Support and Maintenance
Operational (forecasting / water management) systems play an important role in operational processes and minimising the personal and material loss induced by events. They should provide a continuous service with generally high availability and reliability. Support and maintenance is therefore an essential component in providing this service. Once the initial implementation project has completed, the Delft-FEWS application will be operational and will potentially start making use of a support and maintenance contract.
Depending on the responsible organisation and the particular requirements for the operational (forecasting / water management) system, the support and maintenance requirements may differ significantly. Deltares offers a range of support and maintenance services related to the Delft-FEWS software. Within a support and maintenance contract a selection can be made of the options listed below. The total costs for a Support and Maintenance contract depends on the selection of the below mentioned services and the complexity and size of the Delft-FEWS application. If you are interested in more information on our support and maintencances services please contact us.
Deltares provides the following services as part of a support and maintenance contract for applications based on Delft-FEWS:
- Access to a helpdesk
- Support hours for different categories of calls
- New annual software releases (including improvements, new features, bug fixes)
- Provision of patches to solve urgent bugs in the software
- Support with the upgrade of your Operational system
- Maintenance of Test System at Deltares
- Management meetings / telephone conferences
- Additional support (training, configuration support, extended support)
The main level of contact within the support and maintenance organisation is the Delft-FEWS helpdesk. The Delft-FEWS helpdesk crew consists of a group of expert configurators and developers of the Delft-FEWS software. The role of the helpdesk is to answer e-mails, register incoming calls, determine the category (priority), perform a first analysis of the problem, monitor progress on the calls and report the solutions to the problems or the answers to the questions back to the clients.
When supporting an operational system it is recognised that not all incoming calls for Support & Maintenance need the same type of response. In the table below, a categorisation of severity of calls is presented. Per call, the classification of the call will be decided upon mutual agreement.
|Category||Type of call||Description||Priority|
|1||Critical fault call||Due to an error in the system, no forecasts can be generated at all. System is down.||High|
|2||Severe fault call||The users are unable to undertake their core business efficiently but are able to work around the problem.||Medium|
|3||Fault call||A fault is noted having no impact on core business. A workaround is available.||Standard|
|4||Support request||A request is made for assistance in running or configuring the system.||Standard|
For each of the above described categories a response and resolution time is agreed. For each of the listed categories of calls a certain amount of time is defined to administrate, analyse and resolve the problem. Together with the client an estimation is made of the amount of calls to be expected for each category. This estimation determines the total amount of support hours to be used by the client.
Deltares provides a new stable version of the Delft-FEWS software two times per year. One of the services Deltares delivers as part of a support and maintenance contract is a new version of the Delft-FEWS software. Every client has the right to obtain one new version of the Delft-FEWS software each year. It is possible to choose between the "Spring Release" (available in June) or the "Autumn Release" (available in November). A new version of the Delft-FEWS software contains new functionality implemented based on your own requirements or introduced by other clients. It also contains fixes for bugs reported by all clients using previous versions of the Delft-FEWS software. An optional service that Deltares can deliver is support with the upgrade of your operational system. This service consists of an intake (discuss specific needs), the upgrade of your operational system and related components, post upgrade support and documentation of the upgraded components. The upgrade is performed by a team of ICT-experts on the Delft-FEWS software.
In order to resolve problems reported by a client, Deltares can provide patches. Patches are provided by Deltares with a certain frequency to be agreed with the client. The frequency with which (and the amount of) patches are being delivered is related to the agreed resolution times for some of the support level categories. A client can also decide not to make use of patches at all and wait with bugfixes to the next annual release.
As part of the support and maintenance services it is possible to make use of a Test system at Deltares. This Test system is then used to test the new Delft-FEWS release on a copy of the operational client-server system of the client before being hand over to the client. The test system is also used to reproduce problems reported by the client and to test patches before beign hand over to the client. In case a client does not make use of a Test system at Deltares the tests are being carried out on a Stand Alone application.
An optional service is to have additional regular meetings or telephone conferences with the client to discuss the level of the service, the issues reported by the client, the outstanding issues, future releases, etc. The frequency of these meetings is open for discussion.
It is also possible to extend a support and maintenance contract with some additional reoccuring elements like yearly trainings or a certain amount of configuration support.