N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--May 1998

Network Support Keeps Computers Humming

Jason Luckett, Cliff King, David Edwards, Dale Anderson, Kim Weller, Yvonne Lloyd and
Leon Dunn help keep the department's computers up and running.

Nearly 8,000 personal computers and another 6,000 computer terminals are used by more than 16,000 Department of Correction employees to keep the agency running smoothly.

Keeping those computers running is the job of 29 people, 18 full time and 11 temporary employees, who work in the department's Network Support office of Management Information Services.

"Our primary function is to load, support and maintain office automation in the field," said Dale Anderson, Network Support's chief. " We do more than PC repairs. We run the gamut from research and development, trying to keep up with the rapidly changing new technology all the way to troubleshooting and installing PCs."

Network support provides service across the state meeting department demands with a small staff.

Placing staff in the new personnel offices at McCain and Lenoir helps staff answer calls faster. Buying computers with a suite of software already loaded is another move that puts computer users on line faster.

"We're helping to make the users’ job easier and allow them to be more productive," Anderson said. "We want to give people the computers that help them do a better job."

Network Support established the department's Internet and intranet services. North Carolina was one of the first state correction departments to establish a web site on the Internet, providing the public with information about the department.

The intranet, in its first year of development, allows the department to share information inside the agency, making policy manuals and other helpful information available on line. Only employees have access to the intranet information.

Most correction employees contact Network Support through their help desk at (919) 716-3470. A call opens a trouble ticket which is handed over to the technicians. It is assigned to one of the five regions of the state and prioritized so that a problem affecting all the computers in an office receives faster service than a problem affecting one computer.

Network Support links employees’ computers together through a local area network, or LAN which connects e-mail, the Internet and inmate and employee records.

Computer technology is improving at such a rapid rate that it poses great demands on everyone to keep pace even as it assists employees to do their job better. Network Support’s job is to find those tools, put them in employees hands and make sure the equipment works. u

NC DOC Correction News- May 1998
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