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Support Policy

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At Rutherford and Associates (R&A) Technical Support, our mission is to "help our customers make the best use of our software products through effective and responsive support, active advocacy, and a broad and flexible range of self-help resources." In support of this mission, the following services and policies set the expectations for your relationship with R&A Technical Support.

Services

General Support Services

R&A Technical Support

Technical Support for R&A software includes:

  • Unlimited telephone support
  • Access to support resources on our wiki site
  • Access to classes and support resources on our eoStar University
  • E-mail support
  • LiveMeeting Training on Line
  • Custom report writing assistance


How Rutherford Can Help

Some of the ways in which we can help you successfully use our software are:

  • Suggest the appropriate R&A procedure, language feature, or products for the particular type of analysis or functionality that is requested.
  • Answer questions about specific details of procedures, such as discussing available features, options, and limitations.
  • Provide help with configuration, identification of hardware and/or software problems and propose solutions where possible.
  • Provide and maintain on-line documentation.
  • Provide limited guidance and references to help you interpret the output that is produced by the application.
  • Isolate, document, and find circumventions for reported software defects.
  • Work with R&A software development staff to provide safe hot fixes for our software.
  • Provide guidance during R&A software installation.
  • Provide limited assistance with T-SQL programming logic.
  • Provide limited and general business advice on a case-by-case basis; however, it is your responsibility to determine which type of business practice is appropriate for your needs.
  • Provide a broad overview of hardware tuning, operating system, R&A system performance enhancements, and methods of efficient programming for achieving optimal performance. However, we do not provide benchmarking for specific hardware or operating systems.
  • Provide support for the interaction between the eoStar system and any third-party software that interfaces with the eoStar system.
  • For other third-party applications, we are glad to convey any knowledge that we have, but we cannot provide comprehensive support for another vendor's software.


Due to limited knowledge of any particular customer's network and infrastructure, we cannot directly provide hardware and networking support. Nor can we directly provide MS SQL administration support.

Support Services for Current and Prior Releases of Software

Support for R&A software

Support for R&A software is classified into two levels:

  1. Level A – R&A provides Level A support for the current public release of eoStar and the immediately preceding release. A public release is made available to all customers on an annual basis. Customers may also choose to update their system with a BETA release, which is generally available on a daily basis.
  2. Level B – R&A provides Level B support for the release prior to those described above. Level B support is for releases of Solutions and products which are no longer generally available and were developed on platforms that R&A no longer uses for current product development.

The following provides an overview of the services provided with each service level:


Services Provided Level A Support Level B Support
Free support available by phone, e-mail or Fax
Technical Support staff investigates all reported problems and provides circumventions, where possible
Executable modules or hot fixes are provided for selected critical problems
Online Skype Meeting training
Custom report writing assistance
Technical Support staff investigates reported problems on a limited basis and provides circumventions, where possible, and fixes where already available
No new executable modules or hot fixes are provided


Software Maintenance and Bug Fixes

  • R&A provides maintenance for the R&A system through replacement release sets, or hot fixes, that might be supplied individually or in bundles. The availability of hot fixes is announced on the wiki page and via e-mail to the contact on file.
  • While we attempt to provide fixes for serious problems, there might be cases where it is impractical or impossible to generate a fix, due to compatibility issues or the potential for introduction of unwanted side effects. R&A will work with the customer to to find an alternative solution that may require an upgrade or update to the software.


Problem and Product Change Notifications

  • R&A documents priority issues, as well as problems that are not of alert status, in the form of Release Notes.
  • Your Customer Success Manager will provide the release notes prior to each upgrade. The release notes are tailored to each customer specific version.
  • R&A also provides updates regarding new functionality and changes via our monthly newsletters and release highlights. An archive of past Newsletters are available on our wiki site.

Policies

Support Eligibility

  • Support is available to all customers that are currently on active support status.


Support Hours

North America Support Hours:

  • Regular Support Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time
  • After Hours Support*: Monday through Friday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Eastern time and Saturday and Sunday
*Calls to Technical Support for critical problems after normal support hours are directed to our answering service who will contact on call technician. After hours support is extended to address critical problems only.

Technical Support Contacts


Problem Response Time

For Problems Reported by Phone:

  • All problems reported to Technical Support are initially handled by a consultant who works with you to identify and (in many cases) solve your reported problem. If the problem is not resolved during the primary contact, the consultant assigns a tracking number to the problem and does additional research or might pass it to a Team Leader.
  • The following table displays the targets for initial follow-up and frequency of updates for problems with different severities and conditions. The goals for initial follow-up after a problem with production software is first reported are based on the nature and severity of the problem. The Technical Support consultant makes every attempt to contact the customer who reported the problem within the response time goals described below.


Severity Level Condition Intial Follow-up* Frequency of Updates
1 A critical eoStar system is down or does not function at all, and there is no circumvention for the problem; a significant number of customers are affected. 2 business hours Every business day
2 A component of eoStar is not performing, creating a significant operational impact. 4 business hours Every 2 business days
3 A component of eoStar is not performing as documented; there are unexpected results; problems are circumventable; there is moderate or minor operational impact. 8 business hours Every 3 business days
4 Questions pertain to usage questions or clarification of documentation. 8 business hours Every 10 business days
5 Customer offers suggestions or requests for new product features and enhancements.
For problems that are assigned to a Technical Support consultant, "initial follow-up" is defined as the time between when the problem is initially reported and the specialist contacts the customer.

For problems that require further research by the consultant who initially received the problem, "initial follow-up" is defined as the time between the initial contact with the consultant and a follow-up call.

For Problems Reported Electronically

Priorities are assigned to problems reported via e-mail, based on the guidelines above. A Technical Support consultant will respond to the customer who reported the problem by phone or e-mail within 4 hours, with the exception of problems that are reported on weekends and holidays. Because R&A cannot guarantee less than 4-hour response on problems tracked electronically, you should report Severity 1 or 2 problems by phone.


Escalating Problems

If the normal support process does not produce the desired results, or if the problem has changed in priority, the problem can be escalated as follows:

  1. First contact the consultant who is working on your problem and request that the priority of the problem is escalated.
  2. You may request to speak with a Team Leader or your Customer Success Manager if additional escalation is required.
  3. You may request to speak with the Vice President of Customer Support if continued escalation is required.

Resolving Problems

  • Due to the complex nature of software development and operating environments, R&A cannot guarantee the time that it will take to resolve a problem. We make our best effort to resolve problems as expeditiously as possible.


Archiving Problems

  • A problem is archived (closed) upon mutual agreement between the consultant that is responsible for the problem and the customer who reported the problem. In cases where the consultant is awaiting further information from the customer, the consultant makes at least three attempt by e-mail to contact the customer within a 8 business days. The following is the schedule for archiving:
  1. Send a notification on issue resolution or request for additional information. Ask if it's OK to close. Wait 5 business days.
  2. Send a notification on issue resolution or request for additional information. Ask if it's OK to close. Wait 2 business days.
  3. Send final notification, notify that ticket will be closed in 24 hours. Close ticket in 24 hours.

Third Party Vendor Support

R&A Software Support when Third-Party Vendors Drop Support

  • In some instances, R&A software is supported for an operating system, handheld devices, or printers even though the third party vendor of that software has withdrawn support. R&A reserves the right to move support to Level B for these third party software levels at our discretion.