What is SLA

Last updated: 2023-10-19
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SLA (Service-Level Agreement) defines the level of service that the customer expects from the service provider. It takes the form of a contract or its parameters that define the metrics by which service quality is measured, as well as the remuneration of providers. The SLA also includes penalties should agreed-on service levels not be achieved.

  • Often used for repeated or continuous services (for example, to connect to the Internet)
  • It is not usually used for one-off services such as legal advice
What is SLA

What should SLA contains

Whether the SLA is part of a contract with an external supplier or an internal company agreement, the content of the SLA is usually similar

  • Who is the provider and who is the customer of the service
  • Customer service expectations
  • Key parameters, metrics (KPIs) and limitations of the service
  • Tools and ways to measure metrics, quality or performance
  • Rewards and penalties for not meeting the required level
  • Contacts and escalation processes

The most common SLA metrics

Different metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to define and limit the level of service, which vary according to the type and nature of the service. You can most often encounter these SLA parameters.

  • Service availability
  • Unavailability or outage
  • Uptime
  • Response time
  • Fix Time
  • Capacity (Throughput, Volume etc.)
  • Quality level
  • Security
  • Error rate

Summary of what SLA is

  • The SLA defines the level of service that the service provider gives to the customer
  • The SLA is part of the vendor agreement
  • The SLA contains metrics and parameters for measuring the level (quality of service) along with penalties for non-compliance
  • It is part of the contract for the provision of services between the provider and the customer
  • But the SLA can also be introduced internally within the organization, as a definition of the services provided by its other departments