HITS staff-volunteers pitch in to help customers prepare for mandatory Duo two-factor authentication

service desk volunteer

During a recent Duo “go-live,”nearly a dozen HITS staff-volunteers supplemented regular Service Desk staff – answering customers’ questions and providing support during the set-up and activation process.

Beginning October 10, Michigan Medicine began requiring all Michigan Medicine employees to use Duo two-factor authentication to access U-M resources that require Weblogin. This move was intended to provide an additional layer of protection against phishing attacks, data breaches, and identity theft – all of which which have become common issues plaguing organizations around the globe, including health systems and universities.

To prepare for this change, HITS conducted a broad awareness campaign aimed at encouraging members of the Michigan Medicine community to sign up and begin using Duo early. As the October 10 deadline approached, volunteers were recruited from across HITS, and were given training that prepared them to supplement Service Desk staff in answering Duo-related questions, and helping customers through the set-up and activation process. To facilitate these extra requests, HITS also activated a special, temporary “Duo” option on its standard (734-936-8000) customer service line.

Over the course of five days (October 8-12), 11 staff-volunteers fielded more than 400 Duo-related calls – ranging from answering basic questions, to fulfilling requests for assistance with downloading, installing, and activating the security tool.

Many customers who called to request help with Duo later said how much they appreciated the extra level of customer service and support.

“The gentleman I spoke with was knowledgeable and very patient. I was able to get my issue corrected with one phone call!” said one caller. “The person that helped me said she was merely a ‘volunteer,’ but she did a great job,” said another.

Likewise, many HITS staff-volunteers said they appreciated having an opportunity to learn more about another part of the organization, while helping to provide a positive customer experience.

“Supporting the HITS Service Desk during the Duo go-live was a fantastic experience.” says Justin Sivils, a technical writer on the Information Assurance team. “Not only did it give me a better appreciation for what our Service Desk staff encounter daily, it provided an opportunity to help educate Michigan Medicine faculty and staff about an essential security technology.”

HITS Service Desk Manager Jarrod Sandel says he is very pleased with how the Duo ‘go-live’ unfolded, and credits cooperation from multiple HITS areas – including Information Assurance, Identity & Access Management, and the various individuals and teams that provided volunteer assistance, for making it go so smoothly.

“The staff-volunteer model is one we’ve used during multiple go-lives, including previous Aspect phone system launches, and annual MiChart upgrades,” says Sandel. “The Duo go-live provided another great opportunity for individuals and teams to work (and learn) together in new and different ways – while also demonstrating our commitment to providing outstanding service to customers across Michigan Medicine.”