Roles and Responsibilities
Hours of Coverage, Response Times and Complaint Resolution
Maintenance and Service Changes
Reviewing and Reporting
1. General Overview
The purpose of this document is to establish a two-way understanding between the HSU campus community and Information Technology Services (ITS) regarding (a) how the University’s desktop computer inventory will be managed, and (b) the support services available to desktop computer users. The document lays out the principles and practices regarding desktop support to which ITS will adhere, and to which the user community is requested to adhere. These principles and practices are intended to yield a high quality, reliable desktop computing environment for the university while controlling costs.
2. Service Description
This Service Level Agreement specifically describes the Standard Desktop Support (SDS) services provided by ITS. The full range of services provided by ITS is documented at ITS Services and Solutions.
This Service Level Agreement applies to all computing equipment (computers, monitors, printers, scanners, etc.) used for research and creative activities, instruction, and University business and owned by the University, self-support units, and auxiliaries. The Agreement applies to computers in all offices, labs, classrooms, and public spaces. Unless an alternative mechanism for ongoing support is identified in advance, this Service Level Agreement applies to grant-funded computing equipment as well (excluding grant-funded equipment obtained before this Service Level Agreement was put in place in May 2013).
Support is provided by the most efficient method available, primarily over the phone with remote control assistance but also via email and through in-person visits.
Standard Desktop Services are organized around the lifecycle of a supported computer and include:
2.2.1 Plan and Purchase
Managing HSU’s Computer Inventory: First Fundamental Principle
Adhere to computing equipment standards across campus
- ITS will assist users and departments with all computer, printer, and software purchases. Please contact your IT Liaison or other appropriate Desktop Support personnel for assistance with specifications and ordering.
- All computer and printer purchases must conform to a list of standardized models that have been selected for performance, reliability, and cost.
- Computer and printer standards are established and/or updated each year through the CSU negotiations with hardware vendors and collaboration among the IT Liaisons, Desktop Support Specialists who work closely with staff and faculty across all areas of the campus and consult with them in determining their technology needs. Warranties for new computers can be up to five years but must be a minimum of three years.
- The standardized models of computers and printers include options to match specialized or higher-level technology needs. IT Liaisons or other appropriate desktop support personnel will work with staff/faculty to determine if their need requires advanced models or components.
- Operating system and application software configurations for HSU-owned equipment are based on user needs, CSU and HSU security standards, and the requirements of enterprise services such as the CSU's Common Management System (CMS/PeopleSoft)
Managing HSU’s Computer Inventory: Second Fundamental Principle
Adhere to common software images across campus
- New computers are configured with a standard set of software including a current operating system, office productivity applications, anti-malware software, and remote administration tools. Note that users may request additional software installations on their computer – see 2.2.3 Software Installation in the Manage section below.
- Computers are configured to connect to the campus networks
- Computers are configured in compliance with campus security policies
- Software not included in the baseline standard is installed when requested, provided that software is properly licensed. Users may be asked to provide proof of license in addition to installation media or a web location from which to download non-standard software.
- In cases of computer replacement, the user's data will be transferred from the old computer to the new one. Data will be retained on the old hard drive for four weeks after replacement to ensure complete data transfer. After the four weeks, the hard drive from the old computer will be securely erased or otherwise destroyed so that no data can be recovered from that drive.
- Support technicians will install and upgrade software in response to user requests, changes to campus standards or security requirements, or to resolve problems. Software may be installed with remote tools.
- Support technicians will install client-provided driver software for peripherals such as printers, scanners, external storage devices, and input devices.
- Supported software is installed on University-owned computers used for research, instruction, and other University business. ITS is not permitted to install software on equipment not owned by the University.
- Proof of license must be provided if requested. Note the CSU policy on the protection of electronic copyrighted materials at http://www.calstate.edu/eo/EO-999.html.
- Some software requires specialized configuration. Desktop Support staff can configure software if documentation is provided by the user.
- Only software that is being actively updated/patched by the vendor will be installed. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.
- Function/Usage Support
- Desktop Support staff will provide assistance for software that is not launching or functioning properly.
- Initial investigation will be undertaken by Desktop Support staff to determine if the issue is system- or network-related.
- Desktop Support staff does not provide tutorials or training in the use of applications, but can assist users by directing them to the help systems provided within applications or to appropriate online resources.
- Problems with certain business systems or specialized software may be referred to specialist resources for those systems or software.
- For licensed software supported by vendors, and approved open source software, SDS will resolve software installation and functional problems where solutions to those problems are easily available.
Managing HSU’s Computer Inventory: Third Fundamental Principle
Planning for, and identifying sufficient funds for, the continual refresh of each unit’s computing equipment inventory
- Standard Desktop Support services are provided for University-owned computers that conform to standardized models, run supported operating systems, and which do not exceed five and one half years of age. Computers older than five and one half years are costly to maintain in good operating order, deliver poor performance with new applications and operating systems, and should be systematically replaced.
