Service Management Processes and Procedures
AssessTech will operate the service according to the processes and procedures described in this section, to meet the Service Level Agreement, which is described in Service Level Undertakings.
The following terms have the relevant meanings:
|Service Hours||The period the service is typically expected to be available for users of the service. The service shall be available for use during the service hours that are defined to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.|
|Business Hours||AssessTech Business Hours are the hours during which the AssessTech Head Office is manned. The Business Hours are 09:00 to 17:30 hours (UK Time Zone), Monday to Friday, excluding UK bank holidays.|
|Availability||The service is defined as being "available" during the Service Hours, provided that its major functions are operable for external users (i.e. a Severity 1 or 2 problem is not being experienced - these priorities are defined below). Note that the service will not be deemed unavailable during Planned Engineering Works (PEW) periods agreed with customer.|
AssessTech will review all aspects of the service on a regular basis. Customers can request a report containing the following service information:
- Availability figures for the service
- Number of service calls received
- Summary of resolved and outstanding service calls
- Summary of change orders received
Reports on the performance of the service and the levels of achievement, against the target SLAs, will be provided upon request to customers. Should achievement not match the target levels, AssessTech will provide a clear plan of corrective action to bring performance up to target levels within one calendar month.
AssessTech and customers will meet on a quarterly basis to review all aspects of the service.
Planned Engineering Works
This section describes the ‘Planned Engineering Works’ process to be followed should there be a requirement to conduct end user affecting activity on ACMS. Such requirements can arise, for example, from the need to carry out upgrade work as a result of a new product, or service integration, or the need to apply system software service packs.
Scheduled PEW to the services will only be made where, in the reasonable opinion of AssessTech, they are necessary to improve or maintain the services. Any such PEW will be scheduled to take place between 01:00 and 03:00 on business days, unless agreed in writing, between AssessTech and the customer, as a part of this process. Scheduled PEWs will be limited to six hours of scheduled interruption per month, unless otherwise agreed by both parties.
This process covers all proactive platform outage requirements. Fault outages are managed under section Unscheduled Service Faults below.
AssessTech will, except for unscheduled emergency repairs, notify the customer by email, to a pre-agreed list of contacts, no less than three (3) business days in advance of any scheduled PEWs, which may cause interference or interruption to the Service.
The PEW request email will include the following information:
- Proposed date of PEW
- Time of PEW
- Duration of PEW
- Impact of PEW
- Fallback (Contingency)
- Description of the work to be completed
The customer will advise AssessTech by email whether the PEW is agreed or not, as required within one (1) business day of receipt of the PEW request.
In the event that the customer agrees a PEW, the work will proceed, unless such agreement is withdrawn, by email from the customer at least 24 hours prior to the start time of the PEW.
When the customer does not accept a PEW request, an alternative schedule will be agreed with AssessTech as a matter of urgency.
AssessTech will take all reasonable measures to ensure that only authorised users will have access to the service and service platform, and that no third party is able to hack into, break into, access, or use any equipment, or any data, on the platform or otherwise in the possession or control of AssessTech. AssessTech will take all reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of the systems and prevent any use of, interference with, or access thereto by any person, other than authorised users, at all times during the provision of the service.
All data remains the property of the customer and can be made available to the customer as an export from ACMS upon request.
Service Level Undertakings
This section sets out the definitions of the service levels, which AssessTech commits to achieving, for the availability of the service.
Unscheduled Service Faults
Unscheduled Service Faults may be identified to AssessTech by service monitoring mechanisms provided by AssessTech or via the customer. AssessTech will only accept Service Fault Reports from nominated individuals, within the customer organisation. These nominated individuals must be identified to AssessTech, in writing, prior to the commencement of service.
Faults in the provision of the service are classified as follows:
|1 - Critical||Total outage or critical performance degradation of the service and complete loss of core business functions.||ACMS is unavailable to all users at all locations.|
|2 - Major|
Partial outage or major performance degradation of the service, and loss of non-core business functions.
