Service Level Agreement

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) specifies the services that BML IT will provide, what users can reasonably expect, and the responsibilities of the user.

This document describes standards of service provided by the Bodega Marine Laboratory Information Technology Group (BML IT), and is intended to inform user expectations and assure that individuals and departments receive an acceptable level of response to their information technology needs. BML IT is committed to providing a high level of service to ensure that information technology is effective for all of our users.

BML IT service goals are to provide:

  • Secure and reliable electronic environments
  • Timely and effective technical support of computer hardware and software problems
  • Technical tools that effectively support business needs
  • Support and implementation goals that are appropriately met

BML IT Client Support

Requests for computer installations, maintenance, problem resolution, system changes, or related questions for any of the systems, technologies, or support listed in this document should be directed to:

bmlithelp@ucdavis.edu
North Wing Room W205B
Weekdays 8 AM to 5 PM

Please note that email to bmlithelp@ucdavis.edu is recommended when requesting support from IT. Walk in requests should be relied upon only in the event of an emergency or when email is unavailable.

After regular hours requests will be handled according to Customer Service Priorities the next business day.

BML IT receives many requests a day. IT staff regularly monitor all logged problems and analyze support trends and user needs and ensuring that appropriate staff and technology are accessible to those in need of assistance. In cases where a problem has not been appropriately resolved in the agreed time-frame, additional discussions and troubleshooting sessions are held to develop and implement the correct solution.

Responsibilities of the User | TOP

Users should be familiar with the University Policies for Communications and Technology which govern the use of technology at BML.

It is the responsibility of the user to have the skills and knowledge necessary to use technology competently; Users are expected to be familiar with software and hardware relevant to their function. Users should be able to effectively utilize documentation.

Many software packages make changes to system configuration files, and may have potential to disrupt existing configurations. Problems that arise as a result of user/self-installed software (without consultation from IT), including accidental installations of malware will fall to the bottom of the priority list and will be addressed as time permits and after all other problems in the queue have been resolved.

Human Resources/and or the hiring manager are expected to notify IT management of new hires and terminations within two (2) business days of an offer being extended or decision to terminate a person’s employment. IT staff will keep this information confidential at the manager’s request. This information is required for a variety of reasons, including maintenance of user accounts, file servers and distribution list (listserv) management. Users concluding their affiliation with BML/UCD should review these instructions.

Security is the responsibility of all computer users and users are cautioned not to share system logins and passwords, nor to save personal identification information on computers. BML personnel should be familiar with and adhere to UCD Policies on Computer Security and Cyber-Safety Standards.

Before contacting IT for problem resolution, users should confirm when the last known good backup of their data files was performed. In general, if you have a back up of your critical data, it will serve to expedite IT service. As a rule, if you are not sure that your data are being backed up, or if you have not backed it up yourself, you should personally confirm that your data are backed up- do not assume that this happens automatically! For those users who participate in IT operated network backups, we can assist you in determining when your last backup was completed.

IT does not need to be informed of every error screen you see on your computer, or every single glitch you experience. As a general rule, alert IT when you see the same error more than 2 times within a short duration.

Users should attempt to perform preliminary troubleshooting and information gathering prior to calling upon BML IT. To assist in a timely resolution, users should be prepared to describe their problem to IT staff. Relevant and helpful information includes: identifying the hardware and software being used, recording the error message received, and identifying the printer name and location when a printer problem is encountered.

The following steps must be taken before contacting the help desk:

  1. Try re-booting the computer first to see if that takes care of the problem (close all applications, choose Start Menu > restart or Apple Menu > restart). Though a simple reboot can remedy many things, if the issue persists, there may be a more serious problem.
  2. Try looking in the help files for the application being used. There is usually a table of contents and an index available in the help window of the program. This can provide answers to many common questions almost immediately. IT can assist users to resolve application failures, but is generally not responsible for training users on application utilization.
  3. Be prepared to describe the problem. When possible, perform a screen capture of relevant errors to be provided to IT. PC users: use the “Print Screen” key and paste the screen grab into a (.doc) file or email. Mac users can use the “Grab” utility for screen capture, then save and send the image in an email addressed to BML IT.
  4. Check Instructions to see if any of the posted instructions can help you resolve your issue.

