Information Technology Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Deskside Support

This document is an addendum to the Stern Information Technology Service Level Agreement Master Agreement which clearly spells out the statement and intent and agreement terms for all Stern IT Service Level Agreements including this one.


I    Supported Services                

II     Service Limitations and Exclusions        

III    Non-Performance                 

IV    Service Assurance               

V    Costs                      

VI    Approvals                    

  1. Supported Services

The Stern Deskside Support Team provides desk-side hardware and software support for Stern Faculty, Staff and Administrators during the hours of 9:00 -5:00 PM, Monday-Friday (excl. University holidays). Stern IT provides support only for hardware and software acquired through NYU Stern and used for Stern Business purposes. Deskside support can be requested through the Stern IT Helpdesk ( or 212-998-0180). For information on support of student laptops, please see ‘Student Laptop Support’ SLA for details.  

Service Description

This SLA describes the Desktop Support Team’s commitment to provide the following services:

  • Setup, configuration and deployment of Stern Computers, laptops, netbooks and supported peripheral devices. This includes:

  • Creating, maintaining and deploying software images onto new PCs/Macs to meet with clients requested specifications (where possible)

  • Upgrading existing Operating System (OS) to Windows 10/8.1, provided that the hardware is Windows 10/8.1 compatible. All upgrade requests are subject to review and approval by the Desktop Support Team.

  • Upgrading existing Mac Operating System (OSX), provided that the client supplies the OS disk/license (there is no volume licensing for Mac OS) and that the hardware is compatible. All upgrade requests are subject to review and approval by the Deskside Support Team.

  • Re-imaging old computers where necessary to client specifications (where possible)

  • Hardware problems (for supported hardware)

  • Software problems (for supported software)

  • Network connectivity problems (elevating issues to the appropriate network team where needed)

  • Removal of viruses/spyware/malware from infected computers and re-imaging/rebuilding those which cannot be cleaned

  • Removing compromised computers from use, investigating and performing remediation on them per NYU security regulations (elevating issues to the ITS security team where needed).

  • Configuring supported hand-held devices for access to Stern email, calendar and contacts (where possible).

  • Arranging the ordering and installation of replacement Dell PC/laptop/netbook parts where needed (provided the computer is covered by a valid Dell warranty)

  • Providing a work-around or alternative solution where possible when a resolution is not possible.

  • Assisting in the move of IT equipment for individual client relocation within Stern. For multi-user moves please contact FCM ( and Stern IT will assist with disconnection / reconnection.

This SLA does not cover the following services:

  • Student Laptops. For advice on student laptop support please do the following:

  • Computer Disposal/Asset Management. For advice on this support please contact the Helpdesk via:

  • Computer Relocation. For computer move requests, please contact the Facilities Helpdesk via:

  • Phone: 212-998-1001

Service Level Objective

Target response: This refers to the time it will take for the Deskside Support Team to make first contact with the client upon receipt of ticket from the Helpdesk.

Target resolution time: This refers to the time that we estimate it will take to resolve the problem/incident.

Both the target response and resolution times are dependent upon conditions listed under ‘Other Limitations’ found in section ‘II. Service Limitations and Exclusions’ of this document.

These targeted response and resolution times are in ‘Business hours’ and assume a 9:00 – 5:00 pm working day counts as 8 hours.



Target Response Time (business hours)

Target Resolution Time (business hours)

  1. Critical

A problem that affects the entire Stern community or a large group of users; serious threat to security.

1 Hour

80% resolved in 1 hour or alternative solution provided

100% resolved in 2 hours

  1. High

A significant problem affecting one or more users with no alternative work around.

2 Hours

80% resolved in 4 hours

100% in 8 hours

  1. Medium

A disruption in service for a single Client with an available workaround or reduced quality of service.

8 Hours

90% resolved in 3 business days

100% resolved in 5 business days

  1. Low

Minor/non urgent request – A service request where the client stipulates that there is no urgency.

8 Hours

90% resolved in 5 business days

100% resolved in 8 business days

Service Availability

Academic Year Hours (Spring & Fall Semesters)

  • Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Summer Session Hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hardware Support: All supported hardware assumes that the hardware was purchased through Stern for business use. It also assumes that it is on the list of ‘supported hardware’, located at:

Hardware support is categorized into three areas as follows:

Full Support is the highest level of support provided by the Deskside Support Team, and is reserved for technology that adheres to the recommended guidelines developed by Stern ( The Deskside Support Team will maintain in-depth knowledge of this technology and all efforts will be made to provide full recovery. Stern IT commits to resolving the issue or providing escalation to the appropriate parties for further troubleshooting within a time frame that will cause minimal impact to the Client.

