Frontier technology support services / Solutions
Technology Support Services
Downtime or Outages are the most dreaded words by an IT Manager. Unexpected down time has huge impact on end user productivity leading to business disruption and revenue loss. Many a time it causes huge impact on reputation of the organisation and client loyalty.
Frontier CARE is a unique model that has been derived with Two decades of Frontier’s experience in the IT Industry. Frontier CARE, stands for Customer Accelerated Resolution Experience. The Client who subscribe to Frontier CARE will have an unique IT support Experience. There are many Service Elements in Frontier CARE that work together to ensure Customer gets the Best-in-Class Service.
Multi-Vendor Management is the procurement and management of all Underpinning Contracts required to support your environment. Frontier has agreements in place with a significant number of prominent global and regional vendors which enables us to provide you with a single interface for the support of all technologies covered by your AMC contract.
- Procurement and renewal of required OEM support contracts
- Frontier will procure the requisite support contract(s) that underpins the service from OEM and ensure that this is renewed when required
- Administration of warranty claims against OEM
- Frontier will manage all warranty claims related to faulty equipment and software and liaise directly with OEM, thereby relieving you of this administrative burden
Incident Management entails the recording and management of service requests as well as the quick and accurate diagnosis of a reported incident and the determination of the necessary steps to resolution.
The Incident Management process is initiated when you log a service request through our Unified Services Desk (USD). Call management Executive is responsible for the management of the service request in line with Service Level procured.
The complete call management process is as follows:
- You call our Unified Services Desk to log an incident, change request or other request for service and provide as much background information about the request as possible
- A unique service request number is allocated to your request. This number is used for future tracking and follow-up
- We consult with you to determine the impact and urgency of the service request. This results in the allocation of a default priority to the service request
- If required, the details of the service request are routed to Frontier engineers to assist with further diagnosis and to provide technical support
- The Unified Service Desk (USD) agent within the USD is responsible for coordinating the management of the service request and retains ownership of it through to resolution. For example, depending on the services you have procured, the USD will dispatch a spare and/or engineer to the relevant location.
- The USD will escalate the service request to the relevant management and / or technical specialists for resolution, in line with the contracted Service Levels or the parameters dictated by the request type
- When the service request has been resolved, the USD will either close the request - in consultation with you, hand it back to you (if further action is required by you) or highlight it for further action by Frontier (in cases where, for example, a temporary workaround still requires further action.)
- Service requests are closed automatically once agreement is reached that the request has been resolved and assuming that you have provided no feedback to the contrary. This arrangement helps limit unnecessary administrative tasks for both our organizations
Throughout the process, we will keep you updated on the status of the service request.
Single point of contact 24x7
Service requests can be logged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – regardless of the Service Level procured – with USD. The Unified Services Desk remains your single point of contact, regardless of whether we involve other parties (e.g. HP, Cisco,etc) to assist in the resolution of your service request.
Service request prioritization
When logging a service request, you will be asked to specify the urgency and impact of the request. Together, these two values determine the priority of the service request – compared to other service requests logged under the same Service Level.
Telephonic technical support
Technical Support as described in this paragraph is only provided for incident-related service requests, i.e. service requests logged in response to a fault in your supported environment.
Suggested course of action
Based on the information you provide together with information gathered through online diagnostics (if available), our engineers will determine the cause of the incident and recommend a course of action to resolve it.
Levels of technical expertise in Frontier
|Support process||Support staff||Responsibility||Working hours|
|Unified Services Desk (USD)||Service Desk Agents||Call handling and service request management||24 x 7 x 365|
|Level 1 Support||System Engineers – Technical Support||Service request resolution||24 x 7 x 365|
|Level 2 Support||System Engineers – Technical Support||Service request resolution||24 x 7 x 365|
|Level 3 Support||System Engineers – Specialist Support||Incident resolution||24 x 7 x 365|
Escalation entails committing top level resources and focused management to assist with the resolution of service requests.
Where required, Frontier engineers can call upon in-house and external (OEM) specialists to assist in determining a course of action.
Service Level escalation
A Service Level escalation is triggered when a Service Level is either at risk of breach or has already been breached and requires immediate action to prevent further slippage. When a Service Level escalation is triggered, our service management team is called to action through automated email notification.
