The SLA is the contract that defines the relationship and how it will work going forward. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the specific metrics by which the performance is gauged against the agreed upon standards.
In the previous post we discussed the value of good SLA, the differences between SLA and KPI and the elements that need to be taken into consideration when putting in place a good service level agreement.
In this post we will discuss the the most critical elements to include in an SLA.
As a key element of your vendor relationship, the SLA should define expectations to ensure that your provider and managed services model meet your business needs. However, the SLA will be most useful when in alignment with your approach to SLA management. If you fail to properly vet your vendor and its portfolio or chart your needs in detail, you may risk performance degradation and other expensive disruptions.
SLAs Must Support Technical and Business Needs
A major challenge being in SAP operations is aligning the technical implementation with the overall business objectives. For instance, if a user needs a specific output from an app, but the cloud storage or networking is too slow, a robust SLA will not change that. Data will remain bottlenecked due to slow storage. A strong SLA will synthesize stakeholder requisites from each level to ensure an SLA that meets the requirements of your business.
Support SLAs With Good Testing and Visibility
In practice, even the most robust SLAs will not pay enough compensation in response to a breach of contract. If your business suffers a major disruption and the disaster recovery plan fails to meet objectives, your business will endure a major hit, experience higher customer churn, and face potential compliance violations, regardless of the compensation the SLA requires.
This is why your SLA management must be supported with deep vetting. You must take into consideration the vendor’s visibility and monitoring, their frequency of system testing, the audit record, and other critical factors that verify reliability. You cannot be too careful when conducting a mission-critical SAP migration. Your provider’s interests should always align with your requirements.
Having a single managed services provider will streamline your SLA process, making it easier to frame and enforce with a higher level of reliability. You will have only one relationship to manage, a single set of expectations to establish, and (in case of disruption) only one provider to hold accountable.
The Prevalence of SLAs Will Continue to Grow
As more organizations move to the cloud, SLAs will become ubiquitous and prevalent. Providers of cloud services and cloud applications will find their clients becoming well versed in SLA metrics and demanding more useful SLAs, more penalties, and stricter enforcement. Ultimately, this benefits both sides of the equation.
MSPs now must focus more on providing SAP-focused managed services outlined in the SLA and are expected to provide both transparent visibility to the service level as well as SLA reports. Using Xandria, MSPs can offer real-time dashboards as well as automating SLA reporting creation and distribution.