HomeNewsAcademicAdministrativeSystemsSuny Links
Corner ITEC HomeCorner
 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXCHANGE CENTER

Procedures for Obtaining Support and Assistance from ITEC 

The following procedures were developed collaboratively between ITEC personnel and the Executive Board of the ITEC Advisory Committee.  Although the procedures were developed with primary reference towards ITEC, it is intended that they could be used in near-facsimile form at each of the member institutions to establish local institution support group policy and procedure.

1. General Considerations and Requirements

The following identifies who can request support, service, and assistance from the Information Technology Exchange Center (ITEC) previously called the Common SUNY Support Center (CSSC); how assistance can be requested; where a request for assistance is sent; how a request is recorded, responded to and reported on; and procedures for off-hour support.

Section 19.6.2 of the SUNY-wide/Compaq (formerly Digital or DEC) contract #CM00224 indicates that the Common SUNY Support Center is responsible for support to institutions that are part of its domain. The contract further states, "Each campus within the support domain of a Common SUNY Support Center shall develop a local support group to interface with the Common SUNY Support Center and to assist in providing support to systems on the campus and systems at organizations which support the mission of the campus." As such, there is an obligation on the part of ITEC as well as each participating member campus of the ITEC. The contract indicates that a campus end-user having a problem will contact their local campus support group for assistance. If a local campus support group requires assistance, it will contact ITEC. In turn, if ITEC requires assistance, it will contact the appropriate vendor(s). The contract also reflects that ITEC will maintain a record of requests for assistance from the local campus support groups and periodically report on this service to vendors as required by the contract.

If your institution is one that is receiving customer service from ITEC (Oracle DBA, system administration -- VMS, UNIX/LINUX, or NT), see Section 8 for special contact information.

2. How to Contact ITEC

The Remedy Help Desk application is the preferred method for contacting ITEC.  All requests for ITEC assistance must eventually be, regardless of the manner initiated or pursued, transferred to Remedy.

REMEDY tickets can be created and viewed by following the link on ITEC’s home page (www.itec.suny.edu) in the Academic section under ITEC Quick Links.  The direct URL for the Remedy Web Access page is www.itec.suny.edu/scacad/remedy/RemedyInter.htm.

In the event that Remedy is not available, email is the second method for contacting ITEC.  Email messages should be sent to the group and not an individual. This way if an individual is not available the email is still monitored. Please refer to Section 3 for the support groups’ E-mail addresses and areas of responsibility.

ITEC and the Executive Board realize that certain circumstances may evolve where initiating or pursuing a request for assistance may become impractical and/or impossible via Remedy or email. Under these conditions, voice contact with ITEC should be used. When voice contact with ITEC is used, both ITEC and the institution requesting assistance are obligated to subsequently initiate or maintain the electronic form and principal context of the voice communication.

If email or voice contact is used to initiate a request for service, the Remedy duplication of the original request should note initial contact for assistance made by email or voice communication.

Regardless of the media used in a request for assistance, make sure the urgency level (see section 5) is identified along with the area of problem.

·         Indicate the urgency level in the Urgency field of your Remedy ticket. The problem should be elaborated upon in the problem description field of your ticket. Note: The quality of our service to you depends upon your proper categorization of the tickets.  If you need help determining the proper urgency level, see section 5 for the definition of each level.

·         When using email, indicate the area of the problem and the urgency level in both the subject and the body of your message. 

·         When a voice contact is required, the local institution request for assistance should include the primary phone number (and alternate) and name of the individual to address in the response.

If the supported member institution has been able to post the call to Remedy or the appropriate email support account, the ITEC person would first check there. If the issue can be solved immediately, the support person would update Remedy/send email with the solution (followed immediately with a phone call to the requestor of service if this is an ‘Urgent” issue). If the ITEC support person does not have access to a terminal, or have a solution available, then the member institution would be contacted directly by phone.

For ‘URGENT’ issues, it is important during "off" hours to call ITEC’s main number (716 878 4832) for assistance.

2.A. Support During Normal Business Hours

ITEC’s normal business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.  ITEC is generally closed on most legal holidays (and some snow days in Buffalo).  The above procedures should be followed during normal business hours.

It is expected that the member institution has exhausted the resources of its local support group before ITEC is called for assistance unless other specific agreements have been made with the institution.

