From the desk of: Sam C. Chan

Summon Urgent Support

March 1, 2006

This is essentially a subset of the general memo on communications, covering the specific scenario of summoning urgent tech support.

What constitutes an urgent situation?

  • You're on phone with tech support and have a crucial question.
  • File server, print server or multiple workstations down.
  • Complete Internet or Email outage.
  • A serious security breach.
  • Events that severely affect your business operations.
  • You need to reschedule an upcoming appointment on the same day.
  • You were specifically told to call mobile for a given matter.
  • You're a retainer service client, and you deem it appropriate per our SLA terms.


  • Report early, but not prematurely. If server is down on Saturday morning, try reboot, then gather info and report immediately. Don't wait till Monday morning.
  • Provide pertinent info, but not too much details. Retain all potentially relevant info, in case it is of interest and requested.
  • Indicate Urgency Level and desired Response Level (considering costs)
  • Identify yourself and provide contact info, with redundant paths.
  • Follow proper procedure as outlined below. Deviation could hamper response.

Information/Preparation needed

  • List the items & extends of outages (email, Internet, power, phone)
  • Nature of incident (server, printer, security breach, network, etc.)
  • Error message(s) and code(s).
  • Steps taken so far.
  • Who's primary on-duty contact & backup delegates. Available when & where.
  • Is management (owner) notified? Any specific directives?

Urgent Support Contact Procedure

  • Call office line first, always leave a message (See notes below), even if you'll call mobile.
  • Send SMS text Urgent-gram: or direct from your phone
  • Call mobile phone, if situation warrants.
  • Follow up with email, providing supplemental details. For serious situations, send brief summary first, end with "details to follow shortly..." and compose the second message. Throughout the incident, correspondence should cc management, for documentation purposes. They need to monitor progress, make tactical decisions & escalate status.
  • If your email is down, use our Unified Message Center.

As a reminder: In the event of wide-spread damage and overwhelming demand, priority is given to retainer clients with Support Level Agreement (SLA).

NOTES: Contrary to conventional wisdom, there are many technical and logistical situations where I'll receive office line voicemail messages before the mobile phone voicemail reaches me. Reasons too numerous to enumerate. Suffice to say, it is critical to always leave message at main office number first, followed by SMS.

Examples of good  & bad SMS Urgent-grams. XYZ is the 3-letter client code.



XYZ Joe 555-9999 LEXMARK 642N DOWN ERR 930. We work til 7pm tonite. Tomo open 8am. URGENT! Extra crew on-board this wk, monthly mailing proj.
hEEEEEEEEEEEELP. This is mary. CALL ASAP. The server is not working. we tried everything!!! Big boss said u need to come take care of this piece of !$%$@%^&

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