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application support model

Application Support Model

Navigating the Digital Seas: How the Application Support Model is Steering the Ship

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, applications play a pivotal role in ensuring businesses run efficiently, services are delivered seamlessly, and users have access to the tools they need. As the significance of applications grows, so does the importance of having a robust support structure in place to address issues, manage changes, and provide assistance. This structure is best described by the term Application Support Model.

Support Levels

In the world of application maintenance, ensuring timely and effective support is paramount to user satisfaction and operational efficiency. Enter the Application Support Model – a structured and tiered approach to application support that aligns the intensity of the issue with the expertise required to resolve it. The model not only ensures effective resolution but also guarantees optimal resource utilization.

Level 1 (L1) – Frontline Support

The first level in the Application Support Model is L1 or Frontline Support. Acting as the initial interface between the user and the support team, L1 professionals are crucial in setting the tone for the entire support process. Upon receiving an incident, they log it, categorize it based on its nature, and attempt basic troubleshooting steps. The emphasis at this level is on speed and efficiency. Many common issues, often arising from user unfamiliarity or basic glitches, can be promptly resolved at this stage. However, if an incident requires deeper technical expertise, L1 teams have a clear escalation pathway to Level 2.

Level 2 (L2) – Advanced Support

Stepping up the ladder in the Application Support Model brings us to L2 or Advanced Support. These are the individuals who handle the more complicated incidents that have been escalated from L1. With a deeper understanding of the application, its architecture, and potential pitfalls, L2 support teams delve into detailed troubleshooting. They may modify configurations, reset specific elements, or even apply minor fixes. Their goal is to resolve the issue without diving into the core of the application. Yet, when the problem persists or when they recognize it as something more endemic, the Application Support Model facilitates a handover to the most specialized tier – L3.

Level 3 (L3) – Expert Support

The pinnacle of expertise in the Application Support Model is represented by L3 or Expert Support. These specialists possess an in-depth understanding of the application, often down to its very code. Equipped with such profound knowledge, they address the most complex and intricate incidents. Beyond just troubleshooting, their responsibilities often extend to rectifying software bugs, liaising with the development team for patches, and sometimes, recommending alterations in the application’s design or architecture.

Support Processes

In the realm of application maintenance, while having clear support levels is crucial, the processes that knit these levels together are equally vital. The Application Support Model intricately weaves together a series of processes that not only ensure a swift resolution of issues but also anticipate and mitigate future challenges. By adopting a well-defined set of processes, the model ensures that incidents and changes are managed proactively and efficiently.

Incident Management

A cornerstone of the Application Support Model is the Incident Management process. As the name suggests, this process is all about managing the lifecycle of incidents. Upon the detection of an issue, it is logged into a system. The severity and nature of the incident determine its categorization and prioritization. This is crucial, as it helps direct the issue to the appropriate support level, ensuring that critical problems receive immediate attention.

But the process doesn’t stop there. Monitoring the incident, especially if it remains unresolved, is pivotal. This is where the Application Support Model shines, offering a structured escalation pathway if an incident doesn’t find resolution within a stipulated timeframe. Finally, once incidents are addressed, a robust reporting mechanism kicks in. Analyzing incident trends can offer insights into potential systemic issues, training needs, or areas of improvement, making the model proactive and not just reactive.

Problem Management

Diving deeper into the Application Support Model, we find Problem Management, a process that takes incident management a step further. While incidents are individual occurrences, problems are recurring or significant issues that might be causing those incidents. Identifying such patterns is pivotal. Once recognized, a thorough root cause analysis is conducted. This deep dive helps in not just addressing the symptoms (incidents) but curing the disease (problems). The emphasis here is on finding permanent resolutions, ensuring that the problem doesn’t resurface, thus enhancing the application’s reliability.

Change Management

Any application, as it evolves, will undergo changes. The Application Support Model recognizes this and incorporates Change Management as a crucial process. Whether it’s a minor patch or a significant update, the model ensures that these changes are methodically planned, tested, and implemented. More importantly, it emphasizes minimal disruption to users. Clear communication strategies inform users of impending changes, downtimes, or any actions they might need to take. This not only ensures seamless application performance but also builds user trust in the support system.

