Example: Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Desktop Support

This document outlines the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and Customers who pay for and receive one or more of our fee-based, negotiated services.

A service is a means of delivering value to Customers by facilitating business outcomes these Customers want to achieve without having to own the specific costs and risks associated with the service.

The purpose of this agreement is to: 1) clearly represent the capabilities of the service/s; 2) establish a shared set of expectations regarding the operation and support of the service/s; and 3) provide a framework for bidirectional communication regarding overall satisfaction with the service.


The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) assists with technical support of desktop and laptop computers, printers, mobile devices, and related technologies. Support is available for computers and devices that meet the following criteria:

  • The supported equipment is University property, not personally owned.
  • The computer/device is compatible with and running a supported operating system.
  • DoIT technicians have administrative access on the computer.
  • All desktops/laptops will authenticate via NIU’s Active Directory structure.
  • All desktops/laptops have anti-virus and desktop management agents installed, where available, for customer-authorized remote administration, support and virus protection in accordance with customer-defined usage and security requirements.
  • DoIT will re-image a computer when necessary to resolve an incident or complete a service request. The user will be notified prior to the re-imaging and their data will be transferred to the new image if it is recoverable. Data may not be recoverable in cases of severe hard drive failure.

Support is organized around the lifecycle of a supported device and includes:

Plan and Purchase

  • Consult with users and departments on purchases of all devices and software in the scope of this agreement, working with faculty and staff to determine requirements for any specialized or higher-level models or components outside standard hardware and software bundles.
  • Consult with users and departments to determine operating system and application software configurations, including security and access requirements, for University-owned equipment based on user needs and purchase policies.


  • Configure all new computers / devices with a standard set of software including a currently-supported operating system, office productivity applications (including an email client), anti-virus software, and remote administration tools.
  • Install additional software at the user’s request if it is properly licensed. Users may be asked to provide proof of license in addition to installation media or a website from where the non-standard software may be downloaded.
  • Configure computers / devices comply with campus security policies.
  • Transfer data from old computers / devices to replacement computers / devices. Retain the old hard drive and its data for four weeks after the transfer, then securely erase and/or destroy the hard drive.

Support Hardware

  • Certified repair for HP, Dell, Apple regardless of vendor warranty that are ≤ five (5) years old. Repair is limited to replacement of user-serviceable parts provided by the manufacturer or vendor (e.g., hard drives, power supplies, memory, etc.). Non-warranty parts will likely incur additional cost.
  • Support local and networked multi-user printers including setup, driver installation and correcting print-related errors.
  • Printer repair is available via DoIT-managed printer support with Gordon Flesch, Inc. If Customer chooses not to take advantage of this option, then Customer will be responsible for printer repair.

Support Software

  • Install and upgrade software in response to user requests, changes to campus standards or security requirements, or to resolve problems. Software may be installed with remote tools.
  • Assist users with software that is not launching or functioning properly.
  • DoIT does not provide tutorials or training in the use of applications, but will direct users to application help systems, online or specialist resources.
  • Forlicensed software supported by vendors, and approved open source software, DoIT will resolve software installation and functional problems where solutions to those problems are readily available in 4 hours.

Retire / Replace

  • When a computer is replaced, it is removed from the campus computer inventory and not redeployed in a new location. Exceptions may be made if the computer being replaced is less than five years of age. In these cases, the computer may be repurposed to replace an older system.
  • Campus units must contact DoIT for computer disposal. DoIT will securely erase data from storage devices prior to coordinating disposal through campus surplus and e-waste programs.


The scope of this agreement includes all the University-owned software, hardware and infrastructure components used for University business and maintained by DoIT to deliver the complete service

Public DevicesManaged DevicesMobile DevicesPrinters
In-Scope ApplicationsIn-Scope HardwareOut-of-Scope ApplicationsOut-of-Scope Hardware


The cost for support services defined in this Agreement is based upon a per-system cost for the in-scope computers / devices listed above. If Customer’s support needs expand from the in-scope requirements defined in this Agreement, DoIT may require additional funding from Customer to provide consistent quality support.

Customer agrees to assist DoIT with the management and forecasting of incremental growth in computers / devices. If an additional staff FTE becomes a requirement, Customer and DoIT will request new funding for the following fiscal year. If funding is not approved, then Customer agrees that service levels targets may need to be increased to offset the increased workload.

If Customer adds a significant, one-time increase in staffing due to reorganizations or acquisitions, then Customer must provide temporary funding or an FTE from the acquired unit to alleviate the burden on DoIT support. If temporary funding is provided, then Customer and DoIT will requesting new funding for the following fiscal year. If funding is not approved, then Customer agrees to renegotiate the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

DoIT provides different levels of support for computers / devices based on whether one or more of the conditions exist as described below.

