The primary tool for not just getting things done, but getting them done in priority order and a timely manner, is our JTrac issue tracking system. If you do not already have access, please email us a request. It is important to use the "Priority" field on tickets to set the priority of an issue. We will generally attend to the highest priority issues first.
You can also send emails directly to support at firstname.lastname@example.org to report issues. However, if you enter an initial ticket into JTrac as well (and send the link in your email), that will speed things up, leaving more time for us to do technical work on your systems. Hence, using the ticket system (except emergencies - see below) will help utilise your valuable hours more effectively.
Phone calls are the best method to report emergencies. For other issues, phone calls should only be pre-arranged and used to discuss issues in more detail than can be provided by the ticket system. Because we have several clients, and each client deserves our undivided attention when we’re working on their projects, this method allows us to focus fully on the task at hand. The only exception is when the issue is an emergency, such as a system down or completely inoperable, or JTrac is not accessible.
It gives us great pleasure to work for our varied and wonderful clients. If you have an existing maintenance or prepaid contract, then our time is yours. Below are some guidelines on how to get the most out of your support arrangements.
It is up to you to decide how to use your allocated hours. In our experience, the best way for clients to get the most out of their time is to have a single contact to liaise with us for support. This streamlines all requests and prevents overlap, or conflicting actions being requested.
Do you need pay-as-you-go or pre-paid work?
There are two types of paid work to chose from — pay-as-you-go and pre-paid.
Pay-as-you-go support can be useful if your support needs each quarter are minor or sporadic. However, as well as being a slightly higher cost, priority is always given to our pre-paid clients. Pre-paid agreements help us with capacity planning, ensuring that we can maximise our commitment to our regular clients.
Pre-paid support is paid in advance each quarter and reserves an average number of hours per week for you. To be eligible for the pre-paid discount, you must purchase at least twenty hours at a time.
Timeliness — what does "in a timely manner" mean?
With pre-paid hours, timeliness is assured within reasonable limits. We work with the idea that pre-paid hours are a 'locked-in' average number of hours per week and we will as far as is humanly possible perform your requested tasks at that rate, occasionally doing more in weeks where you have urgent tasks and less if all tasks are low priority and another customer has emergencies. If you keep presenting tasks, then we will use all of the hours in that quarter.
What happens to unused pre-paid hours?
Your pre-paid hours will expire at the end of the quarter.
That is, generally, pre-paid hours do not roll over into the next quarter. There would only be unused pre-paid hours if there were no tasks requiring our action, or if you left it too late in the quarter to perform those tasks in a timely manner.
We will however roll hours over if it is our fault that the hours were not used. An example of this may be close to the end of the quarter, where another client has an emergency and you have only low priority tasks remaining. In this case we may assist our client requiring urgent assistance, calculate the hours not fully used by you, and roll them over if there is insufficient time to complete them before the end of the quarter. This is a rare occurrence.
NEW: Pre-pay at any time
As of July 1, 2014, you can now purchase pre-paid hours at any time during a quarter, subject to our availability. The minimum purchase remains at twenty hours, and these also expire at the end of the quarter.