Brown University CIS Help Desk Service Level Agreement
Section 1 - General InformationPurpose
This service level agreement has been written for Brown University. It
sets forth the service levels that the Help Desk will deliver to its
customers, and describes the processes that are used when a request for
information or assistance is submitted.
Service Level Agreement Period
This agreement is currently being reviewed and updated for the July 2011 through June 2012 period. During the month previous to its expiration, this agreement will
be reviewed and a new one, based on current needs and practices, will be
issued for the coming year.
This agreement pertains to the department of Computing and Information
Services, undergraduate and graduate student employees, Brown faculty, students, staff and prospective students.
Help Desk Overview
The Brown University CIS Help Desk is a technical support team that
provides prompt, knowledgeable, courteous desktop computing support
services over the phone, in person, and via email to the Brown community.
The Help Desk aims to resolve 80% of all requests for assistance on supported applications within 3 business days with 50% of requests being resolved on the day that they are submitted. If the request cannot be resolved at the Help Desk level, it will be escalated to another unit in CIS. If the problem or request concerns an unsupported operating system, hardware, software or service, staff will do their best, given call volume, to suggest other avenues of support.
When customers contact the Help Desk they should have their username and phone number available, be at the computer that they are requesting help with if applicable and abide by all applicable University and Computing policies.
Section 2 - Help Desk Product and Service
The Help Desk may be contacted by calling 401-863-HELP (4357), sending
email to Help@brown.edu or stopping by 224 Thayer Street where we are located on the 2nd floor of the building. Customers who know their username and password can also directly submit trouble tickets to the Help Desk from https://remedyweb.brown.edu/arsys/shared/login.jsp
The Help Desk web page is available at: http://www.brown.edu/helpdesk/
The Help Desk blog alerts the community to changes and disruptions in the computing environment at http://blogs.brown.edu/other/helpdesk/
Staff Availability and Response Time
During the academic year, the Help Desk is professionally staffed to take call and email inquiries from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Walk-in assistance is available from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Mid-semester and holiday hours may vary. The Help Desk schedule is posted on the Help Desk web site
When a Help Desk Specialist is not immediately available via telephone,
the customer will be offered the following options: hold for the next available Help Desk Specialist or leave a voice mail message. Live calls, voice mail and email are all responded to on a first-come-first served basis although specialists will pick up a live call and defer work on an email request if no other specialist is available to take that call. Initial contact from an email or voice mail request during regular business hours should be made within 1 hour of receipt of that message. If a request is of a critical nature, it is advisable to call the Help Desk and hold, if necessary, for the next available Help Desk Specialist.
At times, there are University-wide issues that may cause heavy call volumes and may prevent staff from getting back to someone within the standard timeframe of 1 hour. During these times, the Help Desk blog, http://blogs.brown.edu/other/helpdesk/ , will be updated with information on current computing issues.
Critical or very important requests should always be phoned into the Help Desk. Only non-critical requests should be emailed.
After Hours Emergency Problem Reporting
To report a system-wide outage when the Help Desk is closed, please call 401.863-4357
and select option 0 to be connected to CIS Operations. CIS Operations is staffed every day excluding Saturday where services are answered by an outside service (during holiday break hours may be limited). Customers should leave a message if their call is not answered, so a staff member can respond to the call. Examples of emergency problems are as follows:
* Server outage
* Network outage
* Network virus
* Security intrusion
Holiday/Recess Emergency Support
· During the Administrative Winter Break closing, Help Desk staff will review voice mail and email daily, excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
· If the reported issue is mission critical and requires emergency support, a Help Desk staff member will escalate the issue to the appropriate CIS unit and inform the customer of its disposition. All other inquiries will be responded to once the Help Desk staff returns from break.
Quality of Service Measures
Help Desk quality of service is determined by a number of measures
- Customer Satisfaction measured in four ways:
- responses to transactional surveys on customer satisfaction with the Help Desk’s response to an individual’s request
- face-to-face meetings with customers and their representatives on the Information Technology Advisory Board
- feedback from the Departmental Computing Coordinator listserv and meetings
- Additional CIS Surveys
- Day One Resolution Rate: The Help Desk consistently measures and reports on the number of requests for assistance that are resolved on the day that they were submitted. Our goal is for 50% of all requests to be resolved on day one.
- Percentage of Requests Resolved in 3 days: The target is for 80% of all requests to be resolved within 3 days of the initial contact.
- Percentage of Calls Answered or inversely, the Abandonment Rate: The goal is to answer 90% of the total calls made to the Help Desk. The Abandonment Rate refers to the percentage of callers who terminated their call before it could be answered; we strive for no more than 10% of all calls to be abandoned. No emails or voice mails should ever be abandoned. Calls terminated within the first 30 seconds are not factored into Abandonment Rate figures.
