Sepasoft Support Policy

Last updated December 15, 2021 | Download PDF

Sepasoft is dedicated to providing our customers with high-quality product support. In order to ensure that your experience with our support system is consistent and effective, we provide the following support policy. Sepasoft reserves the right to alter this support policy at any time.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

At Sepasoft, we pride ourselves on providing the best support experience possible. Our support staff routinely helps to troubleshoot problems, provide advice on best practices, and get you back on track to move forward with your project. Just like in our software, we don’t like to impose arbitrary limits; that’s why we don’t hinder your use of our support through restrictive contracts. You won’t see hard limits on how many tickets you can create, phone calls you can make, or the amount of time we’ll spend helping you; however, our support team is not infinite. As support is a limited resource, we must work together and have some ground rules to help prevent abuse of the system in order to keep wait times down and provide fair access to support for all our customers.

Usage Guidelines
In order to remain in good standing as a member of our support community, it is important to keep the following principles in mind.

  1. Support is not training
    We offer many different types of excellent training and educational materials. Our free online e-learning platform is an excellent place to learn how to use our software. Our highly regarded, interactive, live training classes are regularly offered and are a great way to increase your expertise quickly. And, of course, our user manual is an excellent reference with a wealth of information. While our support staff will often offer tips and advice in the course of troubleshooting, we, unfortunately, cannot offer ongoing consultative training as part of a normal support plan. Please make use of our other educational offerings in order to learn how to use our product.
  2. Designing and/or building your project is out of scope
    While our support staff will be happy to help you when you encounter a technical problem or point you in the right direction if you get stuck, they cannot offer substantive design or implementation guidance or consulting. While we make our software as easy to use as possible, it still requires technical expertise in many different areas. In order to achieve your project requirements, many different disciplines may be required, including authoring Python scripts or writing SQL queries. If you need significant help building your project, please consider getting in touch with one of our many qualified system integrators, who are experts in our software and many other related technologies. Our Design Consultation team is also available for those looking for guidance on building out advanced architectures and want some information on best practices before making a purchase.
  3. Know your own infrastructure
    Our software is installed on a wide variety of different computing platforms, both physical and virtual, and connects to a myriad of different devices, databases, and other systems. Our support staff are veterans of troubleshooting in many different kinds of architectures and configurations. We will happily assist in troubleshooting many different kinds of problems, but the scope of our support is limited to our software itself. Troubleshooting or configuring external systems like databases, firewalls, load balancers, networking devices, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, etc., is outside the scope of our support.
  4. Bring your experts
    When opening up a support ticket, it is important to have the experts on your systems available. Our support experience is an interactive one where we will help troubleshoot live on your system if possible. In order to expedite the process, make sure you have the experts in relevant systems available for the troubleshooting process so that nothing is a “black box.”
  5. Maintain current updates
    When defects have been resolved in a current version of the software, it is expected that the customer upgrades their system to the current version.  Defect resolutions will not be backported to prior versions of the software.  We only support forward compatibility.  It is the customer’s responsibility, and Sepasoft will not be responsible for making all backups of the database and Ignition projects before upgrading.
  6. Abuse will not be tolerated
    We understand that many situations that require support are stressful, high-pressure, time-sensitive, costly, and intense. That said, we take any kind of abuse of our support reps very seriously. We will take immediate action against anyone who uses aggressive or harsh language, threatens, demeans, or otherwise engages in unprofessional behavior towards Sepasoft employees.

In order to ensure that support remains as available as possible, we take care to monitor tickets for potential violations of these principles. To do this, we track a wide range of metrics and will suggest better approaches and practices to customers who are routinely not following the principles laid out above. In addition, we may send you usage updates from time to time, give you gentle reminders, or, in more severe cases, be forced to de-prioritize your tickets in the support queue. In the most extreme circumstances, we reserve the right to unilaterally suspend or terminate access to support for any individual who is violating the above guidelines.

Ticket Classification
Sepasoft support uses a three-category classification system for every ticket that is submitted: Problem, Consultative, and Feature Request.

  • Problem: This classification covers reported issues that represent an actual problem with the functionality of the software. Examples being: 
    • A gateway will not start 
    • Functionality that was working stops, with no clear changes that should have affected it 
    • An upgrade changes behavior or functionality
    • The software cannot be used in a documented manner
  • Consultative: Items that fall under this classification can be more commonly understood as “how-to” kinds of questions.  
    • Not knowing how to accomplish a goal
    • Unsure of the best way to approach a problem
    • Data is not exactly what is expected
    • The problem statement focuses on technologies peripheral to our software, such as SQL, networking, etc.
  • Feature Request: Sometimes technical support requests might initially be perceived as a defect when it was not an intended feature or use case for the product. 
    • To submit a feature request, the requester must present us with their written use case.
    • The request will be reviewed by our Change Review Board.
    • An initial response will be provided within two weeks.

