Comprehensive Desktop Support service level agreement


Note: Desktop support for the College of Letters & Science is now being provided by Campus Shared Services.


This service level agreement (SLA) describes the core services provided to customers by Letters & Science Computing Resources (LSCR) under our Comprehensive Desktop Support contract. It details both LSCR's and customers' responsibilities.

In the course of providing computing support under this program, LSCR staff in many instances provide support beyond what is described in this document. Such additional support is provided at the discretion of LSCR consultants in the interest of furthering the goals of L&S departments.

Support responsibilities

It is assumed that only LSCR staff will provide computing support for machines covered under this support program. In order to avoid duplication of effort and insure a consistent, high level of service, LSCR will share support with departmental computing support staff only by special arrangement.

Supported hardware and software

LSCR will provide support for desktop and laptop computers for the supported populations (staff and/or faculty). It will also provide support for networked printers, copiers and scanners, peripheral and mobile devices such as iOS or Android phones or tablets. It will provide support for departmental drop-in or instructional computing labs if faculty populations are included in the support.

Only Macintosh and PC hardware and software meeting certain specifications will be supported. These specifications are detailed on the LSCR supported hardware and LSCR supported software pages.

Hardware and software specifications will be updated annually, normally before the start of each fiscal year. LSCR will notify department managers in advance of any changes in our support levels.

A computer must be networked to be eligible for support under this program.


Description of services

Services provided by LSCR to customers of the Comprehensive Desktop Support program are described below.

Planning and recommendations

LSCR will provide recommendations and planning assistance to supported departments regarding all aspects of desktop computing. The scope of such assistance includes the following:

In some cases, LSCR may recommend services not covered by the Comprehensive Desktop Support contract. Such services may be provided by LSCR or other organizations.

Responsibilities: Customers, and department managers in particular, are urged to take advantage of LSCR's assistance with planning and keep LSCR informed about departmental computing issues. LSCR management will make an effort to meet with department managers periodically.

Computer setup and installation

LSCR will install and configure new computers for supported customers. Computer setups may include the following:

Individuals are limited to one computer setup per fiscal year. Additional setups may be performed on an hourly contract. LSCR will not move computers from one location to another, provide storage space for new or old machines, or clear off the space needed for a computer setup.



LSCR will provide comprehensive maintenance services for supported machines. One comprehensive maintenance per year will typically be performed on each supported machine, and minor maintenance may be performed more frequently. Operations that may be performed as part of a maintenance include the following:

A full maintenance will typically require from one to four hours, depending on what tasks need to be performed. Maintenance is always scheduled in advance.



LSCR will troubleshoot problems with supported operating systems, software applications, and network connectivity. LSCR will also perform basic hardware troubleshooting.

Responsibilities: Customers should request LSCR services as described below.

Application support

LSCR will provide assistance with supported applications. This assistance includes the following services:

There are some limitations to LSCR's application support:


Network support

LSCR provides support for network connectivity for all supported workstations. This support includes the following:

LSCR does not maintain the campus network and will refer problems with the network itself to NOS.

Responsibilities: Departments must maintain accurate records regarding network configuration information (i.e., IP addresses, hostnames, subnet masks, and router addresses). In addition, customers must not install networking equipment (such as hubs or switches in many instances) that is prohibited by campus policy.

Backup support

LSCR will provide installation and configuration of backup software. Backup service is provided by IST's UC Backup group, or may be provided by a third-party vendor. LSCR staff can assist with restores and act as a liaison with IST.

Responsibilities: Departments are responsible for subscribing to the UCBackup or a third-party service. If using UC Backup, customers must keep their computers on during the scheduled backup times (or ensure that manual backups are performed).

File sharing

LSCR discourages personal (peer-to-peer) file sharing for security, performance, and reliability reasons. We will not support peer-to-peer file sharing arrangements. We provide a departmental file sharing service under a separate contract.

Responsibilities: Customers must comply with all LSCR server usage policies. LSCR will manage departmentally owned servers only on a retainer basis.

Liaison with campus computing units and vendors

When needed, LSCR will act as a technical liaison with campus computing units and outside vendors. For example, LSCR will work with various units within IST to resolve issues regarding administrative applications, network connectivity, and software distribution. LSCR will also contact vendors on behalf of customers to resolve technical problems and provide recommendations to departments. LSCR will not normally act as liaison for issues that are not of a technical nature (such as placing or picking up orders for software or equipment, resolving billing issues, etc.)

Responsibilities: Customers should feel free to contact LSCR regarding technical issues related to outside computing organizations.

Hardware support

LSCR provides basic hardware diagnosis for supported machines. In addition, LSCR will coordinate warranty work on most Dell and Apple desktop computer systems. In addition, LSCR staff will perform some basic hardware upgrades at no charge; these services would include upgrading RAM or hard disks (in most cases). At its discretion, LSCR may refer hardware repair or upgrade tasks to a third party vendor.

Responsibilities: Customers should consult LSCR if they suspect a hardware problem or are considering an upgrade.


LSCR provides training resources to supported customers. LSCR staff can evaluate computer training needs for supported users and provide specific recommendations for training classes or materials. In addition, LSCR consultants can provide informal training sessions on supported software for individuals (or small groups) by appointment. Such training sessions typically last up to an hour; if multiple sessions are required, an hourly contract is required. In some cases, LSCR staff may provide formal group training for supported users.

Responsibilities: It is assumed that supported users have a basic computer literacy. In cases in which customers have extensive training needs, LSCR will provide recommendations and referrals.

Supported population

Departments may opt to have their administrative staff, or their faculty, or both populations supported under this program. Cost will be calculated on a per-FTE basis; in most cases, budgeted staff FTE for staff support, and senate faculty FTE for faculty support. Support is not limited to those included in the FTE tally; at the department's discretion, LSCR will support non-budgeted staff and non-senate faculty. If the faculty population is included, LSCR will also support drop-in or kiosk workstations or labs used by students, but will not provide direct support for student-owned machines.

Requesting service

To request services provided under the Comprehensive Desktop Support program, customers should send electronic mail to the appropriate support team's service address. In cases in which email is not operational, customers may call the Service Desk at 642-1355.

Other methods of requesting service (such as sending mail to the personal addresses of consultants, calling consultants' personal phone lines, or dropping by a consultant's office) may result in delays. At any given time, an individual consultant may be with another customer, working on a project, at a meeting, or out sick or on vacation.


Response time

LSCR's goal is to respond to all requests for service as quickly as possible. LSCR prioritizes requests as they come in using the following general guidelines:

LSCR's standard response times for requests are shown in the table below:

Category Initial response time Commencement of work
Urgent 0-90 minutes 0-3 hours
Normal 0-90 minutes 0-6 hours
Planned 2-4 hours To be arranged

The "initial response time" refers to the time during which an LSCR consultant will get in touch with the user (generally by email or telephone but in some cases by an in-person visit) to obtain additional information or schedule a time for a visit. In some cases, the problem may be resolved in the initial response phase. For cases in which the problem cannot be resolved in the initial response phase, "commencement of work" refers to the period in which an LSCR consultant will be available to take steps to resolve the problem.

All times in the table above refer to normal working hours, considered to be between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The upper time limits are considered to be worst-case situations; normally response time will be much quicker. In very unusual circumstances (such as when several LSCR staff are out sick), it is possible that the upper time limits may be exceeded.

Responsibilities: In order for the above response times to apply, customers must request service using the appropriate team email address or Service Desk phone line (if email is unavailable). LSCR can provide no guidelines regarding response time for requests made to consultants directly.

Updater: Seth Novogrodsky. Last reviewed: April 21, 2014