EDExams - Service Level Agreement
EDExams Service Level Agreement
The purpose of this general Service Level Agreement (SLA) is to formalise an arrangement between
EDExams and its customers to deliver support services and software, at specific levels of support and at an agreed-upon cost.
This SLA is intended to provide details of the provision of support services supplied by EDExams.
This SLA will evolve over time, with additional knowledge of customer requirements, as well as the introduction of new devices and services into the support portfolio provided by EDExams.
EDExams Senior Managers, Developers, Customer Service Team, Technical Team and all other EDExams staff our bound by the points outlined in this Service Level Agreement
Appendix – Customer support Workflow
- Scope of Agreement
- Service and Support
All communication with EDExams Customer Service, Technical team and development teams should be directed to and processed via the EDExams Support Centre in the first instance. This is important to ensure open visibility on all project related discussions, as well as ensuring all customer requests and queries are processed quickly and fairly, as well as providing an audit trail of actions taken by EDExams to resolve issues and identify areas to be added to the customer Knowledge Base.
- EDExams Support Centre
All correspondence between EDExams and the customer should be conducted via the customer service support centre, where the relevant member of staff will be assigned to emails received. Emails will be examined and a first response provided within 24 hours.
EDExams staff will triage emails received each day and provide a first response, as well as update email based on initial diagnosis, Emails will then be processed in order of urgency, as deemed by EDExams staff.
- Email Classification Procedure
Below is a list of classifications to be applied to Emails received on the EDExams Customer Service Support Centre. Customers can also provide a type of Bug, New Feature, Change Request or Support for emails submitted. These types assist EDExams staff in categorising Emails received and may be updated at any stage after the receipt of a email, following initial diagnosis.
- Bug – obvious issue which breaks standard functionality of software.
- Bug (External) – due to external circumstances outside of EDExams control.
- Incorrect behaviour – functionality is not as expected. These can be categorised further into:
- Functionality does not work as defined in specification
- Intended functionality was not adequately defined in the specification
- Intended functionality has not been specified
- Change Request – a suggestion or request made by a customer to improve or modify existing functionality
- Feature Request – requests for new developments within EDExams software. Further action may be required on received feature requests, including investigation of the problem area, specification of the development and, in some cases, agreement with the customer on the specified feature. Feature requests can be further categorised by EDExams as:
- Adds value to EDExams software
- Does not add value to EDExams software
- Bespoke to the customer
- Query – these can be varied and include questions relating to software use, technical setup or company processes.
For all emails relating to new development or changes to existing functionality, full specification should be provided. In cases where specifications have not been provided, EDExams staff will interpret the required development according to what has been received.
Even in those cases where specifications have been provided, features will be developed for general use amongst all EDExams customers, and therefore all customer specifications are subject to change. EDExams also reserves the right to exclude completely any functionality which falls outside the strategy for the product, requires excessive resource or risk to the company, or is deemed unachievable.
- Ticket Prioritisation Procedure
Tickets are prioritised by EDExams staff based on the following system. Customers can add a priority of Highest, High, Medium, Low or Lowest when submitting emails. These priorities help EDExams staff identify urgency and required action for emails received. Customer priorities do not need to be changed based on internal ticket prioritisation.
- P0 – Immediate attention. This is a blocker.
- P1 – Must be fixed.
- P2 – Should be fixed, time and resource permitting.
- P3 – Might get fixed.
- P4 – Noted.
- Customer Support Process
The following section outlines the process to be followed by EDExams Customer service support staff when processing emails received from customers.
All Emails received via email at firstname.lastname@example.org will be set to type Support. Tickets can be re-classified to type Bug, Change Request or Feature using the Move option, however the Request Type (Report a Bug, suggest a New Feature, etc) of the emails may need to be updated manually after making the move.