Configuration of secure remote access to the client environment
Experience has shown that the ability to connect remotely to supported devices and systems can greatly reduce the time it takes to analyze and diagnose incidents. As part of our service, we are able to connect to your environment through an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN), typically over the internet. To protect your environment, we ensure that strict security measures are adhered to.
Frontier has an executive mandate to comply with security good practice guidelines, specifically that of the ISO 27001 standard for implementing an Information Security Management Framework. We also draw from the Information Security Forum Standard of Good Practice and various other guidelines, which enables us to enforce security policies in an effective and consistent manner. In terms of using a VPN and remote connectivity practices, we follow the NIST (US National Institute for Science and Technology) guidelines for securing VPN connections to complement the procedural guidelines we have defined.
The table below highlights some of the security risk management controls we are able to put in place to ensure that your information and systems are not subject to risk through remote connections. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
|Information Security Risk||Mitigation Controls||Measurement|
|Unauthorized changes||Change control
Insecure configuration/changes to remote devices
Training, certification & regular reviews.
|Unauthorized access||Access Control||Audit logs
Automated user provisioning
Segregation of duties
|Vulnerability in VPN setup||Security configuration of VPN||Implemented according to baseline security guidelines|
|Security incident||Incident Management Process||Incident review and improvement.|
We will discuss any specific security needs you have relating to remote connections during contract negotiation and service transition. Your specific security needs could influence the cost detailed at the end of this proposal.
Diagnostics and provision of technical support through secure link
When required and if possible, the actions necessary to diagnose and resolve an incident will be executed utilizing the secure remote connection to your environment.
You are able to choose from a number of Service Levels, according to the requirements of and the criticality associated with your supported environment.
Service Levels are assigned per configuration item. Different groups of configuration items can therefore have different Service Levels associated with them, depending on their criticality to your business.
The full complement of Service Levels available for OEM Solutions under the AMC service is listed below, Price will vary depending on the particular Service Levels, based on your particular needs.
|Business Continuity Level|
|Service Calendar and Commitment||8x5xNBD|
Ship, Replace, Reconfigure and Restore are offered as either a Response or Result commitment
NBD = Next Business Day
- A Service Calendar describes the days of the week and the hours within those days during which the diagnosis and resolution of a service request will be pursued
- 8 x 5 = Incident Management, including telephonic and remote support, will be provided during normal business hours, five days per week, excluding public holidays
- 24 x 7 = Incident Management, including telephonic and remote support, will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week
A commitment is the timeframe within which we will either initiate (in the case of Response commitments) or complete (in the case of Result commitments) the actions required to resolve the incident. Commitments can be procured as either Response or Result-based.
- x NBD = Once the incident has been logged, actions to resolve the Incident will be initiated or completed, in line with the chosen business continuity level, by the end of the next business day
- x 4 = Actions to resolve the incident will be initiated or completed, in line with the chosen business continuity level, within four hours of being logged. If the service calendar is 24 x 7, the four hour timeframe commences immediately after the service request is logged. If the service calendar is 8 x 5, the four hour timeframe applies only to normal business hours within the country where your site is located
- x 2 = Actions to resolve the incident will be initiated or completed, in line with the chosen business continuity level, within two hours of the incident being logged
The 2-hour commitment is not available for all OEMs.
Due to external factors, such as location-specific logistics and OEM support limitations, there are certain situations where the commitment to you cannot be guaranteed. In these cases, the commitment is a targeted timeframe only. It will nevertheless remain Frontier’s objective to meet the commitment. Where applicable, this constraint will be highlighted to you in the pricing section of our proposal.
We cannot accept liability for commitments which are not met for the following reasons:
Delays due to your designated contact not being available to provide information required for the diagnosis or resolution of a service request, or to provide access to specific locations.
Delays due to another contractor (for example a utility company) not being available to provide service within reasonable timeframes.
Commitments are not applicable in instances where the required remedial actions are scheduled for a specific time at your request.
Business Continuity Levels
A business continuity level describes the final action that we are responsible for when resolving an Incident.
With the exception of Remote Support, all business continuity levels can be procured with either a Response or Result commitment.
