SLA times and priority definitions
Posted by Kevin Hill on 26 October 2010 03:39 PM

Technical Support Procedure and Escalation Guide

The SoTel Technical Support Center staff is responsible for managing all service requests for technical support.

All requests for technical support are entered into the SoTel support tracking system called Opti-Stat. This includes issues associated with SIP Service, OEM products distributed by SoTel, and approved secondary market products sold by SoTel. When a support ticket has been generated, the Opti-Stat System automatically sends the initiating party an e-mail confirming that a trouble ticket has been created and this starts the response timeframe.

Support tickets can be generated in the following ways:
1. Logging in to the Opti-Stat Portal and opening a ticket directly in the Portal
2. Sending an email to the following address:
3. By calling the SoTel Support Center at (877) MySoTel - (877) 697-6835

The SoTel Technical Support Center is staffed live Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. though 6:00 p.m. central time (normal business hours). Outside those hours, 24 hour emergency support is available through a SoTel Staff member who is on-call to take calls directed to the SoTel Support number.

The following details are required for all support tickets:
1. Primary contact name and telephone number
2. End-user name, address, contact name and telephone number
3. System type, release level, and software level
4. Brief description of the problem and troubleshooting that has been completed

The standard billable rate for non-contract support is $125.00 per hour for normal business hours. After hours, the billable rate is 1.5 times the standard rate. Additional support options and pricing is covered in the policy for “System Support for VAR organizations” published by SoTel Systems. Customers with Support Agreements extending service beyond the warranty coverage period will not be charged for Technical Support. Customers without a SoTel Support Agreement may receive the same priority as those with a support agreement, however credit terms must be arranged in advance or credit card billing will be required for all billable technical support charges.

The following guidelines should also be considered:
a. Responses are provided during normal business hours, unless the ticket is designated as an Emergency.
b. Response timeframes represent a best effort; delays may occur when the issue reported is caused by variables outside the control of SoTel, i.e. situations like the customer LAN or customer provided broadband connection, power failures, or other related failures
c. Problems caused by issues not within the SoTel’s control, such as power failures, Local Area Network issues, etc. may not be resolved by SoTel.
e. Requests from non-contract customers will be addressed on a time and material basis.  Charges may apply.

Support Definitions
The following basic definitions for support outline the responsibilities between SoTel and the VAR (customer) for obtaining Technical Support from SoTel:

Level 1 Support
• VAR takes End-customer trouble call, confirms status including power on, cables connected, etc., documents the problem and identifies customer point of contact
• VAR opens Customer Support ticket with SoTel and provides information detailed above in the SoTel trouble ticket
• SoTel reviews hardware configuration and software versions with VAR and provides assistance to VAR to replace, update, re-install, etc. as required

Level 2 Support
• SoTel remotely accesses End-customer system, troubleshoots, runs traces, etc. and provides appropriate support through the reseller organization
• VAR provides requested trace reports documenting service issues to SoTel, when requested to ensure timely response for issues
• SoTel simulates and analyzes End-customer problem in our lab when necessary and works with both the reseller and the manufacturer for authorized products

Level 3 Support
• Assuming no resolution through Level 1 and Level 2, SoTel will escalate to the appropriate Manufacturer channel for the authorized reseller. If customer is not an authorized reseller for the product, no Level 3 support is available through SoTel

Prioritization and Response Timeframes
The Technical Assistance Center prioritizes service requests using the following general guidelines but tries to respond to all requests as quickly as possible. Listed below are the general guidelines followed by the SoTel Technical Support Center in determining priority:

• P1 – Priority Emergency/Critical
1. A significant number (<50%) of end-users are affected by an issue
2. A customer’s telephone system acquired through SoTel is completely down
3. SoTel-provided broadband connection is completely down
4. The primary inbound number port has not completed or is not functioning
5. There is a security concern (phone system hacked)
6. The network and or system is inaccessible due to an external issue that effected the phone system operationally and Support Center assistance is required for resetting the system
Response Timeframe: Problem acknowledged within 30 minutes (for P1 emergency tickets, a phone call must be placed into the support center once the ticket has been submitted)

• P2 – Priority Urgent/High:
1. A single phone number is affected by a problem but the phone system is still able to process calls
2. There are problems with the SIP service but it is still functional
3. Changes needed in trunk configuration due to LAN changes or other network changes requested by the customer
4. A customer is experiencing intermittent call problems on a phone number; is unable to hear audio on a number; abnormal disconnects on calls, etc.
5. Technical problems with the telephone system affecting multiple users, but the system is not completely down
Response Timeframe: Problem acknowledged within 4 hours

• P3 - Priority Medium:
1. Requests for routine service including maintenance tasks or changes
2. Requests to add additional SIP Services including local DID numbers, toll-free numbers and other SIP services for existing customers
3. The customer requests for assistance with email set up on accounts, or any other administrative needs
Response Timeframe: Request acknowledged within 1 Business day

  • P4 - Priority Low:
1. Requests for Level 1 support - Support that may be obtained through web-based research. (i.e. administration guides or forum discussions)
2. Requests for changes that can be placed using an online portal  (i.e. call forwarding or account information)
Response Timeframe: Request acknowledged 2 Business days

SoTel Support Team reserves the right to adjust your ticket priority based on the above criteria.

In the event an unresolved issue requires escalation, please contact the following team members:

Derick Adams
TAC Manager

Nick Kramer
Director, Services

Matt Siemens
EVP, Sales and Marketing

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