IT Shared ServicesSLA ProgramService Level Agreement (SLA) Frequently Asked Questions(As of: December 12, 2010)Question#QUESTIONANSWERGENERAL QUESTIONSG1What is the purpose of a Service LevelAgreement (SLA)?A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a customer anda provider of services. In this case, IT services provided by CIO/OFT as anIT Shared Services provider to state agencies and other governmentalentities who are the customers. It provides an opportunity to foster a closerworking relationship between the customer and the provider. Expectationsfor services rendered, how they will be delivered and at what costs providean open and transparent environment. It fosters smarter consumers andholds the provider accountability for delivering services as prescribed.G2What information is contained in a ServiceLevel Agreement?A Service Level Agreement typically has the following information containedin each agreement: A description of the services provided to the customer; A description of the performance service levels used by the provider todemonstrate the quality of customer service; Service level performance targets which are benchmarked againstindustry best practices; Roles and responsibilities of CIO/OFT; Roles and responsibilities of the Customer; Rates for services provided and billing process; Dispute resolution process; The process for communicating with CIO/OFT; and The SLA renewal process.Page 1 of 17

Question#QUESTIONANSWERG3Why is CIO/OFT implementing an SLAProgram now?As an IT Shared Services provider, CIO/OFT needed a solid SLA program inplace to address the many concerns raised by agencies in the past. Thisneed was highlighted in the Enterprise IT Shared Services Charter executedby the Governor‟s Office of Taxpayer Accountability (OTA) and CIO/OFT.The Charter outlines the requirement to implement an SLA Program inconjunction with the expansion of the IT Shared Services Model. For moredetails about the Charter, go to the CIO/OFT website is it the SLA different from the Termsof Service (TOS) currently used byCIO/OFT?There are significant differences between the two documents. The new SLAProgram focuses on customer service, specific service level performancetargets, a clear description of roles and responsibilities for both theCustomer Agency and CIO/OFT, a well-defined set of performancemeasurements and a clear understanding of the services and rates for eachservice.The former Terms of Service program did not clearly define roles andresponsibilities, service descriptions, service level targets, billing disputeprocess or a clear explanation of rates for each service. The agencies wereconfused about services and the rates association with each service.G5When will the SLA be distributed to theagency and what is the deadline forsigning the SLA?CIO/OFT will email a personalized copy of the SLA document to eachcustomer agency no later than September 30, 2010. CIO/OFT‟s assignedCustomer Relationship Manager (CRM) will contact the agency‟s SLAdesignee to work on a final SLA document. Once all items have beenworked out and agreed to by all parties, the agency CIO or other designeeand the CIO/OFT representative will sign the SLA no later than December10, 2010.Page 2 of 17

Question#QUESTIONANSWERG6Who will be contacting the agency aboutthe SLA?Each agency will receive a memo from Dr. Melodie Mayberry Stewart,State CIO and Director of OFT in mid-September. Your agency will becontacted no later than September 22 by a CIO/OFT Customer RelationsManager (CRM). The CRM will set up a meeting to discuss the SLA and willwork with the agency until a final SLA is signed no later than December 10,2010.G7How often will the Service LevelAgreements be reviewed and renewed?Service Level Agreements will be reviewed and renewed every two yearsby representatives of CIO/OFT and the Customer Agency. This biennialprocess is designed to ensure the agreement represents the current IT needsof the agency and to solicit feedback on the quality of services offered byCIO/OFT. In addition, the SLA may be reviewed at any time when there isa modification to add new services provided by CIO/OFT or for disputepurposes. Either party can request a review of the SLA as business needsmay change within the two-year period.G8What is the process for reviewing the SLA?The agency‟s assigned CRM and the Agency‟s SLA Representative willschedule biennial service quality review meetings. The CRM and therepresentative will review the adequacy of the services provided under theagreement, discuss the status of outstanding issues to address, and identifynew issues or new opportunities.G9The SLA documents have many unfamiliarterms. How can I find the meanings of theterms used in the SLA?CIO/OFT has provided a detailed SLA Glossary located on the SLA homepage at Please let CIO/OFT know if thereare other terms to add to the Glossary.Page 3 of 17