All business continuity levels and commitments for OEM software require the availability of remote access to the supported environment.
An engineer will provide support through any combination of the following remote means: telephone; e-mail; secure connection to your environment. The commitment indicates the time within which the engineer will have commenced with remote support. Remote Support can also include the provision of access to download a software instance.
Remote Support is prioritized for the first hour following our engineer’s initial response. We will provide support on a reasonable-effort basis if required after this time.
A replacement part or software instance is dispatched to your site. The commitment indicates either the time within which the shipment of the spare to your site will commence from our warehouse (Response commitment) or the time within which it will arrive at your site (Result commitment). It applies to both hardware and software.
Replacements are dispatched, and faulty hardware retrieved, at Frontier’s cost.
The faulty device will be replaced and / or the replacement software installed and restarted. The commitment associated with this business continuity level indicates either the time within which an engineer will arrive on site to commence the replacement/installation (Response commitment) or alternatively the time within which these actions will be completed (Result commitment). Alternatively, where an on-site response is not required and where a secure remote connection has been set up to your environment, the commitment indicates the time within which the engineer will have initiated or completed the replacement remotely.
The actions of an engineer dispatched to your site are specified under the Engineer to Site service element.
If required, we will provide you details of the re-issued license and / or the reactivation details of the replacement device or software instance.
In certain cases, we may replace a faulty device with a functional equivalent rather than an exact spare. This will happen when:
The faulty device is end-of-service, i.e. it is no longer supported by the manufacturer and exact spares are therefore no longer available.
The disruption in your environment can be resolved faster by replacing the device with a functional equivalent..
In the case of the Replace and Reconfigure business continuity levels, we will ensure that the configuration item is appropriately configured, should the back-up configuration not be compliant with the functional equivalent. This business continuity level applies to both hardware and software.
The faulty device will be replaced or the replacement software will be installed, if required. A backup configuration will be loaded, if necessary, and any additional workarounds will be effected in order to restore the functionality associated with the device or software. The commitment indicates either the time within which the engineer will arrive on site to commence the restoration (Response commitment) or the time within which the engineer will have completed all actions required to restore the functionality (Result commitment).
Alternatively, where an onsite response is not required and where a secure remote connection has been set up to the client environment, the commitment indicates the time within which the engineer will have initiated or completed these actions remotely.
In the case of software, the Restore business continuity level can only be procured for the current major version and the immediately preceding major version.
The Restore business continuity level with a Result commitment is not available for all service calendars and commitments.
This business continuity level applies to both hardware and software.
Example: Service Calendar, Commitment and Business Continuity Level
Applicability of Service Levels
Not all AMC service elements described in this service description are governed by the service calendars, commitments and business continuity levels described above. The business continuity levels, calendars and commitments associated with the Service Levels in this section govern the resolution of incidents only. Other service request types (i.e. requests for MACDs and Consultant on Call advice) are governed by commitments and actions described as part of the service element description sections for MACDs and Consultant on Call.
The following service elements are governed by the service calendars, commitments and business continuity levels of the Service Levels discussed in this section:
- Incident Management (as it relates to incidents)
- Parts to Site
- Engineer to Site
- Site Based Services (as it relates to incidents)
The service elements listed below are not governed by the service commitments and business continuity levels of the Service Levels discussed in this section. The service commitments associated with these service elements are covered later in this document, in the description of each specific service element.
- Service Level Management (8 x 5 calendar)
- Moves, Adds, Changes and Deletes (24 x 7 calendar)
- Consultant on Call (8 x 5 calendar)
- Subscription Services (8 x 5 calendar)
Because of the nature of the service elements, service commitments and business continuity levels are not applicable to:
- Parts to Site
- Parts to Site is a logistics service that provides you with replacements for your faulty hardware.
- Deliverables include:
- Parts dispatch
Where Incident Management indicates that the resolution of an incident requires a replacement part, Frontier will dispatch the part to your site in line with the Service Level commitment procured. We will also carry the cost of the faulty part’s return.
Parts to Site is generally tied together (i.e. included automatically) with the Ship, Replace, Reconfigure and Restore business continuity levels when they are procured for hardware.
