Why Is a Service Level Agreement

For example, Customer is responsible for providing an agent to resolve issues with the Service Provider related to the SLA. The service provider is responsible for meeting the service level defined in the SLA. The performance of the service provider is evaluated against a number of measures. Response time and resolution time are among the most important metrics included in an SLA because they relate to how the service provider handles a service disruption. A service level agreement (SLA) is an obligation between a service provider and a customer. Particular aspects of the service – quality, availability, responsibilities – are agreed between the service provider and the user of the service. [1] The most common element of an SLA is that services to the customer must be provided as agreed in the contract. In a service-based SLA, all customers who work with the service provider receive similar terms. For example, a cable TV provider specifies the services it offers to all its customers, as well as the additional services or channels available as part of the package.

Service level agreements can include many service performance metrics with corresponding service level objectives. A common case in IT service management is a call center or service center. Commonly accepted measures in these cases include: This section describes the architecture and technologies used by consumers of the service. Choose measures that motivate good behavior. The first objective of each metric is to motivate the appropriate behavior on behalf of the customer and the service provider. Each side of the relationship will try to optimize its actions to achieve the performance objectives defined by the metrics. First, focus on the behavior you want to motivate. Then, test your metrics by putting yourself in the place on the other side. How would you optimize your performance? Does this optimization support the desired results? The SLA should include not only a description of the services to be provided and their expected service levels, but also the measures against which the services are measured, the duties and responsibilities of each party, the remedies or penalties for violations, and a log for the addition and removal of measures. Define carefully. A vendor can optimize SLA definitions to ensure that they are met.

For example, the Incident Response Time metric is designed to ensure that the vendor processes an incident in at least a few minutes. However, some vendors can meet the SLA 100% of the time by providing an automated response to an incident report. Customers should clearly define SLAs so that they represent the intent of the service level. The types of SLA metrics required depend on the services provided. Many elements can be monitored as part of an SLA, but the scheme should be as simple as possible to avoid confusion and excessive costs on both sides. When choosing metrics, review your operations and decide what is most important. The more complex the surveillance system (and associated remedy), the less likely it is to be effective because no one has the time to properly analyze the data. When in doubt, opt for easy collection of metric data. Automated systems are best because expensive manual collection of measurements is unlikely to be reliable. Ideally, SLAs should be aligned with the technology or business objectives of the order. Misalignment can have a negative impact on quote prices, the quality of service delivery and the customer experience.

Businesses can be reassured with an SLA. And it protects them in the event of a worst-case scenario. As a result, service providers have security when they know that the work they do is valuable and leads to a common goal. If the service provider is acquired by another company or merges with another company, the customer can expect its SLA to remain in effect, but this may not be the case. The agreement may need to be renegotiated. Don`t make assumptions; However, keep in mind that the new owner does not want to alienate existing customers and therefore may decide to abide by existing SLAs. The main reason companies use a service level agreement is to align expectations with their service provider. Most importantly, SLAs help service providers move forward with an understanding of what is expected. The most important elements of a service level agreement include: The goal should be a fair integration of best practices and requirements that maintain service and avoid additional costs. While an SLA is not a contract, it is an important part of contracts with service providers such as software development outsourcing and software support companies. An SLA can only consist of a few sentences or several pages…