Rifle-Shot Service and Enhancement Programme

Over the past twenty years the Global Village has been experiencing business and infrastructure change at exponential rates with diverse impact on every entity and every being, with the only prospect being one of accelerating change. From a business perspective, this means that it is no longer possible to implement a system and expect it to continue delivering consistent value over its lifetime without enhancement.

Change means that each and every system will require continuous updating over its lifetime merely to keep up with the change in its external environment, let alone to enhance the value it delivers.

While a step change in business value generation is generally expected during the implementation phase, there is seldom much thought given to future development where-in most of the value is generated.

Rifle-Shot’s Service and Enhancement Phase is a process of applying incremental change over the lifetime of the system, thereby improving the system fit to your business and enhancing your competitive advantage through a process of supporting Continuous Improvement (CI).

Systemic thinkers will recognise the parallels with the Small Wins processes and the benefits of low risk improvements to their systems.

Account and Project Review Meetings

Project and Account review meetings are held bi-annually to enable interchange and the health of the system and the usage to be monitored and addressed pro-actively.

Change Advisory Board

In a multi-site implementation where a standard blueprint for the system has been applied, it is usual for a Change Advisory Board to be in place. This can be advisable on single site implementations too.

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) is the ultimate authority regarding the functionality of the system. It takes strategic decisions which impact on the entire software life cycle, and during the implementation phase may provide direction to the steering committee and the project team when necessary. The CAB will also review user requests for amended or new functionality and authorise its submission to the authors, and/or to the user group for review and possible inclusion into future product versions where this is not possible in the current product.

The CAB typically meets every three months, and the board comprises members from the business, Information Management, Rifle-Shot, and the Project leaders. Rifle-Shot may also request the inclusion of the product authors from time to time where necessary for specific discussions.

User Group

cdcSoftware have active International User Groups which meet at least annually to share knowledge gained, discuss new possibilities, understand the new and proposed developments and help guide future developments.

It is common in our larger customers with multiple sites, to establish an internal user group to ensure continuous improvement of the system and knowledge sharing. Rifle-Shot and/or the vendor’s consultants attend and provide / take input.

Remote VPN access to servers

Experience has shown the value of being able to remotely access servers to undertake fault tracing, configuration changes, installation of updates and fixes. There are clear benefits in improving the speed of response to call outs and obviating travelling costs in most instances.

QA Environment

Experience and best practice have shown us that any form of update to any live system should be preceded by installation on a test environment followed by rigorous testing. This process is time consuming, but is key to maintaining reliability and uptime on your business’s critical information. It therefore forms a standard part of our methodology such that all patches, bug fixes or updates of whatever nature, are tested on the QA Environment that is set up during the implementation phase, and tested extensively before being applied to the live environment

We strongly recommend that all automatic update facilities offered by operating systems, databases and browsers be switched off, and that they are deployed in a controlled manner following thorough testing in the QA Environment.

Version Updates

Customers whose annual licence fee payments (Software Maintenance) are up-to-date, are provided with version update software free of charge during the lifetime of their agreement and major version updates are released approximately on an 18 month cycle with minor version updates released approximately every 6 months. Allowance is made in the Service and Enhancement Plan for the installation and testing of new versions of the software.

In case the authors release a version that includes major system or technology changes that would require significant project time beyond these two weeks allocated, Rifle-Shot will request budget for an upgrade project against the quotes that we will provide. In the past the major change in the technology base from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 required such a mini project.

Bug fixes and Hot fixes

Bug fixes and hot fixes are provided to customers by the authors free of charge for customers with up-to-date Software Maintenance to correct any issues that may become apparent and provide for minor enhancements.

The SEP programme proposed caters for select installation if necessary. Most customers prefer to wait for a version update before installing any bug or hot-fixes unless they are experiencing a specific problem addressed by the same.

Helpdesk

Rifle-Shot consultants are available during normal working hours to respond to provide for first line requests for assistance or in the case of an issue which can be logged directly (by phone, email or on the web), for our consultants to resolve. The user receives a tracking number and report on the status of each. We can provide extended support hours by request under special quotation, as either a regular service or for special events requiring high availability such as year-end or peak season.

If a fault requires urgent attention outside hours contracted with Rifle-Shot, then a nominated user may report the issue into a cdcSoftware rolling support centre 24 x 5 for logging and tracking. Again 24 x 7 support can be quoted upon if required. The Rifle-Shot consultant will be contacted if the issue is urgent and high priority, or they will pick-up the issue at their next log-in.

The fault logging system allows for the categorisation of issues according severity e.g. P1 major system failure immediate attention required, P2… etc. and for escalation should the relevant response timeframes be breached.

Second and Third lines of support are provided by the author to the Rifle-Shot consultants.

Training

Training given during the implementation process provides users with the practices necessary for carrying out their daily activities. We have found, however, that follow-up training and advanced training is often of benefit as the users’ knowledge of the product expands. This is an indicator too, of true ownership of the system starting to take place.

  • Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings is certified to provide all training required.
  • The client is responsible for the provision of suitable computer equipment and meals and refreshments, as well as travel if required
  • The number of delegates is limited to 8 per training session.
  • Cancellation within one full working day, the full charge, including the delegate fee, will apply.
  • Cancellation within two full working days, half the charge, including the delegate fee, will apply.

Hardware and Network Support

It is expected that the customer is responsible for their own SLA support for the hardware and networks through their current SLA provider/s.

Technical Support

Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings provides a normal working hours telephonic support service, which allows existing clients to contact us regarding any technical or functional problems they may be experiencing with the software.

Should a higher level of support be required for a limited period, e.g. during a major shut down where 24 hour support is deemed necessary, Rifle-Shot will be happy to quote to provide such additional service.

Where a problem is reported and Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings is not able to resolve this through configuration or known fixes from the Knowledge Base, then Rifle-Shot will log a level 3 support track with the developers providing the Software Maintenance is up to date.

This request can be in two forms:

SMR – System Modification Request. This is a request to add or amend the functionality of the software to address a particular requirement of the client. Such a request will then be assessed for inclusion in future software releases.

TRF – Technical Request Form. This is a request to investigate and fix a problem uncovered in the software that is deemed a ‘bug’.

In any dealing, which the client may have with Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, there will be a constant monitoring of the issue, with regular contacts with the client in order to keep them informed and reviewed at our Project and Account review meetings.

R-S BAG (Business Alignment & Growth) ™

R-S BAGTM is a series of custom interventions designed to move the usage of the tools from being software applied to the business as a project to being an integral part of the normal operations, and to one which provides transformational benefits for the entire enterprise through embedding and supporting the improved processes.

See the R-S BAGTM fact sheet for further detail.

It is usual for customer to involve some degree of R-S BAGTM in their service level agreement (SLA) with us.