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Service Level Agreement

SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines the Support Services that Smoothwall will provide in respect of our Software. In the specific circumstances set out in this SLA, we may also provide diagnostic and remediation services for third party IT products and services.

Our Service Level Commitment to you confirms:

  1. what is included in and covered by the Support Services we will provide to you;
  2. when Support Services are available to you;
  3. our target Fix Times for any Incidents you experience; and
  4. your Service Credit entitlement.

Our Service Level Commitment (see Schedule A at the end of this SLA) forms part of our Service Level Agreement, and together, these documents confirm:

  • the levels of service provided for the Support Services;
  • any exclusions from the Support Services;
  • our obligations and your obligations in respect of the Support Services.

This Service Level Agreement applies to any Support Services that we provide and is supplemental to and is incorporated into the Agreement pursuant to clause 2.6 of the Terms and Conditions of the Agreement. Unless expressly stated to be varied by this Service Level Agreement, the Terms and Conditions forming part of the Agreement fully apply and govern this Service Level Agreement.

1. Definitions and Interpretations

1.1 Definitions

All initial capitalized terms in this SLA, unless expressly set out below, shall have the meaning given to them in the Agreement.

24 x 7 x 365

the provision of Support Services at any time of any day.

24 x 5

the provision of Support Services from 8:30am Monday until 5pm Friday in the Customer’s timezone excluding weekends and public holidays.

Authorized Contact

a person named on the Smoothwall Customer Account (there may be multiple people named as an Authorized Contact).

Extra Care Service Level

the special Service Level Commitment that Smoothwall may grant to new Customers for a limited period of time during which all Incidents will be classified as P1, as specified in the Service Level Commitment.

Excluded Services

has the meaning as defined in paragraph 2.4.

Fault

any failure of the Software to operate in all material respects in accordance with the applicable specification.

Fix Time

the time measured from the time the Service Level Commitment for an Incident commences depending on the priority level and the Service Level Commitment until the resolution of the Incident in accordance with paragraph 6.2.

Incident

a specific, discrete issue that can be addressed by isolating its origin to a single cause, which may be a Fault or not (as determined by Smoothwall in its sole discretion).

P1, P2, P3

Incident priority levels 1, 2 and 3, as determined at the sole discretion of Smoothwall based on the following criteria:

P1 denotes system is down; business is critically affected; majority of / all users affected.

P2 denotes system is impaired; business is adversely affected but is operational; large proportion of users affected.

P3 denotes system is operating with the Incident having limited impact upon users.

Resolution

a solution (or Work-around) resulting in a satisfactorily resolved Incident pursuant to paragraph 6.2(b).

Service Level Commitment

Smoothwall service level commitments specific to the Customer as set out in Schedule A to this SLA.

Support Hours

support hours are those as identified in the Service Level Commitment being either 24 x 7 x 365 or 24 x 5.

Support Period

the applicable duration of this SLA during which the Support Services are provided as stated in the Quotation.

Support Services

consist of the maintenance and support services for the Software described in this SLA and in particular paragraphs 2.1(b) and 6.1.

Work-around

a tactical (potentially partial) solution succeeding in returning the customer system to acceptable service for a short term pending a full resolution.

* depends upon the provisions of the Service Level Commitment

 

1.2 Interpretations

(a)The provisions of clause 1.2 of the Terms and Conditions governing the interpretation of the Agreement shall govern the interpretation of this SLA.

(b)References to paragraphs are references to the paragraphs of this SLA.

2. Support Services

2.1 Support Services

(a)During the Support Period, Smoothwall shall perform the Support Services during the Support Hours in accordance with the Service Level Commitment.

(b)The Support Services consist of telephone, email, remote support and other services for the Software. Smoothwall operates a remote analysis and remedial service via secure Internet or VPN connection.

2.2 Scope

(a)The Support Services:

(i)cover any Fault with the Software;

(ii)include the provision of advice which the Customer may reasonably require in respect of the Customer’s use of the Software;

(iii)do not cover any Excluded Services; and

(iv)shall be provided from Smoothwall’s offices.