Customer Service Priorities | TOP

BML IT prioritizes all requests according to urgency to ensure appropriate response time to the service requests received. Service requests with a far reaching impact or problems that prevent individuals from performing their work completely are given a higher priority than other requests.

The following priorities are for service requests that cannot be immediately resolved. The priorities are discussed and assigned during the initial telephone call or email so users will understand the proposed resolution time-frame. Requests slotted within a specific priority level are handled in a first in, first out order.

In some cases, the problem may take longer to resolve than desired, and IT staff will ensure that users are apprised of the problem status. The user will also be contacted and informed of the estimated time it will take to resolve the issue. In all cases, IT will notify the user when the issue is resolved.

Priority 1 - Problems affecting multiple users and causing a cessation of work within the entire enterprise or workgroup. The appropriate technical expert will attend to the issue and begin working on the problem within 30 minutes of receipt of notification. IT staff will notify key individuals in each workgroup of the status of the problem every hour until the issue is resolved or a definite time-frame for resolution can be determined. Examples of a priority 1 service request include: a network failure or network performance or security issue, a server hardware failure, failure of a critical enterprise program, or failure of presentation hardware while a class is in session.

Priority 2 – Problems causing a complex stoppage of work for an individual. The appropriate technical expert will be dispatched to resolve this issue within one hour of the time the call or email is received. An IT staff member will notify the individual of the status of the problem until the issue is resolved or the time-frame required for resolution can be defined. Examples of priority 2 events include: failure of a user hard disk, monitor or keyboard failure resulting in the loss of an individual’s productivity.

Priority 3 – Problems affecting multiple users, which prevent the successful and timely completion of work. The appropriate technical expert will be dispatched within 4 hours of receipt of the call or email for a priority 3 service request. IT staff will notify the individual of the status of the problem at least every 4 hours until the issue is resolved or the time-frame required for a resolution can be defined. Typical priority 3 problems include: printing failures when jobs cannot be re-routed, client-server application failures, individual network connectivity issues that prevent work from being accomplished.

Priority 4 – Problems interfering with the timely and effective work of an individual but not resulting in complete stoppage of work. The appropriate technical expert will be dispatched within 24 hours of receipt of priority 4 service request. IT staff will notify the individual of the status of the problem at least once a day until the issue is resolved or the time-frame required for resolution can be defined. Typical priority 4 problems include: inability to use a particular software package, or printer failure when print jobs can be re-routed.

Priority 5 – Required services to be scheduled within 10 working days of the time a request is received. Examples include: audio/visual setups, new and updated applications, new software installations, installation of a new computer, permissions or security changes to access to existing resources on the network. The time-frame may be extended if additional time is needed to acquire software or hardware. IT staff will notify the individual of the status of the problem at least once a week until the issue is resolved or the time-frame required for resolution can be defined.

Priority 6 – Scheduled appointment to perform requested services. The time-frame for these requests will be negotiated between IT and the user. Examples of priority 6 issues include: upgrading an existing computer, installation of software not required for performance of daily functions. The appropriate technical expert will advise the user of the status of the request, ask for additional information if necessary, and discuss the required time-frame to fulfill the request. IT staff will notify the individual of the status of the problem at an agreed upon frequency until the issue is resolved.

Services & Procedures | TOP

The IT Department strives to ensure that network operations and computer hardware and software are operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However like all utilities, unanticipated interruptions of service can occur. Network services and IT hardware resources are normally available at all times except when essential maintenance to hardware or software is required. If it is necessary to interrupt any service, prior notification will be given and, wherever possible, interruptions are scheduled to minimize their impact on users.

Notification and status updates regarding UNPLANNED outages will be posted by email when possible, or if the service interruption precludes email communication, a notice will be posted at the front office desk until service is restored. If individuals encounter problems, they are encouraged to place a service request with IT staff, email preferred whenever possible.

Some of the service requests made to IT may need to be resolved by Campus, other departments, or outside organizations. In these cases, IT cannot guarantee the level of responsiveness described herein but will try to facilitate a timely resolution of the issue. Examples of these situations include support for applications not developed in house and applications which are not directly maintained or supported by BML IT (such as DaFIS, PPS, Banner, etc).

