ADS Global Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Global Service Levels are defined as the general levels of support that are applicable to every ADS  service.  Customer unique requirements (additions or changes) are documented in an SLA Addendum and take precedence over Global Service Levels.

Global Service Levels are described below:

Executive Summary

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlines the services provided by the Agency of Digital Services (ADS) in support of the Customer.  The objective of this Agreement is to define the support, procedures, and commitments necessary to establish standards for the delivery of ADS services.

This document clarifies all parties’ responsibilities to ensure Customer needs are met in a timely manner.  Any service requirements that are over and above the standard service levels described in the Service Catalog** are included in service specific addenda.  Although the SLA is in the form of a document that defines a level of service, the desired outcome is to represent the result of an agreement between ADS and its customers. 

This SLA shall be effective on the date of this document, and it must be reviewed annually to document agreement on changes in service and costs.  This review will take place before budgets are finalized for the coming fiscal year.

**Service Catalog – A list of services provided by ADS, and how they are obtained and supported.  The Service Catalog is located online: http://dii.vermont.gov/about-us/service-catalog.  IT Service descriptions are also included as part of this document (Sections 4 & 5).

Global Customer Support Information

Global Customer Support Service Levels are defined as the general levels of support that are applicable to every ADS service.  Customer unique requirements (additions or changes) are documented in an SLA Addendum and take precedence over Global Service Levels.

Service Support

The ADS Service Desk is the single point of contact for shared services (e.g., Email, Network, SharePoint Online) and demand services (e.g., Desktop Support, Server Hosting (Infrastructure), Mainframe) for the State of Vermont.  The ADS Service Desk provides end-users a clear path to escalate and communicate Information Technology (IT) service-related problems, and requests.  The Service Desk provides information, request fulfillment, and problem resolution via the following support channels:

  • Self-Service Portal
  • Phone Support  (Tier 1)
  • Desktop Support, Network Support, Application and Account Management, etc. (Tier 2)
  • Advanced Technical Support (Tier 3)

Business Hours

  • The ADS Service Desk is staffed Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..
  • Data Center/Mainframe Operations: Monday through Friday - 6:30 a.m. to midnight

Non-Business Hours/Holiday Schedule:

LANDesk tickets are not monitored during non-business hours. 

ADS uses a vendor to take calls during non-business hours.  If a call is placed for support after 4:30 PM and weekends/holidays, the customer may leave a voice mail, or if it is an emergency, the call will be redirected to a vendor.  Issues requiring immediate attention will be forwarded to the appropriate ADS employee who will triage the report and follow proper procedures to restore activities to normal operations.

The wide area network (WAN) is monitored 24/7/365. ADS  is not resourced to support issues after business hours, and is only available via "best effort". 

Contact Support – (Getting Help and/or Ordering Services)

For all service and support inquiries submit a request to the ADS Service Desk – Service Desk Ticketing System.  For information on how to login to LANDesk, see the following:

For service and support Inquiries (except for Centrex Phone Lines)

Log into LANDesk (Request Support Training Guide)

For Telecommunication support inquiries for Centrex Phone lines, use the COMPCO Ticketing System

Mainframe/Data Center support inquiries:

Duties and Responsibilities Overview

ADS Responsibilities

ADS receives calls from state government employees all over Vermont as well as from other entities who conduct business with the state for services we provide.  For a listing of services, please see section 3 and 4 of the SLA agreement. You can expect the following from us:

Key Standard Features

  • The first point of contact for all IT issues and IT service requests
  • A respectful interaction
  • Self-Service capability for users to submit service requests/problem tickets, check status of tickets as well as gain information on the status of all major known global IT problems.  The self Service Portals can be accessed via the following web link identified above:
  • Acknowledgement of issues and requests within the defined times outlined in SLAs
  • Resolution of basic IT issues within the defined times outlined in SLAs
  • Automatic email notifications to user documenting problem and service request resolution
  • Continuous improvement based on user satisfaction surveys, and results analysis.
  • Technical support to help resolve advanced incidents or issues
  • Self-Help: See the list below for links to self-help resources:

Non-Standard Features

  • Customized reporting capability to review Service Desk service performance related to a specific business unit

