IRTF AAA Arch Research Group
Outline of a Service Level Agreement
Authors: E.W. de Bruijn
This document is intended as an outline for a Service Level Agreement observed from a business perspective. In the line of progress of the AAA Arch research work, this document is intended to help with the development of a SLA data model. For this we also need to decide which pieces are applicable to be kept electronically and which pieces should be kept off-line.
2.0 Service Level Agreement
A Service Level Agreement is a contract between 2 parties: One party acts as the service provider and the other party acts as the service receiver or a party that acts on behalf of a service receiver.
A Service Level Agreement typically contains at least the subjects described below:
1. General clauses
· Goal of the agreement
In general the goal of a SLA is to agree upon the quality and quantity of the delivered services. Also the responsibilities and warranties should be qualified and if possible quantified.
· Parties involved
Description and naming of the legal entities and the responsible persons in that entities.
· Duration and validity of the agreement
Contract period and clauses about validity and termination of the contract. If applicable a clause should be included about the transfer of rights and obligations to third parties.
· Responsibilities of the parties involved
Description of responsibilities of the parties involved. I.e. the obligation to notify each other about (upcoming) changes, malfunction, etc.
· Guarantees, warranties and dispute handling
Description of the bonus or penalty model in case of difference between the agreed and actual service delivery. Also described is how a dispute is handeled and if there is arbitration involved.
· Maintenance of the agreement
The question here is whether the agreement is a fixed agreement and any change in the service delivered or required is unbinding the agreement or will the parties settle for a frequent evaluation and change the contract according the evaluation results.
· Costs involved
Clauses should be defined to describe costs involved if the services or levels will change and who will be charged for what.
2. Services and service levels
· Service description
This paragraph describes the services that will be delivered.
· Entities involved
If relevant entities should be described that are involved in delivering and taking of the services.
· Service levels
The service levels have to be described in a detailed manner. Most likely prices are stated here.
Examples of service levels are: Performance, opening times, availability, fall-back capabilities, incident handling, security, change management, continuity.
3. Specific clauses
· Financial handling
If applicable the charging or billing procedures are described in the SLA.
A reporting procedure should be described. Reporting is important to give the parties involved a good overview whether the service agreed on and the actual services delivered are inline. Reporting should avoid disputes.
· Point of contacts
Operational points of contact should be appointed for the parties involved.
The mentioned responsibilities should translated in activities that need to be executed in order to fullfill the agreed services according the setting of the agreement. Also a list of rights and obligations should be includes.