Question#QUESTIONANSWERG10What are the responsibilities of theCustomer Agency and the responsibilitiesof CIO/OFT?The responsibilities of the Customer Agency will differ based on the typeand quantity of services purchased from CIO/OFT. CIO/OFT‟s SLAprogram is designed to tailor the SLA agreement to address the type andquantity of services purchased. However, there is a standard set of rolesand responsibility by both parties which are explained in the standard SLAtemplate which is posted on the CIO/OFT website. General roles andresponsibilities are included in the main SLA document under each service.More information on specific responsibilities can be found in the section ofthe SLA document that describes the service detail. In addition, CIO/OFThas developed a separate detailed service description document for eachservice and these documents can be found at the SLA website.G11What should an agency or locality do ifthey are interested in becoming a CIO/OFTcustomer?CIO/OFT always welcomes new customers. To become an IT SharedServices customer of CIO/OFT, please contact CIO/OFT Customer RelationsManagers at 1-866-789-4638 or 518-402-2537. A CRM will contact youand work on a plan designed to meet your needs. To find out what CRMhas been assigned to your agency, please to .G12What is the process for an agency todiscontinue a service provided byCIO/OFT?If an agency has to discontinue an IT Shared Service offered by CIO/OFT,the agency must send a written notice as soon as possible but no later than60 days from date of expiration of the SLA. The notice should ideally besent prior to the annual release of the rates to avoid a substantial adverseimpact on other customer agencies who share the cost to provide this service.Please be aware, if an agency’s portion is greater than 5% of the total ITShared Service cost, a written notification of intent to terminate must beprovided no less than six months prior to the expected termination date. Theagency‟s written notice of termination should be sent to the attention of theDeputy CIO of IT Customer Relationship Management Services at CIO/OFT.Page 4 of 17

Question#QUESTIONANSWERG13Does the SLA document contain aconfidentiality agreement?Yes. The Data Security section of the SLA document defines theconfidentiality provisions.G14What is an IT Strategic Cluster?IT Strategic Clusters help agencies focus on the delivery of cost-efficient andintegrated IT services by eliminating unnecessary and costly duplication of ITinvestments. An IT Strategic Cluster is a coalition of IT resources, knowledgeand experiences, formed to meet related business challenges, goals andservices of State agencies and constituents. Seven clusters have beenidentified, and each will have a Cluster leader, specific goals andperformance measurements to ensure accountability and transparency. Thisinformation will be added to the FAQ's and posted on the web site.G15Some of the posted metrics do notaccurately reflect the actual time tocompletion.Some processes require work from several business units. The metrics, asreported, pertain to the work within the business unit being reported on.CIO/OFT continues to refine our metrics and streamline processes betweenbusiness units to better represent completion of tasks.Page 5 of 17

IT SERVICES QUESTIONSI1What services are covered in the SLAdocument provided by CIO/OFT?All IT Shared Services offered by CIO/OFT are eligible for inclusion in theSLA. Each service is described in detailed service descriptions in a separatedocument. However, the current major services provided include thefollowing: Customer Care Center Operations (24x7x365 Help Desk Support) NYS Directory Services (Our Enterprise LDAP Services) Empire 2.0 Web Services (Web Development, Content Management) Data Center Operations (Mainframe, Servers, Storage, DisasterRecovery) NYSeMail (Enterprise Email System) Customer Networking Solutions (Desktop Support) NYeNet Services (State Data Networks) Technology Academy (IT Training – Classroom and Online DistancedLearning) Telecommunications and CAPNET (Telephony Services)I2What can I find more information about aparticular service?Each CIO/OFT IT Shared Service has a corresponding detail document tofully explain the service, the roles and responsibilities for both CIO/OFT andthe customer, how the service is supported, how billing information isgathered, the resources available to help the agency and how to contactCIO/OFT. Also, more information is available on the SLA website.CIO/OFT welcomes all feedback. Please let Customer Relations know if youneed more information or have suggestions to help us keep the documentrelevant.Page 6 of 17