- Tickets of can be transitioned by customers and EDExams staff depending on the status of the ticket
- All new tickets received by the EDExams customer service Support Centre will be given the status Waiting for Support to indicate a ticket is awaiting processing
- When customers and EDExams staff communicate via comments on the ticket, the ticket will automatically be transitioned between Waiting for Support and Waiting for Customer. If a response from the customer is not required, the ticket can be transitioned to Pending while discussions continue
- When a ticket requires further discussion before it can be correctly processed, the ticket should be transitioned to Pending
- Customers and EDExams staff can choose to Escalate a ticket from Waiting for Support or Waiting for Customer which will indicate urgency of the ticket to be dealt with. Escalated tickets can only be transitioned by EDExams staff to In Progress
- When a ticket is being processed, i.e. the support work is being carried out or query is being answered, the ticket should be transitioned to In Progress. At any stage, a ticket can be transitioned from Pending to In Progress
- When a ticket has been processed, i.e. the support work has been carried out, query has been answered or development has been completed, the ticket should be transitioned to Resolved to indicate to the customer that communication on the ticket has concluded
- A ticket can be Cancelled at any time by EDExams staff and customers, from one of the following statuses; Waiting for Support, Waiting for Customer, In Progress or Pending
- Resolved or Cancelled tickets can be Closed by EDExams staff after two weeks of being resolved/cancelled, or by the customer at any time prior to this
- Email Communication
Email support should be directed at email@example.com or through the email support channel provided to customers by EDExams staff. All emails received will be added as tickets to the EDExams Customer Support Centre for processing by EDExams staff.
Customers may email EDExams staff directly, however emails relating to development, support or requirement specifications will be forwarded by EDExams staff to the EDExams Customer Support Centre, or EDExams staff will ask the customer to create a ticket. This ensures all received correspondence is visible to, and can be responded to by the relevant EDExams staff within SLA response times. Customers should receive a first response within 24 hours of a ticket being created, or as otherwise stated in any agreed SLAs.
Emails received by EDExams staff which are deemed unsuitable for response via the EDExams Customer Support Centre will be responded to at the discretion of the individual.
- Telephone Support
The EDExams office is open Monday to Friday, 8.30 am – 5.00pm GMT excluding bank and public holidays. Calls received outside this time will be answered within 24 hours if a voicemail message has been provided. EDExams staff will create a ticket on the EDExams Customer Support Centre and respond to the caller. For voicemail messages to be processed correctly and quickly, callers should include:
- Name of caller
- Email address and daytime telephone number
- Reason for calling
- Urgency of the call
EDExams staff will not attempt to resolve the issue at the time of the call unless it is deemed an exceptional circumstance, rather this will follow the support process described in the EDExams Support Centre section of this document. Calls received during office hours will be forwarded to the relevant member of EDExams staff on duty, once the nature of the call has been stated. For general support calls, EDExams staff will record the details of the call on the EDExams Support Centre and respond to the caller via a created ticket. Tickets received via phone call will receive a first response within 24 hours, or as otherwise stated in any agreed SLAs.
EDExams staff can be made available for meetings, including audio-visual and telephone conferences.
Meetings can be requested via the support centre, telephone or by firstname.lastname@example.org, or individual EDExams staff if email address is known.
For all meeting requests, customers should provide:
- Purpose of meeting
- Agenda or list of activities
- List of required attendees from EDExams
All meeting requests will be reviewed by the EDExams Business Management Team. At least 7 calendar days’ notice must be provided before any meetings. If the requested date is not suitable, an alternative date may be suggested, however EDExams will attempt to schedule the meeting on a date which falls within 14 days of the original request. If deemed exceptional, and if availability permits, a meeting could be arranged for sooner than the requested date, on a case-by-case basis.
In exceptional circumstances, physical meetings either on client site or at the office of EDExams must be given 2 Weeks prior notice, and must be approved (based on meeting purpose, agenda and need) by the CEO. These meetings are also subject to the same availability/workload conditions as above.