This classification system is one of the things used to determine the prioritization of submitted support tickets. The main goal of Sepasoft support is to provide prompt, high-quality support to customers who are experiencing serious problems with their Sepasoft module installations. For this reason, Problem issues are prioritized and handled in an order that’s determined by the level of support plan that covers the installation in question. 

For all non-Priority Care customers, tickets that are classified as Consultative in nature are deprioritized and are not associated with a published expected response time. Customers may still submit these tickets via a phone call or the web portal; however since responses will be delayed, it is encouraged that these types of issues be researched using the other resources available such as our Video Library, or the online user manual.

Ticket Severity
Along with the classification structure, we also use a ticket severity metric to help determine how Problem tickets are prioritized within the support queue. There are four levels of ticket severity into which all incoming support tickets are categorized. 

  • Highest – Production is directly affected
  • High – Issue is causing a major impact or blocking development but is not directly affecting production at the moment
  • Medium – Standard Priority
  • Low – All Consultative tickets and other issues that have been deprioritized in the course of being handled.

The assignment of severity to tickets occurs during the first communication with Sepasoft Support at the time of ticket submission when submitted by phone. If a ticket is submitted via the web portal, we will attempt to assign an accurate severity based on the supplied information. 

How Prioritization Occurs
Tickets are prioritized within the support system by taking into account Support Plan Type, Ticket Severity, Last Customer Response Time (amount of time since last customer response to inquiries for further information), and Ticket Classification. Ticket Classification is first used to deprioritize tickets of a consultative nature for non-PriorityCare into a separate queue that is handled based on available department resources. The remaining tickets are then sorted into a queue to be actively handled by the Sepasoft support staff. In general, tickets submitted by accounts having a “higher” support plan type will be serviced first; however, plan type is not the only factor used to determine response priority; severity and wait times are also taken into account in the ordering of the ticket queue.

POLICIES AND PRICING

Support plans are calculated for a year and should be kept current by renewing annually. Your plan price is based on the retail cost of the software. If a lapse occurs, you will be charged a reinstatement fee (which is calculated at a daily rate), and if this lapse is prior to a major update, you will be required to upgrade to the current version to reinstate your Support plan. Upgrades are priced at 65% of the current retail cost. 

PriorityCare
PriorityCare is our new premium support offering, providing unlimited phone and web support (during business hours) at our highest priority level as well as free software upgrades and member discounts. 

+ 24% Annually | Support plan price is based on the retail price of software at the time of purchase.

PriorityCare includes:

  • Unlimited phone and web portal support at our highest priority level (during business hours); priority level may be affected by the severity of the issue 
  • Upgrade Protection: Unlimited free upgrades to any modules purchased 
  • 15% discounts on training courses 
  • Free certification tests 

TotalCare
Get peace of mind for the entire year with unlimited phone, and web portal access to our technical support reps, free software upgrades, and member discounts. 

+ 20% Annually | Support plan price is based on the retail price of software at the time of purchase.

TotalCare Includes:

  • Unlimited phone (during business hours), and web portal support 
  • Upgrade Protection: Unlimited free upgrades to any modules purchased 
  • 10% off training courses 
  • Free certification tests 

BasicCare
Best for customers who want access to technical support reps via the web portal but don’t require that issues be expedited via phone support. Includes free upgrades to any modules purchased, plus web portal support. 

+ 16% Annually | Support plan price is based on the retail price of software at the time of purchase. 

BasicCare includes:

  • Upgrade Protection: Unlimited free upgrades to any modules purchased 
  • Unlimited web portal support 

UPGRADES

Upgrades are free for any software under a BasicCare, TotalCare, or PriorityCare support plan. If an upgrade is needed and a support plan is not in place, customers will have to pay 65% of the software’s current retail price. 

Example:

Sepasoft OEE Downtime Module Site License ($21,000)

Support PackageUpgrade Price
Without Support Plan: 65%$13,650.00
With PriorityCare: 24% = $5,040.00Free
With TotalCare: 20% = $4,200.00Free
With BasicCare: 16% = $3,360.00Free

TELEPHONE SUPPORT

Technical support via telephone is available for customers for all software under a PriorityCare or TotalCare plan. Our telephone support is often enhanced by the use of Fast Support from GoToAssist, which lets our representatives actually see your issue live over the Internet, reducing incident resolution times to a minimum.  

The support department can be reached by calling (800) 207-5506 or (916) 939-1684 during our normal support hours of 7:30 AM to 5 PM PST, excluding weekends and Sepasoft holidays. 