- Wait Time: Wait time refers to the amount of time a customer waits on the line for the next available Help Desk Specialist. The target is a wait time of less than one minute, to speak to a Help Desk Specialist. During high peak periods users may experience a longer wait time before a call is answered.
The Director, IT Support Services and Help Desk Manager are responsible for meeting the established performance standards - failure to do so will be managed through the performance development and planning cycle.
Trouble Ticket Tracking and Escalation
The Help Desk files a trouble ticket for 100% of the requests for assistance that must be escalated; the goal is to file a ticket for 90% of all original requests. If the problem is not resolved on the initial contact, it is researched by the Help Desk Specialist. If a resolution is found, the Help Desk Specialist replies to the customer with the solution. If a solution cannot be found, the trouble ticket is immediately escalated within CIS. Active Tickets assigned to the Help Desk are reviewed daily. In this manner, the Help Desk can ensure that tickets do not become inactive. If a department has a departmental computing coordinator (DCC), they may directly check the status of trouble tickets.
Tickets for which suggestions have been offered but which require input from customers to confirm that a problem has been resolved may be set to a status of ‘2 day’. Tickets that are set to ‘2 day’ will close automatically during the second overnight after the status change. A notification email will be sent to the customer when the status is changed, requesting that they contact the Help Desk if they need further assistance.
The CIS Help Desk will assist customers who visit us at 224 Thayer Street with questions and requests for assistance. A Brown University ID card must be presented upon arrival. If after 30 minutes a customer’s problem cannot be solved, the Help Desk Specialist will escalate the user’s trouble ticket within the organization, provide the user with additional troubleshooting steps, or will schedule a follow-up appointment.
The Help Desk does not perform hardware repairs or rebuild compromised machines.
Computing Cluster Support
Student consultants provide first level technical assistance for supported software at public computing clusters on campus. If a problem cannot be immediately resolved by the consultant, it is escalated to the Help Desk. If there is no lab consultant on duty in a public computing cluster, customers should contact the Help Desk directly.
Support at a Glance
The Help Desk supports both Macintosh and Windows operating systems using supported software and accessing central services. The link to the OS Support Life Cycle for Windows is
http://software.brown.edu/support/life/winos.html, and the link to OS Support Life Cycles for Mac is http://software.brown.edu/support/life/macos.html. Central services include Brown network access, computing accounts and passwords, GoogleApps Suite support, file and print services.
Software Support Statement
Computing and Information Services provides four levels of software
support to Brown computing users:
3) Installation only
4) No Support
These levels are defined at http://software.brown.edu/support/supportlevels.html
More detailed information on supported tasks is available in the ‘About Files’ of software downloaded from http://software.brown.edu/dist/index.html
For self-help, customers are welcome to use the various on-line resources which are located on our Help Desk website: http://www.brown.edu/cis/support/help_desk/. Customers can also stay up to date on important alerts and outages, software releases and support options by visiting the CIS mail site at http://www.brown.edu/cis/index.php.
Beyond the Scope of Help Desk Support
The Help Desk does not support:
- hardware repairs
- local print sharing
- system rebuilds
- personal/home networks
- replacing a customer’s printer consumables (paper, toner cartridges)
- local file sharing
- training or extensive instruction
- Request Capture and Support Verification: A Help Desk Specialist will capture all requests via phone, email, end-user submitted Help Desk tickets or voice mail (and walk-in) and verify the right to service based on the Username, affiliation of the customer and the approved product support list. If the request relates to unsupported requests, the customer will be notified. Otherwise, the Help Desk Specialist will continue with Step 2.
- Trouble Tracking: The Help Desk Specialist will open a Help Desk (HD) trouble ticket in Remedy that minimally will consist of the Customer’s full name, username, phone number, affiliation, and problem detail.
- Problem Resolution: The Help Desk Specialist will attempt to resolve all problems and requests for supported operating systems and applications. If call volume prohibits the specialist from spending any more time on the call, or (s)he is unable to solve
the problem, the ticket will be escalated.
- Escalate the Request, if necessary: The Help Desk Specialist will update the ticket, escalate the request to the second level support.
- Log Resolution into Ticket: The Specialist who resolves the problem is responsible for appropriately updating the ticket with the action taken.
- Ticket Closure: All Help Desk tickets will be closed after the customer’s satisfaction has been verified. Tickets closed through the ‘2 day’ auto-closure process will generate emails upon status change and closure.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys: The Help Desk team will send customer surveys to gauge satisfaction with the Help Desk services. If a survey response indicates that the customer needs further assistance with the original request, the ticket will be reopened and the issue will be further investigated.
Christine Brown, Manager Help Desk
Geoffrey Greene, Director, IT Support Services