New changes save AF money, increase wait times for users

  • Published
  • By Brian Shreve
  • Robins Public Affairs
New changes on the horizon in Air Force technologies aim to trim costs but could mean longer delays in some areas.  

The Air Force's Enterprise Service Desk plan calls for an automated, do-it-yourself system for solving computer issues to be in place by November, and yes, Robins personnel may have to practice a bit more patience, said Timothy Nelson, 78th Communications Directorate director.

"It's similar to when you're using your home computer and having a problem with software and you go to the software's Web site to solve it," he said. "It will take you through all the trouble-shooting methods and hopefully fix the issue."

If a customer cannot fix the problem themselves, they must contact the help desk, which will in turn forward it back to Robins communications, and a technician will be dispatched to come out for further assistance.

This latest transition comes on the heels of last year's deployment of the Air Force Network, which replaced the previous system in which each installation managed its own network; one of the results is emails made the transition from " mil" to "" for instance.  

Nelson said that initial ESD changeover caused computer service to slow in comparison to the days when technical problems were resolved solely within the installation.

"With a centralized help desk, there are only so many people they have available," he said. "And, we have hundreds of thousands of Airmen, civilians and contractors who are having issues as well."

Prior to any changes, personnel would call the local service desk, with computers repaired - or even replaced if need be - within minutes most of the time, according to Nelson.

Since the transition to a consolidated help desk, waiting times increased to as long as a few days.

The upcoming migration to an automated system may expand the delays further, said Nelson.

"Why are they doing this? Because with large budget cuts, service levels get affected," said Nelson. "And, IT is one of those areas being cut back. People may have to wait a little longer to get their computers or email fixed as a result of that."