- Support for computer warranty repairs includes equipment pickup, shipping, tracking, and return. Desktop Support personnel verify that the repairs have been completed before returning the computer to the user.
- Standard Desktop Support includes non-warranty repair of standard computers for which the vendor warranty has expired, but is limited to replacement of user-serviceable parts provided by the user (e.g., hard drives, power supplies). Users may need to work with a non-campus vendor for the repair of non-user-serviceable parts.
- Standard printers are always networked, multi-user devices. Standard Desktop Support does not include non-networked single-user printers.
- Printers must be connected to the network via hard-wired network jacks. Printers may not be connected to HSU wireless networks.
- Support for networked, multi-user printers includes the installation of drivers and correcting printing-related errors on HSU-owned computers. Because of the costs and complexities associated with repairing printers, repair of printer hardware is not included in Standard Desktop Support. For this reason, purchasing the manufacturer's on-site or "shipping included" warranty is highly recommended.
Managing HSU’s Computer Inventory: Fourth Fundamental Principle
Controlling computer inventory expansion and limiting the number of cascading moves that might result from the purchase of a single new computer
- When a computer is replaced, it is removed from the campus computer inventory and not redeployed in a new location. Exceptions may be made if the computer being replaced is less than four years of age. In these cases, the computer may be repurposed to replace an older system, which is then removed from the campus computer inventory. Cascading replacements are limited to one iteration.
- Campus units are to contact ITS for computer disposal. ITS will securely erase data from storage devices prior to coordinating disposal through campus surplus and e-waste programs.
2.3 Boundaries of Service Features and Functions
Standard Desktop Support (SDS) is available for computers that meet the following criteria:
- The supported equipment is University property, not personally owned.
- The computer is compatible with and running a supported operating system and does not exceed five and one half years of age.
- Administrative access exists or can be created on the computer for Desktop Support technicians to utilize.
- Desktop Support staff can remotely control the computer with the user's permission
- Desktop Support staff can re-image a computer when necessary to resolve an incident or complete a service request. The user will be notified prior to the re-imaging and their data will be transferred to the new image if it is recoverable. Data may not be recoverable in cases of severe hard drive failure.
3. Roles and Responsibilities
3.1 ITS Responsibilities
ITS will provide the infrastructure, technology, personnel, processes and monitoring tools necessary to deliver Standard Desktop Support as described in this document, and:
- Meet response times associated with the priority assigned to individual incidents and service requests.
- Appropriately notify users of all scheduled maintenance via System Status notifications.
- Clearly document the service provided in the ITS Service Catalog.
3.2 User Responsibilities
User responsibilities in support of this Agreement include:
- Complying with CSU and HSU policies and guidelines including:
- Contacting their IT Liaison or appropriate Desktop Support Specialist prior to ordering hardware (computers, printers, tablets etc.) or software. ITS will not support new hardware or software that does not meet computer and printer purchasing standards. The CSU and ITS negotiate discount prices from vendors for both hardware and software, and in some cases may already own software or equipment that is available for campus use.
- Paying all costs associated with planned and unplanned computer hardware replacement and software
- Utilizing the standard contact methods (Section 4) for incident reporting
- Providing access to supported computers either in-person or via the HSU remote assistance tools
- Making themselves available to Desktop Support technicians during the resolution of a service-related incident or request
- Providing proof of license and/or installation media when requesting software installation if required
- Backing up data unless prior arrangements have been made with ITS to provide backup services.
- Ensuring data transfers have been made correctly to new computers within two weeks of deployment
- Initiating the process of data destruction and surplus/disposal of old equipment by ITS personnel
4. Requesting Service
4.1 Desktop Support Requests
HSU offers four ways to contact ITS with Desktop Support requests.
This is the recommended method for requesting assistance unless the issue requires an immediate response or a customer password reset. When you use the web interface, your request will be logged as a ticket that is automatically associated with your department and campus contact information. Your request will be visible to all appropriate technicians who are available to assist you (rather than just one person), and you can keep track of your ticket's progress directly on the helpdesk website. Requests made via the web will be processed during normal hours of operation.
4.1.2 Phone (707) 826-HELP (4357)
Phone service is available through the technology help desk during normal hours of operation. Messages left during off hours will be processed the next business day. Due to the requirement for identity verification, password resets can only be processed over the phone or in-person.
In-person service is available during normal hours of operation in Library 101. Due to the requirement for identity verification, password resets can only be processed over the phone or in-person.
Email requests will be processed during regular business hours. Using the web interface at www.humboldt.edu/ithelp is recommended over email. While both methods are logged in our ticketing system, the web interface ticket will be automatically associated with your department and campus contact information, and it will be visible to the appropriate technicians without requiring manual assignment by the tech help desk.
4.2 Software and Hardware Purchasing
Prior to purchasing computing equipment (i.e. computers, printers, tablets) or software, please contact your IT Liaison or appropriate Desktop Support Specialist for assistance with specifications and ordering. ITS will not support new hardware or software that does not follow HSU computer and printer purchasing guidelines. The CSU and ITS negotiate discount prices from vendors for both hardware and software, and in some cases may already own software or equipment that is available for campus use.
