A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is basically a documented agreement between a service provider and a customer that identifies both services required and the expected level of service from the customer. Certain aspects of the service – quality, availability, responsibilities – are agreed on, between the service provider and the service user. The most common component of an SLA is that the services should be provided to the customer as agreed upon in the contract. For a service provider, the SLA is typically one of two foundational agreements it has with customers and is considered a key document.
We at IP and Legal Filing understand the importance of an SLA agreement and assist in drafting agreements to efficiently measure the performance of services from the customer’s point of view, and make them easily understandable in the wider business context.
- These Service Level Agreements are unilateral. The B2C (Business to customer) service level agreements are not negotiated and signed between the customers and service providers. They are standard agreements.
- While getting an agreement drafted, the service provider must provide the terms of the service in detail and the same shall be encapsulated by the professionals in the easiest and universal way possible to suit the needs of a broad variety of customers and provide for a well-drafted standard agreement.
- Specifics of Services Provided
- Conditions of Service Availability.
- Time Window for each level of service responsibilities
- Escalation Procedures
- and Cost/Service Trade-offs
1. What is in an SLA?
An SLA essentially includes a statement of objectives, a list of the services to be covered by the agreement and a description of the roles and responsibilities of the service provider and customer under the agreement.
2. What is the purpose of a service level agreement?
A service level agreement or SLA is a formal document that defines a working relationship between parties for a service contract. It is generally more applicable to businesses than to consumers and involves one or more end-user parties and a service provider.
3. What are the 3 types of SLA?
- Customer-based; and
- Multi-level or Hierarchical SLAs
4. Is an SLA transferable?
If the service provider is acquired by or merges with another company, the SLA stands Transferred.
5. How are Service Levels verified?
Ideally, service providers provide for statistics on an online portal where customers could verify whether SLAs are being met and if they’re eligible for getting service credits or other any other penalties as laid out in the SLA.
6. Who needs an SLA?
SLAs were originated essentially owing to the growth of the IT sector to assist the network service providers but are now widely used in a range of IT-related fields like cloud computing and internet provider services. The Information Technology department of such service introduces an SLA so that there could be an efficient measurement of the services and perhaps compare them with those of outsourcing vendors.
7. Is validating SLA levels necessary?
Yes, for efficient enforcement of the agreement it is essential that provider's service delivery levels are validated and verified. There are certain specialized 3 rd party companies that control an online portal, generally on the advice of the service providers to publish their service level statistics, in which the customers can track whether appropriate service level is being maintained. The client can validate the levels and be eligible for claiming compensation in case the SLA is not being fulfilled.
8. What is a standard service level agreement?
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its customers that documents what services the provider will furnish and defines the service standards the provider is obligated to meet. A service-level commitment (SLC) is a broader and more generalized form of an SLA.
9. What is the difference between a contract and a service level agreement?
Contracts have a brief and vague statement of the service(s) to be provided and do not delve into specific detail of the services that are to be provided. On the other hand, Service Level Agreements are comprehensive agreements that not only define the services to be provided but how the client requires them.
10. What are the key requirements for successful SLAs?
- They should define a particular service in the service catalog since an unspecified service context isn’t unhelpful.
- They should balance the needs and requirements of both the service provider and the customer and not just define the technicalities.
- They should include all the parties to the agreement such as the service provider,
- customers, other stakeholders like sponsors and partners, etc. It shall also voice out
- for an active and engaging discussion between the service provider and the service consumer.
- They must be clear, concise and easy to understand without any ambiguity