I3Who can I contact if I have questions abouta new service?CIO/OFT is pleased to be your IT service provider and welcome theopportunity to provide additional IT services to meet the needs of youragency. To request a new service from CIO/OFT, please contact youragency‟s designated CRM. The name of your CRM can be found CIO/OFT will workwith you to determine your agency‟s IT needs, conduct feasibility analysis,your service requirements , and will provide you with an estimated costbased on your desired services.I4What is the Change Control Board?CIO/OFT is committed to provide excellent customer service with minimalimpact to ongoing operations for an agency or the customers of otheragencies. To ensure an effective program, a governance group wascreated to fulfill this function – The Change Control Board. The purpose ofthe Change Control Board is to exchange information regarding anyphysical or logical changes that may affect the status of any network,computer system, or application that CIO/OFT is responsible for or hosting.It is very important that any changes to the IT environment are clearlyunderstood and the customer expectations are managed to minimizeoperations. This collaborative process is designed to mitigate those risksand ensure changes are successful.I5When does the Change Control Boardmeet?The Change Control Board meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00amat the 40 North Pearl Street facility. The meeting concludes when all itemsare covered adequately and normally ends at 9:30. Call-in attendance isavailable via conference bridge, but lines are limited and intended for thosein other buildings.I6Who can attend the Change Control BoardMeeting?The meeting is open to all CIO/OFT staff and staff of Customer Agencies.Change owners or their representatives must attend each meeting. Pleasesend an email to OFT Change Board if you wish to participate.Page 7 of 17

I7Does CIO/OFT have a Video Conferencingservice?Currently CIO/OFT is in the process of piloting this service with severalagencies. CIO/OFT will work with any agency to make them a part of thispilot so that they can provide video conferencing to their agency. Pleasecontact your CRM for information. Presently there is no established rate ormetric for Video Conferencing.I8Is CIO/OFT considering offering VOIPservices?CIO/OFT is in the process of upgrading our infrastructure to accommodate aVOIP offering. If you are interested in this service please contact your CRMIT SUPPORT QUESTIONSS1Is there a single point of contact forCIO/OFT’s 24x7 help desk support?The Customer Care Center (CCC) is the single point of contact for “one-stop”services from CIO/OFT. The CCC also provides support. The CCC can bereached at 1-866-789-4638 or 518-402-2537 24x7ix365. The CCCnever closes!S2Who do I contact if I need to reset mypassword?NYS Directory Service provides features to allow users to reset their ownpassword. Also, your agency representative or the Customer Care Centercan assist with password resets.S3Is there a charge to reset a password fromthe Customer Care Center?Yes. If a user calls the Customer Care Center to reset a password, theagency will be charged the Security Service rate, which is the lowest cost.This rate and description is described on the website and in the SLA.S4How is a severity level determined whenan issue is reported?The severity level is determined by gauging the impact and urgency of theissue as described by the customer or CIO/OFT technical staff. The level isdetermined by the CCC agent with input from the customer, and can beescalated to an agent‟s manager by the customer upon request. Problemresolvers, designed IT staff, often work with the customer to jointly identifythe root cause and verify the operation is working after the issue has beenfixed. Additional information regarding severity levels is also available inthe Customer Care Center Detail Service Guide located .Page 8 of 17