NOTE: BML IT does not support Non-University owned hardware or software. BML IT will be available for consultation on BML network access (usually Priority 6 requests). BML IT will not fix or troubleshoot hardware or software problems on Non-University owned or personally owned equipment. Please do not contact BML IT for hardware or software support on Non-University owned or personally owned computer hardware. Contact your computer manufacturer or local computer repair facility.

Training | TOP

Occasionally, in support of client-side software in use by a large community of users at BML, IT will recommend or provide an organized training. Forums will vary and may include in-house custom developed training courses, or training programs offered on-campus. IT will recommend a solution that is in the collective best interest in terms of timing, cost, and quality of course content. In most cases, the user will be responsible for all costs incurred for their training requirements.

Access to Offices and Computers to Complete Work

IT prefers to work on computers, printers, or other problems when the user is present to ensure that the user has an opportunity to confirm the problem is corrected, and provide some assurance that an IT repair did not have an unintended consequence on some other application or service.

If IT must enter a work area when the user is not there. IT will do this only when these conditions apply:

  • The user contacts IT and requests that IT perform the work in their absence.
  • The user, or their management, has given IT access to the office to complete a time-sensitive repair or installation.
  • The work requested does not require testing by the user.
  • IT also reserves the right to, where necessary, remove the component(s) from the user’s work area in order to complete the service request in the IT workspace.

In all such cases BML IT follows the University Communications and Technology Policies.

Network Usage | TOP

Authorized users of BML’s computing and network resources are defined as those individuals provided a user name and password, for their own use only, through legitimate BML IT processes. Using another individual’s user name and password is unauthorized use.

IT reserves the right to limit access to its networks when applicable University policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated.

IT reserves the right to remove or limit access to material posted on University owned computers when applicable University policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated.

Non-University owned computers which house material which violates the University’s policies are subject to network disconnection without notice.

Unauthorized Network Use | TOP

The following are prohibited:

  • Use of the BML network without meeting the Computer Security Requirements
  • User attempts to circumvent or subvert any BML or University security measures
  • Using another individual’s user name and password
  • Internet gaming
  • Chain letters
  • Unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications of others
  • Network flooding, generating excessive network traffic
  • Sharing of licensed content
  • Use of BML computing resources for private commercial purposes or for financial gain
  • Political advertising or campaigning
  • The installation of switches, routers, wireless routers, wireless base stations (such as the Apple Time Capsule), and similar devices without authorization from IT

Additionally, we ask that you refrain from discretionary high bandwidth activities such as streaming long playing video (television, Netflix, Hulu, etc.). Streaming during business hours may result in a disconnection of network services to the source computer without notice.

For more information see University Communications and Technology Electronic Communications – Allowable Use Policy

Supported Technology | TOP

Supported technology is divided into three different categories; fully supported, minimally supported, networked only:

Fully Supported

This category refers to University owned hardware purchased through or in consultation with BML IT.

Minimally Supported

This category includes all University owned hardware that is not covered in the fully supported category, for example, research specific hardware.

Hardware in this category will be given the ability to connect to the BML network.

The support for this hardware and all the software installed on it (excluding antivirus software) will be the responsibility of the individual who purchased it.

Hardware in this category may be eligible for University licensed software, including software used to protect the system, such as antivirus software, software updates, patches, etc.

Networked Only

This category includes all Non-University owned hardware.

Student and visiting researcher owned equipment is covered under this category.

Student/visiting researcher owned equipment is supported only to the extent of connecting it to the BML network. This support may include assistance in assuring that the network interface is correctly configured to properly function on the network. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the operating system software is functioning properly and that the computer is free of viruses or malware. These users may schedule a time with BML IT for assistance with their computer networking.

Personally owned equipment is discouraged on the BML network, but in some instances, with pre-approval, IT will provide the support for this hardware to be connected to the network. IT cannot provide any other type of support for this hardware, don’t ask.

Hardware in this category will only be eligible for University licensed software that is used to protect the system, such as antivirus software.

