This service can be used to handle enquiries from start-to-finish. Capture the method and type of enquiry, allocate tasks within teams, monitor the progress, and ensure the customer is satisfied. Record how the response was formulated, who was involved, and then report against the full lifecycle. UK hosted to IL2/OFFICIAL.
- Holistic Enquiries Management (i.e. Freedom of Information Act requests)
- Task management, alerting and tracking
- Defined and configurable workflow
- Aggregate evidence via audio file, image or email feedback
- Full audit trail of all actions performed
- Task management, alerting and tracking
- Comprehensive reporting
- Ensure that your organisation responds to enquiries within defined timeframes
- Root cause analysis
- Clean, intuitive user interface reducing the training burden for users
- Scalable without the loss of operating speed
- 24/7 access to your case information so you're always informed
- Saves time managing cases with workflows, tasks, alerting and assignment
- View stored information all in one place for increased visibility
- Wide range of supported platforms e.g. tablet, desktop
- Secure case management across all your teams and individuals
- Fast service delivery with defined SLA's provided directly from Blackthorn
- Easy to configure reports, automated dashboards and management information
- Integrity of information and better governance for your organisation
£45 to £65 per licence
- Free trial available
Blackthorn GRC Limited
|Software add-on or extension||No|
|Cloud deployment model||Private cloud|
This service is hosted in an IL0-2 environment with the main data centre and DR data centre based in the UK. It assumes your IT network infrastructure has a connection to the Public Sector Network (PSN-A) and your firewalls can be configured to allow traffic to and from our data centres.
An SSL certificate is required, which will need to be requested by your IT department, to ensure encryption of data in transit.
|Email or online ticketing support||Email or online ticketing|
|Support response times||
Support response times are dependent on the severity of the reported issue. Email and online ticketing is continuously monitored and reported issues triaged on receipt.
- Issues with a critical business impact - 30 minutes;
- Issues with significant business impact - 4 hours;
- Issues with Minor Business Impact - 1 working day;
- Issues with no discernable impact - 3 working days.
SLA response times are different outside of normal office hours of 9am to 5pm. Details of out of hours support response times are provided in Product Description Documents.
|User can manage status and priority of support tickets||No|
|Phone support availability||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Web chat support||No|
|Onsite support||Yes, at extra cost|
Our Silver support level offers our clients access to support 9am -5pm.
The cost of Silver Support varies according to user numbers and starts from £498 a month.
For clients who need on call 24/7 support, we do offer a Gold level support package for P1 (business critical) and P2 (business significant) support issues. This provides direct access to technical support engineers as and when need and enables maintenance windows out-of-hours.
The cost of Gold Support varies according to user numbers and starts from £6,498 a month.
Further details can be found in the Service Definition and Pricing Guide documentation.
|Support available to third parties||Yes|
Onboarding and offboarding
Self-service, on-line training is provided as standard. Users are provided with a URL, (to the application), training account ID and temporary password. The URL is set to point to a dedicated training system, that has been pre-configured for training purposes.
Training material is provided to guide participants.
Classroom training, either using generic materials or bespoke packages developed in partnership with the customer, is available at additional cost.
|End-of-contract data extraction||Users are able to export the underlying database in CSV format. Information can be selectively extracted using Blackthorn's reporting functionality and user configurable filters. Additionally, a backup of the application database (MS SQL) is supplied in an unencrypted format.|
A backup of the MS SQL Database will be provided as part of off-boarding and at no additional cost.
Should you require assistance to migrate the database content to a new application or platform, we will be pleased to assist. Such assistance, available under Lot 3 is at additional cost.
Servers used to deliver the retiring service (production, development, test, acceptance etc.) will be securely wiped and repurposed.
Any legacy backups not retained by the customer will be identified and securely wiped.
Using the service
|Web browser interface||Yes|
|Application to install||No|
|Designed for use on mobile devices||Yes|
|Differences between the mobile and desktop service||
At present we have only a single web application which is designed to work on devices with a permanent network connection. The web application will not work off-line.
We do have a IOS application in development, offering reduced functionality but the ability to work off-line. Please speak with us for further information.
|Accessibility standards||None or don’t know|
|Description of accessibility||
The application has been developed with the intention of conforming to W3C standards. The application is accessed via a Web page and therefore accessibility features provided by the Windows operating system (such as speech-to-text, font-size, and zoom) are fully operable.