Partial Support is assigned to hardware that fall outside of the Stern guidelines but are used commonly at Stern. Such hardware may be useful to fewer clients than is the case for fully supported hardware, and there is less need for integrating them into Stern’s overall computing environment.  The Deskside Support team will make best efforts to stay informed of such technologies. Stern IT may be familiar with this equipment but do not strive to obtain in-depth knowledge about it. Consultants may be able to answer questions, suggest strategies for resolving problems, or suggest other sources of assistance, for example user groups, expert users, and bulletin board services. Stern IT is not responsible for any hardware replacements or for contacting the manufacturer to obtain these replacements.  Stern IT assigns partial support based on an assessment of client needs and IT resources.  Stern IT gives lower priority to providing assistance for these situations than to providing assistance for fully supported hardware.

Unsupported Services are defined by hardware and software not in the first two categories. Stern IT will maintain little to no expertise for this category, but will attempt to find a resource for the Client (e.g. Vendor or Manufacturer) and recommend the necessary upgrades or services. Stern IT does not support client personal hardware or devices such as a home computer or home network, nor will we offer support when we suspect that an issue has been caused by unsupported 3rd party hardware.  Stern IT does not commit to resolving these issues.

Software support: Supported software is listed on the supported hardware and software SLA here Software support is categorized into four key areas as follows:

Full Support. Installation, configuration, updating, licensing (where appropriate) and in-depth troubleshooting.

Partial Support. Installation, configuration, updating and basic troubleshooting. Deskside support will provide limited assistance for help using the applications but are not however responsible for training clients or for providing in-depth assistance with application functions.

Installation Only Support. Installation of work-related applications provided that the client produces the media and a valid license key. No post-install configuration will be done for an application of this type.

Unsupported (No Support). Software applications not covered under the full, limited or installation only support options will not be supported. Stern IT will not offer support when we suspect that an issue has been caused by unsupported 3rd party software applications. Stern IT may offer alternative help for clients should they request assistance.

Client Responsibilities

  • Required to adhere to the ‘Policy on Responsible Use of NYU Computers & Data’ found at

  • Maintain professional conduct.

  • Maintain, within reason, a clean keyboard and mouse if they require hands-on assistance from Stern IT.

  • To ensure their operating system is configured for (US) English/English language. Operating systems or applications configured for foreign languages will not be supported.

  • Clients should not re-partition their computers or configure their systems with dual/multiple-boot options. Clients who do this are doing so at their own risk and will not be supported by Stern IT.

  • Clients must agree to have their Deskside PC attached to the Stern network domain for use on-site. They must also agree to have Symantec Antivirus software installed prior to being attached to the network.

  • When requiring technical assistance, Stern clients must contact the Stern IT Help Desk in the first instance and not a member of the Deskside Support Team directly. They should also contact the Help Desk in person, and not through an assistant or colleague.

  • Required to go through the troubleshooting process with the Stern IT Help Desk before the problem can be elevated to the Deskside Support Team. This may include allowing the Helpdesk Technician to gain remote access of your computer.

  • Provide a thorough and detailed account of the problem/service request they are seeking help for.

  • Clients should not refuse assistance from the Helpdesk, especially in instances of security / virus issues.

  • Clients are responsible for reading and responding to email communications regarding their ticket/incident in a timely manner within 3 days. After 3 days of attempted contact and no response from client, the ticket will be closed by Stern IT.

  • Clients are responsible for responding to other forms of contact (voicemail etc.) regarding their ticket/incident within 3 days. After 3 days of attempted contact and no response from client, the ticket will be closed by Stern IT.

  • Clients should not insist on an immediate desk-side presence. Incidents are prioritized as described in the Service Level Objective section above. This ensures that Stern IT staff focus on the most urgent problems first and that all issues will be dealt with on a timely basis.

  • Clients should only report an issue/create a ticket when they are actually available to be assisted by Stern IT. Clients should not create tickets for personal assistance if they are not going to be available or if they are unable to relinquish their device for evaluation and repair at the time of incident creation.

  • Client should be the primary contact point for any Helpdesk ticket in their name. Stern IT will not deal with friends/spouses/partners of the client or any other third parties.

  • Consenting to allow a technician full and complete access to their equipment, and for the technician to temporarily remove the equipment for further troubleshooting if deemed necessary. The Deskside Support team may require holding onto the computer for up to 8 business hours (it may be longer for hardware failure/replacements or for issues that are particularly difficult to resolve).

