Define Service Level Agreement (SLA)

IT Support SLA

Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a commitment between a service provider and a client. Particular aspects of the service – quality, availability, responsibilities – are agreed between the service provider and the service user.

What are some of the SLA for IT Support?

  • Service Availability – Time available for support services – 8×5 or 24×7
  • Response Time – Time taken between a user send a service request and a service personal send 1st response and start working on the issue.
  • Resolution Time – Time taken between a user send a service request and a closure of the service request ticket.
  • Recovery Time – Time taken to recover from an outage.
Customer Based SLA, Service Based SLA and Multi-Level SLA

3 Types of SLA Structures

  • Service Based
  • Customer Based
  • Multi-level or Hierarchical

Urgency or Severity Levels

If appropriate, classify problems into urgency or severity levels. Four or five levels are typical, with levels either numbered or assigned designations such as urgent, high, medium and low. For each level, describe the criteria for determining a problem’s level (such as the number of customers affected or the impact on customers’ ability to carry out their responsibilities), and specify the associated time frames or levels of responsiveness for each level.

This information is often presented in a table, such as the following.

Table of Severity Levels and the Resolution Time

Content of a Typical SLA

For a meaningful discussion, a typical SLA would consist of these key components.

  • Introduction to the agreement and what it proposes
  • Description of the service supported by the SLA
  • Who is responsible for what part of the service
  • Job Scope
  • Applicable duration for which the service is available according to the agreement
  • Reliability of the service.
  • Service availability, that is, how much service is available during the service window and beyond it
  • Customer Support Arrangements
  • Primary and Secondary Contact Points
  • Service Work Flow and Escalation Procedures
  • Service Performance
  • Security Measures
  • Costs
  • Payment Terms and Schedule

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