RALEY'S INSTALLING INTEGRATED WEB-BASED HELP-DESK SOLUTION

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Raley's Supermarkets here is currently installing an integrated Web-based help-desk solution in an effort to reduce computer-system repair costs and system downtime and increase its end-user self-service skills.The integrated solution will run on the retailer's Windows NT operating platform and allow 1,800 corporate and store employees and 500 help-desk agents to communicate

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Raley's Supermarkets here is currently installing an integrated Web-based help-desk solution in an effort to reduce computer-system repair costs and system downtime and increase its end-user self-service skills.

The integrated solution will run on the retailer's Windows NT operating platform and allow 1,800 corporate and store employees and 500 help-desk agents to communicate and to access the retailer's system-support information, according to a source familiar with the situation.

A Raley's official told SN that it has a contract with two companies, Logica Advantagekbs, Edison, N.J., and Remedy, Pleasanton, Calif., are to integrate support solutions that will allow the retailer to use the Web as a technical support tool.

The multifaceted solution will also allow the retailer to log a system's history, enabling any help-desk agent to quickly troubleshoot a problem.

Industry sources told SN that in the event a system incurs a problem, documentation of its history is crucial for rectifying the situation.

The retailer will integrate a Web and help-desk product from the third parties at its support center, allowing the retailer's in-house help-desk agents to launch and save diagnostic sessions with the employees, said a source familiar with the situation.

Raley's will also use two other Web-related products that enable remote help-desk agents to access the system information available to agents at the in-house support center.

The remote-desk agents should be able to identify and resolve an employee's computer problem without lengthy question-and-answer sessions, saving time and productivity. It could also reduce expensive service calls, according to the source.

The solution can also guide the employee end-user through an initial troubleshooting process, increasing the employee's ability to self-manage the system.

However, if an employee cannot solve a system's problem, the push of a button sends information about the employee's actions and the nature of the problem to the help desk.

The system will alert the help desk that the problem could not be resolved by the employee end-user and the problem will be examined and resolved by the in-house or remote support agents.

"The ability to have this solution supporting my agents and employees is a necessity if I want to keep my customers happy," said Tom Jones, senior director of technology operations for Raley's, in a statement.

Raley's is not the only retailer to recently adopt Web-based support technology.

Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, recently installed a Web-based support solution, using the Internet to diagnose and resolve problems for corporate and store systems.