5. Hours of Coverage, Response Times and Complaint Resolution
5.1 Hours of Coverage
Standard Desktop Support is provided Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm on regular campus business days. Variations to these hours of coverage are shown on the ITS website.
ITS will use the following guidelines to prioritize support requests; response time will not exceed the time shown, and we will always strive to respond sooner if at all possible. The time it takes to resolve the issue will vary depending on what's involved; factors such as vendor hardware or software support are not always within HSU's control. Where appropriate, intermediate steps may be taken such as a temporary loan or replacement computer for use while awaiting deliveries or repairs from third parties.
TIME SENSITIVE, requires immediate resolution. The loss of a service, including classroom activities, without a workaround available and where a degraded mode of operation is not available or acceptable. Example: Required instructional software will not launch.
Work towards a solution will commence within 30 business minutes. These requests should be submitted by phone at (707) 826 4357 or in person at Lib 101.
Service is necessary but an immediate resolution is not essential. Example: Microsoft Office will not load on my computer but there is another workstation available for my use.
First response confirming request was received will be sent within 8 business hours. Work towards solution within 3 business days.
Low impact on end users' ability to work. Example: requests for software upgrades that are not necessary for immediate instructional or business process requirements.
First response confirming request was received will be sent within 12 business hours. Work towards a solution within 10 business days.
If you are not satisfied with the level of service related to a request, contact your area's liaison or the Director of User Support Services. They will categorize and process your input as appropriate and respond to you with the action taken.
5.4 Other Requests
Requests for service features and functions not provided by this service can be submitted through www.humboldt.edu/ithelp.
6. Maintenance and Service Changes
The Change Management process within ITS minimizes unintended service disruptions or other impacts to the campus as a result of changes in the production environment. ITS does this by monitoring, managing, and evaluating changes to maximize service benefits to users while minimizing the risks involved in making those changes.
6.1 ITS Server Maintenance Schedule and System Status
All IT-related service outages are published to the System Status page or Service Maintenance Schedule. Scheduled maintenance is not included in the calculation of availability metrics.
Campus units are responsible for monitoring the System Status and Service Maintenance Schedule to notify ITS of forthcoming local events with ITS dependencies.
There are three categories of service outage:
- Planned Outages: A planned service outage is work that is planned and scheduled as part of system maintenance and updating. These outages are published on the ITS System Status page a minimum of one week prior to the scheduled outage.
- Unplanned Outages: An unplanned service outage is work that is due to an unforeseen event or urgent repair to prevent failure. Unplanned service outages are given priority on a case-by-case basis depending on the type and urgency of the service failure. Unplanned service outages will be posted to the System Status page immediately upon ITS becoming aware of the need for the outage.
- Service Failure: If a service failure occurs, ITS will post notice of the failure and the expected time of resolution to the System Status page immediately upon ITS staff becoming aware of the failure.
6.2 Guidelines for ITS Maintenance Windows
A maintenance window is a defined period of time during which planned outages and changes to production services and systems may occur. The purpose of defining standard maintenance windows is to allow users of the service to prepare for possible disruption or changes.
ITS encourages all services and systems to use the planned maintenance windows for the application of non-emergency changes. If a service does not have a planned maintenance window, the following guidelines apply:
- Planned outages should be performed between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sundays. Limited-impact changes will be scheduled for Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Planned outages and changes should not be scheduled during the ITS change freeze dates scheduled each semester.
While no recharge policies are currently in place for Desktop Support Services, the University reserves the option to reconsider such policies with regard to auxiliaries and self-supporting units in the future.
8. Reviewing and Reporting
8.1 System Performance and Availability Reporting
The following annual performance and availability reports will be published for review:
- First-contact response to incidents and service request, based on information from the Technology Help Desk ticketing system.
- Resolution of help requests, based on information from the Technology Help Desk ticketing system. Hours are counted as clock hours, weekends excepted.
- Outage metrics measure Planned vs. Unplanned Outages and their associated root causes; Change Management metric is the ratio of unplanned outages caused by failed changes to total outages.
8.2 SLA Reviews
The Designated Review Owner (“Document Owner”) is responsible for facilitating regular reviews of this document. Contents of this document may be amended as required, provided mutual agreement is obtained from the primary stakeholders and communicated to all affected parties.
Designated Review Owner: Steve Darnall, Director ITS User Support Services
Previous Review Date: 4/17/2014
Next Review Date: 9/19/2014
This Agreement is posted to the following location and made accessible to all stakeholders:
Standard Desktop Support Service Level Agreement 2013/2014 (PDF)
The ITS Senior Managers and Vice Presidents approve this document. This document is then published on the ITS website, along with other service level agreements. Service level information is integrated into the relevant service page(s) in the ITS Service Catalog.