Customer Responsibilities

ADS wants customers to partner with us to find an agreeable resolution regardless of the issue.  Maintaining a positive connection by sharing information, demonstrating the ability to listen and remaining accountable are critical aspects for both ADS and its customers. ADS asks the following from its customers:

  1. Report technology issues in a timely fashion.
  2. Provide as much detail about the issue as possible, e.g. symptoms, conditions, etc.  (Include proper contact information for the ADS Technician to contact the customer, including a time frame when the customer is available to work on the issue.)
  3. The Service Desk ticket should contain the troubleshooting steps that the customer (or customer IT staff) has taken, including screenshots of the issue, where applicable.  (If Customers have IT staff, they are required to troubleshoot issues to help aid ADS in resolving those issues prior to submitting a Service Desk ticket.
  4. The customer will be expected to work with ADS in a timely manner and make staff and/or equipment available for troubleshooting issues.
  5. Request and schedule special services well in advance. Please see the Service Descriptions for specific examples.
  6. Acquire and provide proper/recommended training for users.
  7. Customer will pay all charges for hardware/software and/or services rendered.
    1. Prior approval will be obtained from requesting Customer before any hardware/software is purchased, or new/changed service is entered into.  Customer will be made aware of the charges.
    2. Once approval is obtained and hardware/software ordered, or service entered into, Customer will be invoiced per pre-approved charges.  (Charges for hardware/software are not included in the Bill for Demand Services.  They will be billed separately following the order being placed.)

Incidents and Service Requests

Ticket Creation

The ADS Service Desk Analysts will be expected to create tickets that come in over the phone.  Customers with access to the Service Desk application via user name and password will also be expected to create tickets (this assumes the customer has network access to login to the Service Desk).  Once the ticket is created it will be triaged and assigned to the appropriate group.

Once the ticket is assigned to a support analyst (or team), the customer will automatically receive an email confirmation with the ticket or reference number.  This confirmation denotes that the Incident or Service Request has been logged at the ADS Service Desk, and that it has been assigned to an analyst team/IT Specialist.  The customer is responsible for ensuring that their email address and current telephone number is provided to the ADS Service Desk for update and resolution notification purposes.

Ticket Prioritization

The ADS Service Desk assigns a priority to every incident or service request that is initiated.  A prioritization model is used to ensure a consistent approach to defining the sequence in which an item needs to be resolved and to drive the assignment of resources.  Default priority is Medium.  If customer wants to have the priority changed, they must state it in the ticket description.

ADS Priority Levels

ADS defines its priorities as the following (response/resolution timelines associated with priorities are defined in table below):

  • Critical – Used when many people are affected by this incident and critical services are affected (example: Critical systems are Email, Network, Mainframe, Payroll (ERP), (any system as identified by the ADS COOP plan).
  • Urgent –Used only for tickets coming from the Governor’s office, Agency Secretaries or Commissioners, appointed or elected officials.
  • High –Used when one or more customers are experiencing a problem that needs fairly quick attention.
  • Medium – (default priority used) Used when 1 or more customers are experiencing a problem that has a work around.
  • Low –Used when 1 or more customers are experiencing a problem that is not affecting their work, but they would like it fixed.

Acknowledgement time is defined as the time allotted for the Service Desk to acknowledge receipt of the reported incident or service request and triage to the appropriate analyst group.  If the customer requires a specific date or time for the effort to commence, it must be defined within the ticket information.

Ticket Resolution (Closing a Ticket)

Documenting a complete resolution, once it is found, within the ticket is required.  This will help others who run into the same problem.  This can also be used to do some cross training.  The ADS goal for Closing Tickets is 90% of Service Desk tickets will be closed within the defined SLA resolution times for both Incidents and Service Requests (see charts below).  (Most normal, routine incidents/requests where processes exist are actually completed in less than a week; however, some incidents may require a work around for a short term until fully resolved (which may take longer than 7 days).  The general expectation is that 90% of problems or incidents will be resolved within 7 days or less, with some exceptions.