User accounts can be personalised to aid any impairments. One exception is display timeouts. These are set at 'service' level and therefore apply to all users generally. The challenge is striking an appropriate balance between convenience, accessibility and security.
If requested, as with any such need, we will gladly assist to enable users to work as efficiently as any other.
|Accessibility testing||We frequently receive feedback from clients employing staff with assistive needs. We focus our energies on supporting supporting users with specific needs, through the adaption, configuration and bespoking of the application rather than trying to ensure the application meets every possible need.|
|What users can and can't do using the API||
We have a number of API services for consumption by third party applications.
Where Blackthorn functions are supported by an API service, the functions behave and operate as if a user was logged directly onto the application.
API requests must be serviced by a standard user account (not system account) so that there is an auditable history of all actions invoked remotely. The user account can be dedicated to API requests, or an actual user's account can be used. In both cases, the account must be marked for API usage and a separate application key is required.
|API documentation formats|
|API sandbox or test environment||Yes|
|Description of customisation||
The application has a flexible user interface that allows terminology, workflow, taxonomies, form layouts, surveys, team structures etc. to be tailored to an organisation's individual needs..
A general user account, with appropriate account permissions, can configure dashboards, exports, mail merge reports, surveys etc. using an intuitive, filter based interface.
An administration account, with appropriate account permissions, can configure via the interface workflow, users, teams, taxonomies, forms layouts, emails etc. again via dedicated customisation interfaces.
|Independence of resources||
Due to the type of service (IL0-2) the hosting is dedicated with fixed, pre-defined allocation of platform resources. This eliminates the possibility of memory bursts and contention by other parties.
Application servers are monitored and alerts automatically sent (to us) when a threshold is breached.
During our frequent service and maintenance reviews we assess performance to see if further resource should be allocated based on projections.
Additionally, the underlying architecture of the service is fully scalable allowing additional hardware (application servers) to be brought online if and when required.
|Service usage metrics||Yes|
Service metrics are providing covering: service availability, memory usage, peek bandwidth demand.
Service responsiveness can also be measured but requires a suitable host machine on which to run the monitoring software. Ideally, this machine needs to be on the customer's network.
|Supplier type||Not a reseller|
|Staff security clearance||Conforms to BS7858:2012|
|Government security clearance||Up to Security Clearance (SC)|
|Knowledge of data storage and processing locations||Yes|
|Data storage and processing locations||United Kingdom|
|User control over data storage and processing locations||Yes|
|Datacentre security standards||Managed by a third party|
|Penetration testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Penetration testing approach||‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider|
|Protecting data at rest||Physical access control, complying with another standard|
|Data sanitisation process||Yes|
|Data sanitisation type||
|Equipment disposal approach||Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001|
Data importing and exporting
|Data export approach||
Facilities provided as standard to export data to CSV files.
Filters can be applied to the database to narrow down the data-sets exported at any given time.
|Data export formats||CSV|
|Data import formats||
|Other data import formats||Email (requires mapping)|
|Data protection between buyer and supplier networks||
|Data protection within supplier network||Other|
|Other protection within supplier network||Uses networks guaranteed as secure by Government.|
Availability and resilience
We have SLA's defining targets for initial analysis time and resolution time. The targets are a function of the severity of the incident and therefore vary. Only normal working hours count towards the measurement of response times. For example, if an incident was reported one day and not resolved until the next, the over-night non-working hours would not count in the determination of actual response times.
Response times targets for initial analysis and resolution are provided below for different priorities of incident: Priority 1, 30 minutes and 5 hours respectively: Priority 2, 4 working hours and 8 working hours respectively; Priority 3, 1 working day and 3 working days respectively;
Priority 4, 3 working days and 5 working days respectively.
Should we fail to meet these targets for an incident or KPI 3 or more times and customers are awarded service credits:
3 breaches of targets = 1% service credit, 4-5 breaches = 2%, 6-7 breaches = 3%, 8-9 breaches = 4%, 10+ breaches = 5% service credit.
We are also able to provide 24x7 support, fully details are in the accompanying product description documents.
|Approach to resilience||
Our application runs in a virtualized cloud environment. If a virtualised server fails, such as a web server, other web servers within the virtualisd environment will take up the load, until a new instance of the failed server can be brought back on line (minutes).
If the primary data centre is lost, real-time data replication to the DR data centre ensure continuity of service with short Recovery Point Times. The DR facility is normally passive and has a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of less that 4 hours. Within this recovery time, a fully operational mirror of the Production service can be up and running.
