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Service Level Agreement for Standard Services

Introduction

DSS IT Mission Statement

We are here to assist the faculty, staff and students within the Division of Social Sciences with their research, teaching, and community service computing needs. Our goal is to provide consistent and high-quality service in the atmosphere of collegiality and respect envisioned in the UC Davis Principles of Community.

About This Agreement

This document is the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Division of Social Sciences IT Service Center and the departments and people we support. It explains the standard services that we offer, outlines our responsibilities and yours, and explains how you can engage our services and what you can expect when you do.

Startup and Transition

As we transition from departmental IT to the service center, we will do our best to ensure that the IT needs of the division are met. Please understand that some details will take time to work out, and please be patient with us through this process. Once we get the kinks worked out, we will revise and adhere to expected response times for our services.

We will support existing equipment and software so long as it meets some minimum standards, mostly dictated by campus policies. We will also work with you to transition to newer equipment and software.

We will take over the University-mandated inventory processes for all of the equipment that we support.

We will continue to maintain existing departmental computing services including websites, web applications, computer labs, terminal servers, etc. until we can agree upon and migrate to shared services.

During our first year, we will create a comprehensive inventory of the equipment and software we support under the standard service levels in this document. For anything outside the standard service levels, we will work with you to define custom agreements—but there may be costs associated with some custom services, for example, projects requiring a disproportionate amount of dedicated time and resources.

Who We Support

We support all paid employees of departments within the Division of Social Sciences for University-supported activities. That means we’ll be happy to help you with any computing needs related to your job. We also provide full support to other constituencies, such as student researchers and volunteers, for their work on University-supported activities.

We provide support to other constituencies, including invited visitors, emeritus faculty, graduate students, and volunteers in support of their research and educational activities. Support for these constituencies is secondary to our support of University-supported activities.

What We Support

Ownership

We support University-owned equipment and software. We can’t support personally-owned equipment or software, though we may be able to provide consulting (as in, we’ll walk you through it). You wouldn’t take your car to UCD Fleet Services for repairs, and you wouldn’t ask UCD Facilities to paint your house (unless you’re the Chancellor)—the same applies to our services. We do understand that sometimes the line is blurry, as in the case of a personally-owned computer used for University work, and we will work with you in these cases to find an equitable solution.

Software

We will publish and periodically update a list of the software we support on our website. See the References section below for the link.

We will also publish or link to some minimum standards that software must meet.

For all of the software we support, we will manage licenses, installation, patches, and upgrades.

For software on our “Tier 1” supported list including supported operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), common office applications (Office, Acrobat, etc.), and UC Davis business applications (DaFIS, PPS, Banner), we can provide detailed application support in addition to installation and maintenance. What that means is that we can not only help you with obtaining and installing the software, we can also help you use it.

For software on our “Tier 2” supported list, we cannot provide detailed application support. This includes research software like Matlab, SAS, SPSS, Stata, etc. We can help you install and maintain it, but we can’t help you use it beyond helping you contact the software vendor or other support resources.

For software that’s not on our supported list but still meets some minimum requirements (“Tier 3”), we will do our best to help you. But we can’t guarantee any specific level of support for such software.

Please consult with us if you need to use software that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, and we’ll work with you to find solutions to reasonable requests. The requirement that usually puts software in this category is that the software vendor no longer provides updates, which makes the software a security risk.

Some software, such as our inventory management application, must be installed on all University-owned computers. And some software, such as an anti-virus package, must be installed on any computer that connects to the University network—including personally-owned computers. If you need an exception to this, please talk to us: if it’s justified, we can work something out.

Hardware

We will publish and periodically update a list of pre-configured hardware packages for desktop and laptop computers and for printers. We will also publish and update both a set of recommended and a set of minimum hardware requirements. See the References section below for the link.

If you buy one of the pre-configured “Tier 1” packages through us, we will keep a stock of spares on hand. So if your hardware breaks, we will be able to replace it the same day (unless a lot of them break all at once) for the expected life of the equipment. That’s typically 5 years for computers.