Roles & Responsibilities

One of the most distinctive aspects of a robust Application Support Model is its clearly defined roles and responsibilities. These roles ensure that every incident or request gets the appropriate attention and expertise it demands. By designating specific responsibilities to specific roles, the model ensures an efficient, streamlined, and organized approach to application support.

Support Analyst (L1)

The frontline of the Application Support Model is manned by the Support Analysts. They are the first responders, offering a critical and immediate interface between the users and the support infrastructure. Their primary responsibility involves direct interaction with users, which demands not only technical knowledge but also exceptional communication skills.

When an incident arises, the Support Analyst is tasked with documenting the issue meticulously. Every detail, no matter how trivial it might seem, is recorded, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the problem. Once documented, they dive into basic troubleshooting, leaning on a vast repository of known solutions and documented incidents. But the Support Analyst’s role isn’t just about resolution; it’s also about recognition. Recognizing when an issue is beyond their purview and needs escalation is critical. The Application Support Model empowers them with clear guidelines on when and how to escalate to the next level, ensuring no incident lingers unresolved.

Support Engineer (L2)

The depth and complexity of support increase at L2, and the Application Support Model entrusts this responsibility to Support Engineers. These professionals dive deeper into technical troubleshooting, often leveraging tools, scripts, and diagnostic techniques that require a more in-depth understanding of the application. Coordination is another crucial aspect of their role. When they identify issues that might be rooted in the application’s deeper architecture or coding, they liaise with L3 support and the development teams. Additionally, as they unearth solutions to new issues, they contribute to the knowledge base, ensuring that their resolutions benefit not just the current user but future ones as well.

Application Specialist (L3)

At the zenith of the Application Support Model are the Application Specialists. Their expertise extends to the very core of the application. They handle the most intricate issues, often diving into the application’s codebase to understand and resolve bugs. Patch management, a critical aspect of application health, is overseen by them. They collaborate closely with development teams, bridging the gap between support and development. Furthermore, their vantage point allows them to recommend continuous improvements, ensuring the application evolves proactively.

Tools & Technologies

The Application Support Model isn’t just anchored in people and processes; it’s equally grounded in the tools and technologies that facilitate swift, efficient, and proactive support. In a technologically-driven landscape, having the right tools is paramount to ensuring that support mechanisms work seamlessly, and user issues are addressed promptly. The Application Support Model emphasizes integrating these tools for a holistic support experience.

Ticketing System

Central to the Application Support Model is the Ticketing System. This system serves as the primary interface between the end-user and the support teams. When users encounter an issue or have a request, they log it into the ticketing system. This tool not only captures the incident but also classifies, prioritizes, and tracks it. Through its lifecycle, the incident’s status updates – from being new, to in-progress, to resolved – are diligently recorded, ensuring full transparency. Moreover, the system facilitates the escalation of incidents, ensuring they reach the appropriate support level based on their complexity. The value of a robust ticketing system in the Application Support Model cannot be overstated; it ensures every user issue is documented, addressed, and closed methodically.

Knowledge Base

Another pivotal tool within the Application Support Model is the Knowledge Base. Think of it as a vast digital library, stocked with articles, solutions, FAQs, and documentation. Whenever support teams come across new issues and find resolutions, they populate the knowledge base, ensuring that these solutions are available for future reference. Not only does it aid the support teams in finding quick fixes, but it often serves as a self-help tool for users. Before even raising a ticket, users can search the knowledge base to see if their issue is a known one with a documented solution. This proactive aspect of the Application Support Model empowers users and reduces the load on support teams.

Monitoring Tools

The proactive nature of the Application Support Model is further exemplified by Monitoring Tools. These tools constantly watch over the application, offering real-time insights into its health and performance. Through various metrics, thresholds, and benchmarks, they gauge the application’s state. More crucially, they alert support teams to potential issues even before they manifest as full-blown incidents. This anticipatory approach ensures that problems are nipped in the bud, ensuring minimal disruption to users.

