Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is a widely used term and often has some misconceptions attached to it. Contrary to popular belief, SLA is not necessarily a legal contract, but should be written in simple language, which can be understood by all parties without any ambiguity. An SLA is simply an agreement between a service provider and the customer(s) and documents the service targets and responsibilities of all parties. There are three types of SLAs defined in ITIL:
An Operational Level Agreement, or OLA, on the other hand, is the agreement between the service provider and another part of the same organization. An OLA is generally a prerequisite to help meet the SLA. There might be legal contracts between the service provider and some external suppliers as well, to help meet the SLA(s). These third-party legal contracts are called Underpinning Contracts.
As must be evident, management and monitoring of these agreements is of utmost importance for the service organization. Here is how to create SLA records easily and track them in ServiceDesk Plus:
Agree SLA with the customers.
Go to Admin tab.
Click on Service Level Agreements in the Helpdesk block.
All SLA-based mail escalations are enabled by default. These can be disabled by clicking on the Disable Escalation button.
Four SLAs are set by default—High SLA, Medium SLA, Normal SLA, and Low SLA. More could be added, if needed.
Click on any SLA Name to view/edit its details.
SLAs for sites, if any, can be configured by the site admin from the Service Level Agreement for combo box.
SLA Rules block, below SLA details, is used for setting the rules and criteria for the SLA.
Once agreed with the customers, configuring SLAs in the tool is pretty easy and straightforward. Escalations are taken care of automatically, as per the defined rules. To monitor the SLAs for a continuous focus on customer satisfaction, several Flash Reports are available under the Reports tab, for use on the fly.