If you buy outside of the pre-configured packages but still meet our recommended standards (“Tier 2”), we can offer a high level of service. That’s because our recommended standards come from vendors who will guarantee that parts and service will be available for the expected life of the equipment.

If you buy outside of the recommended standards but still meet our minimum standards (“Tier 3”), such hardware may be supported by exception. The IT director, in consultation with the Dean's Office and the Divisional Technology Committee, retains the right to refuse support for purchases that do not meet divisional IT standards. In most cases, however, we can work with you to find mitigations or alternatives.

Please consult with us if you need something that doesn’t meet our minimum requirements. We can work with you to find an accommodation for reasonable requests.

Standard Services We Provide

The services listed here are standard, meaning that—within reason—these services are provided at no additional cost to departments.

Services not listed here may still be provided, but they may be provided on a recharge or contract basis. But we’ll certainly let you know before undertaking any work that would incur costs.

Consultation and Training

We are happy to assist with planning and recommendations for technology solutions, including assessing your needs and finding appropriate technology solutions or training resources. In fact, the earlier you bring us in, the better we can assist you!

We can also provide both group and individual training on many technology topics from basic computer use through software development practices.

Responsibilities:

·       Sometimes adding technology is the answer to a problem, but sometimes the answer is learning to make better use of our existing technology. We ask you to respect our judgment in making that determination, and we will likewise respect your time and resources when recommending training.

·       Please remember that we are responsible for supporting equipment and software for its entire lifecycle. That involves many considerations that don’t come into play for personal purchases, and it often involves additional costs in the initial purchase. For example, you may be able to find a less expensive computer than the ones we recommend, but we take warranty, service, and manageability into consideration when making recommendations. Please work with us on this, and we’ll promise to find solutions that meet your long-term needs.

Managing Equipment and Software Licenses

Equipment and Software Lifecycle Management

We take care of the entire lifecycle of hardware and software from planning for the initial purchase through sustainably disposing of things that we no longer need—and all of the processes in between. Here’s a more complete list:

·       Pre-purchase planning: helping you decide what and how to purchase, working with vendors to obtain quotes

·       Purchasing: working with vendors and business offices to complete the purchase

·       License Management: tracking software license usage and compliance

·       Deployment: getting purchased items set up in your offices and labs, installing and managing software

·       Inventory Management: keeping track of where purchased items are located, reporting inventory to the campus

·       Routine Maintenance: checking on the “health” of equipment and software, taking any corrective actions needed

·       Disposal: removal and disposal of old equipment, following campus sustainability standards

We do not purchase or install expendable supplies, such as printer paper, toner and ink, or blank DVDs as part of our standard services, though we are happy to make recommendations. We can offer supplies management as an extended service—please contact us to discuss details of this service.

Responsibilities:

·       All technology purchases should be routed through us. We promise that we will work with you to purchase technology that meets your needs, but we’re also responsible for meeting various policies. Please do not make an end-run around us, and we’ll be as flexible as we can.

·       Along the same lines, you must have licenses for any software that is installed or used on computers we support. We will pursue volume discounts, shared licensing, and other avenues to keep licensing costs as affordable as possible. We can also suggest and support open source or free alternatives for many software packages.

·       Maintaining inventory records and performing maintenance means that we will occasionally need access to the offices, labs and other locations where equipment is stored. For any non-emergency purposes, we will let you know in advance when we plan to access locations assigned to you.

·       We’ll avoid it if we can, but you may be asked to bring equipment from home for maintenance or inventory, or to return old equipment.

Equipment Checkout

For clusters, departments and programs, if you have laptops, projectors or other “loaner” equipment available, we can manage checkout for you from our service desk locations. Checkout can be managed per-department, per-cluster or (and we think this is the best option) as a pool for the division. For pooled equipment, we will keep spares in stock to ensure availability.

Responsibilities:

·       When you check out equipment, you are assuming responsibility for University property. Accidents happen, and that’s okay—we anticipate occasional losses and wear-and-tear. But please ensure that equipment is handled carefully, stored securely, and returned with all the parts while it’s in your care. You may be charged for replacement or repair costs if there is clear evidence of willful damage or negligence.

