4.3 Technical support policies and process

1. Objectives

  • Provide timely technical support to applicants, reviewers, ProgramAdmins, and other users of the futureDecide™ / ERDP / BAI platform
  • Enable clients and stakeholders to monitor resolution of technical issues, to ensure followup, transparent, and efficiency in communications
  • Based on tracking technical support enquiries, identify actions that can be taken to:
    • Clarify user instructions
    • Fix reported bugs
    • Improve content design
    • Enhance system design and performance
    • Identify potential priorities for future enhancements

2. General policies and procedures

  • All technical support enquiries should be directed by email to support@benchmarkaction.com.  Technical support requests should not be sent directly to the personal email addresses of futureInnovate / ProGrid / BAI associates, since this by-passes the technical support processes described below
  • All email received at support@benchmarkaction.com is automatically imported into the BAI Online Support Database and generates a technical support “ticket” or “task”.  At least one BAI representative is paged by email whenever a technical support ticket is generated, based in part on the subject line of the email
  • support@benchmarkaction.com should not be copied on any email that is not a technical support request
  • Users emailing the support address will receive an automated response (Note: we are in the process of updating the support templates to support English and French)
  • BAI will assign each request to a specific support associate as soon as practicable.  Requests that are beyond the scope of technical support will be referred to the appropriate client representative.
  • The performance standard is that under normal circumstances, all technical support requests should receive an initial response before the end of the next business day following receipt.  In most cases, the response will be sooner.  Technical support business hours are normally 8AM through 5PM Eastern Time, not including weekends and statutory holidays.  BAI will provide extended support outside of normal business hours within 48 hours of a competition closing.  Timely responses to support requests cannot be guaranteed in the last hour of a competition.
  • Technical support requests are categorized and handled as follows:
    • All technical support requests are initially categorized as Tier 1.  Tier 1 requests can be handled by any member of the BAI team and in many cases are handled by client staff.  Issues that can be resolved at the Tier 1 level typically relate to compliance with instructions.  Our experience to date indicates that at least 80%-90% of support issues are resolved by encouraging users to carry out a closer review of the online instructions provided
    • Issues that cannot be resolved at a Tier 1 level are escalated to Tier 2.  Tier 2 issues typically relate to user-specific data and may be resolved by a database correction
    • Issues that cannot be resolved at Tier 2 are escalated to Tier 3.  Tier 3 issues typically are code bugs or system issues that require high-level technical knowledge to resolve.  All complex software inevitably has bugs: the ERDP™+ team’s commitment is to fix them as quickly as possible when they come to light.
  • Technical support requests will normally be responded to in the language in which they were composed (English or French).  Except in unusual circumstances where phone communication is required to resolve an issue, technical support will be provided via email
  • In order to ensure followup and transparency in how technical support requests are handled, we offer clients and stakeholders access to an account on our online support database.  Using this account, clients and stakeholders can:
    • View all technical support tickets generated for a service
    • Determine the status of all tickets: e.g., Open, Waiting for Response, Closed, etc.
    • View the trail of correspondence to specific Tickets and how they were resolved
  • Clients or stakeholders provided such access must agree to respect BAI’s standard terms and conditions relating to privacy and security of user data, as well as the terms and conditions related to intellectual property rights
  • Information in the BenchmarkAction Online Support Database is proprietary to BAI.  It must not be printed or exported in any manner without explicit written permission from BAI