  • When necessary, clients who request a rebuild/repair of a computer should sign and date a copy of the Data Release Form. This form is available from the Stern IT Help Desk.

  • Responsible for the backup of their own data. Stern IT is not responsible for backing up data, or for any data lost during a backup. This includes the backup all data necessary to transfer to a new computer when appropriate (this includes email, personal documents, favorites etc).

  • Provide installation media and valid license keys when required

  • Responsible for dropping off any portable devices requiring maintenance (laptops, iPads, Smartphones etc) at the Helpdesk. Clients should provide all relevant passwords/unlock codes and cables / peripherals needed for the Desktop team to carry out the necessary work.

  • Provide an appropriate power adapter for any laptop checked in for maintenance.

  • Responsible for collecting their portable devices (laptops, iPads, Smartphones etc) from the Helpdesk upon completion (successful or otherwise) of the maintenance required.

  • Responsible for making sure that any handheld/smartphone device requiring maintenance has all of the necessary services (data plan etc) functioning when they hand it in to the Helpdesk. The Deskside Support Team is not responsible for contacting service providers or resolving service issues on behalf of a client.

  • Responsible for installing unsupported software and peripherals

  • Responsible for attending any necessary training

  • Consulting the Helpdesk or Deskside Support Team prior to purchasing any new hardware or software. Some hardware or software may not be supported by the Deskside Support Team.

  • Good Citizenship Feedback -- The Service Recipient will provide the service provider with satisfaction feedback at the conclusion of each service rendered. This will be done via an email survey, sent to the client upon resolution of a ticket.  Feedback information will be used to evaluate and manage service continuity.

How to Access the Service

Service requests for desktop support have to be made via the Stern IT Help Desk. This can be done via:

When reporting an incident, the client will be expected to work with the Helpdesk Analyst to troubleshoot the problem. Clients must do this before the call can be elevated to the desktop team. Once the Help Desk has confirmed that the request is a Deskside Support Team issue:

  • The Help Desk will create an incident report for the client. Each ticket has a unique incident number that they will be given (via email). The ticket will be assigned to the Deskside Support Team.

  • A technician from the Deskside Support Team will be assigned the ticket and will prioritize accordingly. They will then contact the client to make service arrangements. All communication with the client (with the exception of email-related issues) will be done via email so that it's recorded in the incident log for future reference.


For a Glossary of terms referenced in this and all Stern IT SLA’s, please refer to the Stern IT ‘Glossary’ of Terms located here:

Support Hardware and Software:

For a current list of Hardware and Software supported by the Stern IT Deskside Support team, please reference section II of the ‘Stern IT Supported Hardware and Software’:

  1. Service Limitations and Exclusions

Other Limitations

The Deskside Support Team cannot guarantee service levels when faced with circumstances beyond our control.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Natural or man-made disasters

  • Un-inhabitable work area (chemical/sewage smells, gas leaks etc)

  • Fire alarms

  • Electrical outages or disruptions

  • Building construction

  • Equipment failure related to abuse

  • Staffing Levels caused by illness, weather issues etc


  • Support for hardware/software not covered in this agreement. Clients seeking assistance for unsupported hardware/software can contact the NYU Bookstores computer store for help. They can be contacted through:

In some cases the client may have to contact the manufacturer of the hardware/software for assistance to resolve a particular problem.

  • Liaising with customer support on behalf of clients using non-Dell hardware. It is the client’s responsibility to call in and/or arrange the repair of any hardware issues they have to their non-Dell support (e.g. Sony, IBM, Apple etc).

  • Liaising with any third party on behalf of a client. Stern IT will not enter into communications with non-Stern parties when it comes to providing support for a client computer.

  • Backup of clients’ personal data. This is the sole responsibility of the client. Clients seeking assistance for backing up data should contact the NYU Bookstores computer store (see above for contact information).

  • Operating System (OS) “downgrades”. The Deskside Support team will not remove a newer OS from a client computer in order to install an older OS version.

  • Off-campus visits. Stern IT will not visit any off-campus location for a client. Clients’ looking for ‘at home support’ should refer to local listings to see the choices available to them.

  • Off-campus remote support. The deskside support team will not use Remote tools (e.g. Bomgar) to troubleshoot issues for users at home or off-site.

  • Off-Stern pickups or drop-offs. The deskside support team will not be responsible for picking up or dropping off hardware to anywhere outside of the local Stern site (KMEC, SHIMKIN and TISCH buildings).