Technical Assistance and Consultation

We are here to assist with your technology questions. Whether your computer won’t boot, your mouse isn’t responding normally, or your software has presented an unhelpful error message, we’ll work with you to find the problem and correct it.

We have a team of professionals available to answer your questions. You can contact us via web, email, phone, chat or office drop-in. See “How to Get Support” below for details.

Here are the main types of technical assistance we provide for the hardware and software we support:

·       Troubleshooting: finding the cause of a problem, and providing workaround or solutions that allow you to get back to work

·       Hardware Support: diagnosing hardware problems, replacing mice and keyboards, upgrading memory, etc.

·       Application Support: diagnosing software problems, patching and updating, assisting with using applications, etc.

·       Network Support: diagnosing network problems, assisting with network reconfigurations, assisting with remote access, etc.

Responsibilities:

·       Sometimes, we need you to be present to assist us with diagnosis and repairs. We respect the value of your time, and we ask you to do the same for ours.

·       In the course of technical support, we often need limited access to your email and files. We have a campus-mandated responsibility to maintain confidentiality, and we take this responsibility very seriously. It’s important to note that there are some kinds of content that we are legally obligated to report to the campus. See the “References” section for information on our duties and your rights.

·       Our goal is to get you back to work as quickly as possible. That often means that we will provide a workaround or other short-term fix, then try to find a long-term fix. Sometimes workarounds aren’t ideal, and sometimes there is no workaround. Please be patient, and please understand that sometimes the solution will be a change to your practices rather than a technological solution.

·       For parts that can be replaced on warranty, we will handle that process, and we can often provide “loaner” parts in the interim. For upgrades or parts that are not replaced on warranty, purchase or repair costs are usually the department’s or individual’s responsibility.

·       The ratio of IT staff to the computers we support is around 1:240. When possible, please use the self-support tools that we make available (see “How to Get Help”).

Computer Lab Management

Many departments and programs maintain computer labs for teaching, research, and student use, and maintaining those labs is part of our standard service. For specialized lab needs, please contact us to discuss details.

Responsibilities:

·       We are responsible for managing most hardware and software in computer labs, and for managing who has access to log in.

·       Departments are responsible for the costs of computer hardware, lab infrastructure, software licenses, etc.

·       Departments are responsible for physical access control for labs.

·       For research labs, departments or PIs are responsible for custom research software and hardware, though we are happy to assist.

Network Services

We provide a wide range of network-based services ranging from departmental websites and printing services through web-based applications and the services that allow your computer to reach the Internet. The sections below detail some of the specific network services we manage.

Overall Responsibilities:

·       We aim for 99% availability for all of the network service components that we maintain, outside of scheduled maintenance windows. To achieve that, we proactively monitor all service components.

·       We schedule regular maintenance windows for many service components. The maintenance schedule is published on our website.

·       The campus network and the Internet are shared resources, and the actions of any node on the network can adversely impact others. We are responsible for mitigating risks to and fixing problems with or caused by the networks of the division. As part of that responsibility, there are some services and applications that we must prohibit from the network.

·       It is our responsibility to manage networks, servers, services and applications for the division.

·       It is your responsibility to work with us when creating new network services or making changes to existing services.

Infrastructure Services and Internet Access

Infrastructure services are the most basic services we provide: such services include everything that’s required to allow your computers to connect to the campus network, access other network services, and access the Internet.

Responsibilities:

·       Infrastructure services are one of our highest priorities, since they often have the widest impact. Repairs to these services will take precedence over other service requests.

Messaging , Communications and Collaboration Services

Email, instant messaging, voice/video chat, Internet telephony, shared calendaring and other technology-enabled communications and collaboration tools are as essential to working together as conference rooms and inter-office mail.

Responsibilities:

·       As with other network tools, there are many messaging and communications tools available. But because of their social nature, these tools are the most common vector for evildoers to do their evil. Spam, spim, phishing, social engineering, trojans and remote exploits abound in this category of network services. We ask you to work with us by using tools that have been vetted and tested in our environment.

·       For the same reasons listed above, protecting ourselves from attacks is a shared responsibility. We are responsible for providing you with tools and training to do just that, and you are responsible for using the tools and following the guidelines.

