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Service Level Agreement for Computer Support

Scope of Service Level Agreement (SLA)

This document defines University Information Services (UIS) support for the “computing environment” for faculty, staff and student desktop and laptop computers. The computing environment includes the health and workability of the computer itself, and of monitors, mice, keyboards and other peripherals, and the computer’s ability to communicate with other computers and printers on the wired and wireless networks. The terms of this SLA do not specifically apply to enterprise data systems, health record systems, learning management systems, servers, websites, network or telephony infrastructure, technology purchasing, or events requiring audiovisual support.

Depending on the nature of a technical issue, some help requests may be forwarded on to technical specialists outside of UIS (e.g. Library Systems Support or Marketing and Communications Web Team specialists). The terms of this Service Level Agreement do not apply to help requests forwarded on to these specialists.

General Philosophy of Support

The job of UIS is to support the computing needs for students, faculty and staff of Pacific University. As UIS’ resources are limited, an effort must be made to prioritize help requests so that those requests most time-sensitive and most central to the mission of the university are handled first and given the most resources. “Central to the mission of the university” means, for students, the use of technology in their academic work; for faculty, the use of technology in the instruction and assessment of students; and for staff, the use of technology in completion of their job duties. Similarly, UIS only has the resources to fully support technologies that UIS has standardized on (and that UIS staff can be trained in the support of) and thus UIS must provide less support, or in some cases no support, for non-standard technologies (see Support Levels).

Contacting Support

Our knowledgebase article: Contact Support contains instructions on contacting technology support resources at Pacific.

When a problem is urgent (priority level 1 or 2, as described below) it is recommended that you use the phone to request support, as this will allow for the quickest response.

When making the help request, clearly define the problem, the exact text of any error message, who is experiencing the problem, on what computer, and how it impacts the person's job/role/needs. Failure to provide this information may delay the resolution of a problem.

Support requests made directly to a member of UIS staff (in person, by phone or by email), rather than through the methods described above, can also delay the resolution of a problem.

Call Tickets

Active help requests will be recorded as call tickets in UIS’ helpdesk software. You should receive an automatic notification in your email when the call ticket is created. Customers can check on the status of a call ticket by logging into our Helpdesk Portal. Log in with the Pacific email address associated with your request and your PUNet password.

Priority Level

When a help request comes to the attention of UIS support personnel, it is assigned a priority level, as follows:

Level 1 (Critical)

This is any problem that has a critical effect on the operations of the university, including any problem where multiple customers are unable to do their work or academics.

  • Examples: All the computers in a department are non-functional. A contract that must be signed today for a vital service is not opening correctly.
  • Target Response Time: 1 hours
  • Target Resolution Time: 2 hours

Level 2 (High)

This is a situation where a customer is completely unable to do their work or academics, or has an urgent deadline being impacted by the problem.

  • Examples: A student with a paper due that day cannot access network printers. A staff member’s computer is completely non-functional.
  • Target Response Time: 2 hours
  • Target Resolution Time: 4 hours

Level 3 (Normal)

This is a situation where a customer cannot do one component of their job duties or academic work, but has other things he or she can do while waiting for the problem to be fixed or where there is a functioning workaround available.

  • Examples: A student cannot access network printers, but does not have a paper due that day. A staff member’s computer cannot access email via Outlook.
  • Target Response Time: 4 hours
  • Target Resolution Time: 1 day

Level 4 (Low)

These are problems which are annoying and may reduce a customer’s efficiency, but do not prevent the customer from doing his or her job duties or academic work.

  • Examples: An employee’s computer speakers are making an annoying hissing sound. A student must re-log-in to wireless every few minutes.
  • Target Response Time: 1 day
  • Target Resolution Time: 3 days

Level 5 (Ongoing):

These are issues where no immediate resolution is possible.

  • Examples: A complicated ongoing project. A technical bug that currently has no fix.
  • Target Response Time: 3 weeks
  • Target Resolution Time: N/A

The Target Response Time is our goal for a UIS technician (staff or student worker) to attempt to make contact with the requestor. At that time the UIS technician may schedule a time for service and/or gather more information. The Target Resolution Time is our goal for resolving the issue. A number of factors can affect the response and resolution time for a problem, and so these times are a goal only, and not a guarantee. These times do not include times and dates where UIS helpdesks are closed (after hours, weekends, holidays).

Advance Service Requests

These are requests where requestors know in advance when UIS service will be needed. Requestors are encouraged to make these requests as far in advance as possible. Advance service requests include:

  • Support of live events.
  • Training requests.
  • Supporting technology moves (e.g. those associated with an office move).
  • Creating special accounts.

The following should be taken into account when deciding when to put in a request:

  • Adding software to UIS-managed computer labs: Software in UIS-managed labs is generally refreshed every Summer. Requests to add new software should be received prior to that time.
  • Setting up new employees: A new employee cannot be set up until one or two business days after their visit to HR.
  • Departmental technology purchase: Once a piece of technology has been selected, and a budget authority has approved its purchase, the purchasing process takes one week, not including delivery time for physical items. For computers, the build-time and imaging for a computer is such that a computer should be ordered at least one month before it is needed.

