As an MSP or IT professional, it’s no secret you have a lot of work. But before you get to work, it probably all begins with a contract—or service level agreement (SLA).
In between juggling new clients, urgent tasks, and maybe even a semi-decent work-life balance, the last thing you need to be worrying about is how to manage all your contracts.
Luckily, that’s what SLA management is for. In this article we’ll cover what SLA management is, why it’s important, and how Atera makes SLA management a breeze.
What is an SLA?
An SLA is a service level agreement, and is a critical part of your contract with your clients.
The SLA dictates the different elements of your commitment and contract with your customers, including metrics like the quality of the services you provide, your availability for your customers, response and issue resolution times, and more.
An SLA can be somewhat vague, or as detailed as you’d like it to be by adding any nitty gritty details you see fit, like who will be responsible for which elements of tasks, where extra fees may be incurred, etc.
As an MSP, what you include in your SLAs with your customers can have instrumental importance on your business, company, and most prominently your relationships with your clients.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to create an SLA, we’ve got you covered!
What is SLA management?
Simply put, SLA management—or service level agreements management—is the ever-continuing process of making sure that all the services you provide and contracts are being fulfilled and cared for as outlined in the (surprise surprise) original SLA.
Another way to look at SLA monitoring is that it is the governance of all your SLAs, and making sure that all of them are being executed and accomplished as originally intended (and legally signed).
Why is SLA management important?
SLA management is important for even more reasons than the amount of clauses that should be in your SLAs.
Having SLAs—not to mention managing them—is incredibly important for both you and your clients, to make sure everyone is aligned and on the same page in terms of what you offer, what each party can expect from the contract, and when everything is expected to be delivered or completed, which can provide greater visibility when and if any problems were to arise.
It’s also really important to ensure that your SLAs are actually realistic and level headed as opposed to aspirational, meaning you actually need to be able to meet the preconditions that you have outlined in your agreements.
Now that we layed out why SLAs are important, you can understand why managing your service delivery and SLAs are just as important. Since your agreements may vary from client to client, it’s absolutely crucial to keep track of all your obligations so you can always be sure you’re keeping up your end of the deal, and then some.
An easy way to keep track of your SLA reporting is through Atera! Why give yourself any more work and tasks than you need to?
Atera’s Service Level Agreement Report includes many opportunities for automation and proactive support so that you can reduce the overwhelming amount of urgent support tickets that come in, as well as gain access to metrics that can help you improve your support and key performance.
What are the 3 types of SLA?
There are generally 3 types of SLAs that you should be aware of when picking out which kind is best suited for you and your business needs.
Customer-based SLA: this particular type of SL agreement will look at a specific type of customer, and cover the exact services they require. The benefits of a customer-based SLA is that you can offer a package that is very niche to the type of customer (like what industry they hail from) and what exactly they need from you, making it more difficult to manage because it’s not a one-type-fits-all, but also much more personalized to each client.
Service-based SLA: with this kind of agreement, you offer the same SLA to all of your customers, based on what services you are offering. You agree on a set response time for all customers, and the other metrics that define your offerings, and it will be identical to all customers, making it very easy to keep track of, but will be not as fitting for each client as not everyone will need the same level of service, as different clients may have different needs and urgencies.
Multi-level SLA: in this type of SLA, you don’t sign different agreements by customer type, but rather by the varying client needs, even within the same customer or client. That means you have a few SLAs set up, and you can roll them out or upgrade existing customers depending on their needs.
If all of this sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be!
By Using Atera, we can help you simplify the reaction of SLAs, as well as keeping track of them and their reports.
If you’d like to learn more about Atera’s IT management software and even try it out for yourself for free, contact us!