Websites

We support department and program websites as part of our standard service. For project or personal websites, we offer a variety of services, many of which are included as part of our standard service. For instance, websites built on our standard content management system and using standard UC Davis templates are part of the standard service. Websites requiring custom-programming, graphics design or significant infrastructure may not be part of the standard service. Please contact us to discuss your website needs.

Responsibilities:

·       In general, we are responsible for the website infrastructure.

·       In general, departments, projects or individuals are responsible for website content.

·       Our goal is to create websites that 1) are automated, pulling information from existing sources wherever it’s appropriate, and 2) are easy for people to edit.

·       UCD provides some templates and guidelines for public websites—you can find a link in the “References” section. Some elements of the guidelines are required, others are optional. We can provide some minor design services within the scope of the campus guidelines and templates. But departments or projects are responsible for contracting any significant design work. We will manage those contracts and work with the designers to ensure that what they produce will work with our infrastructure.

·       There are a lot of web technologies out there. We focus on a core set for which we have expertise and which meet most of the needs we have encountered. We will work to find solutions for whatever you want your website to do, but please understand that the tools and technologies used must be a good fit for our infrastructure.

File Services

We provide space to store files on networked servers. Storing files on networked storage allows you to access them from many locations, and we handle backing up any data stored on our file servers. We usually recommend storing all of your files on our shared file servers, as this provides for more accessibility and safety than storing files on your local computer.

For most uses, we provide sufficient storage space for all of your business-related files. But some research applications and even some business uses like media production require a lot of storage space. For those cases, please contact us to discuss options.

Responsibilities:

·       We are responsible for disaster-recovery backups of files stored on our file servers. That means that we take periodic (usually daily) snapshots of the stored files and store those securely so that we can replace them in the event of a serious server failure. We do keep those snapshots for a period of time, but we do not provide archival backups. That means that we can probably restore a file that was accidentally deleted last week, but we won’t be able to retrieve a file from last year. If you have a need for archival backups, please contact us to discuss options.

·       We know that University computers are often used for incidental personal use. That’s fine. But network storage and backup is expensive, so please don’t use our service to store your personal music, video or photo collections.

Print Services

We can assist departments with sharing networked printers, and with monitoring and controlling the use of printers. Please contact us to discuss options for this service.

Responsibilities:

·       Departments are responsible for all printing supplies costs (toner, ink, paper, etc.)

·       Think before you print: reducing printing is the low-hanging fruit of sustainable computing.

Backup Services

We back up and securely store critical data on all of the servers we maintain. We can also provide backup services for individual computers—please contact us to discuss options for this service.

Responsibilities:

·       If your data is stored on our servers, we will handle backing it up.

·       You are responsible for backing up data on local computers, though we are happy to work with you to find good backup solutions.

·       If your data, such as your email, is stored on campus- or vendor-maintained servers, the service provider is responsible for backups. But we will be happy to work with the service providers to assist with restores.

Application Services

Application services include web-based applications, terminal servers, and other services where the application functionality is delivered to you over the network. The actual application software may be hosted on our servers, on campus servers, or on the Internet. We can host, maintain and support applications services for shared use. For project, lab or individual applications services, please contact us to discuss options.

Responsibilities:

·       As with websites, there are many web application technologies available. We focus on a core set for which we have expertise. We will work to find solutions for whatever you want your website to do, but please understand that the tools and technologies used must be a good fit for our infrastructure.

·       For campus- and vendor-hosted application services, we will work with the application service providers to get support, but ultimately the service providers are responsible for the applications they provide.

Remote Access Services

Accessing your office computer from home, accessing your data from a different continent, or accessing Library resources from off campus are examples of remote access services. We can provide you with secure, reliable options to gain remote access to the resources you need.

Responsibilities:

·       There are many tools available to provide remote access to computers. We select among those tools to find ones that are secure and reliable. A misconfigured or misused remote access tool can compromise the security of our entire network, so we ask that you work with our recommended tools. Some tools that are known to be security risks will be blocked.