Affects a significant proportion of users.
|ACMS is unavailable to a significant number of users, or performance is degraded to such an extent, as to make it effectively unavailable.|
|3 - Minor|
Minor performance degradation of the service, or minor limitation to business functions.
Has minor impact on a small number of users or a workaround is available.
|For example, software bugs such as screen display or list ordering.|
|4 - Routine||Causes little or no limitation to the functionality for a single end user or end users.||Bug or connectivity problem affecting a small number of users or a single location.|
Unscheduled Service Faults may be identified to AssessTech through service monitoring. AssessTech identify, report, and fix all faults in accordance with the following target times, based on the incident severity:
|Severity||Initial Response Time||Fix Time|
|1 - Critical||One (1) Service Hour||Four (4) Service Hours|
|2 - Major||Four (4) Service Hours||Twenty Four (24) Service Hours|
|3 - Minor||One (1) Business Days|
Seven (7) Business Days
|4 - Routine||Two (2) Business Days||No target|
For these purposes, Initial Response means notification to the customer of an incident detected by AssessTech, or an initial 'triage' response back to the customer if the incident was first identified by the customer to AssessTech. At the initial response time, it should be possible for AssessTech to identify the nature of the incident to the customer and to provide an initial estimate of time to fix. Fix Time means the time taken for AssessTech to provide a complete fix to the incident.
The Service is defined as being Available provided that its major functions are operable for external users (i.e. a Severity 1 or 2 problem is not being experienced). This is measured on a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year basis. However, the Service is not deemed unavailable if the major functions are not operable but the cause of the incident is diagnosed to be a mechanism which is provided by a third party supplier, and therefore, not under the direct control of AssessTech. Nor will the Service be deemed unavailable during PEW periods provided that these have been agreed in advance.
“Service Availability” is defined as the percentage of time during a calendar month for which the Service is Available.
AssessTech manage the Service to provide a level of Availability, which is 99.8% or better in any calendar month.
To illustrate by example, a 31 day month contains 44,640 minutes. An Availability level of 99.8% requires a total of no more than 90 minutes of unavailable service during that month.
Technical Support and Call Handling
AssessTech provide a support service to the customer in order to strengthen its ability to support its end users through its help desk. For this purpose the following definitions are used:
First Level Support means taking user calls, getting complete information from users regarding incidents experienced by them, eliminating common errors, checking the home page on ACMS, and escalating unresolved issues with a call-logging system detailing steps taken prior to escalation.
Second Level Support means providing assistance to the First Level Support help desk for issues that cannot be resolved through First Level Support. This may involve more detailed investigation by the Customer Support Team.
Third Level Support means providing technical assistance to nominated Second Level Support personnel for technical issues that cannot be resolved by Second Level Support. This usually involves the provision of fixes to hardware or software defects identified by Second Level Technical Support to AssessTech.
Incidents and faults in relation to the service shall be handled on the following basis:
|First Level||Customer||As the customer deems necessary to support users|
|Second Level||Customer||As the customer deems necessary to support users|
|Third Level||AssessTech||For Severity 1 and 2 faults: AssessTech Service Hours|
For other faults: AssessTech Business Hours
The support service provided by AssessTech will normally be accessed by the customer via email, use of the ticketing system (Redmine), or by call to a number provided by AssessTech.
Problems are the cause of one or more incidents. Where the customer sees a pattern of recurring incidents and suspects, or has identified, an underlying cause a 'problem ticket' may be assigned to AssessTech.
AssessTech will resolve problems in accordance with target times based on the problem severity. Problem severities are assigned according to the same criteria as Fault Severities (listed above).
Should a member of AssessTech staff dealing with an incident detect that a target time for response cannot be met, they are required to inform the designated customer contact.
Within AssessTech, the escalation procedure is as follows:
- AssessTech Support Personnel
- AssessTech Service Manager