NOTE: BML IT does not support Non-University owned hardware or software. BML IT will be available for consultation on BML network access (usually Priority 6 requests). BML IT will not fix or troubleshoot hardware or software problems on Non-University owned or personally owned equipment. Please do not contact BML IT for hardware or software support on Non-University owned or personally owned computer hardware. Contact your computer manufacturer or local computer repair facility.

Supported Software | TOP

Support is provided for standard software configurations. Non-standard configurations are supported only when support terms are negotiated in advance between IT and the client.

See list of supported software

BML IT also provides licensing and acquisition support for JMP, MatLab, LabVIEW, SYSTAT, ArcGIS and others.

The listing is generally updated with new technologies after they have been evaluated by IT staff.

Software is generally removed from the supported list when:

  • It is no longer supported by the vendor or the University
  • Older versions are incompatible with current versions
  • Software does not support current protocols or integrate with current operating systems
  • Software no longer meets UCD Cyber-Security standards

Users are expected to comply with recommended upgrades, at their cost, to new versions of software within 2 years (or sooner, if mandated by a technology change) from when IT adds a software or hardware package to the supported list. Whenever possible, IT will notify users in advance of discontinuing support for legacy hardware or software to allow users to plan on replacement.

IT installs and supports select, recommended computer software for client and server platforms. Typically, only current versions of evaluated software are installed on computer equipment. However, IT acknowledges that all users may not wish to upgrade to the current software versions. Consequently, troubleshooting and assistance is provided for older software until a formal decision by IT has been made to discontinue this support. To obtain help with any of the listed software, please contact IT staff. Any questions concerning new software that is not listed should be directed to IT staff.

Users are required to have proficiency with their software and operating system. It is the responsibility of the user to have skill and knowledge sufficient to use the technological tools required to perform their function at BML. IT will conduct required troubleshooting of problems or issues that arise in the function of an operating system or software package, however users are responsible for understanding how to use their applications and the basic navigation of their computer operating system.

Software Licensing and Purchases | TOP

The University and BML do NOT have software “site licenses”, but do hold an array of complex volume license agreements.

BML purchases most software licenses through frequently changing, University negotiated, volume purchase agreements via specific vendor contract or through the UCD Software License Coordinator. Some box copies of software are available to University affiliates via the UCD Bookstore Tech Hub.

Please contact IT staff for assistance navigating the available license agreements or for software purchases. These requests will generally be considered Priority 6 (see Customer Service Priorities). Two to three weeks lead-time is considered best practice.

Installing Software | TOP

IT strongly recommends that in most cases users do not load software themselves on a fully supported, University owned computer. Many software packages make changes to system configuration files, and may have potential to disrupt existing configurations. IT reserves the right to discontinue support and/or un-install user-installed software (or hardware), particularly if it interferes with the function of other hardware/software installed on a fully supported workstation.

A user may not modify the software configuration on any computer provided for general access.

Software installation requests will generally be considered Priority 5 (see Customer Service Priorities). One to two weeks lead-time is generally considered best practice. Problems that arise as a result of user/self-installed software (without consultation from IT), including accidental installations of malware will fall to the bottom of the priority list and will be addressed as time permits and after all other problems in the queue have been resolved.

Specialized Departmental Applications | TOP

In some cases specialized applications, specific to a workgroup or function, are supported in addition to the standard recommended hardware and software configurations. In order to maintain the highest level of security, administration and compliance with the University’s Cyber-Safety policies, IT will manage the creation and distribution of account logins and passwords. For these applications IT will be responsible for maintaining and administering any modifications, patches, upgrades etc .- otherwise, the software will be non-supported. Problems that arise as a result of user/self-installed upgrades, patches etc. (without consultation from IT) will fall to the bottom of the priority list and will be addressed as time permits and after all other problems in the queue have been resolved. Unless mandated by a technology change, software upgrade requests will generally be considered Priority 6 (see Customer Service Priorities). Two to three weeks lead-time is generally considered best practice.

IT makes every effort to cross-train staff members in the use and support of these systems. However, given the rapid change in information technology and available resources, it will never be possible for each member of the IT staff to be fully knowledgeable in the intricacies of all of the specialized applications throughout the Lab. In situations where an emergency or departure of key department staff requires that IT troubleshoot these specialized applications, extra time may be necessary to address problems that arise. IT also reserves the right to recommend that support for some configurations are provided by outside vendors or training be provided, at the cost to the user.

