Service level agreement is not so technical as it may seem; it can actually help boost end-user or even customer satisfaction through ensuring compliance of the terms and conditions that have been determined for services provided by the IT department.
On a larger scale, service level agreements are good indicators of the performance of your system. These agreements can also help you figure out if the services being provided are in compliance with requirements. If the requirements are set or determined in consonance with the business development team, then your service level agreement can help facilitate loyalty of your customers through ensuring their needs are met.
Ensuring service level agreement (SLA) directives are met can result in several advantages, including:
> Defining and outlining expected standards of service; both from the side of the vendor, and that of the customer
> Ensuring and measuring compliance of IT services being provided
> Help define benchmarks and quality standards
> Help define process and implementation better
> Setting clear rules and making expectations easier to understand
> Helps goal-setting
Application performance monitoring and the SLA
Your application monitoring tool can help you monitor service level agreement compliance. Some tools will also provide reporting, which in turn can help you monitor service level agreement compliance. One of the advantages of choosing a tool that can help monitor SLA compliance is that it will ensure your systems run smoothly and with lesser disruptions. Some tools also have reporting levels to align the customer’s perspective with IT goals and deliverables. These tools not only monitor individual components and services, they also help address the need to enforce the SLA directives.
A service level agreement need not be taken as a proverbial sword hanging over the heads of the IT personnel. Judiciously used, it works as an effective means of communicating expectations from the customer perspective to those in charge of managing the technical details.
The ideal performance testing tool
Service level agreements can also help ensure regular review and maintenance so that bugs are caught before they have caused severe damage. Service level reporting can prove to be extremely useful when it generates the necessary results in the stipulated time frame. Alerts are a necessary component of reporting as they bring to notice issues and problems, thus initiating troubleshooting wherever needed. Comprehensive performance testing tools approach the need for a agreement to be implemented across an organization. An SLA that is implemented across all of the systems in a business helps implement consistent performance and ensure smoother operations across the organization. Further, you can choose advanced options that allow you to test applications in a manner similar to that of an end user. This includes testing transaction time, response time, other factors such as ease of access, etc.
Service Level Agreement – The Basis For a Good Business Partnership
A service level agreement is an integral part in any business partnership, as it defines the relationship between the vendor and the client. A SLA is a written contract which determines the parameters for services including responsibilities, deliverable, priorities and guarantees/warranties. Clients looking for IT services generally prefer IT vendors who make service level agreements with a clear road map of how to achieve goals of the project along as well as clarity regarding the terms and conditions of the service. Any IT company seeking the services of an outsourcing company would prefer to sign a SLA with the vendor company.
Service level agreements make IT service management very easy, especially in the IT industry, wherein clients are concerned about any downtime in mission-critical software supporting their business. One small malfunction in IT operations can affect the bottom line of businesses. To prevent such malfunctions, clients as well as vendors prefer to sign service level agreements in order to define the rules and regulations and ensure the delivery of promised IT services.
A SLA gives the network administrator the complete details on application availability and is a great way of measuring application performance. Administrators can also undertake IT service management by utilizing the appropriate monitoring tools to ensure that the services meet SLA criteria.
Service level agreements are customized according to the client’s requirements and essentially differ from case to case. However, it is worth examining here what an SLA generally consists of. Some of the important aspects of a SLA are:
Description of the services being promised
Methods through which the services will be delivered
Criteria through which delivered services will be measured
Quality standards of the services promised
Line of action in case of failure of delivery
Having a service level agreement is applicable and advantageous to both the client as well as the vendor. IT administrators strive to ensure application availability and application performance so that it meets the SLA criteria. It lays down the basic rules for both parties concerned and becomes a point of reference in case of discrepancies. Some of the major advantages of a SLA are:
It is an evidence of the agreement between the two parties
Enables IT service management
Sets a criteria for quality of services provided
Paves the way for methods to be followed for delivery of services
Makes the terms and conditions clear in case of discrepancies between both parties
Clarifies goals to be achieved
Creates a standard in the level of service
Becomes a point of comparison for service improvement