Our enhanced offering comprises of multiple production web servers, so in the event one fails, the other can continue. Obviously there are TMGs and IPS units. There is also a DR site which can be used for fail over.
We have monitoring services installed on servers within the Data Centre but outside the main production environment. These monitoring service call API's with the application to determine its health. If the application is non-responsive, the monitor alerts us by email. Our service desk email is continuously monitored by support staff (mostly 24 x 7) to ensure outages are detected soonest and an appropriate recovery plan is executed.
The hosting provider also has monitoring software with realtime dashboards, copies of which are made available during each monthly service review meeting.
Identity and authentication
|User authentication needed||Yes|
|Other user authentication||This service is provided over the PSN. Certain areas of the product can be made authentication free (such as surveys and alerts).|
|Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels||
Support is offer not over the PSN, but via a VPN tunnel with client certificates and a number of jump boxes which allows access to a separate Virtual Network on which the VM's sit.
All internal and external firewalls are limited to only those ports and IP addresses that are required.
|Access restriction testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Management access authentication||Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)|
Audit information for users
|Access to user activity audit information||Users have access to real-time audit information|
|How long user audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|Access to supplier activity audit information||Users have access to real-time audit information|
|How long supplier audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|How long system logs are stored for||At least 12 months|
Standards and certifications
|ISO/IEC 27001 certification||No|
|ISO 28000:2007 certification||No|
|CSA STAR certification||No|
|Other security accreditations||Yes|
|Any other security accreditations||
|Named board-level person responsible for service security||Yes|
|Security governance accreditation||Yes|
|Security governance standards||Other|
|Other security governance standards||HMG Information Assurance Standard 1|
|Information security policies and processes||
Bespoke Security Operating Procedures developed to support security accreditation of the service and approved for use by a Government Security Accreditor.
Hosting infrastructure Pan-Government accredited.
|Configuration and change management standard||Supplier-defined controls|
|Configuration and change management approach||
We normally adopt the Change Management Process of the organisation owning the data, to ensure that our changement management processes align fully with those of the customer. We do not make changes to the service without the prior approval of the customer's Change Approval Board.
Change and configuration management is managed using industry standard, cloud based tools supported by procedures identifying gate keeps and associated controls.
Our Software Development Life-cycle includes post implementation reviews which are conducted by engineers familiar with OWASP guidance of security web coding practices. All coding is assessed for impact and regularly penetration tested for vulnerabilities.
|Vulnerability management type||Undisclosed|
|Vulnerability management approach||
Threat assessment are carried out at least annually to support the annual security testing of the application. Government websites and industry associations are used to maintain awareness of the changing threat landscape, especially in respect of cyber threats. The threat assessment results are used to inform the scope of the annual security testing.
Operating system patches are installed by our Cloud Hosting Partner, a month is areas to avoid any zero-day issues. the process followed meets Pan-government accreditation requirements.
|Protective monitoring type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Protective monitoring approach||
The cloud hosting environment incorporates a Threat Management Gateway and Intrusion Protection monitoring. Protective monitoring (aligned to GPG 13 - DETER) is implemented at Data Centre hypervisor level.
The Hosting provider's Service Desk or NOC operations will acknowledge incidents and advise on the tests and actions required to mitigate the incident, consulting as necessary with other IT representatives and/or 3rd parties. If unable to resolve,the incident will be escalated to the team leader of either the the NOC operations or Host provider's Service Desk Team.
Escalation to Priority 1 incidents within 30 minutes; priority 2, 3 hours.
|Incident management type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Incident management approach||
We use and instance of the Blackthorn Case Management Tool to monitor and track incidents. Each type of incident has its own pre-prescribed workflow for incident management.
Incidents can be raised through our web portal, emailing our support desk, or by calling our support desk phone number.
A management report is provided each month with figures indicating how we have performed against our SLA.
|Approach to secure software development best practice||Supplier-defined process|
Public sector networks
|Connection to public sector networks||Yes|
|Connected networks||Public Services Network (PSN)|
|Price||£45 to £65 per licence|
|Discount for educational organisations||No|
|Free trial available||Yes|
|Description of free trial||
This environment is hosted in a commercial datacenter and so should not be used to hold confidential/PM information. We do not guarantee the availability of the system and may be brought down at any time.
It includes the full functionality that the production system will have.
|Pricing document||View uploaded document|
|Skills Framework for the Information Age rate card||View uploaded document|
|Service definition document||View uploaded document|
|Terms and conditions document||View uploaded document|