Support Escalation Process for Partners

Article Code: kb/448


  • Partner Support Team

Partner Action Items

  • Make sure this information is distributed to support team
  • Create Support Email alias
  • Set up an account with Zendesk

Support Introduction

CenturyLink Cloud’s comprehensive, secure, and global cloud platform is built for business — and we back it with business-class support options. Our reseller partner’s choose from the two different Support Tiers:

  • Professional
  • Enterprise

Support Boundary

The partner provides Level 1 support to customers for all CenturyLink Cloud products that it resells. The following conditions apply to partner support services:

  • The partner must include Level 1 Support contact information in all web sites and materials that describe support distributed to customers.
  • The partner cannot list CenturyLink Cloud Support contact information for end customers.

Definition of Level 1 Support

This is the initial support level responsible for basic customer issues. It is synonymous with first-line support, Tier 1 support, front-end support, support line 1, and various other headings denoting basic level technical support functions. The first job of a Level 1 specialist is to gather the customer’s information and to determine the customer’s issue by analyzing the symptoms and figuring out the underlying problem. When analyzing the symptoms, it is important for the technician to identify what the customer is trying to accomplish so that time is not wasted on attempting to solve a symptom instead of a problem.

This level should gather as much information as possible from the end user. The information should contain the computer system name, screen name or report name, error or warning message displayed on the screen, any logs files, screen shots, any data used by the end user or any sequence of steps used by the end user, etc. This information needs to be recorded into the issue tracking or issue logging system. This data is useful to analyze the symptoms to define the problem or issue.

Once identification of the underlying problem is established, the specialist can begin sorting through the possible solutions available. Technical support specialists in this group typically handle straightforward and simple problems while "possibly using some kind of knowledge management tool." This includes troubleshooting methods such as verifying the issues, resolving username and password problems, making necessary update to the portal, verification of proper portal set up, and assistance with navigating around application menus. Personnel at this level have a basic to general understanding of the product or service and may not always contain the competency required for solving complex issues. Nevertheless, the goal for this group is to handle 70% - 80% of the user problems before finding it necessary to escalate the issue to a higher level.

CenturyLink Cloud will provide higher level support to partner under the following conditions:

  • CenturyLink Cloud support is provided in English only.
  • CenturyLink Cloud support team will work on the tickets based on the severity of the issue and the support level.

Ticket Submission Process

The most efficient and effective way to contact the NOC team (CenturyLink Support) is to email or open ticket via portal.

Create Email Address

Partner needs to create one email alias for all the support ticket requests. All support team members who will submit and review should have access to this mailbox. This enables the team to track the status of the ticket.

For example, create This is an important step as the alias will be tied to our ticketing system (ZenDesk) when you email our support team.

Create ZenDesk account (using the Email created for Support)

Our support ticketing system, ZenDesk is where you can track all the updates to your support tickets. After your email address for support please follow the following steps to set up the ZenDesk account.

  1. Log into

  2. Click Sign up on the upper right hand side of the page and fill the form shown below. Please enter the email address you created for the support team.
    Note: CenturyLink recognizes only the email address associated with ZenDesk. Any support request from another email address is not converted into a ticket. Please use the same email address for escalation.

  3. After you sign up, you will receive a welcome email from for verification. Click the verification link and choose your password. Your account is active right away.

Information for Submitting the Ticket

Partners should ensure that they email the correct email alias, based on the urgency of the issue. You can use the ZenDesk for submitting tickets. The default priority for those tickets is designated as normal. We recommend emailing. The following information must be provided when submitting a ticket:

  • Partner Ticket Number (if tracked under a different number on your end)
  • Customer Name and Alias
  • External IP
  • Root/Admin Password if CenturyLink Cloud to login
  • PIN (found under Profile setting - details in section below)
  • Server Name
  • Your Control Portal Username and Pin Number
  • Copy of the error(s)
  • Brief description of the problem
  • Troubleshooting steps we have taken to verify/solve the problem
  • Which stack the error/server is on that is having issues
  • Screenshot of the issue, if possible/available
  • Your full name on all ticket updates
  • Email address of anyone that needs to be cc’d. The best practice is to add your Account Rep at CenturyLink to this email.

SLA for Support

The priority designation indicates the level, extent, and impact on the customer. Once assigned, the priority level is used to determine the resources allocated for resolving the ticket, timelines for resolution, and escalation matrix. Customers may assign a priority to tickets they create. Each incoming ticket is triaged and the priority assigned according to the criteria (defined in the table below).

