A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is the service contract component between a service provider and customer. A SLA provides specific and measurable aspects related to service offerings. For example, SLAs are often included in signed agreements between IT Managed Service and clients . Service Level Agreement can also be called an operating level agreement (OLA) when used in an organization without an established or formal provider-customer relationship.
Why do I need an Service Level Agreement (SLA) ?
Service Level Agreement SLAs are an integral part of an IT vendor contract. An SLA pulls together information on all of the contracted services and their agreed-upon expected reliability into a single document. They clearly state metrics, responsibilities and expectations so that, in the event of issues with the service, neither party can plead ignorance. It ensures both sides have the same understanding of requirements. Any significant contract without an associated SLA (reviewed by legal counsel) is open to deliberate or inadvertent misinterpretation. The SLA protects both parties in the agreement.
Ideally, SLAs should be aligned to the technology or business objectives f the engagement. Misalignment can have a negative impact on deal pricing, quality of service delivery, and customer experience.
Who provides the SLA?
Service Level Agreement are provided by service providers and this can be a good starting point for negotiation. These should be reviewed and modified by the customer and legal counsel, however, since they are usually slanted in favor of the supplier.
Future contained in the Service Level Agreement
- Specific details and scope of provided services, including priorities,responsibilities and guarantees
- Specific, expected and measurable services at minimum or target levels
- Informal or legally binding
- Descriptive tracking and reporting guidelines
- Detailed problem management procedures
- Detailed fees and expenses
- Customer duties and responsibilities
- Disaster recovery procedures
An IT service provider ust not only be able to gather data about SLA performance, they must also be able to report on that performance. Make sure your service management software is up to both tasks. Services Level Agreement SLA must be realistic and ABLE to be met. UNREALISTIC goals can demotivate YOUR service delivery team.