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Did you know that USF’s ITS aims to treat you as actual customers? They aim to give you the same support and professionalism that you would get if you went to Best Buys or Fry’s — but you don’t even have to take the evil Muni — like really, is it ever on time — or wait in long lines to get the support you deserve.

Everyone who knows me personally knows that I absolutely abhor the Muni — which doesn’t treat you like a customer at all. Fortunately, ITS is right on campus and even has two separate offices for you to go to if you’re too lazy to walk up Lone Mountain. I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t think there’s a better combination — no Muni and the services are covered under your tuition — bring it on!

Because ITS wants to treat you like actual customers, it operates under what are called Service Level Agreements or SLAs. The SLA’s categorize tickets on a priority from 1-4, which is called the Priority Guidelines. The SLAs also govern the response and resolution times as a support contract with the USF community.

There are two types of tickets that categorize your service: an incident and a request. An incident is where something is broken or service is down or degraded. When you need something installed or explained — which is less urgent — it is categorized as a request. Examples of incidents are if your computer has a virus, or if your cable is out in your residence hall. A request is more of a “wish list,” to quote Nikki Williams, Director of Client Support Services. So if you want to add, change, or enhance a service, they are considered requests. Examples of requests would be if you want someone to show you how to clean out your computer, or if you want your phone or video console to be added to NAC. For more information on NAC, see our blog post NAC helps protect your computer and the campus network.

The priority matrix is as follows:


If an incident or a request is considered a Priority 1 incident, or “Organization Critical,” ITS needs to respond within 15 minutes if it’s during business hours; and within one hour if it’s during off hours. Unfortunately, unless your problem is an emergency that impacts multiple people, your incident won’t be classified as a Priority 1. ITS aims to fix these types of problems in about four hours.

Your ticket will be considered a Priority 2 incident, Client Critical, if a system or component is down, there is no workaround, and you can’t do normal work without it. ITS aims to respond to the problem within two business hours; and tries to fix the problem within 24 business hours.

To be considered a Priority 3 incident, routine incident, your system must be down or degraded, but you have a temporary alternative to fixing the problem or have a way to go on without it. ITS tries to respond within eight business hours, and hopes to fix the problem within four business days.

Priority 4 incidents are considered enhancements or questions. ITS aims to respond within two business days, and targets to solve your incident within six business days.


Priority 1 requests, organization critical, are for emergencies or VIPs. ITS aims to respond within 15 minutes if they receive the request during business hours; or one hour if it’s during off hours. The resolution target is four hours.

Priority 2 requests, client critical, mean that the requester cannot carry out their normal work responsibilities, and they have no alternative if their service is not provided. ITS responds within two business hours and resolves the problem within 24 business hours.

Priority 3 requests, general requests, means that the requester can do their normal work responsibilities and/or they have an alternative until the service is provided. ITS responds within eight business hours and tries to resolve the request within five business days.

And finally, a Priority 4 request, a routine request, is an enhancement or planned service update. ITS responds within two business days, and resolves the ticket within 10 business days.

Note: These times can vary, depending on the issue/request or if they need to be followed up on or escalated to a different department. This may happen If ITS has to wait for an update from AT&T or Comcast to solve your incident or request.

Please visit http://www.usfca.edu/its/help/priority/ to read more about the Priority Guidelines and look at some examples.

If you haven’t been contacted within the promised time frame, ITS is not meeting your expectations (You are a client, remember!) so you should email the Client Support Manager Heather Preabt at hpreabt@usfca.edu and explain your situation to her. This will allow her to follow up on your case and make sure that you are taken care of, by escalating the issue. If Preabt is unavailable, she will refer you to Nikki Williams.

ITS does all of this, because it wants to make your life as easy as possible and wants to meet your expectations. As a service organization, ITS monitors its performance and publishes Monthly Service Metrics on the ITS website.

When your service tickets are resolved, you are asked to complete a short survey. ITS wants to improve their services, and every month these surveys are reviewed to see what needs to be enhanced. ITS gets much of its information about student and faculty experiences through these surveys; and is then able to identify areas needing change or additional training.

If your problem takes place on a distributed campus, you should know that they have different SLA’s, because they don’t all have onsite technicians. 101 Howard is the one exception. Therefore, the distributed (regional) campuses have additional equipment and loaners for use because ITS may not be able to respond in the same time frame as for main campus.

If you take your classes on main campus or 101 Howard, make sure that you take advantage of this royal treatment because not all universities have such an advantageous service level agreement. Go ITS!

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