Return Material Authorization (RMA)
On conclusion of an incident, where replacement hardware has been shipped to a location, Frontier will manage the replacement part return process on your behalf. This service is managed by the Unified Services Desk.
Engineer to Site
If an incident cannot be resolved remotely, the Engineer to Site service element guarantees that an engineer will be dispatched to the site.
Our engineers will always attempt to resolve incidents telephonically or online before going to your site. If a Replace, Reconfigure or Restore business continuity level was procured and should the engineer / technology specialist be unable to resolve the incident remotely, an engineer will be dispatched to the site. The engineer will remain on site until the Incident has been resolved, in line with the service calendar and business continuity level procured.
Responsibilities of our engineer at your site
- Onsite incident diagnostics and resolution.
- Equipment Replacement and Restoration, in line with the contracted business continuity level.
- Updates to designated contacts within your Organisation.
- Regular updates to our Unified Services Desk on the status of the incident and the resolution details.
Governance of engineering actions at your site
When our engineer visits your site, the designated contact person within your Organisation will be informed of the engineer’s arrival.
Additional support (i.e. support not related to the service request for which the engineer was dispatched) cannot be performed without an approved request reference and have to be provided on a time and materials basis.
Our engineers will require access to the location at the agreed time. The Service Level commitment will not apply where access is not provided within a reasonable timeframe.
Our engineers are only required to execute the procured business continuity level during the selected service calendar.
Engineer to Site requires the procurement of either a Replace or Restore business continuity level. However, since software support does not necessarily require Engineer to Site, the converse is not necessarily applicable, i.e. for the support of software, Replace and Restore can be provided without the Engineer to Site service element.
Moves, Adds, Changes and Deletes:
Moves, Adds, Changes and Deletes (MACDs) offers a flexible model for managing and executing the moving, adding, changing and removing of hardware and software configuration items (and configurations) in your environment.
MACDs are administered through a service unit system, where service units are purchased up-front and then used in the execution of the MACDs. The number of service units utilized per MACD is determined by the time taken to perform the task as well as the urgency, hours-of execution and engineering skill required for the task.
The matrix that follows is used to determine the number of service units that are utilized per MACD. The urgency and hours of execution will be agreed with you at the time that you log the service request. The resource level and estimated service unit usage will be communicated to you prior to commencing the requested MACDs.
A minimum of four service units will be used per MACD engagement, regardless of the number of MACDs requested. In cases where MACDs are executed physically at your site, units are also used for the time it takes to travel to and from the site. This is over and above the time it takes for the actual execution of the MACDs.
The price per service unit is specified in the pricing section of our commercial proposal.
All MACDs are considered to be pre-approved, standard changes for which you have already mitigated potential risk. However, we will first consider the potential impact of a MACD service request. If we believe that the execution of the MACD service request could lead to instability in your infrastructure, you will be requested to perform (or engage Frontier to perform on a time-and-material or project basis) precautionary or preliminary work prior to implementation of the relevant MACD service request. Advice on performing such precautionary work can be provided as part of the Consultant on Call service.
All MACD service requests must be logged through the USD. MACD service units can/cannot be carried over from one year to the next.
The difference between MACDs of Normal and High urgency is the timeframe within which the MACDs will commence. These details are shown in the following table.
|Remotely executable tasks||Onsite executable tasks|
|Normal||Commences within 2 business days||Commences within 5 business days|
|High||Commences within 2 business hours||Commences within 2 business days|
Where you request that the MACD engagement be scheduled for a specific time, the timeframe commitments associated with MACDs will no longer apply and the scheduled date/time needs to be beyond the timeframe within which the type of MACD usually commences.
- Ad hoc tasks utilizing pre-paid service units
- The following tasks are indicative of those that can be delivered under the MACD service element:
- Installation of software and software updates
- Installation of peripheral hardware and IP phones
- Configuration of and configuration changes to software and devices
- Decommissioning of hardware and software
- Physical relocation of hardware
- For tasks to qualify as MACDs, it must have the following attributes:
- The tasks relate directly to configuration items supported under the AMC contract
- The tasks are not associated with an incident i.e. the tasks are not required to remedy an unplanned disruption in your IT infrastructure
- The tasks are executable by a OEM-certified engineer
- No scoping or project management is required for the execution of the tasks
- Performance of a single instance of the task should not take more than four hours
- Performance of the complete set of requested tasks should not take one of our appropriately skilled resources more than 16 hours. We will however assign additional resources to the request, based on availability. Engagements that take longer than 16 hours will be pursued as separately-billable professional services engagements
Updating configuration item location
If the execution of a MACD changes the physical location of a configuration item, we will reflect this change on our systems.
