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New app on Vandenberg computer desktop assists to solve computer problems

As the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) goes virtual, Air Force members will see a new application on their computer that allows them to immediately tackle and fix their minor IT issues. The Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD) is a client-based application that allows the user to solve common issues and self-initiate trouble tickets for e-mail, desktop, laptop, and mobile devices and will eventually include network, software, hardware and other user account capabilities. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

As the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) goes virtual, Air Force members will see a new application on their computer that allows them to immediately tackle and fix their minor IT issues. The Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD) is a client-based application that allows the user to solve common issues and self-initiate trouble tickets for e-mail, desktop, laptop, and mobile devices and will eventually include network, software, hardware and other user account capabilities. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) goes virtual, Air Force members will see a new application on their computer that allows them to immediately tackle and fix their minor IT issues.  

The Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD) is a client-based application that allows the user to solve common issues and self-initiate trouble tickets for e-mail, desktop, laptop, and mobile devices and will eventually include network, software, hardware and other user account capabilities. The application allows for status checks of any current trouble ticket, feedback submission and provides further contact information for more help.

"vESD was pushed to all Vandenberg users Monday so everyone on base should currently be able to access the program," said 1st Lt. Robert Cilla, 30th Space Communications Squadron Officer in Charge of Client Service Center. "The vESD helps users troubleshoot issues at their workstations without the need for outside assistance."

Users who experienced account or network problems over the last few years have called a central customer service center. With a customer base of over 650,000 people, the ESD's automated phone system had been significantly overburdened, which led to a cascade of inefficiencies. Not immune to the fiscal challenges so familiar across the Air Force, the 67th Cyber Wing advanced on a new approach to customer service, necessary to solve this complex problem.

The ESD is transforming to more efficiently empower users to find solutions to their technical challenges as well as leverage new automated programs to eliminate the need for a call center. It is important to note the ESD is not closing. It will still exist. It is simply transforming its business processes on more proactive tasks.

"When fully operational, the software will be able to fix problems with email, hardware, software and phones, as well as assist users who need to update their information in the Global Address List," said Cilla. "This automation will not only reduce user downtime, it will help free up ESD personnel by taking care of the easy-to-fix problems allowing the ESD to reduce call wait times."

With vESD, the user simply clicks an icon on their desktop, answers some simple questions, and the software attempts repair. They effectively reach a virtual ESD technician immediately. Similar to the human technician, vESD will attempt repair based on the user's response to questions and will perform its own "health check" of the user's computer. If it can't resolve the problem, vESD will automatically initiate a trouble ticket and route it immediately to the appropriate office at one of the Network Operations Squadrons or the local Communications Focal Point, depending on the problem identified.

The local Communications Squadron will continue to be an important partner in the new IT support model. Armed with additional IT permissions, they are empowered to work their local leadership's priorities. In extreme cases, users may need to call their local support when a computer is completely broken or off the network. This is actually a faster approach since even if the ESD did take the call, they would not be able resolve it since remote access wouldn't be possible. Eliminating the middleman actually improves the user experience.

"If users cannot access vESD because of a hardware problem, they should call their unit's Client Support Technician for assistance," said Cilla. "If their unit doesn't have a CST, they should call our local Communications Focal Point."

The ESD will continue to be an important part of IT support, just not as a call center. The future ESD will focus instead on proactive activities that prevent issues in the first place. One example is the creation of a problem management team. Often cited as an industry best-practice, problem management focuses on finding the root cause of enterprise-wide issues and ensuring that solutions are worked through the engineering and acquisition battle rhythms. Another example is the creation of an AFIN Mission Assurance Center (AMAC) to orchestrate maintenance actions amid real-world operations. These initiatives are key elements of realizing IT efficiencies and maximizing limited IT resources while protecting AF missions.

If you experience any problems with the vESD or have an issue that needs further assistance, please call your local Communications Focal Point at 606-2622.