How does Support and Service Level Agreement (SLA) Work?
Because our clients, products, businesses and systems differ, we have three main types of support models : Hosting Support, Application (SaaS), and Managed Maintenance
1. Hosting Support
Probably the best known of all support models, Hosting Support is the management of infrastructure uptime. It ensures that your account is up, the network is running and that whatever is on your server is reachable by the internet. This applies to :
- VPS Hosting
- Advanced VPS Hosting
- Managed Virtual Servers
- Email-only Services
- Unmanaged Dedicated Servers
What it does not do : is look into your actual site operation, your configuration, your security, how fast or slow it might be, or how well it has been developed. In other words, the kind of work a website developer, IT manager, or designer might be responsible for.
Why structure things this way? In simple terms, because we can provide cost effective service if we are not actively reviewing and maintaining every single aspect of your website or system – especially if you have a designer or developer helping you, there would be no point in duplicating labour. Your budget stays low and your basic needs are met.
Can I call on you to help out beyond regular Hosting Support should something be going wrong with my website? Of course you can! Our Support and Development team is extremely experienced and adaptable, and they are ready to help out if you don't have anyone on your team, or simply need our team of additional advanced programmers to help out if you need the additional help. This level of Support, however is paid. We would quote you at the time.
2. Application (SaaS)
Most iTMG Application (SaaS - or Software as a Service) accounts carry with it a built in Application-Level Managed Maintenance Service Level Agreement. In addition to the standard Hosting Support this additionally monitors and manages your Application such as
- POS ECommerce Integrated Lightspeed Edition
- POS ECommerce Integrated Smart Vendor Edition
- Point of Sale System
- Franchise Management System
- Digital Business Community Engine
for upgrades to the application, security updates, developer-level upgrades, supplemental one-on-one training (fair use rules apply).
What it does not do : is create new programming, code changes, design updates or any other level of system changes beyond ensuring stability, maintenance, and performance within the specification of what the application is supposed to be doing at that time. Requests for non-support tasks would be submitted to scope production who would be happy to dive into how we can help improve your Application account for you
2.1 Legacy-Applications fall under a Legacy-SLA and do not qualify for Application-SaaS SLA
Technology stacks in use by all systems, servers, and platforms carry many components that are under constant development contributed by engineers and developers. These contributors come from companies, communities, and foundations around the world; sometimes by a singular software company, but often involves other libraries and features created and maintained by broader communities. As each component matures and releases, related components also upgrade and evolve in lockstep to ensure smooth evolution, improvement, and overall betterment of their shared vision.
As these components evolve and improve so do the applications in use around the world. This is why you see versions of all applications change over time: from version 1.0, to 1.1, to 1.3, to 2.0 and so on. This ensures that the collective evolution and improvement to performance, features, and security, are ready for the current demands of internet use cases, audience, and sadly, bad actors as well.
When applications are not kept up to date, they become vulnerable and out of step with latest component advantages, security, and performance offered. As a result, they will not perform as well as the latest versions, often expose security vulnerabilities, and eventually become entirely incompatible with some server and browser expectations. Once an (website, commerce, etc) application no longer uses a stack of these components that is supported by the broader communities that engineer and support them, they fall under a Legacy-SLA and no longer any standard SLA. We are happy to support our clients in any business cases, in a Legacy-SLA situation we must take on responsibility for the application stack and its components on our own, as a result of the broader community no longer available or actively working on these older versions. Additionally, security vulnerabilities increase significantly. We always recommend regular attention to upgrades, however minor, to ensure you are aligned with where your application or website is at.
3. Managed Maintenance
Managed Maintenance Services are a blend of 1 and 2. For clients that have a system that does not automatically fall under an Application (SaaS) SLA, you can upgrade to a Managed Maintenance agreement with iTMG. This provides you with the peace of mind that regardless of the system you have, iTMG can be a part of your Digital Technology Strategy team to ensure that your system does what it's supposed to do and that someone's got your back. This includes products and platforms :
- Managed Dedicated Servers
- Startup Website Programmes
What it does not do : is create new programming, code changes, design updates or any other level of system changes beyond ensuring stability, maintenance, and performance within the specification of what the application is supposed to be doing at that time. Requests for non-support tasks would be submitted to scope production who would be happy to dive into how we can help improve your Application account for you.
What it may require : an initial Technical Audit. for iTMG to provide an SLA on your Application we must be able to back that assurance with our own team's understanding of your Application, how it works, how it was intended to work and any technical shortcoming we may discover. In short, you may be asking us to back someone else's system – and while we love a challenge, sometimes the quality or age of a system may be too complicated for iTMG to endorse and therefore retain the right to refuse providing an SLA on some 3rd party systems. In such a situation, we are still happy to help you with your systems but hourly billing will apply.