5.0 Software Release Policy
5.1 General Releases
EDExams operate a continuous delivery approach to software releases. Short development iterations are planned regularly by EDExams staff, at the end of which we aim to provide deployable and cloudhosted software for all our customers. We aim to notify our customers on upcoming releases at least 2 weeks prior to these becoming available, including expected content.
When releases for deployable software applications become available, EDExams staff will provide access to the relevant software downloads. For deployable software releases, it is the responsibility of the customer to arrange and handle deployment as instructed by EDExams staff, unless otherwise specified in any Service Level Agreements held between the customer and EDExams. Releases for cloud-hosted software applications will be deployed by EDExams staff and customers will be notified when these become available.
5.2 Hot Fixes
A hotfix can be issued to customers if critical issues are identified with any piece of software. A hotfix is a necessary changed deemed critical enough that it cannot be held off until the regular update cycle. Examples of these include a security issue or bug which critically affects the regular operation of the product. Hotfixes are issued on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of EDExams staff.
In most cases, hotfixes will be issued to all customers and not just the party reporting the issue.
EDExams staff will endeavour to provide a hotfix within 7 days of receipt of the issue.
5.3 Customer Specific Releases
A customer-specific release, i.e. one which is requested by the customer to improve/change functionality or resolve integration issues with other systems outside EDExams control, may only be issued if deemed a responsibility of EDExams to address by EDExams staff. This will be reviewed by the EDExams Development Management Team and customers will receive a response within 7 calendar days of the requested release.
Other customer-specific releases may be proposed by EDExams staff and customers will be advised to accept these releases if urgent, i.e. if an agreement with the customer or an urgent issue has been addressed relating to bespoke development for the customer.
6 Development Policy
6.1 Bug Acceptance
All reported issues identified as a Bug are prioritised over feature development and bespoke development across all EDExams products. Prioritisation of bugs is based upon urgency to all EDExams customers, then urgency to specific customers.
Reported bugs or problems within the software will be evaluated by EDExams support staff before response. This evaluation will include attempts to recreate the reported problem, but in most cases will require a reasonable amount of information to be supplied by the customer in order to facilitate this investigation. This includes the ability to consistently recreate the reported problem either within the development team or on customer resources, including assistance where necessary from the customer personnel. The information and support from the customer are expected to be sufficient to allow consistent recreation of the reported problem.
In the case where reported problems cannot be recreated (or not enough information has been provided to facilitate this), the status of this ticket can be maintained for an appropriate amount of time (dependent on the nature of the reported problem) in order to allow the customer to provide further information or cases to recreate. However, after this time the status of the ticket will be changed from “Open” or “Work In Progress" to "Pending". This will also be maintained for a period to allow further time for the possibility of gaining further information and steps to recreate, in which case the ticket can be restored to its original status and work can continue. However, after this time if the reported problem has not occurred and cannot be consistently recreated, the ticket will be closed. Please refer to sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 for a description of ticket statuses and processing.
6.2 Feature acceptance
Where development is requested by a customer, EDExams will categorise into two areas:
1. Functionality which can be generally used for all product users and adds value to the software
2. Functionality which is bespoke to the customer
In all cases the assessment of which area functionality requests fall into will require some level of specification, to determine full functionality and development effort required.
Where functionality then falls into area 1, this is scheduled into EDExams product roadmap on a priority basis, determined by how useful this is to other product users, where lower priority functionality is scheduled for later development cycles and subject to further re-scheduling based on any subsequent, higher priority, planned development.
For area 2, again, after a specification has been developed and agreed with the customer, EDExams will determine the level of priority for this functionality. The customer may fast-track certain functionality based on an agreed payment, which guarantees this functionality in short-
term releases. This will also be dependent on available resource and time required to develop this functionality. Otherwise bespoke functionality will also be assigned a lower priority and will be placed on a longer-term development cycle, again subject to change based on required functionality which falls into area 1. Although this latter may take longer to be delivered ultimately, there would be no cost associated.
