A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a documented agreement between a service provider and a client that identifies the required services as well as the customer’s expected level of service. Between the service provider and the service user, certain aspects of the service like the quality, availability, responsibilities, etc are agreed upon. The most common aspect of an SLA is that, as agreed in the contract, the services should be given to the client. For a service provider, the SLA is considered an important document and is usually one of two foundational agreements it has with the clients.
At IP and Legal Filing (IPLF), we know the implications of an SLA agreement and assist in preparing agreements to assess efficiently the performance of services from the point of view of the consumer effectively and make them clearly understandable from the broader business perspective.
- These arrangements are unilateral. The B2C (Business to Consumers) agreements are standard and are not negotiated. They are signed between the service providers and the consumers.
- When an agreement is being put in place, the service provider must provide the terms of the service in detail, and the experts shall encapsulate it in the best and most universal way feasible to satisfy the needs of a wide range of consumers and provide for a well-drawn uniform 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?
In essence, the SLA contains a statement of objectives, a list of the services to be included in the agreement, and a summary of the roles and obligations of the contractual service provider and client.
2. What is the purpose of a service level agreement?
A Service Level Agreement ( SLA) is a legal document that specifies a working arrangement for a service contract between parties. In general, it is more applicable to enterprises than to customers and requires one or more end-user parties and a provider of services.
3. What are the 3 types of SLA?
- Based on Service
- Based on Customer
- Multi-level or Hierarchical SLAs
4. Is an SLA transferable?
In case of acquisition by or a merger with another company, the SLA can be transferred.
5. How are Service Levels verified?
Ideally, on an online site, service providers have statistics where clients can check if SLAs are being met and whether they are qualified for service credits or any other penalties as set out in the SLA.
6. Who needs an SLA?
Initially, SLAs were developed due to the growth of the IT sector to facilitate network service providers but are now commonly used in a variety of IT-related fields such as cloud computing and internet provider services. Such a service’s Information Technology department implements an SLA so that the services can be accurately evaluated and even compared to those of outsourcing vendors.
7. Is validating SLA levels necessary?
Yes, it is important that provider and service delivery levels are validated and reviewed for proper implementation of the agreement. Any specialized 3rd party companies that operate an online platform typically publish their (service providers) service level statistics on the advice of service providers, through which consumers can check whether the required service level is being maintained.
8. What is a standard service level agreement?
A Service Level Agreement ( SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its clients that documents what services the provider is going to offer and specifies the service levels that the provider is expected to meet. A service-level commitment (SLC) is a type of SLA that is wider and more generalized.
9. What is the difference between a contract and a service level agreement?
Contracts provide a short and ambiguous description of the service(s) to be rendered and do not delve into particular specifics of the services to be provided. Service Level Agreements, on the other hand, are detailed agreements that not only specify the services to be rendered but also how they are requested by the customer.
10. What are the key requirements for successful SLAs?
- As an undefined service background is not helpful, they should specify a particular service in the service catalog.
- They should balance both the service provider’s and the customer’s needs and requirements and not only specify the technicalities.
- All the parties to the agreement such as service providers, customers, other stakeholders like sponsors and partners, etc. should be included.
- For an active and engaging discussion between the service provider and the consumer, it shall voice out.
- They must be understood without any vagueness and must be clear, concise, and easy to understand.