After-hours support is available 24x7x365 for customers who are eligible for phone support. When calling after hours, you will be given the option to be redirected to the emergency support line. 

After-hours support is billed at $350 per hour with a one-hour minimum.  

PRE- AND POST-SALES SUPPORT

Each software purchase comes with 90 days of free telephone technical support. After the initial free period, telephone support is available with the purchase of a PriorityCare or TotalCare plan. If PriorityCare or TotalCare is purchased during this time frame, then it is valid for 12 months starting when the 90-day complimentary support ends.  

Sepasoft will also provide limited telephone technical support for prospective customers. 

ELECTRONIC SUPPORT

Sepasoft is proud to offer free electronic product support via email and support web portal during our normal support hours of 7:30 AM to 5 PM PST, excluding weekends and Sepasoft holidays. 

SOFTWARE UPDATES

At Sepasoft, we are constantly improving our software, both in features and reliability. To better keep track of each iteration of our software, as well as to coordinate upgrades, we assign version numbers following the Ignition version number scheme to each Sepasoft module. Sepasoft Version numbers are always three separate numbers separated by periods; for example, 3.81.2. The first number in this triplet is called the Major Version number. The second number is called the Platform Coordination number. The third number is called the Minor Version number. 

The Platform Coordination number lets you know which version of a module is compatible with which versions of the platform. For example, if you were installing Ignition 8.1.x, all of your Sepasoft modules would need to be version 3.81.x, in which x represents any minor version; notice how the middle numbers match the Ignition platform and version (without the period). We frequently release updates to the Sepasoft modules that only change Minor Version numbers. These updates typically contain fixes and minor feature improvements. These updates are always available for free. 

The latest Sepasoft modules can be found at Module Updates and Release Notes.

ACTIVE DEVELOPMENT 

For current versions and those specified as Long-Term Support versions, Sepasoft will actively develop fixes or updates for critical issues that will come out as an update in the software.  

LONG-TERM SUPPORT PROGRAM

We provide Long Term Support for our products for the Ignition Platform aligned with the Inductive Automation Long-Term Support policy (LTS). If an Ignition version is LTS, Sepasoft provides LTS for the Sepasoft modules running on that Ignition version. Platform versions noted as LTS will receive Active support for five years from the date of their original release and a subsequent two years of Limited support after the Active support period ends. In addition, we will provide Active support for Sepasoft modules for a minimum of 5 years from the date of the original release or one year after the date of release of a new Sepasoft major platform version.  For example, we will not support our modules running on End-of-Life versions of the Ignition platform.

Support for an LTS version is limited to critical problems where the software is rendered unusable and for which no work-around is available as determined by Technical Support. Only users with a valid PriorityCare or TotalCare support plan may receive phone support for the use of an LTS version. Bug fixes outside of this definition that are integrated into later versions will not be back-ported into LTS versions. 

LTS versions will be announced and noted on Sepasoft’s website. Current and prior LTS versions can be found on our Downloads page. There are three categories in which a Sepasoft stable software release can reside when it comes to provided support. They are:

  • Active
  • Limited
  • End-of-Life (EOL)

ACTIVE

The current release branch and non-expired LTS releases fall into this Active category. This means that the software is being actively developed/patched and the Sepasoft support team can provide full customer support with issues related to these releases. Releases in this category receive full development and support department attention. LTS releases receive at least five years of Active support, and non-LTS releases receive at least two years of Active support.

LIMITED

Expired LTS releases as well as versions for which Active support has expired fall into the Limited support category. Development support and patches end in this category. There should be no expectation of new releases or patches for any issues that may arise in versions that fall into this category; however, customers can expect limited phone and web portal support. Limited phone and web portal support means the Sepasoft support department will, to the best of its abilities, provide the standard level of product support for these releases. As releases in this category start to age and get further from the most current and LTS release branches, it should be expected that support will start to become more limited, and response times may increase. LTS releases receive at least two years of Limited support, and non-LTS releases receive at least one year of Limited support. 

END-OF-LIFE (EOL)

Releases that are announced as EOL will no longer be supported by either the development team or the support team. Customers should expect all web portal and phone support to end for a release once it passes into the EOL category. Customers will still be able to activate and continue to utilize EOL releases, but no support should be expected beyond potential activation support. The one exception here is for customers who are upgrading from an EOL release to a release that falls into the Active or Limited categories. Those customers can expect to receive support with the upgrade process. Sepasoft will make an announcement 12 months before a Limited release is scheduled to move to EOL. Customers will then have those 12 months to arrange and execute any necessary upgrade plans.

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