(b)Optionally, Smoothwall may at it sole discretion, agree to diagnose and attempt remediation of IT infrastructure products and services not supplied or provided by Smoothwall, subject to the Customer agreeing to purchase consultancy time. In all such situations, the Customer accepts that as such products and services are not supplied or provided by Smoothwall, Smoothwall undertakes diagnosis and remediation on a reasonable endeavors basis only and Smoothwall will bear no responsibility for and cannot guarantee successful diagnosis or remediation.

2.3 Access

(a)The Customer acknowledges that, to properly assess and resolve Incidents Smoothwall engineers may need to remotely access Customer systems in order to effect Incident investigations and resolutions. The Customer agrees to promptly provide appropriate remote access facilities as a pre-condition in order for Smoothwall to be able to provide the agreed level of support.

(b)It is the strong recommendation of Smoothwall that the Customer provides such remote access utilizing a secure encrypted connection (eg VPN, SSH, HTTPS or using the TeamViewer remote access software provided by Smoothwall).  Smoothwall would be pleased to discuss this requirement further with the Customer if required and may, subject to agreed charges, provide design and installation for same. The Customer may order this as an Additional Service under the Agreement.

(c)When remotely accessing Customer sites Smoothwall staff will rely upon the Customer for their guidance on local system security and system access permission issues but will not be held responsible for any breach of such Customer policies and practices.

2.4  Excluded Services

The Support Services do not cover the following:

(i)Third Party Software, Open Source Software or Third Party Hardware;

(ii)IT products and services not supplied by Smoothwall (except as prescribed in paragraph 2.2b);

(iii)any improper use, misuse or unauthorized alteration of the Software, Third Party Software, Open Source Software or Hardware by the Customer;

(iv)any use of the Software or Hardware by the Customer in a manner inconsistent with the current specification;

(v)the use by the Customer of any hardware or software not provided by Smoothwall or approved by Smoothwall in writing for use by the Customer in connection with the Software and Incidents arising from same including any failure, misconfiguration or incompatibility of such hardware or software;

(vi)the use of a version or release of the Software which is no longer supported by Smoothwall;

(vii)failure of the Customer to fulfil their obligations as specified in this SLA;

(viii)inability of Smoothwall to contact (or gain a response from) the Customer contact(s);

(ix)information from the Customer (or their representative) that is inaccurate, incomplete or untimely;

(x)inability of Smoothwall to obtain remote access and / or remote diagnosis permissions to aid troubleshooting;

(xi)failure of communications, Internet connections, electricity supply or other vital services outside of the control of Smoothwall (except as prescribed in paragraph 2.2b);

(xii)problems emanating from configuration, software, network problems (eg DNS) outside of the control of Smoothwall (except as prescribed in paragraph 2.2b);

(xiii)non-compliance with the conditions of the Hardware Limited Warranty;

(xiv)Incidents not reported promptly by the Customer or where a Case Number has not been obtained;

(xv)Smoothwall being unable to verify successful service restoration with the Customer; or

(xvi)any act or omission on the part of any third party other than an authorized Smoothwall Partner.

3. Support Prices

3.1 The provision of Support Services is on a remote off-site basis (such as over the telephone or by email) within the Support Period and shall be included in the Support Price.

3.2 The provisions of Support Services outside the Support Period or at the Customer premises or the provision of Excluded Services shall be charged for as an Additional Service in accordance with clause 10 of the Terms and Conditions that constitute the Agreement.

3.3 Any services provided by Smoothwall in connection with any apparent problem regarding the Software reasonably determined by Smoothwall not to have been caused by an Incident, but rather by a cause set out in paragraph 2.4 or a cause outside of Smoothwall’s control including any investigational work into such causes resulting in such a determination are chargeable to the Customer either as a break/fix Incident resolution in accordance with paragraph 7.2 or as an Additional Service under the Agreement.

4. Submitting Incidents

4.1 Incident Reporting

The Customer may request Support Services by Live Chat, through the Customer Portal, by e-mail or by telephone and Smoothwall recommends the following channels for reporting P1, P2 and P3 Incidents:

(i)P1 Incidents: telephone reporting to mitigate avoidable time delays for critical issues, for all Incidents considered by the Customer to be P1;

(ii)P2 and P3 Incidents: via Live Chat or the Customer Portal (https://kb.smoothwall.com), where the Customer considers an Incident to be P2 or P3; and

(iii)P3 Incidents: via Live Chat, the Customer Portal or by email ([email protected]) where Customer considers an Incident to be P3.