·       Even secure remote access tools can lead to security breaches when used incorrectly. It’s your responsibility to use the tools wisely. Be sensible, and don’t access the nuclear secrets on your office computer from an Internet café computer.

Security, Access Control and Compliance

We handle computer and network security for the division, including managing accounts (who can access resources), access controls (who has access to which resources), patching/updating for hardware and software, and compliance (verifying and reporting on our security status).

There are a lot of laws, regulations and policies at many levels of government that relate to how we use technology. The balance between the rules and your rights can be tricky. We don’t want to be the technology police, and we will strive to keep controls to the minimum required for compliance. We ask that you work with us by not creating a need for us to impose more stringent controls.

Overall Responsibilities:

·       Security and compliance are our shared responsibility.

·       As the service provider, we’re responsible for putting controls in place to meet the minimum requirements for compliance and for verifying that the controls are working.

·       As the service consumer, you’re responsible for not circumventing the controls we put in place or preventing us from verifying that the controls are working.

Account Management

Account management means establishing who someone is, then giving them a unique set of credentials, which they can use to access systems. Our goal is to keep the number of separate credentials issued to you to as few as possible. We use credentials for your campus-issued computing account whenever possible.

Responsibilities:

·       Please don’t share credentials. Yes, sometimes it’s more convenient to “just log someone in” on your account, but that both circumvents security controls (see “Overall Responsibilities” above) and puts you and your account at risk.

·       Since we use campus-provided credentials for most systems, getting an account for someone usually means getting them a UC Davis computing account. For students and employees, this is usually automatic. For visitors and guests, it can take a few days. It’s your responsibility to plan ahead for the access your guests and visitors will need.

·       If you believe that your credentials have been stolen or accidentally shared with others, you are responsible for immediately resetting your passphrase.

Access Controls

Access control means managing what someone is able to do with a set of credentials, such as which systems they can access and what they can do with those systems. Whenever possible, we automate access control based on information from campus systems (e.g., graduate students in a department may be automatically granted access to the department’s computing lab).

Access controls also include technologies like firewalls, anti-virus software, and spam filtering software that block access based on rules rather than on credentials. Sometimes, these types of access controls can mistakenly filter out the good with the bad.

Responsibilities:

·       For departmental systems that we manage, departments are responsible for setting clear policies on who should be granted access. We are responsible for following those policies.

·       Though campus systems will improve over time, it’s very hard for us to know when someone leaves a departmental role, leaves the department, or leaves the University entirely. For access that you have sponsored, you are responsible for letting us know when access should be revoked.

·       If you learn or believe that someone is abusing their access, you are responsible for letting us know immediately. We are responsible for following up on such reports quickly and revoking access when appropriate.

·       If you find that legitimate work is being blocked by a firewall, antivirus program, spam filter or other rules-based access control, it is your responsibility to work with us to fix the issue rather than circumvent the control. It is our responsibility to be flexible and responsive when applying these controls so as not to prevent legitimate access.

Patching and Updates

Vendors release updates (typically new versions) and patches (fixes to existing products) for software and hardware to add functionality, fix known problems, and fix security vulnerabilities.

Responsibilities:

·       Except in cases of imminent threat, we will schedule patches and upgrades for convenient times, and we will publish those schedules on our website.

·       Specifically for updates and patches that address security problems, it is our shared responsibility to install them as soon as possible after they are released and verified. We will provide tools to deliver such patches and verify that they have been installed. In some cases, you will need to initiate the install process or take other actions to apply the patch. In those cases, doing so is your responsibility. In rare cases, this may mean that you will need to make equipment available to us or bring it in, and it is your responsibility to do so.

·       Vendors typically only provide patches for current versions of their products. When patches are no longer issued, the product becomes an increasing security risk. It is your responsibility to update to newer, supported versions of software that you will continue to use. When this is not possible, it is your responsibility to work with us to find another way to mitigate the risk.

UCD CyberSafety Auditing

Many of the security compliance and reporting requirements have been rolled up into the UC Davis CyberSafety program (see References below). This program establishes minimum standards that we have to follow (such as using antivirus software and patching software) and requires an annual report detailing how we meet those standards and verify that they have been met.

