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Service Level Agreement (IT Services)


Businesses often seek to procure the services of other businesses and may do so for a variety of reasons. In certain cases, a simple service contract is all that is required – particularly where the services in question are to be provided over a short term. In other cases however, a long term relationship is required and inherent in the nature of such relationships is the need for consistency. Put another way, the client needs the service provider’s work to be a constant known quantity. This is particularly important in the area of IT support. The reliance placed by businesses on their computer systems means that near-instantaneous support is required in the event of problems lest the business face dire consequences.

The data protection provisions in this document have been reviewed and updated for Brexit. References to data protection legislation have been updated with reference to the UK GDPR.

This IT Services Service Level Agreement addresses both the services to be provided by the service provider to the client and the levels (or performance requirements) to which those services must be provided. In so doing, the service provider’s consistent provision of services is incentivised (and its failure to do so disincentivised by way of penalties).

The IT Support Services to be provided under this agreement are left open for you to define. The services should be defined in as much detail as is possible. Further specificity may be imported by providing a list of exactly what will be supported and what will not. For example, a business may use both PC and Mac, but a particular IT Support company may only support PCs. Another example relates to specific software whereby the IT Support company may only support PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or above. Optional elements have thus been included which allow for this. If you wish to use these options, aim to be as exhaustive as possible (problems could arise if, for example, 50 supported computers were attached to a supported printer through a piece of unsupported networking equipment!).

Service Levels under this agreement are monitored and enforced by way of issue levels and corresponding response times. Issue levels relate broadly to the severity of a support request. Issue level 1, for example, may relate to a server failure; whereas issue level 10 may relate to the installation of a nonessential software patch. The higher the priority, the quicker the service provider should respond. Above and beyond the response times are “acceptable delay times”. Thus, if the acceptable delay time is 5 minutes and the service provider is late by more than 5 minutes, a penalty is incurred. Under the same example, a further penalty is incurred when 5 further minutes pass. In addition to penalty fees, the client is given the right to terminate the agreement if the service provider is excessively delayed.

Exceptions are provided for with regard to service levels. If, for example, the service provider requires access to the client’s premises in order to provide support, they will not be liable for any delays if the client fails to provide such access.

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

This IT Services Service Level Agreement contains the following clauses:

1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Term of Agreement
3. Service Provider’s Obligations
4. Client’s Obligations
5. Fees, Payment and Records
6. Provision of the Support Services
7. Support Service and Agreement Monitoring
8. Service Levels and Response Times
9. Confidentiality
10. Termination
11. Post-Termination
12. Liability and Indemnity
13. Force Majeure
14. Data Protection
15. Data Processing
16. Nature of the Agreement
17. Severance
18. Relationship of the Parties
19. Notices
20. Law and Jurisdiction

and the following schedules:

1. Support Services [and Specified Equipment]
2. Fees and Payment
3. Service Levels
4. Data Processing

This document is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.

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