Service level agreement


Service level agreement

A service level agreement (frequently abbreviated as SLA) is a part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. In practice, the term "SLA" is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service) or performance.

Description

An SLA is a formally negotiated agreement between two parties. It is a contract that exists between customers and their service provider, or between service providers. It records the common understanding about services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantee, and such — collectively, the "level of service". For example, it may specify the levels of availability, serviceability, performance, operation, or other attributes of the service like billing and even penalties in the case of violation of the SLA.

Historically, SLAs have been used since late 1980s by fixed line telecom operators as part of their contracts with their corporate customers. More recently, Information Technology departments in larger enterprises have adopted the idea of using service level agreements with their customers — users in other departments within the same enterprise — to allow for comparing the delivered quality of service with the one promised and potentially consider the alternative of outsourcing IT services to an external company.

The technical specifications of an SLA are commonly described through either a Service Level Specification (SLS) or a Service Level Objective (SLO). An SLS is intended as an operational guideline for the implementation of the service, and anSLO is a subset of an SLS containing some service parameters and goals to be achieved by the SLS.

Common metrics

Service Level Agreements can contain numerous service performance metrics with corresponding service level objectives. A common case in IT Service Management is a call center or service desk. Metrics commonly agreed to in these cases include:

*ABA (Abandon Rate): Percentage of calls abandoned while waiting to be answered.
*ASA (Average Speed to Answer): Average time (usually in seconds) it takes for a call to be answered by the service desk.
*TSF (Time Service Factor): Percentage of calls answered within a definite timeframe, e.g. 80% in 20 seconds.
*FCR (First Call Resolution): Percentage of incoming calls that can be resolved without the use of a callback, or without having the caller call back the helpdesk to finish resolving the case.
*TAT (Turn Around Time): Time taken to complete a certain task.

Uptime Agreements are another very common metric, often used for data services such as shared hosting, virtual private servers and dedicated servers. Common agreements include percentage of network uptime, power uptime, amount of scheduled maintenance windows etc.

Many SLAs track to the ITIL specifications when applied to IT services.

Typical contents

SLAs commonly include segments to address: a definition of services; performance measurement; problem management; customer duties; warranties; disaster recovery; termination of agreement. [An outline of the core elements of an SLA. [http://www.sla-zone.co.uk The Service Level Agreement] .]

In outsourcing

Outsourcing involves the transfer of responsibility from an organization to a supplier.The management of this new arrangement is through a contract that may include a Service Level Agreement (SLA).The contract may involve financial penalties and the right to terminate if SLAs are consistently missed. Setting, tracking and managing SLAs is an important part of Outsourcing Relationship Management (ORM) discipline. It is typical that specific SLAs are negotiated up front as part of the outsourcing contract and they are utilized as one of the primary tools of outsourcing governance.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Service level agreement — Le Service Level Agreement (SLA) est un document qui définit la qualité de service requise entre un prestataire et un client. Le Service Level Agreement, que l’on pourrait traduire en français par Contrat de niveau de service est donc un contrat… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • service level agreement — UK US noun [C] (ABBREVIATION SLA) COMMERCE ► an agreement between a business providing a service and a customer, stating what is being provided, quality levels, etc.: »The center s service level agreement states that 80% of calls will be answered …   Financial and business terms

  • Service Level Agreement — Der Begriff Service Level Agreement (SLA) oder Dienstgütevereinbarung (DGV) bezeichnet einen Vertrag resp. die Schnittstelle zwischen Auftraggeber und Dienstleister für wiederkehrende Dienstleistungen. Ziel ist es, die Kontrollmöglichkeiten für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Service-Level-Agreement — Der Begriff Service Level Agreement (SLA) oder Dienstgütevereinbarung (DGV) bezeichnet einen Vertrag bzw. die Schnittstelle zwischen Auftraggeber und Dienstleister für wiederkehrende Dienstleistungen. Ziel ist es, die Kontrollmöglichkeiten für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Service Level Agreement — Le Service Level Agreement (SLA) est un document qui définit la qualité de service requise entre un prestataire et un client. Le Service Level Agreement, que l’on pourrait traduire en français par accord de niveau de service ou contrat de niveau… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Service Level Agreement — Соглашение об уровне услуги (Service Level Agreement) это формальный договор между заказчиком (в методологии потребитель разные понятия) услуги и её поставщиком, содержащий описание услуги, права и обязанности сторон и, самое главное,… …   Википедия

  • Service Level Agreement —    Abbreviated SLA. An agreement between a user and a service provider that defines the terms and conditions of the service, as well as being a means for evaluating the service provided against the service specified.    See also Internet Service… …   Dictionary of networking

  • service level agreement — noun A contract between the provider of a service and a user of that service, specifying the level of service that will be provided …   Wiktionary

  • service level agreement — / sɜ:vɪs lev(ə)l əˌgri:mənt/ noun an agreement between a supplier and a customer which stipulates the level of services to be rendered. Abbr SLA …   Marketing dictionary in english

  • service level agreement — SLA An arrangement in an organization for the performance standards of a specific *service department. An SLA normally involves the use of metrics to monitor performance for example, an information technology support department may include among… …   Auditor's dictionary