Support SLA

Support SLA

Scope

The Help Desk Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between the Information Technology (IT) Department and faculty, staff, students, and outside visitors (hereafter known as the IT Department's clients), describing the levels of support the IT Department can provide.

This document covers policies concerning the DigiPen US/Redmond campus. The Singapore campus will have a similar policy.

Hours of Operation

The Help Desk will be staffed between the hours of 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays.

The IT department will be staffed between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. This comprises the “working hours” listed below.

IT personel will be available for emergency service maintenance between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. including weekends and holidays. Specific on-call policies and procuders are detailed elsewhere.

Contact Methods

The best method of contacting the Help Desk is through the Help Desk system. This can be accomplished either by sending an email to helpdesk@digipen.edu or by logging into https://helpdesk.digipen.edu/. Within the helpdesk ticketing system all requests are tracked, giving us and the client the ability to follow a request from creation to resolution. The helpdesk also has a phone number (x5005) which can be used to get immediate support for critical issues. Walk-in support is also available for critical issue.

Information requests, which can be answered quickly and simply, are welcome on the helpdesk phone number (x5005) or walk-in. Service requested through phone conversations may be treated as “best effort” support, since it is not monitored or tracked as with the Help Desk System.

Ticket Life Cycle Ticket life cycles are simple: Somebody, the requester, notices a problem; they send a support request to Help Desk. Help Desk reviews the support request and, if necessary, responds to the requester with a request for additional information. Help Desk develops a solution and implements it. The requester is notified of the solution and asked to test the solution to determine if the problem has been fixed. If not, return to step 2. If the problem is fixed, then Help Desk will “resolve” the ticket.

Occasionally a solution requires services or infrastructure which does not exist yet. In such cases the requester will be informed about the situation and given an approximate implementation date, if possible. The ticket will be marked as “stalled” until such services or infrastructure can be implemented.

“Best Effort” Support

“Best effort”means Help Desk will try to fix the problem, but will not spend more than a few minutes working on it and will make no promises (explicit or implied) about fixing the problem.

Unresponsive Requesters

Resolving a problem required direct interaction with the person who submitted the support request. The Help Desk operator will make every effort to communicate with the requester to identify and clarify the problem, and to test and verify the solution. However, if the requester does not responded to an information request within ten working days, the ticket will be “resolved.” The requester may re-open the ticket at any time.

Priority Levels and Response Times

Priority Level : Criteria, Response Time (working hours)

90 : Critical – Affects over 25 people or mission critical (core) services. Within 1 working hour

70 : High – Affects one or more faculty or staff member. Daily job functions seriously affected. Within 1 working day

50 : Medium – School or work functions affected. This is the highest priority for student-submitted tickets. Within 5 working days

30 : Low – Minimal affect on operations. Within 10 working days

10 : Request for Information – No affect on normal operations Best effort as work load allows

Priority Level ranges from 0 – 99 and is initially set by the Help Desk requester. However, since Priority Level set by the Help Desk requester may not accurately fit the Criteria above the Help Desk operators will use the outlined Criteria to select an appropriate Response Time as necessary.

Response Time is the amount of time it should take the Help Desk operators to respond to the support request and begin to work on the problem. The Help Desk will always make every attempt to resolve problems as soon as possible.

Hardware Support Supported Hardware

The Help Desk supports computer hardware (i.e. computers, monitors, and laptops) owned by the school. This includes installation, maintenance, repair and replacement as needed. Before purchasing hardware, the IT Department will be given a chance to test the hardware for supportability and compatibility with the current infrastructure. (Allocation of hardware to departments and individuals is outside the scope of this document.)

The Help Desk will make every effort to repair or replace supported hardware, including hardware maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Partially-Supported Hardware

If hardware is purchased without giving the IT Department a chance to test it, then it will be considered Partially-Supported. Hardware purchased with vendor support contracts, or with non-user serviceable parts (e.g. Printers, fax machines, copy machines, scanners, telephones, etc) are also Partially-Supported hardware.

The Help Desk will make a best effort to repair the equipment. This usually involves identifying the problem and submitting a support request to a vendor responsible for the equipment.

Unsupported Hardware

Hardware which was not purchased by DigiPen or is not owed by DigiPen is unsupported.

The Help Desk will make a “best effort” attempt to fix any issue with Unsupported Hardware but will not spend more than a few minutes on any problem.

Software Support

Before purchasing software, the IT Department will be given the chance to test the software for supportability and compatibility with the current infrastructure. The Help Desk provides installation and basic support to supported software, however user training falls to the faculty or staff member who requested the software. Any user training or advanced support will be provided on a “best effort” basis only.

Software is a lot more complicated than hardware, and many software packages do not work well in “unusual” environments; including but not limited to network or shared computer environments and environments with many other software applications installed. Software support requests are usually more difficult and take longer to resolve.

Supported Software

Software which is on the official list of requirements, defined before the beginning of each semester, is Supported Software. Help Desk is responsible for making sure this software is installed in the specified labs and that it functions as it was designed and intended. As stated above, Help Desk is not responsible for teaching people how to use the software, although “best effort” support will be provided.

Partially-Supported Software

Software which is not on the list of requirements, but may be installed on lab computers for other reasons is partially supported. Partially supported software is given “best effort” support.

Unsupported Software

Software which was never vetted by the IT department, or is not installed on supported hardware (see above) is unsupported software. No attempt will be made to support unsupported software.

Escalation Procedure

Scope

A problem may be reported in any of many ways; this proceduce describes the typical life cycle of a problem report.

Definitions

A problem report may be recieved directly, via phone or walk-in, or indirectly, usually via email. 

The first repondant is the person who recieves the problem report.

The support technician is a member of the IT support team who has been assigned a trouble ticket.

The escalation team is the person or people with special knowledge of a specific part of the IT infrastructure.

Ticket Creation Process

When a problem is reported the first respondant will evaluate the problem based on the service level policy, gathering additional informaion as necessary, and give it an apropriate proirity. 

If a problem can be resolved immediatly, it should be. For all other problems a trouble ticket is created, given an apropriate priority, and assigned to a support technician.

Escalation Process

If the support technician is unable to resolve a problem in a timely and effective way then they will escalate it to the apropriate escalation team.

For Core and Critical service problems within support hours the support technician will escalate the problem directly to an escalation team. Direct escalation mean face-to-face or telephone contact with the escalation team in order to advise the team of the issue and pass along all pertinant information.

For all other problems the trouble ticket may be escalated either directly or indirectly. Indirect escalation means reassigning the trouble ticket to the escalation team and optionally sending the escalation team a message advising them of the escalation. 

On-Call Rotation

The DigiPen IT department is comitted to providing the best services and support possible. DigiPen IT support staff will be available for emergency contact for any IT related issues that affect critical services at any campus between the hours of 7:00am and 10:00pm localtime.

The contact number for emergency IT issues is (425) 629-5004 for the US/Redmond campus and ( ... ) for the Singapore campus. On-call staff will also be available via email and the IT chat room as apropriate.

Each person on the support team will be required to be on regular rotation; rotations are weekly, Thursday to Thursday. The transition is made during the middle of the day Thursday, during a regularly scheduled team meeting. If somebody can not, for any reason, be available during their scheduled rotation they are responsible for finding somebody to be available for them.

Calls will be dealt with apropriate to the problem severity and escalated as required by the apropriate service level policy. In some cases a problem may not be local to the campus experiencing teh problem; on-campus support staff are responsible for escalating the issue as apropriate.