In today’s business world, services represent an extremely valuable and prevalent commodity. Indeed approximately 74% of the UK economy is represented by the service sector. It is not surprising, therefore, that virtually every business will, at some time or another, require or enter into, some kind of service contract.
Service Level Agreements
In their most basic form, ordinary service contracts will specify the services which are to be provided by the service provider to the client, how they will be provided, how the client will pay for them, and assorted other provisions governing more general matters such as liability or matters specific to the services such as intellectual property.
A Service Level Agreement adds something more. Not only does it address the factors one would expect to find in a typical service contract, but it also sets levels (or performance requirements) to which the services must be provided. In so doing, the service provider’s consistent provision of services in line with agreed levels in incentivised (and its failure to do so, disincentivised by way of penalties).
New Service Level Agreements from Simply-Docs
In September Simply-docs released a Standard Service Level Agreement designed for use with a broad range of services. Now, three new IT Service Level Agreements are available covering web-hosting services, IT support services, and internal helpdesks. Each of these new documents contains provisions specifically tailored to their particular application.
The new Website Hosting Service Level Agreement defines service levels by of availability. The availability of the service is measured in terms of uptime and downtime. Flexible provisions within the document allow you to determine exactly how that uptime and downtime will be measured, enabling the balance to be tipped, as required, in favour of the service provider or the client.
In the case of the IT Support Service Level Agreement, response times and corresponding levels of support issue severity determine the service provider’s compliance with the service levels. An additional level of measurement allows for a certain period of delay for each issue level, allowing for a degree of flexibility which may be necessary, particularly if on-site assistance is required and the service provider and client are some distance apart.
The Internal Helpdesk Service Level Agreement, though not necessarily bound to IT applications, is ideally suited to IT department helpdesks. Sharing many provisions with the IT Support Service Level Agreement described above, service levels are again measured by response times; however no delay time is built in as a technician can hardly get stuck in traffic on their way from part of the building to another!
All of our new Service Level Agreements contain detailed provisions governing the monitoring of both the performance of the services and the agreement as a whole, allowing for the adjustment and flexibility required in such relationships.
Don’t delay – whether you are seeking to procure IT services or provide them, get a Service Level Agreement in place today!
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific