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The Importance of Service Level Agreements For Managed Services

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The Importance of Service Level Agreements For Managed Services

When engaging with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), it is important to define a Service Level Agreement (SLA) contract to ensure clarity and transparency in service delivery. The SLA is a documented agreement between an MSP and a customer that details the expectations for services and solutions. It typically covers topics such as the agreed upon date that services will begin, key contact information for both parties, and an overview of included services.

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Overview of Services
The SLA’s service description section should provide a comprehensive overview of the MSP’s services, including hours of operation, types of support available (remote or onsite), and response times. It should also clearly outline the methods of communication available to the customer such as dedicated emails, names of support representatives, and dedicated phone numbers. Additionally, escalation procedures should be clearly outlined.

Data Security
If the MSP is also providing cybersecurity services, The SLA should also provide an overview of the coverages that will be provided, as well as information for emergency steps and contacts.

Service Report Expectations
The SLA should provide detailed information on the expectations and timeline for service reporting, as well as the types of metrics that will be recorded.

Remote Access Details
A common method of service delivery is through remote access troubleshooting. It is important that an SLA includes instructions on how to provide computer access to authorized technicians during these times.

Overview for Agreement Termination
Both parties may terminate the agreement in the future. The SLA should provide details on the length of notice (1 month, 2 months, etc.) for termination, as well as details on the process of offboarding.

Types of SLAs
In general, 3 types of SLAs are commonly used: customer SLAs, Internal SLAs, and Multilevel SLAs. They differ in their target audience, and therefore provide differing focuses. Customer SLAs define the relationship between an MSP and an external customer, and therefore should cover the topics described above. Internal SLAs are company specific, and focus on expectations among internal departments including sales, technical, and accounting. Multilevel SLAs provide information on a range of service options available to a customer.

Common Metrics

One of the most important aspects of an SLA is including clear definitions of the metrics that will be used to evaluate successful service delivery. Some common metrics that are used include uptime and downtime rates, response times, and resolution times.

GIGE Corporation has over 30 years of experiencing delivering successful IT solutions to organizations across North America. Call us at +1 888 366 4443 or email info@gige.ca to get started with us today.


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