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SLA Meaning

What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

This is a contract between the provider and customer regarding the expectations. That the latter holds for the products and services that the former has to offer. It outlines the metrics and standards for these obligations and also the penalties. And remedies in case such quality levels are not achieve. The internet service providers and telcos will include service level agreements. As part of their commitment with the clients to define these services in plain language.

Pile with three wooden cubes – letters SLA meaning Service Level Agreement on them, space for more text / images at right side.

Therefore, the SLA contains the technical mean time between failures (MTBF). Mean time to repair or mean time to recovery (MTTR). This can be a legally binding formal contract between different companies. Or an informal one between the different departments of the same company. The different components of an SLA define these services and claims for the termination of this agreement. For a successful SLA, it needs to be update on a regular basis according to the company’s changing needs. The parties involved should meet frequently for open discussion and annual revisitations to make changes. 

The different levels of an SLA

The types of SLA an organization can include depends on many factors. Some may be target to individual customers while others cater to the needs of entire organizations. This is because the requirements of one user may not always coincide with that of the other. 

Customer-based SLA

This is detail around fulfilling the needs of individual clients and all the relevant services that one contact demands. This is highly focus on a particular audience and elaborates. On the type and quality of service that has been agreed upon. Such as a telecommunications service which includes voice calls, messaging and internet service. But is present under only a single contract. For example, an SLA between a supplier (IT service provider). And the finance department of a large organization for the services. Such as finance system, payroll system, billing system, procurement/purchase system etc.

Service-based SLA 

This contract includes only one type of service for all of its customers. This unanimous approach makes it limited to one unchanging standard. So that it is more convenient and straightforward for all the vendors. There isn’t much hassle for everyone to receive equal services so it reduces any unnecessary competition as well. For example, using a service-based agreement regarding. An IT helpdesk would mean that the same service is valid for all end-users that sign the service-based SLA. For instance, a mobile service provider offers a routine service to all its customers. And there is a certain maintenance as part of the process that has a universal charging. 

Multi-level SLA

This settlement bears in mind the needs of the end-user company. The user can even integrate several conditions into the same system. For a more suitable service and can be further classified into other types. Each level addresses a different set of customers for the same services in the same SLA.

  • Corporate level – This SLA does not require very frequent updates for its stances are rarely change. It even includes a comprehensive discussion of all the relevant. Topics of the contract and can be of use to customers in the end-user organization. This covers all the generic service level management (SLM) issues appropriate to every customer throughout the company. Since these issues are less volatile, lesser SLA reviews are need. 
  • Customer level – This deal brings into light all the problems related to the service. That are applicable to a certain group of customers only. However, it does not take into consideration the type of user services. An example of this is when an organization requests that the security level in one of its departments is strength. In this situation, the entire company is secure by one security agency. But requires that one of its customers in the company is more secure for certain reasons. Regardless of the services being use this covers all the SLM issues that are faced by one client type. 
  • Service level – All the aspects attribute to a particular service with regard to a customer group are included. This covers all relevant SLM issues for specific services in relation to one customer group. 

What are the components of an SLA?

The SLA includes two key areas of an agreement: the services and management. Service elements include specifics of services provide (and what’s exclude. If there’s room for doubt), conditions of service availability. Standards such as time window for each level of service (prime time and non-prime time may have different service levels. For example), responsibilities of each party, escalation procedures, and cost/service tradeoffs.

The Management elements include measurement standards, reporting procedures, indemnification clauses. Contents and frequency, a problem resolution process and a method to revise the agreement whenever the need arises. The service requirements and vendor capabilities keep shifting so it is vital that the SLA is keep up-to-date.