What is Service Level Agreement (SLA) and its importance?

Noc monitoring service provider
Managed WIFI Services Richard Grantt Managed SD-WAN 4/3/2020

Hello Everyone! we are back again with another blog for you.This time we are going to cover everything about SLA(service level agreement). So, the very first question what is SLA? Service level agreement is a contract between a network service provider and the customer which specifies services that a network engineer or network service provider can offer to a company or individual customers. In this agreement network service provider gives their services according to customer needs, their flexibility and charged accordingly. A single SLA provider can provide multiple services to multiple customers or IT firms. So, can we get a real-life example to understand this! the answer is yes. The most common example of service level agreement is when someone downloads software from a particular site there is a popup window which specifies all the terms and condition of that particular company before downloading the software you clicked or check that box and then only you can download the software is an example of SLA between you and that particular company. So, till now, we covered what is SLA and its example. Now let's understand what the features of SLA are. It has two main features:

  1. AVAILABILITY: The percentage of time that a network provider will give to a company is 365 days and if a company gives it 365 and 24*7 then its services are 100%. and if network service providers violating any rules its punishments and price deductions are also mentioned in SLA. 
  2. UPTIME: The data center services are very critical and must be very fast because even small-time of wait can make a big loss for companies so if a network service provider provides 99.9% of Uptime it considered to be a good time.

Now let's talk about different components of SLA.

  • Service Description: This is the description of a job that is provided by the network services provider. It contains everything from availability to uptime to pricing and policies regarding services.
  • Reliability: It signifies that when the services are provided and when the service can halt by network services provider.
  • Responsiveness: It describes the responsiveness of the network services provider to their services.
  • Procedure for reporting problems: It describes that at the time of problem in the network who should customer approached or what sort of steps he or she should follow to resolve the issue.
  • Escape clauses or constraints: It describes that what if the services provider does not match the policies or services they promise to offer not up to the mark or customer also neglect the policies to follow so, in that case, any of the network providers or customer can leave the platform.  

The SLA follows a strategy or a process to work it smoothly. It consists of 4 steps

  1. Plan: where Network service provider and customers both plans briefly how they can benefit each other and what services will offer by a network service provider these all points are discussed in this part.
  2. Do: whatever the plan that is done by both the parties now it’s time to follow it.
  3. Check: It checks the steps and processes regularly so that it can implement properly.
  4. Act: Everything from Plan to do to check it has to be activated properly in these steps.

Service level agreement mainly focus on the result which is provided by the output of customer service. It has few different levels to define the SLA correctively-

Service-based SLA-Under service-based SLA, an agreement for every customerwho are using the services and or being delivered by the service provider. There are number of service providers in the world and offers a regular service to all customers and offers specific maintenance to the customers globally.

Customer-based SLA- Under customer-based SLA, an agreement which is signed with individual customer, covering all the services which are being used by them. In detailed overview, an SLA between an IT service provider and other departments of small or large organization for the services they deliver to them.

Multi-level SLA- Under multi-level SLA, it has been divided into multiple levels and every set of level addresses the defined services very correctively.

Furthermore, service level agreement has been defined in other divisions too, where we can segregate them into service level, corporate level and customer level SLA.

Henceforth, we have come on the conclusion that service level agreement is an agreement between service provider and client. Both parties agree with an informal contract in the aspect of service, quality, availability and responsibility.

Major Components of SLA–

  • Description of Services
  • Service Performance
  • Agreement Overview
  • Security andExclusions
  • Risk Management and Disaster Recovery
  • Periodic review and Changes Process

Almost every service provider keeps their service level agreement details publicly online. This facility allows customers to check the complete details about the service level which is being maintained by the service provider. Also, it is mentioned in the portal where customer can see if they are not being considered as per the SLA then they are eligible for its compensation.

This is ongoing process and frequently managed & controlled by top level company. Also, this is done with proper SLA negotiations. Which will show to the client for clarity about service level agreement.

Hope you are now able to understand what service level agreement is and its benefit. Also, why this is required for any customers. If you have any questions, please do reach us at info@nocagile.com anytime.

If you are looking for Outsourced NOC Services, 24x7 support, dedicated NOC team or any other IT services, you can reach out to us at Sales@nocagile.com or call us at +1 (214)306-6070 for further discussion.