I spoke with Keith Slaydon from Cornell. They have <> 200 faculty and staff
members that they support using Footprints installed on a Windows NT box.
They have 8 people in the IT department to support the 200 people (they do
NOT provide direct support to students). All 8 people are users of
Footprints. They enter <> 10 problems per day and have a database of 3000+
entries. At present ALL requests come through the helpline although he is
thinking of making a special WWW page to allow the 200 people to enter
their own requests.
They have found Footprints VERY customizable. Problems of high priority are
even automatically contacting the pagers of support people. He is very
confident that it can grow to meet their needs.
They have been using this product for 3 years and have had one catastrophic
failure of the NT box due to a memory leak. He explains that Footprints was
the victim of the failure NOT the cause. The tech support people at
UniPress ftp'ed the corrupted files and worked with Keith to rebuild the
database. He listed schemas, project databases and definition files as ones
that are most valuable in the rebuilding process.
He explained that Footprints 4.0 can use LDAP data directly and would NOT
require importing. He uses the reporting capabilities to monitor problems
as do a number of administrators who help track unresolved problems. His
tech support people needed almost no training and again was strong in his
praise for the clarity and flexibility of the system. He has found that his
suggestions to UniPress sometimes become features in the next release and
recommended that we include annual maintenance contracts.
Once the system was set up he claims that there is VERY little care and
feeding (apart from customized forms and special reports). He said that the
UniPress support is excellent in guiding people through any needed work.
He would purchase it again if they were buying it now.
* * *
Cynthia is Director of CIT-Client Services au Oberlin College. CIT there
has <> 35 people supporting 4,000 users. They have <> 25 student helpdesk
workers in addition to their full time staff. The have had Footprints
installed for 1 month on a SUN system. They are planning to gear up for a
fall start to full production.
She has found the product almost too good to be true! They have made modest
customizations to the product and said that when they called for help with
an issue needing to add a new search field, they were helped right away and
had the problem solved in 15 minutes.
They imported all their existing Problem records from FileMaker Pro without
a problem and the Address Book was filled from an export from their
She hopes to develop multiple Projects including Helpline, Residential
computing services, Networking, Training requests, A-V requests, ...
Back office consultants are planning on getting notification of problems
via e-mail. They are going to use Footprints as an asset manager when that
component is developed by UniPress this fall. DSV==> We might want to ask
that this be included as part of our purchase.
Ms Murnan was very enthusiastic about the product and said that she could
not imagine us going wrong by buying this product for the current price.
She says it is a GREAT value.
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