Full Form of SLA :
Service Legal Agreement
SLA Full Form is Service Legal Agreement. SLA is a legal contract between a customer and a service provider. This creates a commitment for a service provider to maintain a certain level of service. The agreement must contain a level of support and service options, penalty or enforcement for the services not provided. It also has a warranted system performance related to uptime or downtime; standard of customer support, etc. SLA also has to specify the details of hardware or software or other services provided and the fee for the same. In addition to all these performance metrics, the SLA might include a clear plan with documentation of how a service provider would compensate during events of breaching of a contract. Once an SLA is established it has to be reviewed periodically to reflect the changes in any new regulations or changes in technology.
SLA Full Form – Additional Information
Service level Agreement, which will hereinafter be referred to as SLA throughout the article, is essentially part of a service contract available in a standard form. In such contract, service is usually defined. Several aspects relating to the service such as the quality, scope, and performance assent upon between the service user and the service provider. One of the common characteristics of SLA is its contracted delivery line of the performance or the service. For better understanding, there is an example of telecom companies and internet service providers, which generally include various SLAs within the contract’s terms and conditions with their customers for the purpose of defining the level of service being provided to the latter.
This is done to improve the simplicity of the elements of the contract. In most cases, an SLA will generally provide for a technical definition using terminologies such as Mean Time To Repair (abbreviated as MTTR), or Mean Time Between Failures (abbreviated as MTBF). This way, the contract lays down several liabilities to each party to the contract. It provides for other important details that essentially govern the relationship between the parties concerned. SLAs are important contracts and have several distinguishing features, which must be addressed. Therefore, here are five points about SLAs that everyone must about:
Overview of SLA
Let us begin with a basic understanding of the term SLA. SLA is basically an agreement entered into between at least two parties, in which one party is the service provider and the other party is the customer. Such contracts can have legal binding or may assume the character of an informal contract such as internal department relationships. It may include separate teams or organizations within a single organization.
It is to be noted that there exists a common confusion that causes people to consider agreements between third parties and service providers as SLAs. Such agreements are merely contracts. Operational level agreements (abbreviated as OLAs) may be utilized by internal groups in order to back SLAs. SLA is absolute in nature and therefore, any element of the service not agreed upon will render the contract anything else but not SLA.
A typical SLA will include several segments such as termination of contract, definition clause defining important terms used in the contract, etc. SLAs are systematically made contracts, with particular demarcations made into it. SLAs are output based, that is, the prime consideration is that the outcome of the service is obtained by the customer. There can be however SLAs which are input based. In this, the organization makes specification regarding the manner and quality of service offered. Such agreements have now become outmoded.
Different levels in an SLA
SLAs are characterized by several levels and these levels have been mentioned in the following paragraphs:
- Customer-based SLA: Such an SLA is an agreement entered into with a single customer group and covers all the services they shall be using. For instance, an agreement entered into between a supplier and the finance department in a big organization for the provision of the services such as payroll system, procurement system, finance system, etc.
- Service-based SLA: It is an agreement, which involves all customers that shall be using services provided by the service provider. For instance, an agreement in which a car service station promises to offer a routine service to its every customer with universal charging.
- Multi-level SLA: In this form of SLA, the agreement is divided into several levels and each level addresses the different category of customers claiming same services. Within this, the following levels are incorporated:
- Corporate-level SLA, which covers all matters relating to service level management (abbreviated as SLM) in a corporate set-up.
- Customer-level SLA, which covers all SLM matters particular to the customer group.
- Service-level SLA, which covers SLA matters particular to specific services.
Common metrics in SLAs
In a typical SLA, there are many performance metrics included, corresponding to certain service level objectives. Some of the metrics are as follows:
- TSF, which stands for Time Service Factor, talks about percentage of calls responded to within a certain set timeframe.
- TAT, which stands for Turn Around Time, talks about the time taken to finish a particular task.
- ASA, which stands for Average Speed to Answer, talks about average time (which is generally in seconds) taken for the service desk to attend a call.
- Abandonment Rate, which talks about percentage of calls that are abandoned during waiting time.
- Uptime is a metric commonly used in shared hosting, dedicated servers, and virtual private services.
- FCR, which stands for First Call Resolution, is another metric used in relation to the percentage of incoming calls.
There are several other metrics used in SLAs but many may be general or specific. It depends on the nature of and parties to the agreement.
Web Service level Agreement (Abbreviated as WSLA) is a standardized form of SLA that provides for a standard for monitoring of web services. It enables authors to provide for particular performance metrics that are connected with desired performance targets, web service application, and other actions.
In outsourcing, there is a transfer of responsibility to a supplier by an organization. Such an arrangement is managed by a specific kind of contract, which usually includes SLAs. SLAs form a major part of Outsourcing Relationship Management (abbreviated as ORM).
Internet Service Providers enter into the specific category of SLAs. In the United States of America, the Telecommunications Act, 1996 does not expressly mandate SLAs for companies but it surely makes provisions for a general framework for the same.
SLAs have become popular ever since the late 1980s. They are mostly popular among telecom operators, which ensure that their customers enter into such agreement. Now, SLAs are in vogue in other industries. Internal Departments such as that of Human Resource (abbreviated as HR), Information Technology (abbreviated as IT), and Real Estate in big organizations have willingly adopted SLAs in their corporate set-up wherein they enter into such agreements with users in other departments but working in the same organization. One advantage of this is that it ensures the quality of work and thus, helps the organization grow.
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