Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Seat Service

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Service Description

Seat Service is the full service option for customers needing office automation on an organizational level. Desktop computer workstation support, back office infrastructure support technology, and voice technology are included. The customization of Seat Service includes: the most modern of the Microsoft family of operating systems, service for Apple Macintosh desktops, and Client Virtual Connection Workstations.

CTS Seat Service support is the primary OCIO offering for desktop/laptop service, office automation, and access to business applications. Customizable in many ways, the service can be built with USDA Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) hardware, with multiple operating systems, and with different service levels.

Individuals may have multiple workstations, and elevated privileges. Premier Service is available to executives in some areas. The following shows base and customization options:

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What Is Included

Base Service

Standard Seat

By providing an entry level full service starting point, Seat Service allows customers to pick and choose add-on and access method options to meet their End User IT support needs. Standard Seat Service provides back end infrastructure, account management, file and print service, facility and hardware management, and technical support staff assistance through the CTS Service Desk. Standard Seat Service includes:

  • Nationwide service desk call center support; 24 x 7 x 365
  • In office technical service at 3,400 locations.
  • Network based file storage, backup and archive of network files using CommVault as the solution for end-user server and field office data protection tool operated by CTS in support of end-user infrastructure. CommVault will phase out existing tape backups as older servers are phased out and new infrastructure is deployed. This tool performs over the wire remote backups, compression, and deduplication for server based data. The standard protection model supports up to 3 months of remote site backups with both large scale and file level recovery available. See End User System Servers for CommVault and tape backup schedules.
  • Management of accounts.
  • Preparation of training room/conference room facilities.
  • Change Release and Configuration Management Services.
  • Coordination and support of Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) activity for customer groups.
  • Security Compliance with latest patches and upgrades.
  • File and Print Services.
  • Management of the computer/ADP room facilities that host telecommunications equipment, servers, and other related IT equipment in the service center agency offices.
  • Provision of loaner equipment during repairs.
  • Standard Move Support (larger office moves are supported with additional fees).

Integrated into CTS system configurations and service processes, but not included within Seat Service fee are abilities to utilize other purchased CTS services such as:

  • Microsoft Office O365 software suite; including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the full Office package.
  • Other certified software is deployed using automated methods or the CTS hosted distribution portal.
  • The separate services of Enterprise Messaging System – Cloud Services (EMS-CS) Active Directory
  • Fax2Mail
  • Managed Print Services (MPS)

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Service Add-On

Standard Seat Plus

Customers opting for additional support beyond Standard Seat may choose Standard Seat Plus Service which provides for Management of CTS common infrastructure services to allow agency specific or Enterprise systems to operate/function within end user environment. (example: ESX Virtualization, Active Directory, SolarWind, SCOM, DFS, DNS, SMTP, etc). Support services performed includes but is not limited to. HW maintenance/support, core OS patching/troubleshooting, backup/restore, monitoring of all systems within EU environment, and administration of specific common service applications. Service includes costs for Linux server environment, telecommunications infrastructure, Local and Long Distance support, and Fleet Support which allows technical support staff to drive to supported field office locations.

Telecommunications Infrastructure includes the CTS End User stack, Headend stack, and all the network equipment, licenses, and maintenance coverage within infrastructure environment. This also includes centralized backend network services to include wireless controllers (wireless and guest wireless services), Network Access Control (NAC), centralized config management (Cisco, Riverbed, Juniper), ISE, inventory and monitoring systems (Solarwinds, Cascade).

CTS provides local phone system support by identifying equipment specifications, making acquisitions and providing management of telephone systems including eVoIP. This includes determining the size of phone systems to be installed to best meet the needs of the client, setup of voicemail where required, monitoring of traffic for volume to insure the proper number of voice lines and setup of hunt groups with rollover capacity to facilitate the most efficient use of phone systems. Service includes teleconferencing services via voice circuits through vendors and maintaining the contract/arrangement for these services to be available. CTS sets up and maintains primary local circuits, works with the local exchange carrier (LEC) to insure proper function both in local calls and in gaining access to government long distance service.

Long distance service is provided for voice lines. Government calling cards are setup and provided to clients by CTS at the customer's request, providing access to Government rate long distance services from non-Government carriers.

Fleet Service covers lease and ownership costs for vehicles, including maintenance and operation costs.

