Essent offers Support on its products and defined business processes via the telephone, email, and the Web. Support assistance can range from aiding administrators on customers’ proprietary business processes to end-user help desk.
Support is available whenever it is needed depending on the plan selected:
- Business Day support is offered business days during the hours of 8:30am until 5:30pm EST.
- Priority One support is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week for an additional fee.
Support is layered to provide the most relevant and expedient assistance:
- Level 1 help desk support is designed to interface with end users and focuses on answering end-user questions based on defined processes.
- Level 2 expert desk support is designed to assist administrators and subject matter experts with system and process-oriented cases. Level 2 focuses on resolving processing problems of administrators.
- Level 3 programmers’ desk support focuses on resolving programming problems and is typically associated with, or replaced by, a Maintenance Plan.
Support is can be purchased through a:
- Hourly support plan purchased as needed.
- Annual support plan that extends discounted rates and preferential case queuing.
Essent Support can be contacted via the telephone, email, or the Web.
The standard operating procedure of Essent Support is to identify the issue, the root cause of the problem, and its related business process as defined and documented in the Business Analysis phase of the Project. The support event is logged in the Essent support system and a case number is assigned.
The Essent support system is based on Compass Support, an optional component of the Compass Business Management System. Cases and case activity are tracked through the system. Cases are either pending, open, or closed depending on their real-world status. Authorized customers may manage their support cases on the Web through the Essent Web SupportCenter.
Inquiries are limited to the following Compass product areas: basic functionality (as described in Compass product documentation) and Business Processes (documented Business Process Definitions as defined through Essent Business Analysis).
Essent will also assist with basic connectivity issues for the purpose of using Compass to access other products or services to the extent necessary to confirm whether such issues relate to equipment or software within Essent's control. However, Essent shall not be responsible for connectivity issues caused by third-party services, service providers, hardware, or software. Support does not cover inquiries on accounting practices, nor does it include application consulting or training.
Additionally, but not exclusively, Support does not cover:
- Dedicated Support Technician
- Product Management
- Additional Business Analysis
- Undocumented or Customer-revised Business Processes
- Business Process Mappings
- Business Operations or Accounting Practices
- Software Programming Changes
- Software Report Changes
- Operating System
- Third-Party Application Software
- Third-Party Server Software
- Tax Rate Table Updates
- Data Problems
- Auditing and Analysis of General Ledger Accounts
- Database Backup and Restoration
- On-Site Support
Support requests for established Compass installations are rare. The majority of the cases handled by Essent Support are feature requests and questions to unique procedural situations, where the root cause is training related. Most of these questions are answered immediately via the telephone or email. When the contact submitting the case agrees that the issue is resolved, the case is closed. This is considered Level 1 support. Over 80% of the cases are resolved in Level 1 support.
If the issue is not resolved, the case is escalated to Level 2 support, which involves a senior support representative or a Compass Consultant. Resolution to these cases is typically the same day, but may extend into the following business day depending on the issue and time-of-day. Of the remaining 20% of open cases, approximately 15% of them are resolved in Level 2 support.
The remaining 5% of cases are software bugs, operating system related bugs, or data errors that require programming knowledge to work around the issue or programming changes to correct the problem. These cases are escalated to a Compass software engineer and are considered Level 3 support. These cases typically require a change to the software and a software update, called a release, to be made. Minor bugs that do not affect the overall usability of the product are typically released quarterly. Major bugs that affect the usability of the product are typically fixed immediately and released within a two-day period after in-house quality testing has approved the release.
New features and functionality is added continually to Compass. Customers receive regularly scheduled product upgrades as long as the annual Support Agreement is maintained. A major upgrade and several minor upgrades are typically released each year.