(b)Incidents considered by the Customer to be P1 that are reported by any channel other than telephone, or P2 Incidents that are reported by email to Smoothwall, will be automatically classified by Smoothwall as P3 and will be subject to the Service Level Commitment applicable to a P3

(c)The Customer shall use the telephone numbers and email address set out in the Service Level Commitment.

Each Incident shall include a description of the Fault and the start time of the Incident.

The Customer shall provide Smoothwall with:

(i)prompt notice of any Faults together with brief, accurate, factual details thereof;

(ii)such output and other data, documents, information, assistance and remote access to the Customer systems, as are reasonably necessary to assist Smoothwall to reproduce operating conditions similar to those present when the Customer detected the relevant Fault and to respond to the relevant Incident;

(iii)Software Serial Number(s); date(s) / time(s) when the problem arose and if there were any prior potentially connected events; confirmed contact details (telephone number(s), email address) for the Customer contact who can assist Smoothwall;

(vi)Admin User IDs and Passwords for the Smoothwall system(s); network reference documentation (eg Network diagram(s), connections, firewalls, servers/hosts, IP addresses etc.); and backup copies of previous Smoothwall configurations and diagnostics files.

The Customer agrees to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the issue being experienced most likely relates to Software and not an Excluded Service prior to reporting Incidents.

Customers should carefully consider their means of reporting Incidents as likely time delays in the chosen method (eg Email) is not the responsibility of Smoothwall should it be outside of our control.

In all instances, the Customer will be provided (either directly or via email depending upon the Incident reporting method chosen) with a unique ‘Case Number’ for the reported Incident and a priority classification of P1, P2 or P3 as generated by Smoothwall. This is a key reference number and should be retained by the Customer and quoted in all correspondence with Smoothwall. In particular, the Case Number should be included in email titles sent to Smoothwall to expedite identification and routing.

4.2 Incident Escalation

Depending upon the provisions of the Service Level Commitment, in the event that there is a prevailing special circumstance (eg a ‘one off’ urgency) within their business, the Customer may escalate the priority of reported Incidents above the level set within the definitions in this SLA by contacting their account manager or the Customer Experience Manager. All priority and service hour escalations must be requested by telephone to avoid unnecessary time delays and ensure clarity of understanding.

5. Customer obligations

5.1 Assistance

Incident diagnosis and resolution may require the active participation of Customer staff to provide information, assistance and carry out requested tasks in a timely manner. For the discharge of the responsibilities of Smoothwall under this SLA, the Customer agrees to use all reasonable endeavors to execute all requests from Smoothwall and provide Smoothwall with information in a timely fashion. Smoothwall service time calculations will omit the Customer time taken to complete delegated actions and requests.

5.2 Backups

It is a requirement of this SLA that the Customer takes regular backups of Smoothwall configurations, especially before applying software updates or making configuration changes.

5.3 Software Updates

The Customer will take all reasonable measures to ensure that all Products are maintained fully up-to-date with the latest software updates. Smoothwall will determine which Products are up-to-date and in the event that the Customer wishes to receive Support Services in respect of a Product Smoothwall has determined is not up-to-date, Smoothwall shall provide such services at its discretion and as an Additional Service.

6. Service Commitments

6.1 Service Commitments

Smoothwall shall:

prioritize all Incidents based on its reasonable assessment of the severity level of the problem reported; and

achieve Fix Times for all Incidents within the time periods set out in the Service Level Commitments subject to the level of commitment specified in the Service Level Commitment (eg if target Fix times are on a reasonable endeavors basis, Smoothwall shall use its reasonable endeavors for Resolution of the Incident within the Fix Time).

6.2 Resolution

The Fix Time commencement is calculated based on the time stamp of the Case Number issued by Smoothwall pursuant to paragraph 4.1(h) and the Service Level Commitment.

Where the Customer’s Service Level Commitment is on a 24 x 5 basis, Smoothwall may elect to work on the resolution of an Incident outside of the Customer’s contracted hours (in its discretion) but shall only be obliged to perform the Support Services during the 24 x 5 Service Level Commitment. In the event that an Incident is reported by a Customer with a 24 x 5 Service Level Commitment, the Fix Time shall be deemed to exclude any time outside the 24 x 5 Service Level Commitment (i.e. Saturday, Sunday, public holidays in the Customer’s timezone and hours outside of 08.30 to 17.00 Monday to Friday).