For Urgent requests during normal business hours, contact ITEC’s main office and ask for the appropriate support group. The calling party should ask for "ITEC Academic," "ITEC Administrative," or "ITEC Systems."

2.B. Support During Off Hours: Planned and Emergency Conditions

These support calls are expected to be from the same persons who would call during normal business hours (i.e. System Administrators, Systems Managers, License Managers and Database Administrators).

In addition to the procedures outlined above, the following points are to be addressed for “off” hour support.

2.B.1. Planned Conditions

Planned support objectives: To provide direct ITEC support for planned tasks that require a weekend and/or evening schedule. For example, upgrading an operating system or a major product on a Saturday or Sunday. The upgrading of ORACLE from Version 8 to 9i would be such a task. In these situations the member institution would have notified ITEC beforehand.

In development of the timeframe to perform these tasks, the member institution must contact ITEC to make arrangements for Support Center personnel to be available. This contact should include a description of the tasks to be accomplished so that all prerequisites, such as upgrades to software, of the tasks are met.

Procedures for Planned Tasks:

  • The appropriate ITEC support group (ITEC Administrative, ITEC Academic, or ITEC Systems) would get the following information from the member institution via Remedy:

·         Name of individual requesting assistance (E.g., DBA)

·         Primary and secondary phone number

·         Operating system version

·         Product version (E.g., ORACLE V 8.1.7)

·         Urgency level

·         A brief task description

·         A planned time to perform the task

  • Support from ITEC for the task would then be scheduled based upon mutual agreement between ITEC and the member institution and formalized via Remedy.

2.B.2. Emergency Conditions

Off-hour emergency support objectives: To provide direct ITEC and/or vendor support for ONLY Urgent calls. See section 5, "Severity Level of Requests for Assistance," which describes severity levels.

 

Software Support

Hardware Support

Hardware located at ITEC

Yes

Yes

Hardware not located at ITEC

Yes

No

Procedure for calling ITEC during off-hour emergency conditions:

  • The member institution should collect the following information:

    • Name of person requesting assistance (E.g., DBA)

    • Institution

    • Primary and secondary phone numbers

    • Group to be contacted (E.g., ITEC Systems and Communications, ITEC Academic, ITEC Administrative)

    • Operating system version

    • Product information (E.g., ORACLE V 8.1.7)

    • Severity level (Urgent)

    • A brief problem description

  • The member institution should provide the appropriate ITEC support account via Remedy (or by email if they can't access Remedy) with a detailed description of the problem.

  • The member institution having an Urgent problem should then contact the ITEC general office 716-878-ITEC (4832) and follow the “off” hour instructions in the message.

As with all technologies there is no way to guarantee a message can get through. E.g., a cell phone may not be in service if in a large building. Only wait 10-15 minutes before calling again. If all else fails, call another person and let them get the right person.

  • If this problem is new to the ITEC staff, the appropriate vendor support system (E.g., TARS for ORACLE) would be notified by the ITEC support person. This would be done even if the ITEC support person were able to resolve the problem with the member institution. The reason for this would be to determine from the vendor if there was a preferable method of problem resolution.

It should be noted that Compaq and Oracle are the only vendors that have 24 hr/day, 7-days/week technical support. Other vendors are generally available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

3. Whom To Request Assistance From

ITEC has three support groups that member institutions can contact through the Remedy Helpdesk. These are:

ITEC Academic, referred to as academic-type support, will provide assistance for Microsoft applications, ESRI geographic software, listserv discussion lists, other specialized academic software and for all programming languages supported by ITEC, with the exception of COBOL.  Email: scacad@itec.suny.edu

ITEC Administrative, referred to as administrative support, will provide assistance for Oracle, Brio, RMS, Group1, and COBOL.  Email: scadm@itec.suny.edu

ITEC Systems, referred to as systems and communications support, will provide assistance for operating systems installs, system management, and networks in the following areas:

OpenVMS Alpha
Linux
Compaq Tru64
Microsoft OS
Domino Server (Lotus Notes)
Exchange Server
Pathworks

Email:  scsys@itec.suny.edu

If you are in doubt as to which ITEC area you should request assistance from, refer your request to “ITEC Academic.”  They will be responsible to "route" the request to the appropriate support group.