Incident Resolution

Priority

Acknowledgement Time

(Service Desk triage time –assign group)

Resolution

Critical

15 minutes

2 business days

Urgent

30 minutes

3 business days

High

1 hour

5 business days

Medium

1 hour

7 business days

Low

1 hour

10 business days

Service Request Resolution / Completion

Priority

Acknowledgement Time (Service Desk triage time –assign group)

Request Fulfilled -- Resolution/ Completion

Urgent

30 minutes

3 business days

High

1 hour

5 business days

Medium

2 hours

7 business days

Low

2 hours

10 business days

Customer Communication

As previously stated, ADS will update customers as incidents are being worked and upon incident resolution.  ADS will also provide communications when incidents or outages occur that may impact the Customer through the following methods:

  • A message on the ADS Service Desk phone when there is an outage and letting the caller know that it is being worked on.
  • A Major Incident or Notice on the Noticeboard will be created followed by an email to the ADS-VSMS distribution lists. The email will advise Customer Information Technology contacts of the disruption and will advise people for ongoing updates and information.
  • Notification on the ADS Homepage:  :  http://dii.vermont.gov/
  • If the outage affects all other forms of communication, ADS will send a voice mail “blast” to the Customer Information Technology contacts in other agencies and departments to notify customers of the disruption.

Customer Escalation

The ADS Service Desk is the single point of contact for initiating all Incidents and Service Requests, including any requests for ticket escalation.  Please contact the ADS Service Desk at 802-828-6620 Option 1 or submit a Service Desk ticket:  Log into LANDesk

 If problems are not resolved to an acceptable level of satisfaction, either party can contact the other parties’ management to obtain awareness and/or assistance.  ADS Manager contact information:  http://dii.vermont.gov/contact

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

ADS sends out survey requests on all incidents/service requests.  Below is a chart showing customer satisfaction results in the past fiscal year.  Our goal is to reach 90% customer satisfaction consistently.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys 2017

Change Management Process

Change Management is a control process that ensures that changes can be made with the least amount of risk of business disruption.  The scope of Change Management includes changes to all architectures, processes, tools, metrics, documentation, IT Services and other configuration items (CIs). 

All requests for changes (i.e. additional services, etc.) whether originated by ADS or the Customer, must go through a change management process for approval.  The process starts with a request submitted via the ADS Service Desk, or a Request for Change.  ADS has instituted a Change Advisory Board (CAB) where changes are reviewed, assessed, and approved for implementation.  The ADS CAB meets twice a week.  Request for Change Form

Change Request Types:

All changes are categorized into the following three types:

Change Request Type

Description

Change Initiated:

Standard Request

Pre-authorized, low risk, relatively common change.  For example, new user account, password resets.

  • Service Desk Request.

Normal Request

Unique change/risk must be assessed.  An example would be planned software implementations, software updates/upgrades.

Emergency Request

Change must be made as soon as possible (to resolve a major incident), could have a high business impact, possible substantial risk.  For example, a network configuration change required remedying a system outage, or an employee with current access to co-located equipment is terminated and immediately dismissed from staff.

  • Service Desk Request, or
  • Emergency Request for Change Form (RFC)

Change Management Process (by request type):

1)  Standard changes are low risk and follow pre-defined processes.  Customers will receive communications as needed (see Change Management Communication Process below).  

2)  Normal changes are requested via a Request for Change Form.  The high-level process for review, approval, and implementation by the ADS CAB is below:

  • Create, record & review RFC
  • Assess & evaluate RFC
  • Authorize and schedule change
  • Coordinate implementation
  • Review and close

3)  Emergency changes are fast-tracked.  They still follow our approval process (defined above), but may not involve the full ADS CAB as the goal is restore a service as soon as possible.  (Emergency changes are usually needed to resolve a major incident.)

ADS initiated changes will not be executed without first notifying the Customer, and when appropriate, getting Customer approval.  ADS will coordinate the proposed changes with the Customer.  Customer agrees to provide personnel for testing and validation of their equipment functionality before and after any upgrades and other significant system changes.

ADS has established maintenance windows for standard maintenance changes. (These are considered Standard Changes, and are pre-approved)  Please see service descriptions for defined maintenance windows.  In the case of an emergency, the Customer will be contacted as quickly as feasible and informed of the changes.

