Current Service Level Agreement (SLA)

© 2021 Net Friends, Inc.

Service Level Agreement

1. Initiating Support Service

Net Friends shall accept only the following methods of contact for support service ticketing and resolution according to the terms of this SLA:

  1. Telephone call to a published Net Friends office phone number
  2. Telephone call to a number assigned to the Net Friends Support Center
  3. Email to from an email address already associated with a User in the Net Friends ticketing system
  4. Automated notification received from a Technology Platform by a Net Friends centralized event management system

2. Creating Tickets from Automated Notifications

Net Friends is continually updating and optimizing procedures for processing automated notifications; these procedures are not part of the SLA and constitute proprietary information. Notification processing falls under the following broad categories:

  1. Non-actionable
    Notifications that do not constitute an actionable problem are filtered out of the review process automatically but are archived for possible forensic use.
  2. Backup notifications
    Notifications categorized as backup-related are watched by Net Friends staff to determine whether they self-resolve within a defined time window (1-5 business days depending on the known criticality of the backup source data); errors that fail to resolve are manually transferred to the Net Friends ticketing system within one business day and prioritized as Important.
  3. Known Critical
    Customers may inform Net Friends that a particular Technology Platform is "Known Critical" (KC) if the continuous operation of that platform is critical to their business. All KC Platforms must be associated, in Net Friends documentation, with an Emergency Contact telephone number at the Customer. Automated notifications from KC Platforms will be prioritized as Critical, unless they are automatically filtered into categories (1) or (2) above. A Support Center expert will call this number to request approval to investigate within 30 minutes of receiving each Critical notification. If a person fails to answer at the number when called, or if in the course of the investigation the person fails to respond promptly when contacted, the notification will be transferred to the Net Friends ticketing system and prioritized as Important.
  4. All other
    Notifications that do not fall under the above categories are reviewed within one business day and, if deemed actionable, manually transferred to the Net Friends ticketing system and prioritized as Medium.

3. Prioritization

Net Friends shall manage responses to events and service requests using a ticketing system. The priority of a request shall be determined by Net Friends. All requests submitted by email are prioritized as Medium. For requests submitted by phone, prioritization guidelines are defined below:

Priority Problem Type
Critical Business-critical work stoppage
Important Work stoppage in non-critical system, sub-par performance in critical system, or scheduling constraint
Medium Default priority
Low Minimal impact, or rapid resolution impractical

4. Response Windows

The time at which a ticket, in the context of the Net Friends ticketing system, is created, either by automated or manual processes, is the time at which the response window begins. Net Friends shall respond to tickets according to the time windows below:

Priority Initial Response Subsequent Response Target for Resolution
Critical Within 30 minutes Every 1 hour 4 hours
Important Within 2 business hours Every 4 business hours 2 business days
Medium Within 8 business hours Daily 5 business days
Low Within 2 business days Weekly 10 business days

Initial Response is when a Net Friends IT Expert will attempt to contact the individual who opened the ticket or who is identified as an appropriate Customer contact for the ticket.

Subsequent Responses is the frequency with which the Customer contact is updated on the status of the ticket.

Target for Resolution is the point by which:

  • the problem is resolved,
  • the problem is determined to be unresolvable (e.g., hardware failure, severe data loss), or
  • continuous effort will be applied until a conclusion is reached.

*The schedule for Subsequent Responses and Target for Resolution may be adjusted for individual tickets by mutual agreement of the Customer and Net Friends.

If Net Friends standard operating procedures require that work on a particular ticket be placed on hold in anticipation of a response from (a) a User, (b) a vendor, or (c) a Net Friends employee possessing expertise in a particular Line-of-Business Platform required to resolve the ticket, this delay in response will not be counted toward the response windows described above. If a response is needed from a User, Net Friends will make up to three contact attempts, over a minimum of three and a maximum of seven days. One contact attempt is defined as calling the User's last known phone number and sending a message to the User's last known email address on the same day. If three contact attempts occur, during the time window allotted, and during that time no response is received from the User by Net Friends, then Net Friends will close the ticket. The User will receive an automated email notifying them that the ticket has been closed. Closure of such tickets without resolution will not be deemed a violation of this SLA.

5. Hours of Operation

Net Friends maintains the following office hours:
Monday through Friday, from 08:30 to 17:30 Eastern Time

Offices are closed after-hours and on the following US holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Customers experiencing a Critical-priority support issue after normal business hours may call a published Net Friends office number and choose the option to leave an emergency message. Support personnel will be notified immediately, and the Customer will receive a response within 30 minutes of placing the message.

6. Escalation

Net Friends may, at its discretion, escalate ticket priority levels upon request by the Customer. For tickets associated with a known email address, a confirmation email is sent to the sending address when the ticket is created that includes an option for the sender to request priority escalation. Customers may also call a published Net Friends office number to request escalation of an existing ticket. If a ticket's priority is escalated, the response window will reset; no ticket will be deemed to have exceeded its SLA window if the window is retroactively shortened by escalation.

1. Terminology

1.1 General Terminology

In this Section 1, the terms "configuration," "service," "user," and "workaround" have the meanings assigned to them in the ITIL 4 framework.Nothing in this Service Level Agreement (SLA) requires Net Friends to use any particular professional services automation (PSA) software platform, terminology, or ticket workflow in its actual operations. Net Friends may meet its obligations under this SLA by any reasonable method.