Support Options

CenturyLink offers three support tiers for end user customers.

  • Developer - designed strictly for non-critical developer environments. and is not an appropriate level of service for reseller partners
  • Professional - default option for contracts
  • Enterprise - premier level of support

In order to provide the required level of support for our channel partners, either Professional or Enterprise level support is needed.

The following table describes list of operational support activities and requests offered across CenturyLink Cloud support tiers that may arise for virtual machines (VMs) provisioned on the CenturyLink Cloud platform. Support Activities are provided for Services and Systems Hosted on the CenturyLink Cloud Platform:

Support Activities Notes
24x7x365 health monitoring and incident resolution of the CenturyLink Cloud platform’s systems (i.e., physical servers, orchestration systems, virtualization management systems, data center hosting services, network architecture, and storage systems). Does not include operating systems and/or application performance issues within a Customer’s virtual machine (VM).
Data backup services Backups using single node/non-replicated storage and the number of days are determined by the class of storage provisioned.
Data/Server restores from backup Until this is exposed as a self-service feature it will be provided at no cost to customers.
Network latency/interruption within the CenturyLink Cloud platform (e.g., between servers) CenturyLink will investigate any network latency and/or service interruptions within the Platform and with our ISP vendors. Any upstream troubleshooting request is a separate billable support engagement.
Troubleshooting client-based OpenVPN issues CenturyLink will investigate any network latency and/or service interruptions within the CenturyLink Cloud Platform and with our ISP vendors. Any upstream troubleshooting request is a separate billable support engagement.
Troubleshooting point-to-point VPN issues CenturyLink will investigate any network latency and/or service interruptions within the CenturyLink Cloud Platform and with our ISP vendors. Any upstream troubleshooting request is a separate billable support engagement.
DDOS investigation Commercially reasonable efforts are employed to mitigate, investigate, and resolve DDOS attacks and/or other security intrusions that affect the shared platform.

Ticket Prioritization Matrix and Escalations

Tickets are worked according to priority in the order in which they are received. The priority designation indicates the level, extent, and impact on the partner.

If after reviewing the Ticket Prioritization Matrix you need to escalate a ticket, the following article details the escalation process.

Service Tasks

Our team of network engineers has deep operational expertise to quickly and efficiently perform common platform activities. Just give us the details on your request and, within one business day, we'll reply with an estimate, along with a projected completion date for the task. Service task estimation and duties are performed during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am - 5 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Support Team/Roles at CenturyLink Cloud

Our Support team is on call 24x7 with Engineers and Leads on shifts (i.e., rotation). It is important to keep in mind that our Executives are notified regarding Urgent Issues. Please use Urgent and High Priority appropriately. Our support team will flag any abuse to the Priority designation and the user might not get the appropriate support in future, if it has been abused. Likewise, they are on a 24x7 rotation.

  • Shift Engineers: Triage the shared queue
  • Shift Leads: Shift Leadership layer
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME): Engineers with specific skill sets (network, storage, platform, etc.)
  • Support Manager Layer: Support Management Team
  • Executive Overhead: CenturyLink Cloud Executive Staff

Security Issues

Security Incidents follow a standard Incident Process. Incident Response teams coordinate with legal, marketing, and executive team.

  • If an incident is security related, security SMEs are engaged in the same manner as other SMEs.

  • If an incident is determined to be a security breach of the CenturyLink Cloud environment, post-incident response and communication will be led by the Security.

  • Learn More About What to Expect form a Security Issue

Compromised Customer Machines/Abuse

These steps reside inside the “Restoration Process” within the overall Incident Management process.

Security Escalation Email

  • 24x7
  • Fully Automated
  • Tickets automatically escalated according to priority
  • On-call rotation
Type Description Email
Management Escalation On-call Management Team

How to get access to CenturyLink Cloud Status updates?

You can get updates through CenturyLink Cloud Status in two ways:

  1. Visit the Status page.

    • The site provides an overview in terms of status regarding the present health of the cloud and information on scheduled maintenance.
    • In the event of an outage, you can obtain real-time status updates.
  2. Users are automatically enrolled in an email notification program.

    • You will receive an email alerting you of your enrollment.
    • Information about planned maintenance and outages is sent out to the email addresses provided by users when they provision an account on the CenturyLink Cloud platform.

CenturyLink Cloud Overview

The best practice for reducing escalation is by understanding CenturyLink Cloud products, services, and features as well as possible.
Where to learn more about Your Platform in Motion: