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vESD empowers users with IT support

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)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Over the past three years, Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station personnel with computer and/or email problems were directed to contact the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk (ESD).  This process changed Nov. 17, 2014, as the ESD transitioned to a virtual construct and delivers users a Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD).  All Air Force unclassified computers on the Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS network automatically received the tool.

vESD is a software program that assists users in resolving computer problems on their own versus having to call the Air Force ESD.  vESD is accessed by clicking on an icon on the computer's desktop.  Once "clicked" vESD provides initial diagnosis and performs a series of basic queries to ensure the system is working properly.  Should the problem persist, users will then have the option of going through additional troubleshooting steps.  If vESD is unable to resolve the issue, users can create trouble tickets to escalate the issue.  In addition to problem-solving, vESD allows users to check on the current status of previously submitted trouble tickets.

Another benefit of vESD is the elimination of long hold-times when calling the Air Force ESD.  Previously, users who experienced account or network problems over the last few years have called a central customer service hub (ESD).  However, 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, and call wait times up to 30 minutes.  The vESD software aims to resolve customer problems without the wait time.

In addition, to reduce the queues and wait time, the ESD initiated several successful automation initiatives. One of these was the digital tool known as IAO (Information Assurance Officer) Express. This tool was specifically developed to help address the three most common requests made to the ESD; creating new user accounts, known as provisioning; moving a user account between bases of assignment; and removing unneeded accounts from the Air Force network, known as de-provision.  Unit Information Assurance Officers at PAFB and CCAFS are now able to access IAO Express to submit a number of common requests without the need to pick up the telephone. Once submitted, the request is prioritized and inserted into a batch file which is then automatically processed by Air Force Directory Services.

Together, vESD and IAO Express are the next steps in virtualizing customer support and directly support our charge to constantly look for smarter ways of doing business.

If you experience any problems with the vESD or have an issue that needs further assistance, call your local communications focal point at 321-494-2666.

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Air Force members get new app to solve computer problems