Non-supported Software | TOP

Users are expected to comply with recommended upgrades, at their cost, to new versions of software within 1 year (or sooner, if mandated by a technology change) from when IT adds a software or hardware package to the supported list. To allow users to plan on replacement, whenever possible, IT will notify users in advance of discontinuing support for legacy hardware or software.

The following are examples of software that are NOT supported:

  • VM’s and emulated operating systems (i.e. Windows VM on a mac)
  • WordPerfect/Corel Suite
  • Software acquired or developed without consultation with IT
  • Software developed by external developers
  • Software used on personal home computers
  • Software issues involving non-department machines
  • Operating systems and applications not actively supported by the vendor (e.g. Windows 95/98/XP, Mac OS 9)
  • Non-UC Davis email accounts
  • Email client software that is not supported by the University
  • Installation or upgrade of commercial software without proof of license

IT reserves the right to make changes to the list of supported or non-supported software at any time.

Supported Hardware | TOP

For full support, all workgroups and staff must use standard hardware and software configurations that IT recommends.

Support is provided for standard hardware configurations (described in this document). Non-standard configurations are supported only when support terms are negotiated in advance between IT and the client.

This listing is updated annually with new technologies only after they have been evaluated by IT staff. The suite of supported hardware shall evolve with the objective of increasing organizational effectiveness and efficiencies.

Hardware will be removed from the list:

  • When parts can no longer be obtained at a reasonable price
  • Current software is incompatible with older hardware

Users are expected to comply with recommended upgrades, at their cost, within a reasonable timeframe, mandated by changes in technology. Whenever possible, IT will notify users in advance of discontinuing support for legacy hardware to allow users to plan on replacement.

The list of approved, IT supported hardware includes:

  • University owned desktop computers
  • University owned laptop computers
    • BML IT has selected Dell to be the preferred PC vendor for all windows systems
    • BML IT supports the most models of Apple computers
  • Networked and standalone printers
  • Local Area Network (LAN) File Servers
  • Cabling and connections from the wall plate to the computing device
  • LAN topology: 10-base-10/100/1000
  • Wireless 802.11G/N

Non-supported Hardware | TOP

The following computer hardware is not supported:

  • Any hardware or software that is not University owned
  • Obsolete computer equipment, as defined by the University
  • Telephones, cell phones (any phone!)
  • Fax Machines
  • Copy Machines
  • Home internet and network services (e.g. Cable, DSL, non-BML wireless networks)
  • Personal printers used at home
  • Personal computers or peripherals
  • Entertainment hardware/software unless required for research or instruction (e.g. MP3 Players, DVD players, etc.)

An item omitted from this list does not necessarily constitute supported hardware. Check with IT to confirm if a package is supported.

NOTE: BML IT does not support Non-University owned hardware or software. BML IT will be available for consultation on BML network access (usually Priority 6 requests). BML IT will not fix or troubleshoot hardware or software problems on Non-University owned or personally owned equipment. Please do not contact BML IT for hardware or software support on Non-University owned or personally owned computer hardware. Contact your computer manufacturer or local computer repair facility.

Non-standard Hardware and Software | TOP

For full support, all workgroups and staff must use standard hardware and software configurations that IT recommends.

In some cases, the user may choose to use configurations not recommended or supported by IT – the user must be competent to support these platforms independent of IT. Support for these configurations may occasionally be negotiated with IT, the terms of the resulting agreement must be approved by both the user and IT and may not be a guarantee of support.

Specialized hardware, specific to a lab or research project is minimally supported. Given the rapid change in information technology and available resources it is not possible for each member of the IT staff to be fully knowledgeable of the intricacies of research specific, specialized hardware components. IT reserves the right to recommend that support for some configurations be provided by outside vendors. In situations where an emergency or departure of key department staff requires that IT support nonstandard configurations, the time spent on these issues may be charged back to the user. IT will negotiate this with workgroup management prior to beginning work on the emergency.