4. Who Can Request Assistance (institution requests)

As noted earlier, each member institution of ITEC is expected to establish a local institution support group. The local institution support group can be developed along the lines of the ITEC organizational structure or any other organizational approach which best meets the needs of a local institution. Only local institution support group designees are authorized to contact ITEC.

At this time it is not the intention of ITEC and the Executive Board to dictate or suggest the specific number of individuals composing a local institution support group. This approach should allow for maximum flexibility at the local institution to adjust to individual institution size, diversity and organizational structure. However, it is expected that the institution ITEC Advisory Committee representative will use discretion in the number of local institution individuals allowed to contact ITEC. Those institution individuals identified as being a member of a local institution support group should be reported to ITEC. It is believed that the more organized/structured the local institution support group is, the easier it will be for an institution to direct, analyze, respond and record local problems and resolutions. This, in turn, should lead to more effective utilization of both institution and ITEC resources. It is also expected that when a problem occurs, the local support group for that product would make sure no one in the group knows the answer.

As a member institution of ITEC, you have an obligation to have appropriately trained institution staff. ITEC will accept requests for assistance only from member institutions that have received appropriate training at the SUNY Training Center (Syracuse) or an approved alternative. (See ITEC By-laws.)

5. Severity Level of Requests for Assistance

Four levels of severity have been established and one of these levels should be applicable when requesting assistance from ITEC. ITEC will respond to Remedy requests for assistance on a first-in first-out basis within descending order of severity level, i.e., triage method. The four levels of severity are:

Low - All systems are operational and no known problem exists.  However, we request assistance in how to do something, where to look for additional information or, is an approach to a problem solution viable.   

Medium - Assistance is needed regarding a known problem. The function/component is operational; however, assistance is needed.

High - A critical component of a system is not operational.

Urgent - Entire system is not operational.

An institution may request escalation of a previously submitted Remedy ticket. The first step towards resolution of such a request should be between the requesting party and ITEC individual handling the original request. If mutual agreement cannot be achieved, the requestor should contact his or her institution ITEC Advisory Committee representative. ITEC personnel should notify the ITEC CIO/Director, currently Ron Brown. If these parties cannot reach agreement, the matter becomes an issue for the ITEC Executive Board to resolve, as stated in the ITEC By-laws.

ITEC is not responsible for maintaining the appropriate engineering change level for your hardware. This is an institution responsibility.

6. Responses To and Recording of Requests for Assistance

In general, ITEC will respond to a request for assistance within one hour during normal business hours. ITEC is required to acknowledge receipt of a request for assistance within one working day. Response time is relative to severity level and total requests received by ITEC.

When a Remedy request or update is made, an email alert is sent to the requestor and ITEC support group notifying them that the ticket has been created or updated.  Where appropriate, ITEC will indicate what reference sources were used in developing the response.

When a response is made through email, the text of the original request for assistance will be included in an electronic-mail response. The individual responding will indicate his or her name. If multiple electronic dialogues are required for a request/response, each dialogue exchange will be incorporated into the previous message sequence set. 

7. Summary of Local Institution Potential Action Items

Establish a local institution support group and its policies and procedures.

Notify ITEC of the initial and subsequent members (userids) of the local institution support group who can contact ITEC.

Maintain an institution file of requests for assistance and responses that institution users have addressed to their local institution support group.

8.  Customer Service

ITEC is performing special services for some member institutions for a fee. These institutions have primary/secondary contacts for these customer services. When a problem occurs, the institution may contact the primary/secondary contact or use the procedures described herein. Should there be any problem, feel free to contact:

CIO/Director Ron Brown

Associate Director Joe Weber

Assistant Director Mike Notarius

If you dial the general office number, 716-878-ITEC (4832), the phone numbers of these individuals should be there.

In addition each institution/program manager (the person responsible for the service ITEC is providing) may request a list of all staff.

 

 


ITEC bullet Buffalo State College bullet Twin Rise 200 bullet 1300 Elmwood Avenue bullet Buffalo, NY 14222 bullet (716) 878-4832


[ Home ] [ Academic Support ] [ Administrative Support ] [ Systems Support ] [ News ] [ SUNY Links ]

E-mail ITEC: scacad@itec.mail.suny.edu