1.2 Defined Terms

In this SLA, the following definitions apply:

"Active Status" means the status assigned to a Ticket when it is in one of the following states:

  1. New, meaning the Ticket has just been created in Net Friends's PSA platform;
  2. Updated, meaning a prior Inactive Status has been removed due to action by one of the parties or a vendor; or
  3. Off-Hold, meaning a prior Inactive Status has been removed due to the expiration of a delay timer set by Net Friends.

"After Hours" means all the time not defined as Office Hours.

"Critical Priority" means the priority assigned to a Ticket characterized by an interruption of access to a configuration with significant business impact, requiring an immediate coordinated resolution.

"Customer Call" means a good-faith attempt by Net Friends to send information regarding an Active Status Ticket to a user using a contact method previously approved by the Customer for that user.

"Important Priority" means the priority assigned to a Ticket representing:

  1. an interruption of access to a configuration with low or moderate business impact;
  2. a degradation of service in a configuration with significant business impact; or
  3. a Normal Priority Incident or Service Request that a party expects to escalate to either (a) or (b) above before its targeted Resolution time shown in Section 2.2.

"Inactive Status" means the status assigned to a Ticket when it is in one of the following states:

  1. Resolved, meaning that no further service action is needed or the configuration has returned to normal service;
  2. Hold, meaning that the next action in the Response workflow cannot be taken until a designated future time;
  3. Known Error, meaning that Net Friends has completed a Customer Call to all affected users, communicating a reasonable workaround;
  4. Order in Progress, meaning that the Customer has approved an order through Net Friends procurement services and Net Friends expects to set the Ticket to Resolved in the future;
  5. With Vendor, meaning that Net Friends (a) has substantially communicated the nature of the Ticket to the vendor of one or more affected configuration items and (b) is waiting on a vendor action that is required for further Response; or
  6. With Customer, meaning that Net Friends has completed a Customer Call to one or more users describing a Customer action that is required for further Response.

"Incident" means an interruption of access to, or degradation of service in, a Customer configuration.

"Response" means the time when Net Friends starts or restarts work on a Ticket after it has been assigned Active Status in Net Friends's PSA platform.

"Normal Priority" means the priority assigned to a Ticket that meets neither the criteria for Important nor Critical Priority assignment.

"Office Hours" means weekdays between 0830 and 1730, Eastern Standard/Daylight time, except for the Federal Holiday Observation Dates designated as New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

"Resolution" means the time when Net Friends assigns a Ticket to Inactive Status.

"Service Request" means a request from a user, or a user’s authorized representative, for Net Friends to initiate a service action that NetFriends considers a normal part of service delivery.

"Ticket" means the record, in Net Friends's PSA platform, of a valid Service Request or Incident created by or for the Customer under a current Statement of Work.

2. Service Levels

2.1 Ticket Handling

Net Friends shall handle Tickets according to the standards defined in this SLA. Net Friends shall ensure that every Ticket is appropriately and promptly assigned Active or Inactive Status, and/or Normal, Important, or Critical Priority, upon (a) a reasonable analysis of the information available in the Ticket and/or (b) the occurrence of any relevant action requiring a change of status or priority.

2.2 Office Hours

During Office Hours, Net Friends shall meet the following standards for handling of Active Status Tickets, measured from the time the Ticket was most recently assigned Active Status:

Ticket Type Response Within
Normal Priority 8 business hours
Important Priority 2 business hours
Critical Priority 30 minutes

2.3 After Hours

During After Hours, Net Friends shall provide the Customer with a Response to any Active Status Critical Priority Ticket within 30 minutes, measured from the time the Ticket was most recently assigned Active Status, and shall provide a Resolution to such Tickets within 4 hours. NetFriends is not required to meet any Response or Resolution standard for Normal or Important Priority Tickets during After Hours.

3. Creating Tickets

3.1 Office Hours Contact Methods

To initiate a Service Request or Incident, or to communicate with Net Friends regarding any Ticket, the Customer must use a published Net Friends contact method or a phone number provided by Net Friends to the Customer for this purpose. This phone number, if provided, is deemed Confidential Information under the Net Friends Master Service Agreement.

During Office Hours, Net Friends shall use reasonable efforts to promptly record any valid Service Request or Incident as a Ticket. To be valid, aService Request or Incident must be covered by a current SOW between Net Friends and the Customer. Subject to Section 3.2, any Service Requestor Incident received during After Hours will be recorded as a Ticket by Net Friends at the beginning of the next Office Hours period.

3.2 After Hours Contact Methods

Upon request, Net Friends shall provide a method to the Customer for the purpose of initiating Incident reports during After Hours. This method, if provided, is deemed Confidential Information under the Net Friends Master Service Agreement. Within 10 minutes of a Customer user reporting anIncident After Hours via this method, if provided, Net Friends shall complete a Customer Call with the user confirming that an Active StatusCritical Priority Ticket has been created.

4. Auditing

Net Friends shall provide an audit of the handling of one or more Tickets to the Customer upon receipt of a valid request. Net Friends shall include relevant Customer Call logs and timestamps in this audit, but is not required to include work notes or internal communications. Net Friends shall use reasonable efforts to provide this audit within 5 business days of receiving the request. To be valid, an audit request must be (a) submitted through one of the contact methods described in Section 3.1; (b) authored or authorized by a Customer administrative contact; and (c) specific and detailed enough to permit Net Friends to identify the Tickets in question.

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