What is a Service Level Agreement?
An SLA (also known as a Service Level Agreement or Service Level Agreement) describes the quality of the services that are provided. The agreement can be a contract between external and internal parties. Thanks to an SLA, a customer like you, is aware of the content and costs of the services he or she purchases and the supplier can be held accountable if he or she does not deliver the agreed quality.
Why a Service Level Agreement?
Deliver quality, determined in advance
If the services provided do not meet a certain quality condition, they must be improved. Because the quality requirements of the services are determined in advance, an SLA makes it easy to check whether these are being met. On the basis of an SLA, a cost can also be made so that it is determined in advance how much money the service will cost. The amount of the costs depends on the type of services and their interpretation. An SLA is also suitable for identifying the costs of existing services and possibly making cost savings.
For Which Services Is A Service Level Agreement Suitable?
Set for all types, tailored to the company
There is no fixed list of services for which you have to take out an SLA. In principle, they can therefore be set up for all types. There are as many SLAs as services. It is therefore important to tailor an SLA specifically to your company or service.
What Does A Service Level Agreement Contain?
The framework, makes the vision work
- Description of the service
- Duration and termination of the agreement
- Response and / or delivery time
- Calculation of rates and costs
- Method of payment
- Method of measuring service
- How often and to whom is reported
- Penalties for non-compliance with agreements
- How to deal with any changes to the service
- Whether and under what conditions it can be resolved under the SLA
What Is A Service Level Agreement Not Intended For?
Conditions to fall back, when needed to
There are a number of things to keep in mind when using an SLA. For example, an SLA should not become a goal in itself that must be achieved. They are more conditions that you can fall back on. You may wonder if you are doing a good job as a service provider if you fail to provide some extra service because it is not included in the contract.
Also, as a purchaser of the service, you should not use the SLA as a police officer to check whether all conditions are being complied with.
Averages of costs or response times can also be included, so you shouldn’t be surprised if it sometimes takes a little longer than agreed. In addition, checking the service involves so much time and money that it makes no sense to outsource at all.
Keep an eye out for third parties
Keep an eye on whether the party from which you purchase services itself depends on third parties. For example, the service provider may not be able to perform his work because another party is failing. Make clear agreements about what to do in such situations.
This post is also available in: Dutch