12-27-21 | Blog Post

What is a Service Level  Agreement?

Blog Posts

When it comes to investing in the cloud, companies have a lot of benefits and concerns to weigh. For most companies, the decision to shift to the cloud is made based on the benefits of flexibility, cost savings, scalability, and more. To address and minimize the concerns, cloud providers develop Service Level Agreements.

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between the service provider and the customer which defines the level of service expected from the service provider.  A SLA acts as a warranty for services and establishes customer and provider expectations ensuring both sides have the same understanding with regard to services.

Companies typically face challenges in networks, security, storage, processing power, database/software availability or even legislation or regulatory changes.  Thus, it makes sense to agree on the desired service levels and measure real results.

In order to develop an effective SLA, a list of standards need to be established:

  • What is the percentage of availability and uptime your services will be available?
  • What are the help desk expected response times to address any issues?
  • How secure and private is your data? Are your records encrypted?
  • In the event of a disaster what is the commitment expectations on Disaster Recovery?
  • Will you have access to your data and is it retrievable and in a readable format?
  • Will you have the ability to move the data to a different provider if you so wish?
  • Is the call center able to identify problems and resolution expectations?
  • Is there an exit strategy to ensure a smooth transition?

The SLA is a critical part of any supplier agreement, and it will pay off in the long run if the SLA is properly thought out and organized at the beginning of a relationship.  It protects both parties, and if disputes arise it will specify remedies and avoid misconceptions, thus saving significant time and money for both customer and supplier.

Though the exact terms may vary for each SLA depending on the service provider, the covered areas are consistent: volume and quality of work, speed, responsiveness, and efficiency. By outlining the parameters for these areas, the SLA aims to establish a mutual understanding of services, areas prioritized, responsibilities, guarantees, and warranties provided by the service provider.

Have questions on Otava’s SLA or want to discuss products or services? Contact us!

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