Helpdesk Off Hours Answering Service FAQ
What hours are covered by the answering service?
Weekdays 4:30p - 8:00a CST/DST; Weekends & Holidays.
Normal Helpdesk hours are 8:00a - 4:30p CST/DST Weekdays, excluding Holidays.
How do I contact the answering service?
Call the helpdesk at 630-840-2345 and the phone switch will provide instructions and route you to the service.
What will I need to provide the answering service?
Name, Fermi ID, Telephone number where you can be reached, and name of
the service or system along with a brief description of the issue.
What if the answering service does not appear to understand my request?
Both Fermilab and the answering service expect the call duration to be
very short (2-4 minutes) in normal circumstances. If you encounter
problems or you are still on the phone after several minutes, you may
ask the service to page the Fermilab Helpdesk on-call for additional
Keep in mind the answering service personnel are professionals who are
knowledgeable about their field of expertise. They are not Fermilab
employees and will not understand Fermilab abbreviations, jargon and
When should I expect a call back from a Fermilab Support on-call?
If it is necessary for the on-call to contact you, it should be between
10 and 45 minutes, depending on how the call is escalated within the
Will the answering service know that I am calling on Fermilab business?
The answering service has dedicated phone lines so they know the call
is originating from Fermilab. This triggers their software and starts a
How many calls to the answering service result in pages for high availability services and systems?
About 85 pages per year.
How do I request hardware repair service for high availability computing equipment?
Same process. Call x2345 and tell the operator that you need hardware services.
Where is the answering service actually located?
Two redundant sites in the Chicago area, Illinois, USA
What about Computer Security issues?
Computer Security issues are routed directly to the Fermilab
Communication Center who have existing procedures and processes. If you
somehow get routed to the answering service, just end the conversation,
redial the helpdesk and press '1' and you will be routed properly.
Does the answering service use the Fermilab Helpdesk tools to page on-calls?
In normal circumstances, the answering service will use the Computing
Division Remedy ticket tracking system and work flow to page an
on-call. If there is a site wide issue and Remedy is unavailable, the
answering service will use their applications with redundant Fermilab
work flow information.
How does the Fermilab Helpdesk know about activity that occurs off hours?
The answering service automatically emails the helpdesk activity
reports at 8:00a next business day for each call that occurred off
hours. Helpdesk management may also receive a page when a ticket is cut
through the answering service process.