All other reported issues, i.e. type 2 (bug – external), type 3b (incorrect behaviour, not defined) and type 4 (change request) are prioritised after the above.
7 The Customer
The customer has the following general responsibilities under this agreement:
7.1 The customer will conduct business in a courteous and professional manner with the vendor.
7.2 The customer will provide all information required to open a support request including accurate classification of issues and feature requests, complete steps for the recreation of software problems and, in the case of bespoke development, full specification of the proposed work.
7.3 The customer will use the vendor’s support centre to request support and identify issues/problems with software.
7.4 The customer’s end-users will not contact the vendor’s support resources directly to report a problem. All problem calls must be directed through the customer’s central support team and passed to the vendor via the support centre.
8 EDExams (The Vendor)
The vendor has the following general responsibilities under this agreement:
8.1 The vendor will conduct business in a courteous and professional manner with the customer.
8.2 The vendor will use its own appropriate helpdesk to provide support, including creating problem tickets and work orders and assigning responsibility to the appropriate vendor resource.
8.3 Once a support request has been submitted, the vendor will make itself available to work with the customer support resource assigned to the support request.
8.4 The vendor will provide all necessary and requested documentation, information, and knowledge capital to the customer prior to the start of support of a new device or functionality.
8.5 The vendor will provide the customer’s central support team with access to the vendor’s support centre.
9. Data Protection
9.1 Any information and data provided by the customer to the vendor and used by the vendor directly or indirectly in the performance of this agreement shall remain at all times the property of the customer. It shall be identified, clearly marked and recorded as such by the vendor on all media and in all documentation.
9.2 The vendor shall take all reasonable precautions to preserve the integrity and prevent any corruption or loss, damage or destruction of the customer’s data and information.
9.3 In the event of termination of this agreement the vendor shall, when directed to do so by customer, and instruct all its agents and subcontractors to, erase all information and data provided by the customer and all copies of any part of the information and data provided by the customer from the vendor’s systems and magnetic data.
9.4 The vendor agrees to comply and have adequate measures in place to ensure that its staff comply at all times with the provisions and obligations contained in (as amended from time to time):
9.4.1 The Data Protection Act 1998
9.4.2 The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) (Direct Marketing) Regulations 1998
9.4.3 The Consumer Protection Distance Selling Regulations 2000
9.5 All personal data acquired by vendor from the customer shall only be used for the purposes of this agreement and shall not be further processed or disclosed without the consent of the customer.
9.6 Nothing in this agreement shall oblige the customer to disclose any information to the vendor if it is of the view that to do so would be a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998
9.7 The vendor shall indemnify the customer for any breach of the legislation in clause 3.4 above which render the customer liable for any costs, fines, claims or expenses howsoever arising.
9.8 In fulfilment of its obligations under Clause 3.4 the vendor will have in place and will maintain at all times the Information Standards which will deal comprehensively with:
9.8.1 The protection of the confidentiality, integrity and security of all and any information supplied to the vendor by customer
9.8.2 The audit and accounting procedures in place to deal with the requirements of this clause 9.8.3 The reliability and training of staff to ensure awareness of (and compliance with) their obligations under clause 4.
9.8.4 Any other measures and procedures to ensure that the vendor’s obligations are met.
9.9 The vendor agrees to:
9.9.1 Provide the customer with such information and access to its premises (upon giving reasonable notice) as the customer may reasonably require to satisfy itself that the vendor is complying with the obligations referred to in this clause
9.9.2 Make such application for a change in its notification and take such other steps as may be reasonably practicable to afford the customer access to information which is reasonably required by the customer in connection with or for any purpose connected with its rights and obligations under this agreement
9.10 The vendor shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that all its agents, partners and subcontractors comply with the all the provisions set out above whenever they are procession the customer information or data as part of this agreement.
10 Changes To SLA
The EDExams Management Team will review this SLA at least once every six months, or as
required, at which time changes may or may not be made. EDExams will notify the customer of any changes to the agreement and a date on which these changes will come into effect.