Service Level Agreement – SLA
The relationship between enterprises and vendors of IT services are not always the most enlightening and tranquil. Service providers can often deliver less than what was promised while customers may require more than what was expected. To avoid unpleasant surprises and generate more transparency in relations among companies, the need to establish a Service Level Agreement.
But what is a Service Level Agreement?
An SLA is a document that establishes liability clauses in any contract with IT companies. Quality indicators, performance metrics, instrument of commitment, deadlines, infrastructure information, availability, support, fines for noncompliance with some points and other factors that involve a contract between clients and vendors are defined in it.
Importantly, all the goals stipulated in the agreement are easily measurable in order to assist the contracting party in evaluating the performance of the IT company contracted.
What are the advantages of an SLA?
The first beneficial aspect of a Service Level Agreement is the security that it provides for both the client and the vendor. Both have a legal protection backed by a contract so that non-compliance is prevented or punished.
For example, a client may impose a fine for the IT company that does not guarantee the minimum quality for the service defined in the contract. As for the vendor, they are protected from excessive demands from the contracting party, such as the one for more results or improper claims.
Having liabilities written and signed in contracts ensures transparency in the relationship among companies. This is directly connected to goals projection and quality indicators established in the original agreement.
For example, if a company that sells in cloud computing sets in contract minimum availability of 99% of the platform operating time, the client will have a clear metric to assess the service performance.
Incidentally, the measurement in real time taken by the SLM (Service Level Management) is important to encourage the integration between the contracting party and the vendor. Both begin to work together from planning to design solutions aimed at the results projected in the agreement.
Providing guarantees to clients signed in a document is part of a necessary maturation for IT. Relations among contracting parties and service providers begin to generate more credibility, going further than delivering good results.
Quality is no longer perceived only during and after the service provided, but previously agreed, since the client gets to know exactly what to expect.
Moreover, it positively affects the IT companies’ reputation by adding important values related to trust and professionalism. This is reflected in customer retention and satisfaction, especially if the expectations agreed are exceeded.
The SLA is important for the results delivery quality to be guaranteed for any customer, especially small and medium enterprises. For example, establishing these agreements makes more confident the micro-entrepreneur who needs an IT service, but who in the past may have experienced problems of stability, availability and support.
By the same token, great players who demand the highest indicators are supported by the contract and are more protected from vendors who cannot cope with demands.
Establishing a Service Level Agreement avoids unnecessary worries and service quality is perceived by the end consumer, as companies are best served and vendors guarantee their credibility in the market.
If you have liked our article, make sure you complement this reading by seeing how IT can help your business in times of crisis.