What is a Service Level Agreement
A SLA?s primary goal is to establish and manage expectations of customers, thus reducing confusion while defining acceptable service.
Below is an example of a Service Level Agreement. Simply replace the bracket information with your information.
SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
[Company PBX Department]
Terms in this document:
PBX is a direct reference to the Private Branch Exchange Department and it?s personnel.
Telecommunications refers to Voice communications and Voice Mail.
Service refers to the Move, Add or Change of telecommunications sets, fax lines, modems and voicemail programming.
Local Switch refers to the [Meridian 81C] switch that services the departments at [Company Name].
Distant Switch refers to the outlying [Meridian systems] at [First Location], [Second Location].
Central Office refers to [Bell South].
Internal Customer refers to the employees and departments of [Company Name].
External Customers refers to those individuals or business outside the scope of control of the PBX Department.
Turnaround Time shall be considered a good faith effort of the PBX Department and it?s staff to remedy a problem.
Business day indicates normal business hours between Monday and Friday, excluding Federal Holidays.
Goal of this Technical Support Service Level Agreement:
The goal of this agreement is to enhance, support and manage our internal customer's telecommunications requirements. A secondary goal is to identify response times, assist in our internal customer?s achievement of maximum proficiency and reliability in their telecommunications environments and set forth escalation procedures.
Specific Goal Topics covered in this agreement:
- Dependable support for a standard telecommunications platform for core business departments,
- Response times to problems, new users, and other service requests,
- Statement of operational hours,
- Reduction in labor cost via standardized call out procedures,
- Procedures for escalation of service request and/or outage reports.
Technical Support Service Level Agreement:
[Company Name]?s Private Branch Exchange Department has identified a standard business approach to providing technical services to the various departments of [Company Name]. The PBX Department will provide support, to include; new set installations and services, movement of existing telecommunication services, reprogramming of existing telecommunications services and maintenance of existing telecommunications services.
This document is the Service Level Agreement (SLA) that defines the scope of support and the services that [Company Name] users can expect:
The PBX Department will provide technical support to our internal customers via the [Pbx call center or trouble desk].
The [Pbx call center or trouble desk] is responsible for:
- Initial point of contact for the telephone questions and problems
- Issuing trouble tickets,
- Communicating expected response time,
- Tracking of service/problem ticket.
Hours of Service
8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Friday will be the normal hours of service. However, if additional coverage is required outside of these hours, the hours may be expanded.
The following turnaround times for services will be in effect:
New Service at local switch - within 1 business day with properly submitted requisition.
New Service at distant switch - within 2 business days with properly submitted requisition.
Move or Change of service at local switch - within 1 business day with proper notification.
Move or Change of service at distant switch - within 2 business days with proper notification.
Outage Report at local switch of non-essential telecommunications* - within 4 hours on business days. The following Monday if trouble is reported after 2:00 PM on Fridays.
Outage Report at distant switch of non-essential telecommunications* - within 6 hours on business days. The following Monday if trouble is reported after 2:00 PM on Fridays.
Outage Report at local switch of essential telecommunications** - within 1 hour on a business day. Within 2 hours on non-business days.
Outage Report at distant switch of essential telecommunications** - within 2 hours on business days. Within 2 hours on non-business days.
[Indicate your call out procedures here.]
The following actions require scheduled turnaround times.
- Custom programming,
- Telecommunications projects.
- Upgrade and patches for software releases ,
- Software licensing and maintenance,
- System backups and maintenance.
Problem Escalation :
Not all problems are emergencies. But those problems that are not addressed and resolved expediently can become emergencies. After pursuing the standard problem reporting mechanism via a trouble service ticket submitted directly to the [Pbx call center or trouble desk]. The user will have a service ticket that can be used to reference the problem reported. The user can progressively escalate emergency problems in the following manner:
- Obtaining approval for escalation from his/her management,
- Communicating a new acceptable response time.
Recognize, however, that a user(s) who set a pattern of problem escalation (attempting to circumvent the problem resolution queue) will be admonished to respect the service queues and established turnaround times guarantees.
Customers of [Company Name] telecommunications services, as part of this SLA in which the services they will receive are detailed, also have some responsibilities:
- Customers should report problems using the problem reporting procedures detailed in this SLA, including clear description of the problem,
- Provide input on the quality and timeliness of service,
- Recognize when software testing and/or maintenance are causing problems that interfere with standard business functions.
Telecommunication environments and requirements inevitably change, and this SLA needs to define an "ever greening" process to ensure that the support agreement keeps pace with the reality of user requirements. As the telecommunications infrastructure moves from the standard Legacy system switch to communications servers and local area networks ? the PBX department and the Information Technology department will share in the resolution of a problem, thus possibly extending installation times and response to outages.
The management of PBX and IT will need to create a committee with cross- representation to meet quarterly to review technical support service success, service shortcomings, technology updates, and user requirement changes. Once the support service is initiated, the committee will note the results and recommend the changes and improvements.
The PBX Department and Customers have both acknowledged and accept the terms and responsibilities required for effective and efficient service delivery. Should there be a need to modify the level of support, this will be done by designated individuals/teams of each party.
*- Indicate a general discription of services or departments that are considered non-essential communicatioins (Modem lines, offices with multiple sets, etc.)
**- Indicate a general discription of services or departments that are considered essential communicatioins (Security Department, Executive Office, Offices with only one set, etc.)
Article by Charles Carter
Short note about the author
Charles Carter is an administrator for the Nortel Portal and Vice President of www.pbxinfo.com. He has 20 years experience in the telecommunications field, is a software owner/programmer, author of the fictional book "Chaos Theorem" and is currently the President of CS2Communications (www.cs2communicatons.com) - A Southern Mississippi Telecommunications LLC specializing in Nortel Meridian Programming, Nortel BCM Programming, Cable Plant Installations and Nortel Symposium Programming