Premier Services

Premier Services provides a higher level of support for key customer individuals. The service is available in the St. Louis and Kansas City large offices, the Washington, D.C. complex (South Building, Reporter’s Building, Patriot Center), the George Washington Carver Center, and the Whitten Building to meet the needs of executives or other priority customers. Customers identify a list of Premier Service customer recipient’s by-name. Additional information for Premier Services available for Mobility Devices is located later in the catalog under Mobility Devices.

Access Method

Customers using Seat Service are required to purchase a hardware or virtual computer based Access Method. Access Method Add-ons are also available or required for specific hardware or elevated privileges.

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Workstation Services

CTS provides support for customer purchased workstation hardware available on CTS Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA). Basic imaging of the workstation is provided via Enterprise Image Management Service and covers the hardware and operating system. Service covers all activities associated with the deployment and management of workstations, including client desktops, Ssoftware deployment, mouse, keyboard, speakers, monitor, etc. Other activities include patching, hardware and software certification, security, licensing, and incident management specific to workstation deployment.

With workstation service, Enterprise Image Management is required and is an additional charge per workstation.

Client Virtual Connection

CTS provides customers an ability to access network based services using a desktop virtualization. The desktop may be used as a primary means of access, or for telework.

Client Virtual Connection provides for:

  • Proactive monitoring, routine operation, and support of Client Virtual Connection Infrastructure.
  • Assistance with agency application provisioning within Client Virtual Connectionx solution including application publishing, monitoring and connectivity.
  • StoreFront to access virtual desktop or applications.
  • Secure external access via Netscaler Appliance
  • Two-factor smart card security authentication solution.
  • Tier 2 Infrastructure Operations Center (IOC) and Tier 3 (SME) support for Client Virtual Connection related issues.
  • Standard access to EMS Email, file/print and applications

CTS offers Client Virtual Connection technology to provide application and desktop virtualization also known as XenApp and XenDesktop to our customers.

  • XenApp virtualizes an application running on a server and provides it to the user via Client Virtual Connection Receiver. Available for any device supporting the Client Virtual Connection Receiver client and smart card, with a network connection. Virtualized applications include basic office automation software tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and common internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. This service can be used to provide specialized access to applications that are older, newly released, or beta versions.

    Custom business applications can be virtualized on a case-by-case basis.

    XenApp applications are available as a supplemental service consumable on existing workstations as well as within Virtual Desktop Platform.
  • XenDesktop virtualizes a complete operating system and delivers it via Client Virtual Connection Receiver. Available for any device supporting the Client Virtual Connection Receiver client and smart card, with a network connection.

XenDesktop provides a full virtual desktop environment, presented through Client Virtual Connection Receiver, for users requiring a full-time desktop environment as a replacement for a traditional workstation or for specialized access to a full desktop (e.g. remote power users, training labs, etc.).

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Virtual Desktops options include

  1. Individually entitled personalize desktops (Windows 7/10)
    a.  1 User per machine
  2. Pooled desktops (Windows 7/10)
    a.  Concurrent users limited by machines
  3. Pooled server based desktops (2008r2, 2012r2)
    a.  High density serving multiple users
  4. Specialty Virtual Desktops
    a.  ArcGIS
    b.  GPU acceleration

This solution can address telework requirements, special business needs, data locality issues and disaster events where the customer can continue to perform business functions from their personal PCs and other supported devices.

Access Method Add-On

Mac Workstation Services

CTS provides basic imaging of Apple Macintosh hardware and operating systems.

  • Deployment of workstations and peripherals for use with the Apple OS
  • Test and deployment of the most recent Apple released patches and updates
  • Test and deployment of new and the most recent software updates supported by software that runs on Apple hardware as it is requested by the participating agencies; through automated methods such as Casper Suite or by delivery to the OCIO/CTS hosted distribution portal.
  • Provision of secure eVirtual Private Network (eVPN) client for Apple OS with full network access
  • Provision of System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) client for Apple OS for antivirus and antimalware protection
  • Change Release and Configuration Management Services for customer needs for all Apple platforms
  • Image Management: Enterprise management and deployment of the operating system for application deployment and configuration of the latest Apple client operating systems - This service is built on the Jam Casper Suite services provided and results in a fully patched and configured USDA standard image delivered for each new or replacement Apple system in participating USDA agencies
  • Two-factor authentication via LincPass is supported on Apple platforms

Elevated Privileges

Workstation configurations with advanced access rights and administrative privileges are available with supervisory and agency purchasing contact permission. The customer provides a list of designated elevated privilege service participants

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How We Charge

Service charges are based on customer organization usage. Organizational counts of Standard Seats, Standard Plus Seats, and Workstations are based on quarterly Active Directory reports. Customer representatives identify and/or authorize individuals in their organizations who are to receive Premier Services, Remote Access Accounts, Apple Workstations, or Elevated Privileges.

