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A. The CMITS Third Party Assessment Service allows third parties to submit their products (hardware and software) to be assessed for any likely impact to the existing ICT Services if implemented within the C2k Network. The Assessment Service considers the likely impact of both the initial installation and ongoing operation of the third party product within the C2k Network environment. It will confirm if the product can be successfully implemented and determine any system and network configuration or account privileges required. It will also seek to identify any operational incompatibility or security risks as a result of the implementation of the product so as to protect the existing environment.
NOTE: The Assessment Service does not provide any assessment of the suitability of the third party product from an Education and Learning perspective.
A. Capita Managed IT Solutions (CMITS) has been contracted by C2k to deliver a flexible end-to-end ICT service to schools across Northern Ireland. Under the contract, CMITS are required to deliver this service to high levels of performance and availability. To protect these service levels from unexpected impact or degradation, changes to it are required to be assessed and stringently tested prior to being introduced into the live production environment. This applies to any cloud, data centre or school based components of the service.
A. The Assessment Service considers the likely impact of both the initial installation and ongoing operation of the third party product within the C2k Network environment. It will confirm that the product can be successfully implemented and determine any system and network configuration or account privileges required. It will also seek to identify any operational incompatibility or security risks as a result of the implementation of the product.
Third party products submitted for assessment are assigned an Assessment Category. This assignment is dependent on the type and architecture of the product to be assessed and considers factors such as where it is to be implemented, what account types and privileges are required, integration and data exchange with other systems, LAN, WAN and Internet connectivity etc. Further detail on the Assessment Categories is available here
The Assessment Service consists of both Initial Assessment and Full Assessment phases. The Initial Assessment phase is designed to determine any fundamental issues or risks with the third party product that would prevent it from being implemented within the C2k Network as quickly and effectively as possible. The Initial Assessment requires the third party product to be installed within the CMITS Development and Testing environment. This environment closely resembles the current C2k Network and allows the third party product to be assessed against a pre-defined set of checks and tests. The checks and tests are designed to quickly determine any fundamental issues or risks with the third party product that would prevent it from being installed within the C2k Network. If the third party product successfully completes the Initial Assessment, it will then be subjected to the Full Assessment that contains additional tests and checks that will be carried out including the implementation within the individual CMITS Quality Assurance (QA) and Pre-Production Model (PRD Model) environments.
A. While products vary greatly in their system requirements and provided functionality, Capita will assign a category to each request so that the approach to testing and assessment can be consistently applied in a manner that is appropriate to the product being assessed. Currently there are two main assessment categories in use:
Category A Items: includes any product that cannot be categorised as a Category C item.
Category C Items: includes individual hardware or software products that are classed as ‘standalone’ i.e. they have no dependencies on other systems and can be implemented without any change to the existing environment.
NOTE: It is expected that an additional assessment category will be introduced at a later stage. This additional category will allow the introduction of a further discrete set of tests and checks that can be applied to products that meet specific criteria.
A. The time required to complete the assessment of a third party product is dependent on a number of factors. Firstly, the assigned Assessment Category (dependent on the type and architecture of the third party product) determines the scope and depth of the assessment required to determine the likely impact of it if implemented within the C2k Network. (Further detail of what is included within the assessment is answered here). Secondly, we can only assess a very small number of third party products at any one time due to the availability of our different testing environments (they need to be maintained and regularly refreshed to maintain their integrity and avoid cross-contamination from other third party product assessments) and limitations on the availability of physical resource to carry out the assessment. However, you will be kept informed of progress throughout the assessment process.
A. If on completion of the assessment, a third party product is determined unsuitable for deployment within the C2k, the assessment will be marked as ‘Assessment Failed’ and placed on a Register of Third Party Products. Third party products that have successfully completed assessment will be marked as ‘Passed Assessment’ and placed on the Register of Third Party Products. Any additional notes, requirements, restrictions or limitations will also be made available via the Register.
A. The Assessment Service does attract a fee which is necessary to cover the costs of providing the service. In the event that the third party product fails the Initial Assessment, the fee will not be invoiced.
The fees for the Assessment Service are based on the Assessment Category assigned by Capita and are as follows:
|Category A:||£TBA||Category C:||£675.00*|
Additional Assessment Categories may be introduced at a later stage.
Fees for Category A assessments are to be arranged.
*The introductory fee for Category C assessments is £675.00 and is subject to further revision.
A. While the Assessment Service seeks to determine the likely impact of the implementation of a third party product within the C2k Network, it is conducted at a point in time using the version of product provided and within the environment that exists at the time of assessment. It is not designed to be fully exhaustive of every conceivable check and test and does not consider future changes to the C2k Network that may have an impact on the operation or functionality of a previously third party product that has been successfully assessed.
It also does not consider major or significant changes to the third party product that have been applied since completion of the assessment. Where a third party releases a major or significant change to their product, they are expected to submit the updated product for reassessment.
A. The assessment is carried out based on the information provided by the third party and using the CMITS standard checks and tests in operation at the time of submission of the request. In the event that the third party product fails the Initial Assessment, the fee will not be invoiced.
If you wish to discuss any issues highlighted as part of the assessment, please get it touch via the Contact page.