The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a leading centre for global health research, with more than 1,000 students based in London and 3,000 studying courses through distance learning. We spoke with Helpdesk Manager, Caroline Fernyhough, to find out what SDI membership has done for them

Why SDI?

I joined SDI shortly after our university re-organised IT services from faculty-based IT support to a centralised model. I was previously a faculty team leader but asked to be helpdesk manager for the new, central IT support service. I felt I needed a strong point of reference as a model for setting up a professional, ITIL-based service, which was completely new to our customers!

What being a member means?

Being a member of SDI gives us an industry standard model for best practice which we can use when designing process for the service desk, while taking into account the unique needs of our customers. We are constantly reviewing and refining process, and will work towards SDI certification in the coming months.

Membership Resources

The SDI resources I use most are reports, training, events, job advertising and of course the annual conference. I also recently gained the SDI Service Desk Manager qualification. Another key membership benefit for us is networking; there are many universities who are members but I’ve also made useful contacts in other business areas giving us a more rounded approach to service, particularly useful as we are moving towards an integrated service desk.

Being part of a community

I feel it is important to be part of a professional community to share ideas and best practice. When you meet other service desk professionals there are always tips you can benefit from. It’s fun to share ‘interesting customer’ experiences too, in the academic world there are plenty of interesting customers!

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