  • Printer Support beyond the standard troubleshooting and installation of replacement toners, maintenance kits and paper. Departments should contact CNS directly for printer issues that we are unable to support/resolve.

  • Wireless PrintingOur wireless network does not support wireless printing

  • Routers/Network Switches. The desktop support team will not allow, support or configure any routers/network switches provided by a client.

  • Data Recovery. The Deskside Support team is not responsible for retrieving client data that has been lost/corrupted as a result of hardware failure, client misuse etc.

  • Remote Deskside Support. The Deskside support team is not responsible for setting up or troubleshooting issues with Remote Deskside Connections. They will only provide initial setup instructions upon request.

  • Liaising with clients ‘unofficial support’. The Deskside Support Team will not recognize, nor be expected to work/co-operate with any unofficial technical support that clients may have (e.g. a colleague, grad student etc)  

  • Hard drive partitioning. We do not partition hard drives nor will we support any computer where the hard drive has been partitioned without approval from Stern IT. When we re-image such computers it will be with a standard Stern image (1 partition).

  • Support for dual/multi-boot systems. We do not support computers that have been partitioned with multiple operating systems regardless of hardware and OS’s involved.

  • Support for internet based application use such as chat programs (Yahoo/MSN messenger, Skype etc). Clients can get support for these applications by using the Help feature available in the program or on the website they are using.

  • Support for systems where third party software has been deemed to cause issues that we are unable to address.

  • Supply of replacement Hardware. We do not supply clients with any new/replacement hardware (keyboard, mouse, memory, cables etc). Clients looking  for new hardware should do so by:

  • Purchasing the equipment through their department

  • Buying directly from the vendor of their choice

  1. Non-Performance

The successful implementation of this agreement depends upon all owner parties’ full execution of responsibilities detailed in the document. This section lays out what constitutes non-performance and its consequences.

Service Provider


  • Failure by deskside support to meet the Service Level agreement

  • Providing a service to an unsatisfactory standard


In the case of two months of non-performance in a row, the Deskside Support Manager will analyze the cause of failure and present a plan of corrective action to the upper-level management to bring the shortcomings of the service back in-line with our desired goals.



  • Client not adhering to ‘Client responsibilities’ as stated in this SLA

  • Problems caused by unsupported hardware/software

  • Repeat offenders (clients who have had their computer compromised multiple times)

  • Using software (peer-to-peer etc) for illegal ends

  • Using unauthorized networking equipment (hubs, wireless routers, servers, etc…)

  • Failure to back up personal data

  • Exaggerating the severity of an issue when reporting the issue to the Helpdesk (queue jumpers)

  • Reporting an issue and then not allowing/being available for Stern IT to assist

  • Client being verbally or physically abusive to Helpdesk/Deskside Staff

  • Client unresponsive to repeated contact attempts (email etc)


Denial of service to client, or escalation to management level for review

  1. Service Assurance

The Director of Client Services may be contacted via telephone or e-mail during regular business hours to address any problems or concerns related to the service provided.

Stern IT will provide a standard set of reports to measure performance against this Service Level Agreement as follows:

Report name

Reporting interval

Delivery method

Responsible party

Service Requests Resolved in time



Desktop Support Manager

Service Requests Resolved out of time



Desktop Support Manager

  1. Costs

These costs are for client reference only and are included here to provide an estimate of the cost involved in the tasks that the Deskside Support Team carries out. Clients however will not be charged.

Labor Only – Parts would be additional charge

Installation/Upgrade services


Memory Installation per computer


Installation of Video Card/CD-Rom/2nd hard Drive/CD-RW/DVD


Installation of Hard drive in external closure


Remedial Hardware Services (Parts cost additional)


Diagnostic Troubleshooting

$75 (per incident)

Hard Drive Replacement – OS Installed


Hard drive replacement -  OS installed with all updates and installation of Antivirus and Anti-Spyware


Hard Drive Replacement – OS Installed with data transfer (hard drive to hard drive)


Desktop Repair (CD/DVD/Power supply/system board/Video/Sound)


Laptop Repair (Display/Power Supply/system board)


Laptop Repair (Hard disk/keyboard/optical drive/battery/AC adapter)


Laptop & Desktop Repair (Modem/Network) – includes software and setup


Software Services (Parts cost additional if required)


Virus/spyware/malware removal by Clean Install


Data Transfer from one Hard Drive to another


Data Transfer from Hard Drive to CD (650MB)


Data Transfer from Hard Drive to DVD (4.7GB)

   ~ Each Additional CD (650MB) or DVD (4.7GB)



  1. Approvals

Stern IT






Stern Administration