What Is an SLA or Service-Level Agreement?

A service-level agreement (SLA) defines the level of service expected by customers from their Managed Service Provider (MSP). The SLA lays out the metrics by which that service is measured and the remedies or penalties, if any, should the agreed-on service levels not be achieved.


At BetterWorld Technology, we aim for excellence and total customer satisfaction. As such, we provide SLAs aligned explicitly for each of our services to ensure how our business partners nationwide use them is all in line with our goals and quality assurances.


Why Do I Need an SLA?

SLAs are an integral part of an IT vendor contract; they pull together information on all of the contracted services and their agreed-upon expected reliability into a single document. It sets guidelines and ensures that the managed service provider and the client are on the same page — especially regarding the service’s standards, responsibilities, and expectations.


The SLAs that BetterWorld Technology provides clients ensure we both have the same understanding of requirements. Any significant contract without an associated SLA is open to deliberate or unintentional misinterpretation.


With a clear and counsel-reviewed SLA in place, both parties are protected — while also ensuring neither party can plead ignorance in case of any issues.


Who Provides the SLA?

IT-managed services providers like BetterWorld Technology provide SLAs. Most MSPs have several standard SLAs in place. Customers may review such documents with their legal counsel and negotiate for modifications as necessary. Here at BetterWorld Technology, we provide SLAs that ensure a better understanding and use of our services and a fair contract for our clients and partners.


What’s in an SLA?

BetterWorld Technology SLAs always include the following:

● Description of the services to be provided

● Expected service levels

● Metrics by which the services are measured

● Duties and responsibilities of each party

● Remedies or penalties for contract breaches

● Protocol for adding and removing metrics

When partnering with BetterWorld Technology, our clients can rest assured that metrics are designed such bad behavior by either party is not rewarded.


What Are the Key Components of an SLA?

An SLA has two key components: services and management.

Service elements include the following:

● Specifics of services provided and what’s excluded

● Conditions of service availability

● Standards such as the time window for each level of service

● Responsibilities of each party

● Escalation procedures

● Cost/service trade-offs


Meanwhile, management elements should include the following:

● Definitions of measurement standards and methods

● Reporting processes

● Contents and frequency

● Dispute resolution process

● Indemnification clause to protect customers from third-party litigation resulting from service level breaches

● Provision for updating the agreement as needed


This last item is critical. Service requirements and vendor capabilities are liable to change, so there needs to be a way to ensure the SLA is always up-to-date.


Contact BetterWorld Technology or visit our website to learn more about our IT service offerings and SLAs for each service.


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