What Is A Service-Level Agreement (SLA)?

corporate

Managed Services

g993

IT Support

cyber-security

Cyber Security

Path 38664

Cloud Services

control-center

Access control system

sla what is a service level agreement

An SLA is a service-level agreement that defines the relationship between a customer and a supplier. SLAs are crucial in outsourcing vendor contracts as they outline service expectations and summarize solutions if obligations are not met.

While SLAs typically define the relationship between service providers and customers, sales and marketing teams also use them to mainstream internal operations. The following article outlines everything you need to know about these agreements, from questions like “What is an SLA?” to how to craft contracts that benefit your business. 

What Do I Need To Know About SLAs?

An SLA is a contractual agreement that codifies the relationship between a client and an external service provider. These contracts outline client expectations, metrics the customer uses to measure services, and penalties for not fulfilling requirements.

SLAs are generally between organizations and external service delivery partners, but they can also outline internal relationships within a company. For instance, a contract between a company’s marketing and sales departments should outline marketing efforts, sales expectations, and remedies for internal communication issues. 

Further, IT consulting professionals in Fort Worth may have internal SLAs to outline technology sales expectations and the departments responsible for meeting those goals.

What Are The Different Types Of SLAs?

There are various service-level agreements, but businesses utilize three kinds most often. Here is an outline of the differences between the different types of SLAs.

Customer service-level agreement

A customer service-level agreement is a document that outlines what services an external organization will provide to a specific customer. These agreements can cover both tangible products and services. An SLA is a framework for client goals and the metrics by which they are measured.

For example, an agreement may outline the types of products the client will provide and on what schedule. IT companies that outsource various aspects of the business may have an SLA with an external service provider that outlines how quickly agents should resolve support requests. 

Internal service-level agreement

An internal SLA is between different individuals or parties within a company rather than an external client. For instance, the facilities manager may have an SLA with the company’s various departments to outline the cleaning schedule, access policies, and hours of operation.

While internal agreements are typically not as formal as external contracts, they help maintain accountability and order within a business. An organization may have one or several SLAs to outline company procedures and relationships.

Multilevel service-level agreement

Multilevel SLAs are more versatile than internal or customer-level agreements. A multilevel SLA can facilitate the organization’s internal or external relations. The main point of this type of agreement is to outline the responsibilities of each party if there are multiple end-users and service providers. 

What Are The Parts Of An SLA?

Besides wondering, “What is an SLA?” you might be curious what components these agreements have. While sections vary depending on whether the SLA is internally or externally facing, the basic elements are the same.

Summary of agreement

The summary typically appears at the top of the document and outlines the service or product, the end-user, and how success for the product or service is measured. Successful summaries are brief and outline the most critical parts of the relationship in a few sentences or paragraphs, depending on the complexity of the contract.

Objectives

The objective section should outline the goals of the service provider and client. In external SLAs, the goals of the client are the focus. Internal agreements should consider the objectives of each side equally.

If the client is writing the agreement, the provider should review the objectives to ensure they are realistic. If the provider is composing the SLA, the client should play an active role in the drafting process to ensure it captures their needs correctly.

Resources needed by all parties

This section needs to outline what each party needs to fulfill the agreement. An internal provider may require a specific service availability, quality control process, or delivery schedule. An external provider may require a particular payment schedule, regular feedback, or training.

This section of the SLA ensures each side has the resources needed to execute the contract successfully.

Contact information

The contact information section of the agreement is typically the shortest part and typically appears at the top or bottom of the document. It should include the point of contact’s name, phone number, and email address. Complex agreements may list several points of contact for various situations.

Expectations and cancellation conditions

This section is one of the most critical parts of any SLA. It briefly outlines the expectations of the agreement and what happens if the client does not meet them. The SLA may also outline remedies or solutions if problems arise.

The section should also summarize the terms of cancellation. This section should outline the circumstances under which the SLA can be canceled and the policies for settling payments in the event of cancellation.

What Are The Benefits Of A Service-Level Agreement In IT Support?

Now that we’ve answered “What is an SLA?” you might be wondering what the benefits are. These agreements are an essential aspect of any business. SLAs outline internal company relationships and objectives of external service providers.

The main benefit of an SLA is eliminating any confusion or ambiguity in a business relationship. An SLA clearly states objectives, expectations, and the terms of cancellation. The client and the service provider should agree on the terms of the agreement before it is executed.

The agreement is an essential document in case disputes arise. If the provider does not fulfill its end of the contract and the client wants to pursue legal action, the SLA is an essential piece of evidence.

Work With Network Elites

If you still have questions about “What is an SLA?” or want to learn more about managed services, Network Elites can help. We provide IT managed services in Dallas, TX.

Our services integrate cybersecurity solutions into every part of your organization so you can monitor and manage security threats. We offer cloud-based and other IT enterprise services. Contact us today to learn how our services can benefit your business.

Protect against loss & crisis

Talk to Our Team About Customizing an IT Solution That Will Save You Time and Money

Talk to a human

Interested in our services? Just pick up the phone to speak with our support or sales team.

Our Partners

how we impact lives everyday

The 'Elite' Experience

Jake and his crew are always helpful and go the extra mile to help. He is actually helping right now and determined to figure out a solution!

Tyffanie Davis Child Care Group

Great response time. Solved my problem!

Chris Clark Lead Equity Group

Alyssa was very helpful in helping me to get a VPN set up for our company!

Ryan Pritchard AMS

Great company, They are very knowledgeable and very easy to work with.

Antonio Johnson Groundworks

Great Service. Very knowledgeable! I recommend working with Brian.

Erin Abulail Lead Equity Group

Expand your capabilities

Leading the way with backup and disaster recovery

Not trusting your current backup solution can leave you with “data anxiety.” We invite you to make our team at Network Elites your go-to resource for backup and disaster recovery in Dallas, TX. We offer IT services, including data protection, project management, and disaster recovery solutions to keep you up and running, no matter what happens.

Contact us at (214) 247-6962 to learn more about our consulting, support, and managed IT services for the best solution to streamline your business process.

Get A Free Network Audit AND Free On-Boarding!

Contact Us Today!

blue phone icon

Talk to a human

Interested in our services? Just pick up the
phone to speak with our support or sales team.

email icon

Email us

Send us an e-mail, we’ll get back to you within one business day:

[email protected]

blue person icon

Client area

Existing clients can log into their secure members are to submit a support ticket.