Request Tracker (RT) is a product used by UMBC to keep track of tasks, issues, information, and campus collaboration in the form of request tickets. Developed by Best Practical Solutions, RT is an open source Help Desk solution that is free for the university to use and customize.
Prior to RT, UMBC used a client-based product called Remedy that required a vendor license for access. Because of Remedy’s cost, it was not possible to use the program widespread across the university. In order to find a campus-wide collaborative solution, DoIT staff began to review other Help Desk options. After undergoing an extensive search for a product that would allow for a cost-effective and large-scale deployment at UMBC, DoIT finally discovered RT.
In February 2009, RT was fully launched as DoIT’s Help Desk ticketing system. Not only is RT completely free for the university, but it is also web-based, meaning that users can access the program from any computer or web-enabled device. DoIT frequently holds meetings in order to discuss any problems or updates to the system. Although Best Practical Solutions does offer a higher level of support, UMBC has not had to exercise this option as the configuration and management of RT has been absorbed into existing DoIT staff responsibilities.
Since the initial roll-out of RT in DoIT, Finance, and HR, many other departments such as the Registrar’s Office, Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions, Parking Services, and Residential Life have also incorporated the ticketing system into their support processes. Report Exchange (REX) has also been integrated for use with RT. REX is UMBC’s data warehouse containing organized data from the university’s administrative systems for analysis and reporting. By using REX with RT, departments across campus can examine data from submitted help tickets in order to observe trends and better serve the UMBC community.