By Rob Autor on April 10, 2019
Discover best practices for drafting and delivering a Managed IT Services SLA that will set each party up for success.
A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a managed IT services provider (MSP) and its client that outlines both parties' responsibilities. The goal of an SLA is to define and document which IT services the MSP will provide, minimum response time, liability protection for the MSP, payment structure and performance standards the provider is obliged to meet.
An SLA outlines the managed services offered in general terms, establishes metrics for measuring the success of these services and defines how they specifically apply to the client, including which computers and devices are covered.
Service level agreements can vary on a case by case basis. Typically, the most successful and well-crafted SLAs include the following components:
Scope of Services
MSPs should start by defining what products and services they offer. For example, this can include evaluating their strengths and weaknesses surrounding average response times, or the number of technicians they can allocate for product support.
Every MSP SLA should outline which metrics will be used to quantify and report on service levels, and who will be responsible for reporting—the MSP, their client or a third party.
Should any problems arise, an SLA needs to explain how clients should report them to their MSP. This section should also distinguish the varying levels of severity for different types of problems and indicate their response times for each type.