For the purposes of Service Level Commitment achievement, an Incident will be considered as ‘resolved’ when Smoothwall has provided the Customer with a solution or temporary Work-around providing a ‘return to service’ for the Customer system. Smoothwall will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the solution (or proposed solution or Work-around) will resolve (or at least mitigate) the issue being experienced by the Customer. Should the Customer later inform Smoothwall that the solution has not been effective then the relevant Incident case number will be re-opened and Smoothwall will re-commence work on providing an effective resolution. In the case of a Work-around then the Incident priority level will be reassessed appropriately for the changed circumstances and Service Level Commitment achievement calculations suitably amended.

6.3 ‘Work-around’

Where immediate Incident resolution is not possible, it may be prudent to implement a Work-around solution while a permanent solution is investigated, tested and implemented. A Work-around is intended to provide a ‘return to service’ functioning system expeditiously. This may mandate changes to (or implementation of) manual working processes at the Customer site, or reversion to an earlier version of the Smoothwall system configuration. Where such a Work-around is proposed by Smoothwall, projected completion timescales for the implementation of a complete resolution will be given.

7. Fair Usage Policy

Smoothwall Support Services is a valuable resource that is available to thousands of organisations both in education and other sectors through the purchase of a Support Agreement.  For the past few years, the purchase of an agreement has entitled the organisation to a limited number of Service Credits which were to be used against Support Cases. Smoothwall has abolished Service Credits going forward and now offers Unlimited Support based upon the size of organisation and end users.  This agreement is subject to a Fair Usage Policy to ensure that all our valued customers get fair and equal access to this high quality service at a price that is affordable and sustainable. The Fair Usage Policy (FUP) contains usage guidelines for customers using Smoothwall Support Services to ensure that customers use the service reasonably.

7.1 Why have Smoothwall introduced an FUP?

Principally, we wanted to get rid of Service Credits.  We trust our customers to keep within the FUP guidelines and while we encourage them to take full advantage of the excellent quality of service, we have an obligation to ensure that ALL customers who pay for support receive the best possible service at all times.

The application of the FUP ensures that we continue to provide an acceptable standard of service in terms of response times and resolution of cases as detailed in our Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The FUP also allows us to identify customers who appear to be having difficulty with their IT Infrastructure including the Smoothwall installation and assist them in resolving those difficulties as well as keep prices for Support Services as low as possible while still being sustainable.

7.2 How will Fair Usage be determined?

We will use reports from our Incident Management System to monitor usage based on the agreement purchased and the number of users.  If these reports show consistently high usage, we may choose to apply this Fair Usage Policy.

7.3 Am I likely to be affected by the Fair Usage Policy?

Smoothwall Support Services handle thousands of cases every year from a wide variety of organisations of all sizes so we have a good handle on how much support these organisations typically need.  If you don’t log many cases and use up much of the Support Team’s time, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be affected by this policy as the vast majority of our customers will use the service fairly. However, if your demands are exceptionally high for an unusually prolonged period, then we will discuss this with you to try and identify the issues that are contributing to this high use and try to mitigate them.

Smoothwall provide extensive accredited training, a comprehensive Knowledge Base and Help materials, as well as webinars and a YouTube channel to assist customers and we offer access to support across a number of channels.  We encourage all users to access the channel most appropriate to their needs and to undergo as much training on and familiarisation with the Smoothwall product as possible. We recommend all user undertake training before accessing support.  Support may not be used as a substitute for training.

7.4 What if I have a system down?

Priority 1 Incidents will not be affected by this FUP.  We will NEVER leave you without support when you need it the most.

7.5 If I need additional help for projects or major changes, will I breach Fair Usage?

Major changes and projects may be better handled through our Solutions team, so talk to us about what you’re planning to do.  High case numbers over a short period of time shouldn’t raise any concerns and if we’re able to assist you through these periods, it will only add to the value of our service.

7.6 Why is the FUP Here?

Some customers could use Smoothwall Support Services as a substitute for training, talking with one of our many skilled support staff for hours and monopolising the support team’s time taking away vital support from other customers who are also entitled to the best service and response times.  The FUP is designed so that each customer gets fast and reliable support whenever you use it.