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Service Management
Ongoing Support
Strategy and Compliance
Service Levels
Your Responsibilities
What’s Not Included


This Service Description describes Columbus’ IT Support Service. This Service Description is supplementary to your Columbus Customer Agreement. The IT Support Service is provided through two key approaches: Service Management and Ongoing Support. Our IT Support Service gives you the peace of mind that we are on hand to resolve any issues you may have with your key hardware and software, and provide guidance on best use. The Support Service will include:

  • Server, network and workstation administration, for example:
  • Adding, removing and changing user accounts
  • Setup and re-configuration of email services
  • Management and configuration of network equipment such as firewalls and routers
  • Workstation setup, software installation, Windows update management etc
  • Diagnosing and resolving issues which cause your computer, software or network equipment to malfunction or under-perform
  • Software assistance, advice and basic individual training
  • Operating system support

The purpose of the Support Service is to ensure the smooth running of your IT systems and network on a day to day basis and assist with changes to your environment. Columbus strives to deliver value to your business in the following ways:

  • Speedy and professional resolution of reported issues
  • Ongoing management and maintenance of systems to minimise the risk of system failure
  • Proactive planning to maximise the performance of your IT systems in line with your business objective

Service Management

On initial inception of your IT Support Service, Columbus will:

  • Arrange the installation of our Support Tool on all your devices
  • Use the Support Tool to collect key information on your devices
  • Compile a Device Inventory and Initial Audit
  • Configure the Support Tool for proactive Service Management

Our configuration of the Support Tool will include the setup of a range of alerts, for example:

  • A critical device (for example a Server) is offline
  • Disk usage exceeds 85%
  • Memory usage exceeds 75% for 5 minutes
  • CPU usage exceeds 75% for 5 minutes
  • Critical warnings appear in a device’s event log

As well as receiving and acting on any alerts that arise, Columbus prepares and examines a report on each device on a monthly basis, which we use to provide you with advice on the health of your systems.

Ongoing Support

When you require assistance, our technical team is available from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday – Friday, excluding English public holidays, to provide technical assistance, fault diagnosis and resolution. You can get in touch with us by telephone or email. In most cases, service requests will be completed by talking through the issue with one of our technical staff and/or allowing access to your user’s computer via a remote connection to our Technician. Should support be desirable outside of our standard hours, we will use best endeavours to accommodate requests on a discretionary basis.

Strategy and Compliance

Columbus believes that the core in a successful IT Support relationship is to develop a strong understanding of your business, the way you work and what your business goals are. That way we can help you develop your business, your technological expertise and efficiency in processes. We advise our customers on all aspects of technology planning and development as part of our IT Support Service. Additionally, we provide assistance with regulatory and compliance requirements – for example providing advice to you on how to complete the technology aspects of Business Continuity planning documents, or guidance on completing documents you may be required by a third party – insurers, for example.

Service Levels

To ensure we deliver optimum quality of service, we offer a simple service level agreement (SLA), which allows us to assess our performance and demonstrate the value we provide to your business. The Service Level Agreement also serves to clarify the standards you should expect from us.

Performance Parameters

In order to make our service levels measurable we use a series of simple metrics defining our target response and fix times according to the service level of the problem. SLA targets apply to normal business hours, Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm. It should be noted that we constantly strive to exceed Target times, therefore the level of service you can expect to receive will result in Response and Fix Times significantly lower than the Target values shown.

Service Level Description Example Target Response Time Target Fix Time
1 Issue affecting many users’ ability to work Network / Server problem 1 hour 1 day
2 Issue affecting a small number of users’ ability to work Workstation PC complete failure 2 hours 1 day
3 Issue affecting one or more users’ ability to perform a specific function User cannot send/receive email 2 hours 2 days
4 General support User requiring software assistance 4 hours N/A

Performance Metrics

We measure our performance using the following criteria:

• Response Time
• Fix Time

All SLA metrics are based on remote support and engineering. If an Engineer is required to attend site, travelling time is not included in the SLA fix time calculation.

Response time

The Response Time is defined as ‘the elapsed time between the request being logged on our systems and the first feedback being offered to the end user’.

Fix time

The Fix Time is defined as ‘the engineering time elapsed between the request being logged and the conclusion of the Support Ticket’. There may be circumstances when the resolution of requests will depend on third parties, for example other suppliers with whom warranties are in place. Where this is the case, the Fix Time Clock is frozen for the period of reliance on the third party. In addition, there may be times when we request information or assistance from you. The Fix Time clock is on hold if/while there is a delay in this being provided to Columbus. There may also be occasions where the actual final resolution of an issue relies on a Description party. For example, should Columbus diagnose a hardware failure, the Fix Time is the time at which we complete our diagnosis, while the actual final resolution is likely to be when the hardware is repaired or replaced.

Based on our initial Audit Report and ongoing Service Management, Columbus may make recommendations for updates, upgrades and/or replacement of devices. If you decide not to act on our recommendations, we will provide support on relevant devices on a best endeavours basis and any such devices will not be considered subject to this SLA.
Our SLA is designed to demonstrate our ongoing ability to fulfil the IT Support Service on an ongoing basis. Should we fail to meet our SLA, we will facilitate a Service Review meeting to address this.

Your Responsibilities

To enable us to consistently exceed our agreed service levels, we require certain commitments from you. These are as follows:

  • Ensure that the precise nature of any Support Ticket is communicated clearly to our service desk engineers, including any relevant details which may aid in the resolution of the request.
  • Ensure that the individual submitting a Support Ticket, or a designated alternative contact, is available to respond to further information requests.
  • Ensure that device users are adequately trained on the software and systems that are being supported.
  • Advise Columbus of any planned changes to the Inventory, which may include software upgrades and/or installations.
  • From time to time we may recommend upgrades or additions to your IT infrastructure which may play a key part in the continued reliability of your systems, and our ability to support your Inventory.

What’s Not Included


Within the Service Agreement, Columbus will provide basic training to users individually where he/she has a need for guidance on how to use a specific function of the supported software or system. Columbus can offer in-depth, formal and/or group training, quoted for on an as-needed basis.


Columbus has a wealth of experience in developing Desktop, Server and Web solutions, including:

  • Task and report automation, for example using Microsoft Excel, Word and/or Outlook macros.
  • Complete desktop and database applications.
  • Web sites including database-driven web applications.

Development work can be quoted for as and when required.

Hardware Maintenance

Should you experience an issue which we diagnose to be a hardware problem – for example, failed or faulty hardware – we will provide our diagnosis and recommendations. Your Service Agreement does not include the cost of any replacement parts, or physical work, for example in replacing parts. Where applicable, we will offer to source and supply the necessary parts and complete a repair where it is economically viable. Columbus offers our Breakfix service, a hardware maintenance solution, should you require peace of mind against hardware failure, for a monthly fee per device.