Seat Services Measurement Descriptions

Product/Service Offering UNIT of Measure Description
Standard Seat Measured by the number of active user accounts compiled from Active Directory.
Standard Seat Plus Measured by the number of active user accounts compiled from Active Directory.
Premier Services Measured by the number of employees designated as "VIP" in Remedy.
Workstation Services Measured by the number of deployed workstations compiled from Remedy.
Elevated Privileges Measured by the number of employees with elevated privileges.
MAC Workstation Services Measured by the number of deployed workstations compiled from Remedy.

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Service Level Metrics

Seat Services Performance Measures

Performance Performance Measure Performance Target
Toll-Free National/Support Help DeskProper Contact Resolution (PCR)
Base and Premier Services
Number of contacts/incidents in a month (1) properly resolved on the First Contact plus (2) contacts/incidents correctly routed according to the Routing Procedure / total contacts in the month (The Government or a designated third party may audit the data.) 95%
Speed to Answer (SA) Telephone 

Base and Premier Service
Measurement of the time between a caller making his/her final selection in the IVR and speaking to a CSR. # of calls answered by a live CSR in 40 seconds or less / total calls. 90%
Desk Side Support

Premier Service
2 business hours if needed after calling Help Desk Support 80%
Client Supplemental Above Base Software Deployment

Base Service
30 business days from delivery notification to CTS or as separately agreed, must be certified or completed limited use, and licensed (includes Apple) 90%
Client Supplemental Above Base Software Deployment

Premier Service
1 business day, must be certified or completed limited use, and licensed 80%
Hardware Deployment

Base Service
30 Business days for standard core image deployment from delivery of all required items to completely install the hardware, or as separately agreed upon with a local customer representative (must be certified; does not apply for deployments for more than 5 users Not applicable to large purchases) (includes Apple) 97%
Hardware Deployment

Premier Service
1 business day  for standard core image deployment from delivery of all required items to completely install the hardware, or as separately agreed upon with a local customer representative (must be certified; does not apply for deployments for more than 5 users) (only for core Hardware items) 80%
New User Accounts

Base and Premier Services
1 business day (account only; does not include bulk SAAR request) 97%
Account Change

Base and Premier Services
3 business days, of the time (does not include bulk SAAR request) 95%
Separated End Users - Disable Accounts

Base Service
1 business day

(includes Apple; does not include bulk SAAR request)
Separated End Users - Disable Accounts

Premier Service
1 business day

(does not include bulk SAAR request)
Separated End Users - Delete Accounts

Base Service
Deleted 14 business days after account is disabled (does not include bulk SAAR request)

(includes Apple)
Separated End Users - Delete Accounts

Premier Service
Ddeleted 14 Business Days after account is disabled  (does not include bulk SAAR request) 100%
PC Software Incident Resolution

Base Service
5 business days

(includes Apple)
PC Software Incident Resolution

Premier Service
1 business day 80%
PC Hardware Incident Resolution

Base Service
5 business days
(Includes Apple)
PC Hardware Incident Resolution

Premier Service
1 business day 80%
Software Certification and Release

Base and Premier Service
Certification and/or approval of end user requests within 45 business days (includes Apple) 90%
Internal and External Access Virtual Desktops Availability

Availability of service measured at the data center 99%
Virtual Desktop System Configuration Change: Application/Software

2 weeks for standard changes 80%
Virtual Desktop System Configuration Change Network/Access

2 weeks for standard changes 80%
Legacy Telephone Systems

Out of warranty voice system service restoration repair 10 business days or less 95%
Warranty Telephone Systems

Repair time of legacy and VoIP phone systems within Warranty Repair less than 5 business days 95%

Measurement ToolsCTS Remedy, TSD internal tracking, and contractor reporting, Citrix Director

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Cost Saving Tips

  • Using Windows gives customers the best return for investment on operating cost.
  • Maintain hardware platforms to the most current release.
  • Update/upgrade legacy customer specific software to remain compatible with current operating systems.
  • Windows enables better client management and capabilities.
  • The use of Virtualization Services can significantly extend the life of desktops and laptops, reducing hardware lifecycle costs, deployment costs and better management of licensing.

Additional Information

  • A customer’s choice of workstation hardware can be purchased off of OCIO/CTS Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).
  • Regional and local differences may be applicable to how and which services are delivered.