For example, Internet service providers and telecommunications companies will typically include service level agreements in the terms of their contracts with customers to define the service level(s) sold in plain language. Wikipedia Any important contract without an SLA (verified by a lawyer) is open to intentional or accidental interpretations. The SLA protects both parties in the agreement. A concrete example of an SLA is a service level agreement for data centers. This SLA includes: If applications are moved from dedicated hardware to the cloud, they must achieve the same or even more demanding service levels than traditional installations. SLAs for cloud services focus on data center characteristics and more recently include network features (see carrier cloud) to support end-to-end SLAs. [11] Although it is assumed that the service level agreement comes from network service providers, the use of these agreements has penetrated the world of information technology and now extends beyond and to the provision of outsourced services. IT organizations in enterprises, especially those dedicated to IT service management, enter SLAs with their internal customers – users in other departments within the company. An IT department establishes an SLA so that its services can be measured, justified, and possibly compared to those of outsourcing providers. Ideally, SLAs should be tailored to the technology or business goals of the engagement. Misthewriting can have a negative impact on agreement pricing, service quality, and customer experience. Most service providers provide their service level statistics through an online portal. This way, customers can track whether the level of service is maintained.

If they discover that this is not the case, customers can also see on the portal if they are entitled to compensation. The SLA should contain not only a description of the services to be provided and their expected service levels, but also metrics that measure the services, the obligations and responsibilities of each party, the corrective measures or penalties applicable to violations, and a protocol for adding and removing metrics. If both parties agree to include Earn Backs in the SLA, the process should be carefully defined at the beginning of the negotiation and integrated into the service level methodology….

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