S5Is there a charge to report an issue relatedto the CIO/OFT infrastructure?No, there is no charge. Customers are not charged for calls that areproblems with the CIO/OFT infrastructure and beyond the control of theagency.S6Who are the severity and outagenotifications sent to?Notifications regarding severity or outages are sent to the customersimpacted by the relevant issue using the customer agency-manageddistribution list. The Customer Agency determines who should be notifiedand CIO/OFT will ensure all appropriate individuals are notified within thestated timeframes.S7How are critical issues handled that require CIO/OFT will work to meet service availability target levels as defined inlong term planning and scheduling?the SLA document. However, from time to time there are unplanned andunscheduled critical issues which arise and must be addressed as efficientlyand as expeditiously as possible. Critical issues, such as Severity -1incidents, are closely tracked within CIO/OFT to ensure services are restoredas soon as possible. Staffs with the critical expertise in various technicalskills are quickly mobilized to focus, diagnose, analyze and resolve thecritical issue(s). Long term planning and coordination of follow-up supportand changes are facilitated by CIO/OFT and involves all necessary supportteams with the required technical expertise.S8How is Resolving Level 1 and Level 2production problems within 3 hours ofreporting the incident 97% of the timemeasured? (Many incidents enter FaultIsolation and aren’t truly resolved – arethey considered “resolved”).The resolved time is measured by the “return to service”. Yes, fault isolationwould be measured as returned to service.S9Will CIO/OFT post network designspecifications and requirements fordevelopers; as well as a list of supportedproducts and their life cycles?Posting specific information regarding CIO/OFT networks would be asecurity risk. In accordance with our policies, information can be provided toAgencies when writing RFI/RFP documents and when entering applicationdevelopment contracts. Please contact your CRM for assistance.Page 9 of 17

S10Must the customer always be using themost current version of a Microsoftproduct? Does CIO/OFT post supportlevels of products being used anddecommissioned?Customers do not need to be using the most current version of a Microsoftproduct; however they must be using versions supported by CIO/OFT.Current versions of products used and decommission plans are available viarequest. Please contact your CRM for assistance.AD HOC REPORT QUESTIONSA1Can I request reports on the services Ireceive?Yes. One of the main components of the CIO/OFT SLA Program is toprovide more transparency and provide our customers with more informationon an ad hoc basis. Your CRM will be happy to provide you with reportshelpful to your agency and to assist with your IT planning. However, thenumber and contents of all possible reports possible for all services can beoverwhelming. We ask that you work your CRM to discuss your specificreporting needs and what you may want on a regular schedule. Manyreports can be created with the present tools in the standard format. Ifadditional work is requested to customize a report, an hourly rate to do thecustomization may apply.A2Currently I can get mainframe availabilityreports. How can I get more detailedreports, such as those on CICS & MQseries, DB2, OPC and IBM CM?The capability for customers to generate more detailed availability reportsis available for IBM mainframe customers through the use of SAS/MXGreports. Sample scripts have been provided to all customers to developreports reflecting specific agency needs. Contact your CRM if you needmore information on this feature.Page 10 of 17

RATE QUESTIONSR1What are the general guidelines CIO/OFTuses to set the annual rates?CIO/OFT is required to follow specific rate guidelines to determine theannual rates. In addition, we strictly adhere to the following principles toguide the CIO/OFT rate setting process and are:Rates will be fair and equitable for all customers;Rates will be reasonable for comparable services;Rates will be understandable and clearly communicated tocustomers;We will continuously pursue and implement strategies to reduce costsand lower rates to our customers;Federal cost recovery requirements will be strictly complied with toensure state agencies can maximize cost recovery for CIO/OFTservices;Reconciliation will be used to ensure revenues generated from rateswill fully recover the cost of providing a service, but not result inover-collection of revenue; andCIO/OFT will pursue all avenues to minimize any major fluctuationsin rates.R2How are rates determined?CIO/OFT determines its rates using the following formula:Estimated Cost of ProvidingService /Annual Rate Per ReconciliationBillable UnitEstimated Volume ofBillable UnitsPage 11 of 17