Computer and Hardware Purchases | TOP

Because pricing frequently fluctuates and capacity/processing power continues to increase for standard PC hardware and software, a specific system specification is not presented in this agreement. Please consult an IT member for more specifics and additional, up-to-date information on pricing and recommended hardware and software configurations. Hardware should be ordered through a request to IT. These requests will generally be considered Priority 6 (see Customer Service Priorities). Two to three weeks lead-time is considered best practice. New computer purchases should be consistent with IT recommendations.

Hardware Repair | TOP

If a repair requires parts, IT will specify what part(s) are needed. IT will obtain the part(s) – generally via a BML purchase order– and the user will be responsible for all costs associated with the repair. IT will seek verbal approval prior to placing any order for replacement parts.

Unless otherwise specified by the user, older, legacy hardware that is the property of BML will be disassembled, re-purposed or e-wasted.

Lastly, we really cannot say this enough: BML IT does not support Non-University owned hardware or software. BML IT will be available for consultation on BML network access (usually Priority 6 requests). BML IT will not fix or troubleshoot hardware or software problems on Non-University owned or personally owned equipment. Please do not contact BML IT for hardware or software support on Non-University owned or personally owned computer hardware. Contact your computer manufacturer or local computer repair facility.

Printers | TOP

Printer problems should be reported to IT. IT contracts out the repair of standalone and networked printers; turnaround time can be more than a week. IT will follow-up with the individual who reports the problem to ensure that the issue was resolved satisfactorily. New printers should be ordered through a request to IT. These requests will generally be considered Priority 6 (see Customer Service Priorities). Two to three weeks lead-time is considered best practice.

Users may access a shared network printer – common printers shared among workgroups. IT reserves the right to remove or discontinue support for local printers once they reach their functional obsolescence.

Audio/Visual Resources | TOP

IT staff can be scheduled to assist with A/V set-up, provide troubleshooting, and train users to use the presentation hardware independently.

Presentation rooms are available by reservation. See the BML Front Office Staff for assistance reserving a room.

  • The Lecture Hall has a projector, presenters may use their own laptop for running presentations or they may use the BML lecture hall laptop pc.
  • The South Wing Lounge has a ceiling mounted projector, users bring their own laptop and appropriate display adapters.
  • The Conference Room has a projector, users bring their own laptop and appropriate HDMI/VGA adapters.
  • The Public Education Room has a ceiling mounted projector, users bring their own laptop and appropriate VGA adapters.
  • One additional data projector is available to service other rooms/classrooms as needed contact BML IT.

Mac users should bring the appropriate laptop display port to VGA adapter if they wish to use their mac with the BML projectors.

Audio/visual requests will be considered Priority 5 (see Customer Service Priorities) and are subject to IT staff and equipment availability. One-week lead-time is generally considered best practice.

Computer Backups | TOP

By request Faculty and Staff W7 computers can be added to the user-managed backup service .

W7 workstations are backed up nightly and must be powered on and connected to the department network. Because of the mobile nature of laptops, IT staff cannot back up mobile devices, please consult with IT for advice on a back up solution.

For user workstations, as a rule, if you are not sure that your data is being backed up, or if you have not backed it up yourself, you should personally confirm that your data is backed up and that adequate space is available for your backups. IT is not responsible for the loss of data in the event that a user has not taken steps to ensure that the backup utility is functioning.

Desktop backups include:

  • User Documents (Windows)
  • Desktop folder
  • Email stored locally
  • Browser favorites

Desktop backups do not include:

  • Secondary hard drives
  • Any directories outside of the user profile

Students, graduate students and research laboratories must take responsibility for their individual backups. IT staff can recommend a solution but will not operate or manage the back up for these users.

NOTE: BML file servers are backed up selectively and not inclusively, and should not be used for sole source storage.

E-Waste | TOP

BML IT makes every possible effort to reduce electronic waste and ensure sure that e-waste is disposed of properly. E-waste includes laptop & desktop computers, telephones, servers, hubs, routers, power supplies, batteries, keyboards, mice, printers, etc.

E-waste collections and disposal are coordinated by IT staff several times a year and are limited to equipment owned by BML.

BML IT will NOT facilitate the disposal of personal e-waste.

For personal e-waste disposal please see: