it service level agreementsIT Service Level Agreements are a key component of your vendor relationship. By defining expectations, they help ensure that your managed services model and provider meet your needs. However, your SLAs are only as useful as your approach to SLA management. Fail to chart your needs, properly vet your provider or control your vendor portfolio, and you risk ongoing performance degradation and other costly problems. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Management of IT Service Level Agreements

IT Service Level Management Must Reinforce Business & Technical Needs

 

One of the major challenges of ERP is keeping the technical implementation aligned with your overriding goals. IT Service Level Agreements need to be carefully aligned with your strategic business needs and support the way stakeholders use your system.

 

For example, if your users need a certain EURT from an app, but are relying on cloud storage or networking that’s too slow, strong IT Service Level Agreements for that app won’t help — data will still be bottlenecked by the slow storage. A strong IT project management approach that synthesizes stakeholder input from all levels is the best way to ensure your SLAs really meet your needs.

 

Back IT Service Level Agreements With Good Visibility & Testing

 

IT SLAs have a dirty little secret: they never provide enough compensation to make up for a major breach of contract. If you have a disaster and your cloud disaster recovery provider fails to meet KPIs like RPO and RTO, your business will take a major hit, suffer increased customer churn, and possibly face lawsuits and compliance violations, no matter what compensation your services provider promises.

 

That’s why IT SLA management must be backed up by in-depth vetting. You need to consider your provider’s monitoring and visibility, how often they test their systems, their audit record, and other factors that determine reliability. When it comes to your mission-critical infrastructure, you can’t be too careful.

 

Understand How Your Vendor Portfolio Impacts IT SLA Management

 

Your IT Service Level Agreements need to be supported by Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), which spell out the obligations of each group involved. The more vendors you have, the more complex SLA and OLA management becomes, from a contract, administrative, and technical perspective. There may be ambiguities in responsibility between vendors, changes in service level agreements that affect performance of the rest of your landscape, and situations where vendors compete to avoid responsibility.

 

Having one IT managed services provider makes your Service Level Agreements simpler, easier to structure and enforce, and more reliable. You have one relationship to manage, one set of expectations to set, and (if things go wrong) one throat to choke person to blame.

 

Symmetry Treats Service Level Agreement Management As a Partnership

 

As a complete SAP managed services provider, our bottom line depends on turning customers into partners. It’s better for us if clients signing up for SAP migrations sign up for hosting too, or if companies using our SAP Basis managed services add on disaster recovery and GRC.

 

That means our interests always align with yours. We design our Service Level Agreements around an exhaustive evaluation of your company’s needs, and ensure we have the right personnel and resources to meet those needs. So whether you’re looking for a complete outsourcing partner or just a little help planning an upgrade, you’ll always get the service you deserve.

 

Contact us to learn more about what Symmetry can do for you.

About Randy Downey, Senior Cloud Architect

As the Senior Cloud Architect at Symmetry, Randy brings over 14 years of experience in Information Technology with focus in Virtualization, Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds, System Design and Implementation, Data Center Operations, and Desktop/Server Engineering. He also has extensive experience with VMware solutions at the enterprise level across multiple industries including Managed Hosting, Cloud Service Providers, Global Utilities, and Healthcare.