Beginning in mid-August 2016, FFRA website content will be moving to the Northwestern IT site's new section for Administrative Systems.

About FFRA's Support Structure


Finance, Facilities, and Research Administration (FFRA) systems use a three-tier support structure.

  • Tier 1: Northwestern IT-TSS IT Support Center
  • Tier 2: TSS/FFRA Support Consultants
  • Tier 3: Process Owner and FFRA Support Consultants


Tier 1: NUIT-TSS IT Support Center


  • Provide first-level triage support
  • Assist users with basic access to the systems (NetID, VPN, Operating System)
  • Enter initial ticket in the support service management system
  • Immediately escalate issues that cannot be resolved to Tier 2


General Number: 847-491-4357, ext. 1 (1-HELP)

Tier 2: TSS/FFRA Consultants

Tier 2 consultants are dedicated to FFRA applications and receive functional and business process training, hands-on experience with each application, and work directly with the FFRA team and process owner offices.


  • Create support tickets when contacted by users
  • Accept ownership of calls and tickets routed to them
  • Supplement information provided in ticket, investigate, attempt to resolve, and communicate the resolution back to the end user
  • Focus on navigation, non-content functional, and application issues related to system access and general questions for each FFRA system
  • Resolve basic functional issues and system usage issues
  • Escalate issues that cannot be resolved to Tier 3


847-491-4357, ext. 2 (1-HELP)

Tier 3: Process Owner and FFRA

Business Process Owner

Issues Addressed

  • How should I do this in the system?
  • How do I perform my job?
  • Functional business support, including policy matters


  • Receive and act upon support tickets assigned to them
  • Coordinate as needed with colleagues in their office and FFRA team members to resolve issues
  • Address policy and procedural issues
  • Provide operational and functional assistance to audience of users defined for the rollout
  • Investigate, resolve, and communicate the resolution of functional issues back to end users


Small group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and/or Support Representatives from Functional Offices (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Accounting Services, OSR, Budget Office, Bursar, etc.)

Finance, Facilities, and Research Administration Group

Issues Addressed

  • How does the system work?
  • Why is the system behaving this way?
  • Functional system support
  • Technical support


  • Investigate, resolve and communicate the resolution of technical and software issues back to the end users
  • Update system configuration, including security
  • Maintain the application (patches, bugs, errors, upgrades)
  • Escalate issues to vendors as needed
  • ommunicate system status and planned outages to the TSS NUIT Support Center, process owners, and end users
  • Coordinate as needed with colleagues in other offices to resolve issues


FFRA Functional and Technical team members supporting each application/module

Issue Escalation

    Support tickets will flow in only one direction from Tier 1 to Tiers 2 or 3, and from Tier 2 to Tier 3.

    Tiers 1-3 are all able to create tickets.

    Tickets are monitored based on Service Level Agreements determined for each application.

Tickets whose resolution require the modification or enhancement of the delivered system, of reports, and/or of interfaces or other system components will result in an internal support ticket


IT Support Center (Tier 1)

Monday - Thursday: 8-8
Friday: 8-5
Saturday: 12-5
Sunday: 12-8
Closed on Holidays
Winter/Spring/Summer Breaks: Mon-Fri: 8-5, Closed Weekends

TSS FFRA Consultants (Tier 2)

Monday - Friday: 8-5
Closed on Holidays and Weekends

Process Owner and FFRA systems team (Tier 3)

Monday - Friday: 8-5
Closed on Holidays and Weekends



For technical assistance please contact the IT Support Center:

847-491-4357, ext. 2 (1-HELP) or


For general inquiries, please email FFRA:

We generally respond within 1-2 business days.


You may also wish to check the following resources:

System Status

Tips & Tricks