Responsibilities:

·       We are responsible for providing the systems and tools needed to meet and verify the standard, and we are responsible for both finding the least invasive and arduous ways to meet the standards.

·        We are responsible for finding and documenting alternatives or mitigations where meeting the standards isn’t possible.

·       You are responsible for requesting exceptions when alternatives are not available. Exceptions for the division come from the Assistant Dean for Technology for the College of Letters & Science, and there is an online system for requesting them.

·       You are responsible for not circumventing the standards and working with us to find solutions if the standards get in the way of your work.

·       If you choose not to comply with CyberSafety and other requirements, you are effectively opting out of our services. In that case, you will be responsible for requesting your own network from the campus, managing that network, managing computers on that network, and fulfilling all of the compliance and reporting policies.

Working with Campus and External Service Providers

Given that the division is in the middle of the UC Davis hierarchy, and given the increasingly networked nature of our world, many of the services we use are supplied by the campus (e.g., the phone and data network, Xeda, MyInfoVault), the UC system (e.g., At Your Service Online) or external service providers (e.g., Dell and Apple repairs, SmartSite, Google Applications). Nearly all of our services rely on a combination of components provided by us and components provided by others. For our core services described in this agreement, we monitor both our components and those from other service providers; after all, if the network is down, so is your website.

We can act as the intermediary with many service providers. For instance, we serve as your contact point for interfacing with UCD Communications Resources for phone and data services. Similarly, we take care of contacting Dell, Apple and other manufacturers to get computers and other equipment fixed.

We can also provide project management services for projects undertaken by external service providers, which is often more cost effective than asking us to do the work directly. If a project or individual request will require significant project management or integration time from us, please contact us to discuss options.

Responsibilities:

·       You are responsible for any service provider charges resulting from your requests to us. We are responsible for making sure you are aware of and agree to those charges before the work is started.

·       In some cases, it is faster for you to deal with the service provider directly. If you’re doing research in Nepal when your laptop breaks, it makes more sense for you to send it back to Dell directly than through us. It is our responsibility to let you know when this is the case and to provide you with the relevant contact information. It’s your responsibility to follow through with the service provider.

Other Services We Can Provide

If you have need of services not mentioned in this agreement, please contact us to discuss options.

In the locations above where it says “if you need to do X, please contact us to discuss options,” what that means is (you guessed it) there may be a cost associated with the service, though consultation is free. Our rule of thumb is that services required for standard University business are covered by this agreement, but individual-, project- or grant-specific services will require separate agreements.

It’s a fine line, but we are committed to working with you to find solutions that will work for your needs. We will continually look for opportunities for resource sharing: a project that is not covered for an individual may be covered when shared across multiple projects or departments. When we ask you to please contact us, we mean it not in the sense of “call for pricing” but rather in the spirit of cooperation and collegiality.

Responsibilities:

·       We are responsible for keeping costs manageable. We are not in this to make a profit, just to recoup time and materials costs for services that are not funded by the division.

·       You are responsible for planning ahead regarding services that are not covered in this agreement. If you’re submitting a grant that will require specialized services, contact us during the budgeting process to ensure that you are including all of the project costs in the grant application.

How to Get Support

We offer several avenues to get support, as detailed below. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for you to reach us.

Whenever you contact us about a new request or issue, we will create a service ticket to track your request. We will keep notes about all the work we do and all communications regarding the issue as part of the service ticket.

Regardless of how you contact us, here are things you should include in your request to ensure that you get the fastest service:

·       Your name and department

·       The equipment or service you’re calling about

·       The best way to reach you, and your availability

·       The service ticket number of your request, if you’re calling regarding an existing issue

·       A detailed description of the issue, including specific error messages or screenshots.

Over the Web

Web address:

http://it.dss.ucdavis.edu/

Our website is the best way to engage support. Additionally, we will post news and service status information on the website—so please check the website before contacting us to report service issues.

The website contains an ever-expanding, easily searchable knowledgebase to find answers to common questions that’s available anytime.

If an answer is not available in the knowledgebase, you may also submit service requests or initiate a live chat session with one of our support analysts on the website. Online service requests may be submitted anytime, and we’ll get back to you during business hours. Live chat is available during business hours when technicians are available.

On computers that have our service desk client software (SysAid) installed, you can initiate a web-based or live chat service request using the SysAid client. Using the SysAid client will allow you to easily send screenshots of any error messages.

Over the Phone

Phone number:

530-752-8800

Our service desk phone number will automatically route to an available support analyst. In the rare cases that no support analyst is available, you can leave a voicemail message, and during business hours we will respond within 30 minutes.

Over Email

Email address:

ithelp@dss.ucdavis.edu

Email sent to our service desk email address will reach the entire support team. When you send email, you will receive an automated response indicating that your request has been queued and providing you with a ticket number to reference in further communications about your request. During business hours, you can expect a human response within 30 minutes.

In Person

In-person locations:

·       267 Cousteau Place, Room 137

·       483 Kerr Hall

·       2235 Social Science and Humanities

·       118 Young Hall

During business hours, our support analysts can be available in the locations listed above for drop-in or by-appointment support. We highly recommend making an appointment for in-person support, as support analysts are often in the field assisting others.

We’re always happy to talk to you in person, but the clock doesn’t start until a service ticket has been created. So when you make a request to one of our support analysts in the field, it’s likely that the ticket will not be created until the support analyst returns to the office. If you don’t receive confirmation that a service ticket has been created, please follow up over the web, phone, email, or one of our drop-in locations.

Support Expectations

During service hours, you can expect a response to your request from a live human being within 30 minutes of contacting us. That response will set the expectation for when we can dedicate resources to servicing your request, based on the prioritization of your request.

When Support is Available

Our service hours are from 8AM-noon and 1PM-5PM on weekdays, excluding University holidays, campus closures, and scheduled events. Any scheduled events or closures that will impact support availability will be published on our website.

How We Prioritize

We prioritize based on impact and urgency.

Impact is the number of people who are affected by an issue (scope):

·       High: Organization-, cluster- or department-wide

·       Normal: Multiple people

·       Low: Individuals

Urgency is how critical the issue is to the work of the University (time):

·       High: Issues that stop people from being able to do required work (e.g., inability to log into computers) or that immediately threaten equipment, data or safety

·       Normal: Issues that might impede but do not prevent required work (e.g., printing outages)

·       Low: Issues that are annoyances (e.g., issues for which workarounds are available) or issues that can be repaired during a planned maintenance window (e.g., non-critical web applications)

Based on impact and urgency, priority is determined as you see here:

 

Urgency

Impact

High

Normal

Low

High

Critical

High

Normal

Normal

High

Normal

Low

Low

Normal

Low

Low

 

·       Critical: We begin working on the service ticket as soon as we’re aware of it, redirecting people and resources from lower priority projects, as needed. We continue working until the ticket is resolved—including overtime.

·       High: We begin working on the service ticket as soon as we’re aware of it, redirecting people and resources from lower priority projects, as needed. We continue working during normal service hours until the ticket is resolved. Expected resolution is within one business day.

·       Normal: We begin working on the service ticket on the same day that we become aware of it, bringing in additional people and resources when needed and as they become available. We schedule continued work on the ticket, balancing it with work on other issues. Expected resolution is within two business days.

·       Low: We schedule work on the service ticket, including scheduling all of the necessary people and resources. Work may be scheduled for the next regular maintenance window. Expected resolution for tickets handled outside of regular maintenance windows is one business week. Expected resolution for issues scheduled for regular maintenance windows is one business month.

Obviously, factors outside of our control like vendor lead time (for purchases or vendor-provided repairs) and service provider lead time (for services provided by others) will impact how quickly we can resolve an issue. We will try to set accurate expectations with you for when an issue will be resolved, and we will keep you updated as those expectations change.

How We Escalate Requests

We will automatically bump up the priority of a service ticket to the next priority level when the expected time to resolution at the current priority level elapses. For example, a normal-priority project will become a high-priority project if it is not resolved within two business days.

How You Can Escalate Requests

If your service ticket is not getting the attention it deserves, you may ask to have your service ticket escalated, and your support analyst will send your service ticket to a senior support analyst or to the service desk manager.