Change Management Communication Process:

The following summarizes the change management communications process for all request types:

  • Posted on the LANDesk Noticeboard
  • Posted on ADS Website
  • An Email communication may be sent out to affected customers, if warranted

Security Standards and Policies 

  • ADS services adhere to ADS and State Security Standards and Policies.
  • The Customer is responsible for ensuring that their systems and services are compliant with and follow Federal and State Security Standards and Policies.
  • ADS will send out a notice whenever policies are updated, or new policies are implemented.

Application Governance

The Enterprise Application Governance Framework helps the State of Vermont manage Enterprise Applications effectively by allowing the State to implement enterprise-wide policies, procedures, and standards to guide the State towards the future. It focuses on making carefully considered decisions about enterprise application usage before any configuration work is undertaken. 

An Enterprise Application Governance Framework was created in 2016 as a way to help the State of Vermont manage and inform application users of policies and guidelines in the use and management of of the State’s IT investments. 

Enterprise Application Governance requires the establishment of a Governance Council to define policies and standards to ensure efficient application usage. Its work will require decisions made concerning risk and investment specifically for enterprise wide applications. 

The Application Governance Council is responsible for the oversight, delivery and decisions concerning enterprise applications. The purpose of the Council is to ensure the effective and efficient use of technology in enabling the lines of business to achieve its strategy and goals within acceptable levels of risk. The Council is tasked with and accountable for ensuring that technology services delivered through an enterprise application fosters business value and that the expected benefits from the investment are fully realized.

Business Continuity Plan

ADS has a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to ensure the continuity of critical business functions.  Organizations we support should have a plan as well.  It is your responsibility to coordinate your plan with ours, as necessary.

Service Level Reviews and Metrics Reporting

Service Level Agreements (SLA) will be reviewed, and/or renewed, at least once per year or as required. Customers may request a review of Service Level Agreements at any time by contacting the ADS Service Management Director at 828-0469.

As a result of these reviews or as other information is provided, Service Improvement Programs will be implemented as needed.

Metrics and reports will be discussed at the Service Level Reviews.

SLA Report for Incidents Resolved Report

  • Includes resolved incidents within and outside of the SLA;
  • Reported Monthly
  • Reported by the Service Management Reporting Tool

SLA Report for Service Requests Resolved

  • Reports response time metrics within and outside of the SLA
  • Reported Monthly
  • Reported by Service Management reporting tool

Dispute Resolution

The Parties (ADS and the Customer) agree that it is in their mutual best interest to resolve disputes informally and amicably. If representatives of the Parties are unable to resolve any dispute after reasonable negotiation, the issue must be escalated to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to address with their peers within the Customer Organization.  The DC will brief the CIO and identify risks and consequences of the event; summarize the process, options and results as well as actions that can be taken to prevent reoccurrence (if feasible).

Confidentiality

As a result of this SLA, each Party (ADS and the Customer) is likely to have access to information or records of the other Party that is exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Such information shall be deemed “Confidential Information.” Each Party shall maintain all Confidential Information of the other Party in strictest confidence and will not at any time use, publish, reproduce or disclose any Confidential Information, except to the extent necessary to carry out the Party’s duties under this SLA or as expressly authorized in writing by the other Party.

Each Party shall, prior to disclosing any Confidential Information to any contractor or other third party, promptly seek and obtain authorization for the disclosure from the other Party and shall ensure that the contractor or other third party is subject to a non-disclosure agreement enforceable in Vermont.  Should either Party receive an order from a Vermont state or federal court or subpoena or other process requiring disclosure of Confidential Information, the Party receiving such order shall promptly notify the other Party and shall not disclose the information until such time as the other Party agrees or that Party files a challenge to the order and such challenge is finally resolved.

Ownership and Custody of Data

In the event of a request made to ADS for access to Customer records pursuant to the Vermont Public Records Act or by other legal process, ADS will decline such requests and indicate to the requestor that ADS is not the custodian of such records. ADS will refer the requestor to the Customer and will notify the Customer of such request as soon as is reasonable under the circumstances, in order to provide the Customer with an opportunity to state or otherwise argue its own position concerning such request.

