What is a Service Level Agreement?
When we are providing or receiving services from or to an external supplier, a good measurement tool is to use a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to guarantee that the terms agreed upon in the business contract will be accomplished. It also states what happens if those terms are not fulfilled. It contains the minimum and maximum values for related metrics, such as the time to work around an issue and to give the definitive solution. The SLA ensures that both parties to the agreement know the requirements and the numbers we will be using as metrics when some actions are required, like showing that one side needs more personnel or the volume of work is not what was expected.
Why should we use an SLA?
By using an SLA, we can obtain a lot of information about what is being done, like the number of tasks people have carried out or the effort people have put into working. Moreover, we have a way to control if the objectives are being achieved or not, and we can assign priority levels to every task based on the severity of each item in a project.
Intraway Technical Support SLA
The Technical Support team is using an SLA to make sure the complaints and requests made by our customers are answered or dealt with on time. Also, they can get statistics about the team in a period of time, such as the quantity of issues that were solved or the average score on the satisfaction survey that is sent to customers after an issue is closed. Using an SLA helps the Technical Support team know if their work is being done correctly or not, and when it is necessary to improve performance in order to reach their objectives.
How an SLA affects results
The SLA cannot be used to ensure that the client’s platform will run well without any problems. Intraway uses it to corroborate that all the issues related to the platform will be:
- correctly classified in the right priority level according to the SLA’s specifications,
- solved on time (or, at least, we will try to), and
- scaled to high technician or administrative levels in case the SLA demands it.
Accomplishing these items can result in a stable platform or service. An SLA can also be used to guarantee that a project will be delivered on time by drafting a separate SLA for each of the phases of the project. As a consequence, if all the project phases finish on time, the project will be delivered on schedule.
Reviewing the SLA
Even with a well-made SLA, it is possible to change it if the business demands it, in case one party to the agreement wants to include or exclude any term. This will probably happen in a developing industry that grows exponentially and in which the customer occasionally adds on servers in its datacenter or creates products that should be included in an SLA.
Managing your projects or tasks through an SLA brings a huge benefit, as stated in this blog post. This will ensure that you can control the situation even if it is not as good as expected. Statistics should show if the tasks are dealt with on time, so that you have enough time to act in case the project gets delayed.
If you have gone this far, I believe you like the way we use SLA at Intraway. So why don’t you apply for a Technical Support Engineer position? We always need outstanding and passionate people to help us conquer the world.