Performance Metrics

In any operational framework, measuring success is just as vital as the actions leading to it. The Application Support Model understands this deeply and integrates key performance metrics to gauge efficiency, speed, and user satisfaction. These metrics are not just indicators of past performance but also provide insights to refine and improve the model further. They offer a quantifiable approach to ensure the model’s continuous evolution in meeting and exceeding user expectations.

First Call Resolution (FCR)

One of the most telling indicators of efficiency in the Application Support Model is the First Call Resolution (FCR). This metric zeroes in on the percentage of incidents that are resolved during the first interaction or call. A high FCR percentage signifies that the frontline support – the L1 team – is effective in addressing and resolving a substantial portion of user issues immediately, without the need for escalation or follow-up. FCR is a reflection of both the technical acumen of the support team and the efficacy of the knowledge base and tools they employ. A higher FCR not only means faster resolutions for users but also denotes an efficient allocation of resources within the Application Support Model.

Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

Time is of the essence, especially in the realm of application support. The Application Support Model utilizes the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) metric to measure the average time taken to resolve an incident from the moment it’s logged until its closure. A lower MTTR indicates swifter resolutions, meaning lesser downtime or inconvenience for the user. By continually monitoring and aiming to reduce MTTR, the Application Support Model underscores its commitment to efficiency and user-centricity. MTTR also aids in identifying bottlenecks or recurrent issues, providing insights for continuous improvement.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

While FCR and MTTR are quantitative metrics, the Application Support Model also recognizes the importance of qualitative feedback. Enter Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Post the resolution of incidents, users are encouraged to provide feedback, gauging their satisfaction levels. CSAT scores offer a direct pulse on user sentiment, highlighting areas where the model shines and where it might need refinement. The Application Support Model sees CSAT not just as a feedback tool but also as a compass guiding its evolution.

Continuous Improvement

The dynamism of modern software ecosystems necessitates a philosophy of constant evolution. The Application Support Model wholeheartedly embraces this ethos. At the heart of the model’s effectiveness lies its unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. Instead of resting on its laurels, the model constantly probes, refines, and evolves, ensuring it remains fit for purpose as applications and user needs change over time.

Feedback Loop: One of the cornerstone mechanisms the Application Support Model leverages is the feedback loop. Regularly gathering feedback isn’t just a procedural step; it’s an ingrained philosophy. By actively seeking out insights from both users and support teams, the model identifies areas of strength and opportunities for enhancement. This feedback, be it from a user frustrated with a recurring issue or a support analyst highlighting a process bottleneck, becomes the bedrock on which improvements are built. Each piece of feedback is a beacon, guiding the Application Support Model towards higher efficacy and greater user satisfaction.

Training: As applications evolve, adding new features and functionalities, it’s imperative for the support staff to keep pace. The Application Support Model places a significant emphasis on training, ensuring that every support personnel, from L1 to L3, is well-acquainted with the latest application nuances and troubleshooting techniques. Regular training sessions, workshops, and certification programs are organized, fostering a culture of learning and upskilling. This not only boosts the confidence of the support teams but ensures users receive expert guidance and solutions, no matter how novel or complex their issues might be.


In wrapping up, the Application Support Model is more than just a framework; it’s a philosophy. A philosophy that places users at its core, values the expertise of its support teams, and above all, believes in the relentless pursuit of excellence. It’s this unwavering commitment to betterment that ensures the model remains indispensable in delivering top-tier application support, today and in the future.

About Stone Age Technologies SIA

Stone Age Technologies SIA is a reliable IT service provider, specializing in the IT Solutions. We offer a full range of services to suit your needs and budget, including IT support, IT consultancy, remote staffing services, web and software development as well as IT outsourcing. Our team of highly trained professionals assist businesses in delivering the best in IT Solutions. Contact us for your IT needs. We are at your service 24/7.

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