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Expertise Policy

Expertise definitions

Expertise is the application of a Pipe Ten staff member’s time when working on behalf of a customer.

Our expertise is billed based on the following factors:

  • All Pipe Ten products and services have elements of Inclusive assistance.
  • Standard expertise is for known-process and maintenance-type tasks.
  • Consultancy is for unknown-process and third-party consultancy-type tasks.
  • Exceptional expertise is when any of the above is required with exceptional urgency or unsociable time of day.

Many of the works we undertake for customers are cost-inclusive (not billable), but Pipe Ten will fairly apportion and bill everything else as outlined below.

Inclusive Assistance

Pipe Ten makes every effort to protect its Customers from unexpected costs, expertise or otherwise.

Inclusive assistance is provided to all Pipe Ten customers at no additional cost.

Frequently Inclusive Assistance:

  • Comparing or translating a Customer’s requirements for use with a Pipe Ten product or service (cost-of-sale).
  • Reasonably explaining how a Pipe Ten service works in relation to a Customer’s need (cost-of-service).
  • Explaining how a Pipe Ten service is secured or compliant (compliance-of-service).
  • Assisting with impact resulting from Pipe Ten core service failure or outage (cost-of-service).
  • Improving Pipe Ten products or services for the benefit of all based on Customer feedback (cost-of-improvement).

Examples of Inclusive Assistance:

  • Will the Pipe Ten DNS service allow for the use of ABC records?
  • We wish to use ABC software; is Pipe Ten’s product appropriate?
  • How long is the CCTV retained within the ISO27001 data centre where our services reside?
  • Our website was unavailable for a period of time, can Pipe Ten investigate and provide a report and reassurances to management?
  • Is it possible for the monitoring service to be extended to include the availability of this common bit of software?

Standard Expertise

Standard expertise is considered business-as-usual assistance with the management of a customer’s existing solution, when not included as part of a managed service and typically billed when requesting modifications to a solution. Standard expertise may include admin, support, engineering or any other non-inclusive non-consultancy assistance.

Standard Expertise Considerations:

  • Assisting third parties such as developers with a Pipe Ten service, will be billable where outside reasonably making use of.
  • Customising Pipe Ten products or services based on Customer feedback, when not in the interests of Pipe Ten or its other Customers.
  • Providing technical support for application specific issues such as coding or database support.
  • Repeated justification as to the costs incurred from this expertise policy may itself at our discretion be considered billable.
  • Performing a migration on a customers behalf instead of assisting a customer in migrating it themselves.

Standard Expertise Examples:

  • We have passed the required access credentials and provided explanation on how to restart NGINX to our developers but they do not understand, can you help them further?
  • Is it possible for the monitoring service to be extended to include the availability of this uncommon or hard to enumerate bit of software?
  • We’d like you to do something that we do not fully understand due to its complexity, could you provide us with a quote to do the works?
  • I don’t have time to read the support articles you provided and move my own website, can you do it for me?


Consultancy is predominantly for anything not covered by the above and any project based work that may involve researching or building advanced solutions using third party resources.

Billable Consultancy Considerations:

  • Explicitly researching, testing and defining how complex third party software might interact or be configured for use with the Pipe Ten service.
  • Assisting the Customer to determine their own business requirements, when not directly relating to a Pipe Ten product or service.
  • Assisting the Customer with compliance or planning outside of Pipe Ten’s scope of responsibility.
  • Providing the Customer with a fixed quote or detailed schedule of works, where the time required to provide the quote exceeds or cannot be reasonably included in the works required.
  • Where Pipe Ten is assisting the customer with a third party provider and not being paid directly and/or not being billed with sufficient margin to cover the time.

Examples of Consultancy:

  • Can you assist modifying our entirely bespoke website based on complex, uncommon or antiquated technology to work?
  • Can you help us integrate our own directly billed public cloud service into our private cloud application hosting solution?
  • We need to plan for disaster recovery to someone other than Pipe Ten; can you help us define and test a DR plan and help us in determining our internal MTPD, RTO or RPO?
  • I don’t understand the compliance answers my customer or supplier is asking of me, can I just send you the document for you to complete on my behalf?

Exceptional Expertise

Exceptional expertise is when you require any of the above assistance with exceptional urgency or at unsociable hours outside of the core operating hours (business hours).

Exceptional expertise is billable at 2x the rate of standard expertise or consultancy, as defined in the service contract or standard price list.

Circumstances of Exceptional Expertise:

Examples of Exceptional Expertise:

  • We just made someone redundant at 6pm on a Friday and forgot they had access to the databases, I’ve already left the office, can you do this for me?
  • The developers just accidentally wiped all my data and 2000 people are unable to work right now, can you help me with disaster recovery?
  • The only time we can deploy a new version of our software is manually on Christmas day and I’ll be without internet access, can you be online and talk my offshore developers through any problems they face on the day?

Expertise Schedule

  • Inclusive Expertise is considered cost-of-sale or otherwise inclusive in another paid-for service.
  • Standard Expertise and Consultancy is billable at the contracted rate.
  • Exceptional Expertise is billable at 2x the relevant contracted rate.
  • Expertise where billable is calculated and billed to the nearest 15 minutes.

Expertise Billing

How is expertise requested?

All Pipe Ten Customers can call upon our expertise by when requested through support system or account management. Expertise will automatically be actioned and billed even if not considered inclusive.

How is expertise tracked?

All expertise is recorded within the customer’s control panel and can be accessed at any time. The control panel shows when and for what purpose the expertise was billed.

How is expertise billed?

  • Any reasonable request for expertise will be actioned without question.
  • Pipe Ten shall consider and clearly mark any inclusive support as zero-rated (not billable).
  • Billable expertise costs are payable in accordance with the contract and credit terms.

Can I dispute billed expertise?

Pipe Ten welcomes all customers to reasonably question when/where/why Pipe Ten has billed for its expertise, this should be raised with your account manager or via ticket.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Where the customer provides its employees and/or third parties access to self-request Pipe Ten’s expertise, it shall be the customer’s responsibility to maintain oversight and cost control of any requests.
  • Expertise excludes material costs required to perform the requested works, this may include:
    • Travel expenses.
    • Third party expenses.
    • Software licenses.

Expertise SLA

Last changed: 2023/03/01 at 21:16 by Gavin Kimpton

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Classification: Public
Last saved: 2024/05/23 at 11:16 by Carl

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