Digitally Maintained is a social enterprise that provides free technical support to our customers (individuals, small companies and charities) with any device or system, all provided by student and graduate volunteers who are gaining real world work experience in technical troubleshooting and customer liaison. Students come from various universities including Loughborough, Surry, Southampton Solent, City, Queen Mary and the University of Maryland in the USA. It is a relatively new project and has only been going since July 2011.
Digitally Maintained helps customers overcome their technical issues. So far we have helped over 100 people, from all age groups with a whole scope of technical issues, ranging from setting up an email to troubleshooting hardware defects.
There are challenges in running the project as it is difficult for Luther the founder to find the time to maintain the site whilst doing two other jobs and studying full time role at uni. These challenges are being overcome through delegating tasks by creating a structured business model where our volunteers can experience project management positions, looking after teams who are using their skills to develop the site, or create our mobile applications etc. Despite the growth the site remains non profit and free for all customers. There are many testimonies on the site applauding the volunteers for all the work they have and the project is generating many repeat customers.
In the short time DM has been around volunteers have moved into graduate positions with help from the experience and reference that DM provides. It is a great place for students to network, and we are starting to build in university societies, to help connect and grow the student community. Many volunteers learn new skills surrounding every aspect of the company; most importantly they learn how to professionally liaise with customers to help them overcome issues.