Management elements should include definitions of standards and methods of measurement, reporting processes, content and frequency, a dispute resolution procedure, a compensation clause to protect the client from third-party disputes arising from breaches of service (which should already be included in the contract) and a mechanism to update the agreement if necessary. This direction – which we call “smarketing” — is largely the result of a deliberate decision to work together, set goals and create agreements between the two teams. Security – All security measures taken by the service provider are defined. This is usually the development and consensus on antipoaching, computer security and confidentiality agreements. ALS is generally one of two basic agreements that service providers have with their clients. Many service providers enter into a master service contract to define the terms and conditions of sale in which they work with customers. ALS is often included in the service contract of the reference service provider. Between the two service contracts, ALS adds greater specificity to the services provided and the metrics used to measure their performance. Typically, these processes and methods are left to the outsourcing company to determine that these processes and methods can support the ALS agreement. However, it is recommended that the client and the outsourcing company work together during the SLA contract negotiations to clear up misunderstandings about the support process and method, as well as management and reporting methods. Set a good base number. Defining the right measures is only half the fight. To be useful, measures must be set at reasonable and achievable performance levels.
In the absence of solid historical measurement data, you should be prepared to review and adjust parameters later through a predefined process specified in ALS. The SLA metrics required depend on the services provided. Many elements can be monitored as part of an ALS, but the scheme should be kept as simple as possible to avoid confusion and excessive costs on both sides. When selecting metrics, check the process and decide what is most important. The more complex the monitoring scheme (and associated corrective measures) is, the less likely it is to be effective because no one will have time to properly analyze the data.