Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are agreements or contracts with suppliers that define the service they must provide and the level of service they must provide. You also define the responsibilities and priorities that you and the supplier have accepted. Cloud providers are more reluctant to modify their standard SLAs because their margins are based on providing goods services to many buyers. However, in some cases, customers are able to negotiate terms with their cloud providers. A Service Level Contract (SLA) defines the level of service a customer expects from a provider and defines the metrics on which that service is measured and corrective actions or penalties, if they exist, if agreed service levels are not met. As a general rule, SLAs are located between companies and external suppliers, but they can also be between two divisions within the same company. When sending a PSR, the customer must include the expected levels of service as part of the requirement. This has an impact on suppliers` offers and prices and may even influence the supplier`s decision to respond. If you need z.B. 99.999 percent availability for a system and the provider cannot meet this requirement with the indicated design, it can offer another, more robust solution. It will usually take a lot of time and effort to implement alS. Be diligent in gathering information, negotiations and consensus with your supplier. An ALS will work best if both parties commit to each other, so try to reach an agreement in good faith.
If the agreement is approved by all parties, it must be responsible to ensure that the parties concerned are satisfied and there is no breach of the obligation of the parties to discharge their obligations and responsibilities. Simply put, this means that periodic (quarterly) audits should be conducted. In the ALS text, there is usually a section describing the minutes of these audits, which executes them when and how to contact other parties when a problem is found. Most service providers provide statistics, often through an online portal. There, customers can check whether ALS is being met and whether they are entitled to service credits or other penalties under ALS. A compensation clause is an important provision in which the service provider agrees to exempt the client company from possible violations of its guarantees. The exemption means that the supplier must pay the customer all third-party procedural costs resulting from the breach of the guarantees. If you use a standard ALS provided by the service provider, it is likely that this provision does not exist. Ask your in-house advisor to design a simple provision to include it, although the service provider may wish for further negotiations on this issue. Although your ALS is a documented agreement, it doesn`t have to be long or too complicated. It is a flexible and living document.
My advice? Create one with this model and examples and advise your clients for any perceived shortcomings. As unforeseen cases are unavoidable, you can re-call and optimize ALS if necessary. In some cases, you may need to accept standard ALS from a supplier. For example, you are unlikely to be able to negotiate a custom ALS with your telecommunications operator. If ALS does not guarantee the quality of service you are requesting, you may need to look for other providers or develop contingency plans to resolve the issues. Set a good base number. Defining the right measures is only half the fight. To be useful, measures must be set at reasonable and achievable performance levels.