Management of service units
Our service management system will manage the service units in real-time as MACD service requests are resolved. Should the service unit balance drop below a certain threshold, a notification will be sent to both the designated representative in your Organisation and our account manager or another designated resource.
Quarterly service unit usage report
We will provide you with a quarterly service unit usage report. The report will list the opening balance, the number of units purchased during the period, the number of units used during the period, the closing balance as well as usage detail (i.e. MACD service request detail).
Consultant on Call:
This service provides specialized telephonic support for non-incident related service requests, such as configuration advice.
Our Unified Services Desk will put you in touch with the relevant engineer in the shortest possible time, but it is important to note that there is no specific Service Level associated with Consultant on Call. Service requests are assigned to engineers as and when they become available. Our Unified Services Desk will ensure that the engineer contacts you at a convenient time.
The engineer providing technical support will be at least a level 2 engineer, i.e. a OEM-certified engineer with more than two years’ experience.
Consultant on Call is administered through a pre-paid service unit system, identical to MACDs, where service units are used based on the time spent on the service request. Therefore, by procuring either the MACD or Consultant on Call service element (and the associated service unit balance), you automatically become entitled to the benefits of both service elements. The time spent on the service request includes time expended on investigations and the formulation of a reply by the engineer, during which the engineer may not be in direct contact with you.
For a request to qualify as a Consultant on Call service request, it should be apparent to our Unified Services Desk at the time the request is logged, that the support required is unlikely to exceed two consecutive hours.
Where MACDs have also been procured, the number of service units subtracted per 15 minutes of support will be identical to that for standard MACDs performed by our level 2 engineer during business hours. Alternatively, the number of service units will be specified separately in the welcome / renewal pack for Consultant on Call.
Telephonic technical support
Technical support can be provided on a variety of subjects related to OEM’s products and in line with the skills of a level 2 engineer. Apart from telephonic advice, the outputs of this service element can also include the creation and dissemination of diagrams and basic reports, in support of the advice provided.
As example, the following requests are typical of those addressed by Consultant on Call:
- “I want to install a new software update to remedy a known security flaw. Please verify that I am installing the correct one.”
- “I am attempting to deploy a virtual server, but continually encounter the following issue…”
- “My server backups are not functioning as intended. How do I troubleshoot the problem?”
- “How do I manage my audit trail logs?”
To provide the ultimate responsiveness to service requests, we can station spares at your premises
- Spares situated at your site
- Procurement of agreed number of initial spares
- Based on the expected incident type and frequency of occurrence (as agreed between Frontier and your Organisation) we will suggest the number of spares per device type that should be kept on site. The sparing requirements will be agreed with you and the spares procured.
- Two ownership models are available for spares kept at your site: they can either be your property or that of Frontier.
Administrative management of spares located on site
Our engineer will keep record of the spares located at your site, and the use thereof, if you so require (i.e. this task may be added to the engineer’s agreed, recurring administrative tasks.
Subscription Services manages the procurement and renewal of client subscriptions to vendor subscription services.
The Subscription Services that can be procured for OEM Solutions are:
Software Application Support
Provides access to the maintenance patches and minor feature releases as well as other application support resources and tools.
Software Application Support plus Upgrades
In addition to the features available under Software Application Support, it provides access to major feature releases.
Services for Intrusion Prevention Systems
Provides access to and notification of signature file updates as well as access to maintenance patches, minor and major feature releases and other support resources and tools.
Support of automated update mechanisms
In the event of faults associated with configuration items that are configured to receive automated updates, you can log a call with our Unified Services Desk and the matter will be attended to in a reasonable-effort timeframe.
The relevant Subscription Services and associated OEM products are detailed in the pricing section of our Commercial proposal.