R3How do you make changes to the rates?Setting rates is a balance between cost and desired functionality.Periodically, CIO/OFT reviews rates to determine if changes in the ratemethodology are needed. This may involve subdividing a service intocomponents so customers can pick which parts of the service they want andonly pay a rate for their selected components. This may result in offeringmore options, such as providing tiered levels of service and support withvarying rates based on the level desired.If a major change in rates or rate methodology is proposed for an existingIT shared service, CIO/OFT will meet with customers to review the proposedchanges and gather customer feedback. CIO/OFT will then work with theDivision of the Budget before proceeding with a change.R4How does CIO/OFT estimate demand for aservice?CIO/OFT estimates demand for a service by reviewing the actual annualusage from the previous year as a starting point. CIO/OFT then considersthe impact on service usage from planned projects, annual agencysubmissions of the Annual Technology Plans (ATPs), customer discussions, andother external sources. CIO/OFT may also request customers provideinformation on estimated major changes in annual usage for major servicesrequested. Predicting future demand projections is always a challenge.However, CIO/OFT will use all avenues, and data sources to ensure therates are equitable, competitive and compliant with the rate principles andguidelines.Page 12 of 17

R5How is the cost of providing a servicecalculated? How can an agency accuratelycompare the agency’s cost of providing theservice as compared to the CIO/OFT cost?CIO/OFT has defined a consistent reliable process to accurately and fairlycapture all estimated costs related to providing a specific service. CIO/OFTmust take into account direct and indirect cost to provide a reasonable rate.The expenses considered to develop may include the following elements:Hardware – Purchase (depreciation) and maintenanceSoftware – Licensing purchases and maintenancePersonnel – Staffing and associated fringe benefitsOther - Supplies, utilities, office space, administrative overheadNote: If a customer agency would like to accurately compare the cost ofproviding a service internally versus using an IT Shared Service, it is importantto do an “apples to apples” comparison and calculation. Calculationspreadsheets CIO/OFT uses to capture costs for setting new rates areavailable upon request. Contact your CRM if you need more information toperform an accurate “apples to apples” cost comparison for a particularservice.Page 13 of 17

R6When will I know the rates for theupcoming year? When will I be billed?What is the typical cycle of fiscal events?CIO/OFT, during the annual cycle of the rate setting, will follow this typicaltimetable but keep in mind the dates may vary based on passage of thestate budget:1. Spring: CIO/OFT gathers estimated usage and expenses for eachservice.2. June: CIO/OFT completes reconciliation computations for prior fiscalyear.3. Summer/Fall: Once the state budget passes, CIO/OFT provides draftrates to the Division of Budget (DOB) for review based on estimatedrevenue and expenses.4. Winter/Spring: Revisions to the draft rates occur. Budget examinersreview rates and the impact on each agency‟s budget allocation.CIO/OFT makes final adjustments based on DOB review and rates arefinalized and announced to the agencies.*Note: Ideally final rates should be issued at the beginning of the fiscalyear (April 1). The timeframe above reflects what has typically occurreddue to the current state budget process, not the preferred timeframe.R7What is CIO/OFT’s billing process?CIO/OFT will bill customers monthly for IT Shared Services provided byCIO/OFT. Payment is due within 45 days of receipt of the bill. Once DOBhas approved the new rates, agencies are notified by letter and billingcommences.R8What is the process for handling a problemor a dispute with the bill?Your SLA document will describe the Dispute Resolution process. Essentially,customers must notify the Deputy CIO of IT Customer RelationshipManagement Services, in writing, of the disputed billing amount and thereason for the dispute within 30 days of the dated invoice. Any amountsdisputed in good faith, may be deducted from the invoice, as long as thewritten notice has been sent to CIO/OFT. The remaining undisputed amountmust be paid by the original due date. Within 30 days after final resolutionof the disputed charges, all resolved disputed amounts must be paid by thecustomer or credit will be provided in the next monthly billing.Page 14 of 17

