Skip to main content

Services & Support Portal Transforms Customer Experience

In early 2020 UC San Diego launched the Services & Support Portal, which serves as a centralized place for students, faculty, staff and community members to get help in the following categories: Budget & Finance; Information Technology; Payroll, Academic Personnel & HR; Research; and Student Support. 

“The Services & Support Portal offers our clients a single destination to get help from a growing list of university business services,” summarizes Justin Clow, Client Case Management Supervisor in IT Services.  

All ESR projects that launched in 2020 used the Portal from Day 1 as an essential element of their service transition – the phase when change becomes real as users and business offices transition from the legacy system to the new system.  

The Portal provides the technical platform to intake and fulfill cases, and is complemented by a structured approach to assigning business agents to provide general and specific support. ESR projects follow a common-yet-flexible framework for allocating and assigning business agents. The Portal can also scale to meet fluctuating needs, including adding in more agents during the go-live period.  

“One of the biggest benefits of transitioning to the Services & Support platform was the ability to create transparency and case sharing across service lines,” says Nicole Joyce, Change Lead for the ESR Kuali Research project. “It got us out of the 'shared inbox' model and gave us a tool that has much broader application.” 

Moving toward a single solution ushers in a new era for how UC San Diego delivers support. “A customer is now a customer, full stop,” explains Justin. “Service agents can look at a customer and see all of their cases, requests and interactions within the system.”  

Ana Portlock, Program Manager, Business and Financial Services, describes the full experience, stating, “The campus-facing portal is key to the successful integration of services with varying constituents which includes students, employees, faculty and staff.  These mutual clients no longer have to distinguish between tools or links to reach us and the portal design is up-to-date and easy to navigate.”  

Customers also have one view into their open cases. Says Justin, “Within the Portal, customers click on ‘My Stuff’ to view anything from their request for computer help from IT Services to UCPath payroll support or student billing information. As our campus landscape continues to shift, it’s really important that clients know where to go to get help. Nobody likes feeling bounced around.” 

Likewise, agents can share information and transfer cases between services or departments (and, as necessary, protect sensitive information from view). For example, imagine a customer who submits a research inquiry. If the agents determine it’s actually a finance or IT issue, they can transfer the case to those teams without asking the customer to go navigate a completely different submission process.  

"For ESR, having the Services & Support Portal as the solution projects use to provide customer support has been beneficial to the project teams, business and technical agents, and customers alike," said Lynn Underwood, Director, ESR Strategic Organizational Change Management. "It has meant that we can consistently prepare projects on how to transition to a live service with support in place. And with customers experiencing so much change, having a single support system makes it easier." 

Data & Decisions

Powerful tools within the platform provide service owners and teams timely information to aide decision making. “The analytics are great and have allowed me, as a service owner who oversees multiple service offerings, to create dashboards that provide insight and visualizations that allow for more data driven-decision making,” explains Nicole. 

Ana adds, “The analytics provide broader insight to the business process or technical interactions and pain points within business systems that are utilized by staff. We have been able to quantify business needs based on ticket volume and prioritize solutions to improve the client experience. 

“In addition to this, the ability to see real-time data is key to immediately identifying and responding to potential issues and recurring inquiries. For example, we were able to identify unusual activity including a supplier glitch which resulted in sending UC San Diego auto notifications every few minutes and creating new cases. If this had gone unnoticed, it would have resulted in thousands of cases.” 

Ana also notes that the immediacy of the data proved crucial in the months following the Oracle Financials Cloud go-live. “The support we were able to provide was very successful for many reasons but most notably the reports and dashboards helped us quickly identify, prioritize and communicate guidance for processing or resolving client requests.” 

Gaining Knowledge

The Services & Support Portal also empowers customers to proactively look for solutions and request services. One feature is a library of Knowledge Base Articles (KBA) – short, single-topic service descriptions or how-tos. For example, the Budget & Finance portal includes over 200 KBAs that supplement other training formats.  

In explaining the role of KBAs for Research, Nicole raves, “The KBAs are a completely unexpected feature that we’ve learned to love. Using KBAs allows us a single place to add a variety of topics and types of articles, the ability to search for duplicates, and takes away the pain of manually maintaining reference materials on a desktop and website.” 

Nicole goes on to explain that the Portal shows the number of article views, and that customers can rate articles, which helps her see what topics are trending and which KBAs need to be revised.   

Let's Chat!

An emerging feature of the Portal is live chat and the ability to integrate with other services, such as WalkMe, which is browser extension that provides in-system help when users need it. Through the WalkMe chat feature, customers can chat directly with service agents. The issue is either resolved on the spot or converted into a service case if follow-up is needed.   

Said Justin, “We were excited to launch this additional help channel for our agents to quickly help clients requesting support during system transitions. Overall agents have already responded to nearly 2,000 chat sessions!”  

Learn More

Visit to check it out for yourself! 

Category: News, ESR Behind the Scenes