An Assessment of the OEM Solution will be performed and a report will be provided to you detailing the results of the Assessment, as well as recommended actions that should be performed to improve the environment.
The Assessment will include the following:
Perform rule-based Assessment to determine whether there are rules that are no longer necessary or contradictory to business requirements.
Analyze and categories rules in order to differentiate between risk levels.
Create the rule base from scratch – Internet Protocol (IP ANY) – to identify rules that require attention.
The implementation of remedial actions recommended as a result of this Assessment is excluded from the service element. The implementation of the recommendations can however be performed as part of a separately billable professional service.
CxO - In addition to the general assessment of the OEM Security Solution, we are also able to perform a separate CxO assessment.
This service is a self-scoring, weighted evaluation process to help CxOs and their executive teams quickly assess their company’s overall information security program and corporate governance and to identify specific areas that need improvement. Based on known, consensus best practices, and a wealth of practical experience and expertise from the technology industry, this information security evaluation for CxOs provides the education and guidance executives need to understand and begin exercising corporate information security governance.
A security consultant will visit your premises and guide you, your CSO and/or your IT Manager through the ‘Security Assessment’ questionnaire and will assist you in the scoring process. Since best practices are wide in scope and are not always applicable, depending on your organization’s maturity, size and capability, each is weighted for relevance. This ensures an Assessment that is perfectly tailored for your Organisation, making it meaningful and practical.
Areas covered by the Assessment:
- Risk Management
- Business continuity
- Risk Assessment
- Vulnerability management
- People & Organisation
- Program Administration
Service Level Management
Service Level Management is a service that provides a predetermined number of service management reports, as well as the discussion of these reports with you at service management review meetings.
Service Level Management also provides a standard quarterly service level performance report as well as an avenue through which you can query aspects of the service that are not directly related to specific service requests.
Service Management Reports
Service management reports contain comprehensive information regarding the services delivered to you. In addition, these reports consolidate individual reports associated with other service elements (e.g. the report associated with MACDs).
You can decide on the frequency with which service management reports are generated. This can either be monthly, quarterly, biannually or annually. The suggested frequency is described in the pricing section of our Commercial proposal.
We provide you with service management reports in electronic format.
Service management reports include the following information:
- Summary and detailed service request reporting
- Service Level performance reporting
- Dates of most recent: updated configuration item information provided; Assessment performed (if procured);
- Summary of invoices for last period
- Services renewable in the next 90 days
- Assets that are no longer supported by the vendor (End-of-Service reporting)
- Results of Assessments (if procured)
- MACD / Consultant on Call reporting (if procured)
- License Renewal reporting (if procured)
- Executive summary and recommendations based on information contained in the report
Service Management Reviews
Service management reviews are formal face-to-face or telephonic meetings where we review the most recent service management report with you. We will also present recommendations aimed at further improving the stability and productivity of your supported environment. If required, recommendations presented in the service management review will be implemented as a separately-billable professional services engagement.
Minutes of the meeting will be distributed within one business day. As is the case with the service management report, you can decide on the frequency with which service management reviews take place. This can either be monthly, quarterly, biannually or annually. The suggested frequency is described in the pricing section of th proposal.
General Service Delivery Management
In addition to the two primary deliverables, i.e. service management reporting and reviews, Service Level Management also provides the following to you:
Quarterly Service Level performance report
The quarterly Service Level performance report lists the number of service requests that were logged each quarter. It is summarized according to entitlement, priority and whether the Service Level was met or breached. For service requests where the Service Level was breached, the details of the service request will be reflected, including the reason for the breach.
The report will be provided in electronic format on a quarterly basis to a designated representative in your Organisation.
Service Escalation Management
If a service commitment for a priority one service request is not met, we will notify both you and our designated Service Level Management resource of the breach within one business day. Reasons for the breach will also be supplied to both parties. We will also be the point of contact for any non-service request related queries that you may have regarding the AMC service. However, our Unified Services Desk remains your first point of contact, for all service request-related queries.
We will provide a three-hour familiarization session, for up to five people in your Organisation, on the following topics:
Reports produced by Frontier as part of the AMC service.
The procedure for logging calls with the Unified Services Desk (USD).