R9How do you track costs so the agency isnot paying for another service? What is anInternal Service Fund?Agencies are billed for services based on actual consumption of the service.All revenues from the use of a service are deposited into an Internal ServiceFund (ISF). Expenses related to providing a service are paid out of the ISF.If multiple services share a single ISF, the revenue and expense for eachservice is tracked separately.R10How do you ensure an agency does notoverpay or underpay? What is thereconciliation process and how can anagency impact it?Technology changes rapidly. During the course of an entire year, events canoccur impacting the rate calculation. For example, actual expenses may belower or higher than originally estimated, changing the actual cost ofproviding the service. Customers may use more or less of a service thanwhat they estimated, causing variation from the estimated billable units andtotal revenue received.After the fiscal year ends, actual revenues from billable units andexpenditures associated with providing the services are computed. Theover/under amount or „reconciliation‟ is either charged or refunded in therates the year following the calculation. Thus, the reconciliation actuallyoccurs two years later. CIO/OFT strives to limit reconciliations as much aspossible.Note: It is critical for customers to inform CIO/OFT of anticipated majorchanges in their service usage as early as possible to limit reconciliation and itsfinancial impact on other customer agencies. Please keep your CRM updatedon this issue frequently if changes in usage are anticipated.R11What happens if a billing disputepresented to CIO/OFT is not resolved?If the normal process for resolving billing disputes does not lead to aresolution within 30 days after the agency‟s written dispute notification, thedispute will be referred to the Division of Budget whose decision will befinal and binding. If the decision is in favor of CIO/OFT, the customer willbe expected to pay the outstanding invoice within 30 days of the final DOBdecision.Page 15 of 17

R12Are the rates detailed for all services?Yes. CIO/OFT has provided rates for all of the current IT Shared Servicesoffered by CIO/OFT in Appendix B of the SLA document. You can view therates for each service on the CIO/OFT Additional information about the rates isavailable in other questions of this SLA FAQ document.R12Is CIO/OFT allowed to discontinue aservice for non-payment?Yes. CIO/OFT may elect to terminate services if an invoice remainsoutstanding for 180 days or more. However, it is not CIO/OFT‟s intention touse this method and it is used as a last resort. We encourage state agenciesto pay for services rendered which are not in dispute on a timely basis.R13Can the Service Level Agreement includepenalties for various reasons?While a penalty paid out of profits may work in the private sector, thefinancial model in the public sector is different. All costs still need to berecovered for services funded by an Internal Service Fund. IT sharedservices cannot make a profit or loss on an annual basis. If penalties wereenacted, it would not reduce the total cost as there is no profit margin;expenses and revenues need to be equivalent each fiscal year for a service.R14Where is information regarding cost andconsolidation of services?Please refer to the Charter for Enterprise Information Technology SharedServices between the Office of Taxpayer Accountability and CIO/OFTissued by the Director of State Operations.Page 16 of 17

SERVICE LEVEL PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT QUESTIONSM1How will CIO/OFT measure service levelperformance?Each month, measures for each service will be collected and publicly postedon the CIO/OFT website at In addition, graphs areposted to demonstrate performance trends over time.M2Can a customer agency requestperformance service level targets abovethe SLA performance targets for aparticular service?CIO/OFT is committed to providing service levels which are above theindustry average and aspires to reach “world class status” within affordableconstraints for all services. The SLA provides standard measures forstandard IT shared services. These performance level measurements andtarget levels were developed with the assistance of industry experts andagency input. If an agency has a need for a higher level of service than thetarget level and is willing to pay for that higher level of service, pleasecontact your assigned CRM. The CRM will estimate the cost for additionalresources to raise a service level and the customer can decide if theadditional investment is justified.M3Will the NYSeMail response time bemeasured?We currently measure NYSeMail availability. For the past year it was at98% on an annual basis. Measuring actual response time for a userinvolves a combination of both CIO/OFT and customer provided servicesincluding email, networks and desktop responsiveness. The tools wecurrently use do not provide that level of monitoring. As systems, softwareand new versions of existing tools become available, CIO/OFT will evaluatewhat additional performance measures can be added to the performancedashboard.Page 17 of 17

The agency‟s assigned CRM and the Agency‟s SLA Representative will schedule biennial service quality review meetings. The CRM and the representative will review the adequacy of the services provided under the agreement, discuss the status of outstanding issues to