Deskside support is a level of support in information technology (IT) that is concerned with fixing stationary and mobile computers, such as desktops and laptops, along with devices — such as a personal data assistant (PDA) — that connect to a computer. Unlike other IT support levels, deskside support typically comes to the customer to help fix the computer. If physical repairs — such as correcting the hardware or configuring software — are needed, then this support team is usually called in. New users may have trouble starting up a computer, and the deskside team is responsible for any installations and startup procedures. When users, usually business users, move their computer workstations, the deskside team assists with the move and will help get all the affected computers working.
Many levels of an IT support team perform work over the phone or remotely access a computer through another computer to fix an issue. While deskside support may do this with some small issues, this is usually not conducive for major issues, especially if the hardware is faulty. With that in mind, a deskside team member will typically go to the user’s house or business to see the computer in person.
If the computer has physical hardware damage that can be fixed, such as soldering parts back together or replacing broken parts with new ones, then deskside support will typically perform the repairs. Software configuration issues, such as software refusing to install or programs not working correctly, also can normally be fixed by the deskside team. While the deskside team may be able to help if the issue involves a network, this is normally left to the network support team.
A new user may have trouble starting up his or her computer, especially if the user needs to perform advanced installations. Whether for a business or home user, deskside support will typically configure the computer to get it started. Training is normally not the deskside team’s job, but a team member may show the user how to correct whatever issue has occurred, especially if the user asks.
Business users may have to move their computer workstations if they change locations, and this move may require advanced hardware and software installations. To assist with the move, deskside support will perform the installations so the business can get started, normally within a few hours or days. Depending on the IT team, deskside support may — or may not — be able to set up networks or servers for the user.