Service Level Statistics

UIS will make reports to the campus community showing the degree to which UIS meets or exceeds the resolution times goals stated in this Service Level Agreement, as well as other performance and customer satisfaction indicators as they are available.

Student Personally-Owned Computers

For each student, UIS will support one computer, the primary computer used for academic use by that student, and its computing environment. UIS does not support personally-owned computers for faculty and staff, nor secondary computers owned by students. UIS only supports Windows and Mac computers, and cannot support any computer that does not meet the Computer Recommendations for that student’s program, see Computer Recommendations

Support for student computers generally follows the same rules and with the same support level goals as faculty and staff computers, except with the following caveats:

  • Many problems can be fixed at the help desk “while-you-wait.” When they cannot, however, students must check their computers in for service. Service times for student laptops vary depending on the issue and the number of computers waiting to be serviced. The most typically time intensive repair is virus/malware cleaning, which can take, during busy times, up to 7 business days.
  • UIS can do minor hardware repairs but is not a fully-stocked hardware shop and thus cannot do high level repairs (e.g. replacing laptop screens, soldering on loose components).
  • If repairing a computer carries a cost (e.g. a part must be purchased), the student is responsible for either purchasing the part and delivering it to UIS, or taking it to a third-party repair shop and paying for the repair there.
  • UIS cannot fix every problem. In some cases, the only solution left for a student may be to take a computer to a third-party repair shop or to purchase a new computer.

Support Levels for Technologies

Please note that whether or not technology was purchased with grant funds does not affect its supported status.

Core Systems Support

This category encompasses technology that has been suggested and sanctioned by UIS as the basic suite of tools provided for faculty, staff and students to accomplish their core job duties and academic work. UIS staff is trained on the use and troubleshooting of these technologies. There is no limit on the amount of time UIS staff will spend to restore the basic operability of these technologies when they fail. Core Systems technologies include:

  • Dell and Apple computers (and peripherals), issued by or purchased through UIS, with a UIS “standard” software load on them.
  • Access to wireless, Pharos printing and Pacific web-based services by a student’s personally-owned, primary-academic-use computer that meets the published computer recommendations (http://www.pacificu.edu/uis/generalinfo/computer_recommendations.cfm).
  • Dell and Apple monitors.
  • Dell or HP networked laser printers, issued by or purchased through UIS.
  • The Microsoft Office Pro Plus (Windows) or Microsoft Office Standard (Mac) suites, including access to email via Outlook.
  • Internet Explorer (Windows), Safari (Mac) and Firefox (Windows and Mac).
  • The SPSS statistics package
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, Filezilla, Java, Quicktime or any other software currently included in our standard software load for UIS-deployed faculty/staff computers.
  • Polycom-based video teleconferencing.

    Standard Support

    These are technologies that UIS approves for purchase according to the particular needs of individuals in the university, but that are not supported at the same level as Core Systems technologies. UIS staff does not have the same level of expertise on these as on Core Systems technologies. UIS will always make an attempt to help users resolve problems with Standard Support technologies, but cannot guarantee a successful resolution to problems. If the support of a Standard Support technology is taking so much time that it is a detriment to the support of Core Systems technologies, UIS will stop working on that support issue. In these cases, users of Standard Supported technologies may be responsible for contacting and working with technical support by the vendors of those technologies to resolve technical problems. In the case of older Standard Support technologies that no longer work in the UIS supported environment (e.g. scientific instrumentation software that only works with Windows 95), purchasing brand new technology may be the only option available to users to resolve a problem. Partially Supported technologies include:

  • Multifunction, ink-jet, non-networked, or non-Dell/HP printers.
  • Scientific instrumentation and any attached non-standard computers.
  • Clinical equipment and any attached non-standard computers.
  • Hardware, operating system and software on a student’s personally-owned, primary-academic-use computer that meets the published computer recommendations (http://www.pacificu.edu/uis/generalinfo/computer_recommendations.cfm).
  • Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Filemaker.
  • Non-email Google services available via BoxerApps.
  • Cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, iPods and iPads.
  • Tablet and netbook computers.
  • Non-Dell, non-Apple computers.
  • Non-English versions of operating systems or software.
  • Any non-Polycom based video teleconferencing (e.g. Skype, Google Video Chat or iChat).
  • Any software not-listed in the Core Systems support section, for which purchasing and installation has been approved by UIS.

No Support

These are technologies that are not sanctioned for use by UIS and UIS does not offer any support for.

  • Any non-Microsoft productivity program or suite (iWork, Word Perfect, Open Office).
  • Filesharing programs (BitTorrent, LimeWire, eMule).
  • Servers not maintained by UIS.
  • Any operating system other than Windows Professional or Mac OS (e.g. linux, unix, Windows server). Windows Home and Windows starter are only supported on students’ personally owned computers.
  • Personally-owned computers of faculty and staff.
  • Personally-owned student computers that do not meet the published computer recommendations (http://www.pacificu.edu/uis/generalinfo/computer_recommendations.cfm).
  • Use of tablets (e.g. iPads) as a replacement for an employee’s office computer.
  • Cloud storage solutions other than Google Drive via BoxerApps.
  • Software that does not run on the latest operating systems supported by UIS.
  • Windows XP on university owned computers beginning August 2014.

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