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Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 - What does support levels mean?

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bangladesh
Posts: 583

Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 - What does support levels mean?

What does Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 support mean?

Is there any specification on this leveling? Or any very common practice?

Or its all about a companies internal workflow and can be totally different from company to company?

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Predatory Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Goleta, CA
Posts: 5,550
The levels are designed to group support personnel based on their abilities and subsequently pay. Level 1 support are your phone and email ticket responders. They're the first responders and least skilled of the bunch. Level II support are expected to handle basic system administration tasks and coordinate with level I support operators to resolve customer issues. Level III is a spillover group that covers the staff trained to resolve the problems which cannot be handled by Level II support personnel. Staff in the Level III classification are generally expected to have a solid working knowledge of the companies systems and software and use that skill base in conjunction with innate problem solving skills. Level III support personnel are the last resort when confronting complex customer issues.

Sometimes there's a level IV grouping which generally consists of senior administrators who are often called on to assess the abilities of new hires, train employees, and often report on the state of a companies IT infrastructure in addition to handling very specialized support functions.

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Last edited by cywkevin; 08-07-2007 at 02:48 AM.
Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,192
That sounds about right - the only thing I want to add is that it's just another approach to minimizing the cost of supporting customers.

Let's say a server administrator costs X dollars per year, and can handle a support ticket every 5 minutes when he's working, on average. You do this initially, but realize that your business is growing and you're getting a lot of tickets on very basic things like logging into cpanel, losing account information, etc.

Once you see this, and your administrator handling issues like losing account information, you realize that in these tickets, you're not even using him for the skill set that you have to pay for. You hire 3 people, at a third of his rate, that can handle tickets in the same time because they're very simple like forgetting login information, and then you begin to stagger the support groups.

All tickets are viewed by these 3 new employees, and if it's out of their job duties, it will be passed on to the administrator you had started with.

Instead of hiring more administrators that have a deeper understanding of everything, you simply get these new hires to handle all the basic portions of web hosting.

If your pricing planned for system administrators, you just saved a lot of money because now you can get 3 times the work done for the same price (in terms of purely # of tickets closed).

Ankit Gupta - Cernax Hosting
"We're always second in the industry, the customer comes first."

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bangladesh
Posts: 583
Thanks a lot for your explanations.

So, its all about how a company manages its staffs?
Its nothing from a customer point that a "this level" of support staff would be "this much knowledgable"? (throughout all companies)

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Junior Guru
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 224
Well, if a company says they have a certain level of support, its something the customer should take into consideration. If a company only hires level I support, the customer should consider that when they choose to purchase. Ultimately that would mean that the customer has to wait longer for a problem to be solved.


Junior Guru Wannabe
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 73

According to me...Level1 ,Level2 and Level3 can be categorized as follows:
But it depends upon what type of hosting you do. dedicated or Shared,

Level 1
This is for hardware. It requires physical presence at the datacenter.
Activities such as installing the machine at the datacenter, configuring the initial remote management utilities, configuring IP addresses, binding IP addresses, configuring networking options, configuring Switches, hubs and routes, Load balancing configurations etc.
Level 2
This involves all tasks related to installation and configuration of software.
Like installing the operating system, Web server, Database,
configuring various parameters to optimize performance and initial configuration
to get the particular application up and running.
Level 3
This involves all tasks related to using any particular software application.
Example..adding a virtual host to Apache/IIS, or adding a database, adding a Specific programming support, troubleshooting particular software etc.

Level1, Level 2 and Level 3 support maybe charged on a case-by-case basis.

It depends...

Best Regards,
Liasion A,
Born For Fun..! Loyal To None...!

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,221

While this can apply to system administrators, it typically applies to end user support staff.

Level 1 – The person is trained to diagnose and resolve common problems typically going through the exact same FAQ pages / knowledge-base that an end user might go through if they are available.

They are often referred to as “by the book” technicians because if the problem is not something that some one previously documented a fix, they need to pass the ball.

Level 2 – This is the person who gets the ball from level 1 for those problems not documented. Their training, skills, and personality to think to a degree outside the box.

Level 3 – the level 3 technician sills often approach entry level server administration skills, and they may even have root level access to the servers. They typically help the system administrators, and handle issues for which level 1 and level 2 cannot handle that still don’t require a regular system administrator to handle.

Thank you.

Peter M. Abraham
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