Escalation of tickets by request is at the discretion of the service desk manager.

Still Not Happy?

If the service you receive from us is not adequate—and particularly if this is true across multiple service tickets, there are several avenues available to you to:

·       Contact the service desk manager, who is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the overall quality of the services we provide. Contact information is listed on our website.

·       Contact a representative of the divisional technology committee. The committee serves as the advisory board for the service center and can recommend corrective action for service problems both to the IT Director and to the Dean. The committee roster and contact information is listed on our website.

·       Contact your chair, director or CAO. The divisional technology committee (including the Assistant Dean and IT Director) regularly check in with chairs, directors and CAOs to verify that our services are meeting the needs of the departments.

 

How We Track Service Levels

We use service desk software (SysAid) to track all the information related to a service ticket. We run monthly reports against that information to see how much of the time we are meeting our service targets as noted in this agreement.

For instance, we keep track of and report on the average time from when a service ticket is first created until it receives a human response and on percentage of requests for which that time exceeds our agreed to 30 minutes.

The reports are reviewed monthly by the divisional technology committee. If we are routinely exceeding our targets, the committee may choose to amend this agreement to reflect the higher service expectations. If we are missing our targets, the committee may recommend changes to our staffing or service models to the Dean.

How This Document is Updated

This agreement is reviewed annually by the divisional technology committee, as appointed by the Dean. The committee is empowered to amend the agreement by a 2/3 vote of the membership. The current version of the agreement will be published on our website:

http://it.dss.ucdavis.edu/services/standard

If you have comments regarding this agreement, please contact any member of the division technology committee. You will find the committee roster and contact information on our website.

References

Software We Support

The lists of preferred, recommended and minimum software that we support are listed on our website:

http://it.dss.ucdavis.edu/services/software

Hardware We Support

The lists of preferred, recommended and minimum hardware that we support are listed on our website:

http://it.dss.ucdavis.edu/services/hardware

Campus Policies

Here are descriptions of and links to campus policies referenced in this agreement:

Principles of Community

http://principles.ucdavis.edu/

The Principles establish the expectations for how all members of the UC Davis community interact.

CyberSafety (PPM 310-22)

http://security.ucdavis.edu/cybersafety.cfm

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-22.htm

The CyberSafety policy provides a set of required computer security standards and mandates annual reporting on adherence to those standards.

Administrative Computing (PPM 200-45)

http://admincomputing.ucdavis.edu/

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/200/200-45.htm

The Administrative Computing policy sets up a review process for any computing systems that will be purchased or built that cross organizational boundaries or cost more than a specified amount.

Electronic Communications and Acceptable Use (PPM 310-23,-24)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-23.htm

The Electronic Communications policies specify how University networks and computing resources may be used, including your rights and responsibilities. The policies also define the circumstances and mechanisms under which the University may examine or disclose your communications with or without your consent. Please note that disclosure without your consent requires Provost-level approval.

Bulk Email (PPM 310-18)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/ppm/310/310-18.htm

The Bulk Email policy puts limits on sending email to 250 or more individuals and provides a process for requesting exceptions.

Web Standards (PPM 310-70)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-70.htm

The Web Standards policy outlines recommended and required standards for websites hosted at UC Davis, including branding, accessibility, and collecting information.

Equipment Management (PPM 350)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/contents.htm#350

The Equipment Management policies provide requirements and procedures, for buying equipment and supplies, managing inventory, moving equipment, and transferring equipment inside and outside of the University.

Disk Encryption (PPM 310-75)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-75.htm

The Disk Encryption policy mandates that any electronic media that contain sensitive or restricted data be encrypted.

Wireless Networks (PPM 310-17)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-17.htm

http://wireless.ucdavis.edu/

The Wireless Network policy requires that all wireless networks must meet some standards, including requiring passwords and encryption.

Vulnerability Scanning (PPM 310-21)

http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/ppm/310/310-21.htm

The Vulnerability Scanning policy establishes that the campus has the right and responsibility to actively scan all devices connected to campus networks for known vulnerabilities and requires that departments and individuals quickly fix any vulnerability that is discovered.