Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Collaboration Services

Decrative image of 6 computer monitors each with an image of the cloud on the screen.






Service Description

Single entry point to all SharePoint fulfillment requests and assisting customers to select the appropriate SharePoint environment that best meets the customer’s needs.

CTS delivers the highest quality of service and collaboration continuity to USDA customers with options to use the best of both cloud and on-premise SharePoint infrastructure. Under Collaboration Service, customers may purchase Tiered labor support for either option. Infrastructure for on-premise SharePoint is also purchased through Collaboration Service. Infrastructure for cloud based SharePoint is purchased through the separate service of Enterprise Messaging System-Cloud Service.

The cloud based offering will provide most of a customer’s usual collaboration needs. On-premise based infrastructure extends beyond cloud based service capabilities by: offering the customer who chooses to customize, an ability to use add-on third party features, or to collaborate with external entities such as other Federal Agencies, universities or other Institutions outside of USDA via multi-factor authentication (eAuthentication).

All service solutions are governed through the CTS SharePoint Governance Policy to help the Customer Site Collection Administrators manage the workspace collaboration and contents.

What Is Included

Collaboration SharePoint Support

Site Collection Administration functions, such as permission access control, folder management, content management are considered to be Tier 1 functions that are provided by the customer.

Tier 2 support is provided for on-premise infrastructure and is available for customers who would like it for cloud based infrastructure. CTS Tier-2 staff works with Site Collection Administrators to troubleshoot any issue that cannot be resolved at the Tier-1 level. As part of the Tier 2 support, the service includes the initial setup, covering assessment, planning, testing and migration of the customer’s current site, to the CTS on-premise SharePoint/Project Server environment. CTS will work with the customer to ensure Active Directory (AD) trusts, Domain Name Service (DNS), and other dependencies are setup before a collaboration site is established. Other support services include Tier-2 SharePoint/Project application troubleshooting, and resolution on any site collection issues. This service is available 24/7.

Tier 3 support for Cloud based infrastructure is not included in this service; it is provided by Microsoft as part of the Enterprise Messaging-Cloud Service

Routine On-Premise service also includes the following:

  • SharePoint and Project Server usage, backup, and restore requests.
  • Internet Presence: By selecting the On-Premise SharePoint solution, the customer will be able to expose SharePoint sites externally allowing collaboration with outside entities such as the Universities, Research Facilities or other the Private Sector entities by use of eAuthentication Level 2 credentials.
  • Project Server allows the use of Project Web Application (PWA) platform to stabilize project management methodology and support communications.

    NOTE: The Project Server portal may not be exposed to the Internet. It is only available within USDA Intranet environment.
  • 3rd Party Software: Includes, but is not limited to tools such as MetaLogix and SiteMinder eAuthentication that can be used to improve the features/functions of collaboration for the customer.

Collaboration SharePoint Infrastructure

Customers using on-premise SharePoint and Project Server infrastructure receive operational and maintenance support of the SharePoint/Project Server infrastructure. This includes assistance in evaluating and upgrading future releases of the technology.

This service ensures all sites are secure and stable. CTS also provides scheduling and outage dashboards to establish clear communications on any upcoming maintenance and SharePoint/Project environment outages.

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How We Charge

The number of Collaboration Service gigabytes is used as the basis for charging.

 Collaboration SharePoint Services Measurement Description

Product/Service Offering UNIT of Measure Description

Collaboration SharePoint Infrastructure

Measured by the number of on-premise SharePoint gigabytes.
Collaboration SharePoint Support Measured by the number of on-premise and cloud SharePoint gigabytes.

Cost Saving Tips

  • Enable team members to collaborate in real time to create and edit documents, develop solutions and reduce operational costs associated with traditional in-person collaboration.
  • Empower distributed teams through shared workspaces and business insights by effectively supporting their assigned roles and work styles.
  • Offering of on-premise environment as supplemental to O365 allowing customers to share the SharePoint infrastructure through economy of scale driving the maintenance/support cost down for the customers.
  • Customers may choose from different price-point options when requiring a test environment for all SharePoint development efforts.

Additional Information

  • Core Hours of Service: The CTS Applications Operations Branch, Infrastructure Operations Center (IOC) provides 24 x 7 support including monitoring and incident handling (with triage) for all Enterprise environments and direct coordination with provider service desks to ensure coordinated response. Coverage does not include government holidays and responses are not executed during planned maintenance activities. Under routine circumstances, a one week notification will be provided for normal changes made outside of official maintenance hours.
  • Service requests for collaboration related services are taken and deployments are performed during normal business hours of 6:00am to 6:00pm Central Time, Monday through Friday. Additional service support beyond these hours may be arranged as an above-core purchase.
  • NOTE: In some situations, changes may be required outside normal maintenance windows due to emergencies or security related activities. Under these circumstances, customers will be notified as soon as the needed change is identified. The change will be scheduled to happen with a minimum impact to the customer but as soon as possible to meet the needs of the situation and risks that have been identified. This could result in maintenance as early as the immediate evening of the change identification date.

Service Level Metrics

 Collaboration Services Performance Measures

Service Type Measurement Performance Target
Collaboration and Project Site Availability

Percentage of hours of SharePoint/Project infrastructure server service.



Measurement Tool - Microsoft® SCOM SharePoint/Project Analytical Tools