Service Level Agreement

A Service Level Agreement is a negotiated agreement between the customer and service provider about services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees, and warranties.

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Each area of service should have the “level of service” defined.  The service level agreement may indicate the levels of availability, serviceability, performance, or operation.  The “level of service” can also be specified as “target” and “minimum,” which allows clients to be notified what to expect (the minimum), while providing a computable target value that illustrates the level of the organizations performance.

Service level agreements ordinarily include areas to address: a description of services, performance measurement, problem management, client duties, warranties, disaster recovery, and termination of agreement.

Some metrics that service level agreements may identify include:

  • The plan for notification in advance of system alterations that may affect clients
  • What percentage of the time services will be available
  • Dial-in access accessibility
  • The quantity of users that can be assisted simultaneously
  • Specific performance benchmarks to which actual performance will be measured up to
  • Help desk response time

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