Frequently Asked Questions About SLAs

Service level agreements or SLAs are some of the most important components of any IT setup and help desk features. eCommerce entrepreneurs are well aware of its importance since it is often used to negotiate with hosting services and shopping cart software, among others.

Service Level Agreement

The following are some frequently asked questions and answers about SLAs that might prove to be useful.

What Is The Duration Of An SLA?

SLAs that are internal do not have an expiration date per se. Service performance is usually reviewed by involved parties and this includes suggesting changes to its terms and conditions as needed. The SLA can only be terminated if all parties are in agreement to it. This may happen if they feel there is no need for it or if the business undergoes radical changes that make the existing agreement obsolete.

If the SLA you have is part of a legal contract, it should have terms that cover a year as per the terms mentioned in said contract. Government based SLAs have prices that are renegotiated according to a particular schedule.

What Does An SLA Agreement Comprise Of?

A Service Level Agreement has certain information that is useful for business owners. These include:

  • A detailed description of the service levels that pertain to the provider and how well its customer service is.
  • Details of the services provided to the customer.
  • Targets of the service performance level that are based on the best practices in the industry.
  • The roles and responsibilities that the customers have.
  • The rates offered and the details of the billing process.
  • The renewal process.
  • Ways in which the CIO/OFT can be contacted.

When Should Changes Be Introduced In The SLA?

Even though you can have everything changed in a Service Level Agreement that does not mean you should. A good rule of thumb is to limit the changes to specific conditions and circumstances. These can include changing business needs or changes in your services which can compromise existing agreements. Whatever conditions you come across, the changes proposed should be mentioned in the agreement.

Where does the SLA come from?

There are several types of SLAs and each has various levels of service that can be purchased for different prices. These can be negotiated with the service provider, but they should also be altered and reviewed according to your customers and legal requirements. However, the supplier is usually the one who wins out in these negotiations.

When the RFP is being sent out, the request should include service levels. Customers expect it and it will also have an effect on the offerings as well as the pricing. It may also have an influence on the supplier’s decision regarding their response. For example, if the supplier is unable to meet your requirements, you might be asked to consider a different proposition that is just as good.