FAQs for Field Services

1.   Who or what is covered by the service?

Support charges are based on people.  We will support all of a subscriber’s UCSF-owned desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.  Each device is tied to its primary user, who must be enrolled in the service to receive support.

There are two levels of service:

  • Basic for $59 per FTE per month
  • Premium for $98 per FTE per month
  • Hourly support for work not covered as part of our service offerings, or for non-subscribed customers is $82 per hour billed in 15 minute increments.

Billing follows payroll for customer convenience. 

2.    What does basic service cover?

Please refer to the Basic service description: /services/basic-support

3.    What does premium service cover?

Please refer to the Premium service description: /services/premium-support

4.   What is the fee for a device conversion to ITFS support?

ITFS charges a one-time support standardization fee of $150 to move a device to an ITFS-supportable configuration. This fee covers:

  1. Reimaging, reformatting, and remediating (e.g., encrypting) devices to put them on a UCSF standard platform, or
  2. Setting up and deploying UCSF standard hardware replacements (provided by the customer) for unsupportable devices.

This is a one-time fee for each device we standardize. Once IT Field Services verifies that all devices are within supportability criteria the fee will no longer apply for new device setups going forward. We can also support your departmental IT staff in bringing your devices to UCSF standards by giving them access to UCSF images, checklists, and QA documents. ITFS will validate your results.

5.    Who is expected to use this service?

In general, we expect all UCSF faculty and staff to start using this service after January 2013 and before December 2014. Departments can decide when, during that time period, they prefer to join. Postdocs and students are automatically excluded unless their department decides to pay for them to receive service.

All eligible faculty and staff will be automatically enrolled beginning January 2015.

Please refer to the policy on Exemption from IT Field Services.

6.    Can anyone opt out of this service?

Please refer to the policy on Exemption from IT Field Services.

7.    How will billing be done?

  • For payroll employees, ITFS billing will follow the model of the network recharge, so that staff are charged according to their payroll distributions. This also means that a 60% employee pays 60% of the monthly service fee. 
  • If a department opts to enroll an affiliate (contractor, volunteer, or other non-payroll appointment), the department must specify a funding source (up to two sources may be specified), and the monthly charges will assume an appointment of 100%.

8.    What is hourly support and when does it apply?

  • For anything that is not covered by the service catalog for basic or premium service, you can purchase hourly support at a rate of $82/hr.  
  • An example of this is a basic support customer who requires presentation support for an important meeting. This is not covered by the service, but can be arranged and paid for on an hourly basis.
  • Hourly charges will require departmental authorization. The authorization process can delay service in urgent situations, so we are working on a way to allow departments to pre-approve a quantity of hours to expedite service delivery.

9.    Can this service be legally charged to direct cost on NIH and other grants?

The IT Field Service costs are an allowable direct expense and can be included in all sponsored project contracts and grants as of July 1, 2013. These costs may be included in future budget proposals immediately.  You can charge monthly (Basic or Premium) or hourly support to grantsFor more information, please click here.

10.    Are old computers supported by this service?

  • How long to keep a computer is completely its owner's decision. Keep in mind, there are costs associated with supporting older computer that might affect your decision to keep or toss. We will support Windows and Mac computers as long as it is reasonable to maintain them (e.g., until significant hardware failure, obsolete software, long time to find replacement parts). It isn’t cost-effective to support old computers with hardware failures because finding replacement parts and repairing the computer becomes much more time consuming as the device ages.  Criteria for Basic Support.  We will support machines older than 6 years at the Premium Support level.
  • We are working with our partners in Security & Policy to compile and maintain a list of software standards that comply with minimum security requirements.  Once an operating system or application is no longer compliant we will no longer support it.
  • We encourage customers with older hardware to purchase extended warranties and upon failure move to the campus standards to ensure optimal productivity and supportability.

11.    Will computers be supported after their warranty expires?

Most computers at UCSF are purchased with a vendor warranty (usually three years for Apple and four years for Dell). The owner also has the option of purchasing an extended warranty. If something breaks within the warranty period, it is covered by the manufacturer. Once the warranty expires, whoever owns the computer pays for the fix or new parts. Generally, we advise careful consideration when deciding to keep an older computer because it becomes very costly to maintain it and to find and install replacement parts.  (Labor is covered as part of the monthly charge unless it is difficult to locate replacement parts.) The final decision rests with the owner of the device.

12.    Does the cost of this service cover any software licenses?

Yes, the monthly charge for the service will include software licenses on all your Windows and Mac computers for commonly-used products.  Examples include:  Microsoft Office Professional, Adobe Acrobat Pro, DDPE encryption, Box, Citrix client, VPN, and VMware client.

Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement (MCCA) Core Desktop is included in the Basic and Premium subscription, and ITFS will handle procurement for our subscribed customers. The Core Desktop includes a Windows upgrade, Office, and a Core CAL. ITFS will not cover add-on products like Visio, Project, or Server. We are recommending that departments handle their own add-on renewals, as ITFS will no longer provide this service after the transition. Detailed instructions here.   If you would like ITFS' help in managing the procurement of add-on licenses we ask that you add on programs by entire groups, not by individuals. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions about MCCA.

In addition, the Strategic Sourcing department is working with vendors to drive down the license costs for all supported software.

13.    Does my entire department need to pick a level or support or can we decide by individual user?

Customers have the option of picking which staff should be assigned to which service level.

14.    Are postdocs and students charged for the service?

No, postdocs and students are not required to enroll in the service, and will not receive field services unless their department decides to pay for them. If a postdoc or student is the primary user of a UCSF-owned device and needs support, their department can either enroll them in Basic or Premium service, or can pay for per-incident support at our hourly rate.

Please refer to the policy on Exemption from IT Field Services.

15.    Is the Medical Center going to participate?

The Medical Center has agreed to participate in the consolidation.  We have begun discussions around planning, but want to focus on the campus consolidation first, and will begin formal planning in the next year. Devices purchased through the Medical Center will continue to be supported by Medical Center IT through the transition.

16.    Will employees of affiliated organizations (e.g., SF VAMC, SF DPH, HHMI, Gladstone, Gallo) be covered by the per-FTE charge?

No, they will not be charged and will not receive service unless their department enrolls them.

Please refer to the policy on Exemption from IT Field Services.

17.    Should departments budget for devices for their post-doctoral students and trainees, rather than expect them to bring their own devices?

If a department has the ability to do so, it is a best practice we recommend. Maintaining control of the device and data limits the IT security risk to the University.

18.    How will the new service deal with “bring your own device” (BYOD)?

The IT Service Desk can assist with basic configuration, connectivity, and productivity issues for personally-owned devices used for UCSF business. UCSF strongly discourages the use of personal devices for UCSF business. The IT Field Service supports personally-owned devices under the Premium service, or on a per-incident basis at our hourly rate of $82.

19.    How will devices that are not assigned to a specific person be supported?

Shared workstations are supported one of two ways:

  • If the majority of users are exempt from ITFS support (e.g., trainees, volunteers, affiliates, etc.) then we will support the device under a monthly support agreement. The department should select Basic or Premium support for each of these devices.
  • If the majority of users are not exempt from ITFS support (e.g., faculty, staff) then we will support the device at no charge. All of these non-exempt users are required to subscribe, so you are already paying for support for the users of these devices. The department does not need to select a support level for these devices.

ITFS will tag these as devices shared workstations, so that users can quickly identify them when calling the service desk.

20.    For departments that have their own service desks, how will they be impacted by the new service?

To simplify the support experience for our customers we recommend that departments use the IT Service Desk as the primary point of contact for all their IT needs.  That said, we know that some departments will continue to provide specialized IT support in-house, and will retain their own IT staff to do so.  These departments should work with the IT Service Desk to determine the escalation procedures and handoff points that work best for their customers. The IT Service Desk will route issues to the appropriate IT team.

21.    Will the Service Desk staffing model change as departments give up their service desks?

New positions will be added depending on the impact on service desk workload.

22.    Will the current Service Desk staffing model change as new departments join the Field Service?

Yes, we will need to do an analysis to understand the proposed increase in calls related to the additional customers and desktops supported.

23.    There are staff that do not use computers for their work.  Will they be excluded from the charge?

Please refer to the policy on Exemption from IT Field Services.

24.    How were exempt title codes selected?

During the initial workgroups to develop the recommendations for IT Field Services, several title codes were identified that did not use computers.  If we were not able to verify that all employees within a classification do not use computers, we did not grant an exemption for that title code.  We understand that some employees in non-exempt title codes may not use computers but the OE committee and the ITFS advisory board have tried to strike a balance between the mandate and the various types of employees across UCSF.  Please see our list of exempt title codes for more information.

25.   Can an individual be exempted from IT Field Services?

If an individual is not in an exempt title code, we are able to an grant exemption for that individual through the basic science exemption only.  Trainees (students, residents, fellows, postdocs), volunteers, employees of affiliated organizations, and individuals whose primary work location is outside the ITFS geographic service area, are automatically exempt from IT Field Services.