AdvancedManagedPublicMobile DevicePrinter
User may have admin rights on the computer with approved business justification OR system contains complex software that requires special management, installation and support OR system has locally attached printer or scanner User does not have admin rights on the computer and the system is managed with a desktop management system (i.e. SCCM or its equivalent) OR all changes (configurations, software/hardware installs, patching, security) made to the system are handled by DoIT Designed for labs and classrooms, support is generally a swap from inventory funded by Customer OR No troubleshooting is performed and a non-working/degraded system is exchanged for one with a new image Set-up and configuration for tablets or cellphones Installing and troubleshooting networked printers and network connections. Support does not include cost of print / printer supplies. Printer repairs will be escalated to an approved vendor.
$600/device/year $400/device/year $240/device/year $240/device/year $0/device/year if printer is managed through NIU vendor agreement with Gordon Flesch


  • DoIT is responsible for professional development, equipment and other non-salary expenses of the support personnel.
  • Customer is responsible for end-user training, hardware, software and warranty costs associated with their staff’s technology needs.
  • All desktop/laptop and server hardware and software will be ordered centrally by DoIT according to defined and agreed-upon standards with Customer. Any independent purchases will be reviewed by DoIT to determine if the hardware or software can be included in this SLA. Customer acknowledges that this hardware or software may not be included in this SLA.
  • DoIT will conduct a semi-annual inventory. If the number of devices and/or applications increase by ≥ 10% over the counts listed above, then DoIT may require additional funding to cover the increased scope according to the cost table below.
  • Desktops/laptops that are out of warranty may still be supported if software patches can be applied. Out-of-warranty systems with a hardware failure must be replaced with a working system. DoIT will notify Customer of any out-of-warranty systems. Customer will have final approval on replacement hardware and associated costs.


to be negotiated with Customer


DoIT will measure and gather metrics for this service on regular intervals and will consolidate the results into reports that are shared with Customer on a regular basis. Such reporting is important for open communication with Customer and will identify areas of improvement, recommend corrective plans, and generally review and align the service with Customer’s business requirements.


This document will be reviewed and amended based upon mutual agreement on an annual basis. This review will include updates to service level targets, effective dates, costs, and other specific items as required. The Service Owner is responsible for scheduling and provided the service performance review with Customer.


An incident is any disruption to the normal operation of a service. Customer should report incidents to the DoIT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or by emailing ServiceDesk@niu.edu. The Service Desk is staffed to respond quickly to customer requests and escalate to the appropriate team to restore normal service as quickly as possible.

DoIT’s standard service level targets apply to services within this agreement, with response and resolution targets based on the priority assigned to the incident.

Escalations are managed by the DoIT Service Desk, which monitors incidents for timelines and service levels. The Service Desk will escalate an incident when it is in jeopardy of exceeding its service level targets for response or resolution time.

Customer may also escalate as needed by contacting the Service Desk or the Service Owner to provide the necessary visibility and management attention to critical incidents.


Customer should report incidents and service disruptions to the DoIT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or by directly entering the information on the Problem Submission Form. The Service Desk is staffed to respond quickly to customer requests and escalate to the appropriate team to restore normal service as quickly as possible.

All service requests are addressed during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm, excluding holidays).


RequestTargetIn ScopeOut of Scope

New software package configuration and installation

2 days

Order new software

Application training

Deploy software to device

Installation on non-NIU owned equipment

Test and validate

New hardware rollout

5 days

Order new equipment according to standards

Hardware and software costs

Configure with standard image

Non-standard hardware or peripherals

Setup network accounts / access

Requesting account IDs or access

Add non-image applications

Setup and test network connectivity

Map network drives / printers

Install standard peripherals

Add non-image applications

Replacement rollout

5 days

Configure new system (new rollout tasks)

Re-deploy system ≤ 5 years old

Copy local data to new system

Reinstall existing peripherals

Wipe/clean hard drive or device

Manage / coordinate decommissioning of old system


1 day

Critical failure, system unusable (no loaner available)

2 days

Critical failure, system unusable (loaner available)

5 days

Re-assign system to new employee

Computer move

10 days

Coordinate voice/data connectivity in new location

Physical move to different building

Disconnect / reconnect and test network connectivity

Troubleshoot / assist with connection issues

Hardware repair

2 days

Coordinate loaner equipment, if available

On-site hardware repair

Troubleshoot and diagnose problem

Non-NIU owned equipment

Order / coordinate replacement parts

Work with vendor, if required

Loaner equipment

4 hours

Delivery of system from loaner pool, if available

Copy of local data to loaner system

Connect critical peripherals

Installation of non-image software

Map critical network drives / printers

Central file management

2 days

Create folder and access structure

Backup / restore local files

Configure daily backups of centrally stored files

Restore corrupt or lost files / data

Asset management


Collect data: hardware, software

Generate report