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IT Service Levels Agreement (Procedure)

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Information Technologies
Responsibility: Director, IT Operations
Original Date Adopted: 08-25-2020
Dates Reviewed: 08-25-2020
Last Date Approved: 08-25-2020


Service Level Agreement (SLA) – Expected Response Times

The response ‘timeclock’ begins when a user submits a Jira ticket or when IT becomes aware of an Urgent Issue.

All issues require submission of a Jira ticket by the user or, in some circumstances, by IT staff.

As used below, the hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. are considered “waking hours” and the hours from 8am to 5pm are considered “business hours.”

Urgent Issues

An issue is generally considered “urgent” if it has significant or lasting impact, from a College-wide perspective, on any of the following:

  • Life, safety or physical or data security
  • Delivery of instruction
  • Student academic performance
  • Regulatory or policy compliance
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Inability to perform tasks related to business operations

Examples of Urgent Issues include disruption to any of the following:

  • Network Infrastructure Services – services that enable critical business processes, such as email, Banner, Canvas, Wavelink, servers, data centers
  • Critical Operational Services – activities that, if interrupted, cause significant loss or essential services interruption, such as servers, switches, databases
  • Critical Network Problems – those that cause / could cause network outages, such as redundancy failures, performance failures, loss of phone, internet
  • Major Functions – operations related to essential outcomes, such as classroom technology, general ledger postings, federal financial aid system download

Service Level Agreement

  • Acknowledgement: within 1 hour if during waking hours or within 4 hours outside of waking hours
  • Ticket updated: at least every hour until resolved

Network Infrastructure Services and Critical Operational Services will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and IT staff will be automatically alerted to issues.

If an Urgent Issue requires on-site services, IT will operate per the above response time, regardless of College closures due to emergencies, holidays, summer hours, etc. This excludes times when it is deemed unsafe to be on-site.

Critical Issues

Examples of Critical Issues include:

  • Issues affecting class in session or about to begin where an instructor cannot teach
  • Major system or service is not operational (Canvas, Banner, Wavelink, internet/intranet, server, network, etc.)
  • An entire building loses network connectivity
  • Significant portion of College cannot communicate via either phone or email
  • Data security threats

Service Level Agreement:

  • Acknowledgement: within 1 hour if submitted during business hours or 4 hours outside of business hours
  • Ticket updated: at least every hour until resolved

High Priority Issues

Examples of High Priority Issues include:

  • A service is down for a few people, but an important deadline is looming
  • Network is down in location other than classroom that prevents students from completing coursework (Hawk’s Nest, library, Beckwith hall, etc.)
  • Someone performing a critical activity is unable to access an integral service
  • Services or applications are not operational for a user group, such as wireless unavailable in Student Affairs, printing down in Library, file share access

Service Level Agreement:

  • Acknowledgement: within 4 hours if submitted during business hours or 8 hours outside of business hours
  • Ticket updated: at least every 8 hours, during waking hours, until resolved

Medium Priority Issues

Examples of Medium Priority Issues include:

  • Request for routine service, such as new user or system access request
  • Service or application is not operational for a few users with no critical deadline looming, such as DegreeWorks Scribing, custom apps, Maintenance Connect
  • A service or application is not working in a certain area, such as Zoom video not working in one conference room but is available in another conference room
  • A portion a services is unavailable in a specific location unrelated to classroom instruction, such as an access point is not functional in an area but adjacent access points are working

Service Level Agreement:

  • Acknowledgement: within 1 business day
  • Ticket updated: at least every 2 business days until resolved

Normal Priority Issues

Examples of Normal Priority Issues include:

  • Less than optimal operation of software or hardware but user still able to perform job function, such as docking station is broken but laptop is usable, Cognos refreshes very slowly
  • User is inconvenienced but a work-around is available for work to continue, such as Chrome is not working but Firefox is, Banner Desktop icon is not working but a direct link to Banner is
  • Function not working for users who can use other functions to achieve same or similar outcome, such as Papercut printing using one browser but not another
  • Non-instructional issue because a user did not following documented process, such as use of incompatible browser causing web-based program not to work
  • Request for services or support from a non-College group, such as a third party presentation in a lecture hall
  • Questions about system functionality, such as questions about video conferencing in teams, accessing older news items in the Employee Portal

Service Level Agreement:

  • Acknowledgement: within 2 business days
  • Ticket updated: at least every 3 business days until resolved

Low Priority Issues

Note that often a “Low Priority” designation is not a reflection of the issue importance but that time is required for research and planning before responding (e.g., support requirements, compatibility, related functions, preparation of materials, coordination with other departments, capacity.)

Examples of Low Priority Issues include:

  • Project requests, such as IT Governance projects, hardware or software improvements, equipment moves, new labs
  • New software acquisitions
  • Software installation, including classroom software
  • Requests for training

Service Level Agreement:

  •  Acknowledgement: within 7 business days
  •  Ticket updated: at least every 7 business days until resolved

Escalation

If a user has an issue that he/she considers Urgent or Critical, the user should submit a Service Ticket and also contact the IT Service Desk at 269-927-8189 (x8189). This ensures the ticket has the proper SLA in place as quickly as possible.

If a user disagrees with the priority assigned to a ticket, the user should contact the IT Service Desk at (269) 927-8189 (x8189) to discuss or contact IT leadership directly.

General Software and Hardware Maintenance

IT-related service outages and planned maintenance are necessary every semester. There are two categories of service outages:

  • Planned Outages or Updates – This is work that is planned and scheduled. The impact on College operations and users will be taken into consideration when scheduling maintenance times. The timing of routine IT maintenance will be communicated via the Employee Portal.
  • Unplanned Outages or Updates – This is work due to an unforeseen event or urgent repair to prevent failure. These outages are given priority (and communicated immediately) on a case-by-case basis depending on the type and urgency of the service failure.

References:

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