Customer shall retain all right, title and interest in and to all content and all property, data and information furnished by or on behalf of Customer in connection with the services provided by ADS under this SLA.  ADS may not use Customer Data for any purpose other than as specified in this Agreement.  Upon expiration or termination of this Agreement, ADS shall return or destroy, in the sole discretion of Customer, all Customer Data and all copies thereof, and ADS shall have no further right or license to such Customer Data.  In the event Customer elects destruction, ADS shall destroy Customer data in accordance with security standards acceptable to Customer and certify in writing to Customer that such Customer Data has been disposed of securely.

Security Breach Notice and Reporting

ADS shall have policies and procedures in place for the effective management of Security Breaches, as defined below, which shall be made available to Customer upon request.

In the event of any actual security breach or reasonable belief of an actual security breach ADS either suffers or learns of that either compromises or could compromise Customer Data (a “Security Breach”), ADS shall notify the CIO of the Customer within 24 hours of its discovery.  In the event of a suspected breach ADS will immediately begin an investigation to determine the nature and extent of the Security Breach, contain the incident, recover records, shut down the system that was breached, revoke access and/or correct identified weaknesses.  ADS shall report to Customer: (i) the nature of the Security Breach; (ii) the Customer Data used or disclosed; (iii) who made the unauthorized use or received the unauthorized disclosure when known; (iv) what ADS has done or shall do to mitigate any deleterious effect of the unauthorized use or disclosure; (v) what corrective action ADS has taken or shall take to prevent future similar unauthorized use or disclosure, and (vi) what corrective action ADS recommends to the Customer.  ADS shall provide such other information, including a written report, as requested by Customer.  ADS shall analyze and document the incident and provide all notices to the Office of the Attorney General or the Department of Financial Regulation, as the case may be, required by applicable law. 

ADS shall be responsible for investigation and remediation associated with a Security Breach, including but not limited to, outside investigation and forensics.  ADS, in consultation with Customer and other agencies as necessary, including, but not limited to, the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Public Safety, shall coordinate crisis management.  If a determination is made that credit monitoring or other consumer support is required as a result of the investigation, ADS will facilitate the process of acquiring the services required.

ADS agrees to comply with all applicable laws, as such laws may be amended from time to time (including, but not limited to, Chapter 62 of Title 9 of the Vermont Statutes and all applicable State and federal laws, rules or regulations) that require notification in the event of unauthorized release of personally-identifiable information or other event requiring notification. 

ADS Funding Information

ADS is funded by Internal Service Funds.

ADS Service Descriptions

Allocation Services

Complete information regarding the ADS Allocation is located at the following web address:  http://dii.vermont.gov/policy/planning-analysis/allocation.  You may or may not be utilizing every service.  There are customer/business services you use, as well as supportive services that ADS utilizes that are all covered under the Allocation.  For information regarding Customer Support or how to Order Services, please see section 2.1 (Service Support).

The following is an excerpt of items covered by the ADS Allocation.  Customers are billed separately for allocated services.

  • Internet and other network connectivity
  • Microsoft Office 365 for state employees
    • Email
    • SharePoint
    • Video Conferencing (Skype for Business)
    • Microsoft Office – e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint
    • Mobile Device Management
    • File storage
  • Desktop/Laptop Windows operating systems
  • Service Desk
  • Vermont.gov management
  • Technology Contracting and Procurement support
  • eSignature Software

Below are service descriptions of the most commonly used services (see our Service Catalog for a full list of Services offered):

Demand Services

These services are not part of the ADS Allocation.  They are additional services ADS provides, and the Customer will be billed based on services utilized.  The services utilized will be reflected either in the SLA Addendum (if one is attached to this SLA), or the Bill for Demand Services.

133 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633
(802) 828-4141

For Customer Support, please call 802-828-6620 or toll free 855-828-6620

  • ADS Service Desk/Telecommunications:   Option 1
  • ADS Mainframe Helpdesk:   Option 2
     
  • Vision/HR Helpdesk: 802-828-6700: Option 3