shouldn’t be this way, and doesn’t have to be; there’s a lot of information out there about how to effectively manage and coordinate help services, and a great deal of information about how important is to do so. But like many aspects of IT, this knowledge doesn’t always make it into the field in many organizations.
Software support is not merely an ongoing issue in the computer business at all levels; by virtue of that fact, it has become a veritable industry in its own right. There are numerous firms peddling various varieties of help desk software, and a wide range of consultants willing to offer advice, usually for fairly hefty fees. Certainly many of these programs are worth their cost, and the consultants usually definitely earn their fees; this isn’t a problem easily resolved. However, it’s also true that the basic principles underlying good software support are not all that complicated. Mostly, they’re based in the ideas of good marketing, good customer relations, and good general management. But, as they say, “the devil is in the details.” Setting up, establishing, and above all maintaining consistent levels of technical support service are very complex organizational processes. Getting from the general principle to a working version is enough to keep the “support of support” industry alive and well.
So what are these “basic principles” that sound good but are hard to implement? Here are two articles that offer reasonable summaries; note that there is partial but not complete overlap between them, and some rather different ways of phrasing similar
Vogel, J. (2011, June 1). Seven tips for giving good tech support. The Bottom Feeder. Retrieved from http://jeffvogel.
Schiff, J. (2011, September 14). Six helpful customer support software solutions. EnterpriseSAppsToday. Retrieved from
Offering advice is one thing; actually putting that advice into practice is another. The following article provides an interesting description of the actual support practices of one software vendor. In general, you’ll find it to be consistent with the tone of the advice offered earlier, but it is elaborate considerably on the real world context within which this advice is implemented:
Andrew, R. (2011, October 10). Supporting your product: How to provide technical support. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved from
When you’ve had a chance to read these articles, review information from the background readings, and perhaps research other sources on your own, please prepare a 3-5 page paper on the topic:
“How Andrew’s description of support provided for Perch is (or is not) consistent with the advice provided by Vogel
Please include in your analysis any points of advice that you can derive from Andrew’s description that you believe are not adequately developed in the two advice articles.
Your paper should be between three and five pages. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.
You will be particularly assessed on:
· Precision: Your draw on a range of sources, and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question. You carried out the exercise as assigned, or carefully explained the limitations that might have prevented your completing some parts (running out of time isn’t generally considered an adequate limitation).
· Support for assertions: You use examples, citations (especially to the required readings), and elaboration to support assertions. You provide evidence that you have read the required background materials.
· Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic. You see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.
· Breadth and Depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module.
· Critical thinking: The paper incorporates YOUR reactions, examples, and applications of the material to business that illustrate
your reflective judgment and good understanding of the concepts. It is important to read the “required readings” posted in the background material plus others you find relevant. Your informed commentary and analysis is vital — simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.
· Overall quality: Your paper is well written and the references, where needed, are properly cited and listed (refer to the university guidelines (http://www.trident.edu/Media/Default/pdf/Well-Written-Paper.pdf) if you are uncertain about formats or other issues.