A service level agreement (SLA) is a document framed and presented by a company or business firm that generally provides a certain service or maybe a range of services to its clients and customers. The papers are so framed that they present the terms and conditions of the contract for providing quality service(s) and the level of the service that is to be rendered is actually defined in official and legal terms in this document. An SLA in the United States holds a significantly important position as a legal document that binds upon the service-provider a set of duties and responsibilities, which have to be followed strictly while delivering services that are approved of by the State. The SLA actually defines the exact level of service by accomplishing such details that fall under the spectrum of the contractual clauses.
Service level agreements, as framed in the U.S, are generally defined at various levels, which include the customer level, service level, corporate level, and also the multilevel SLA. There are also customer-based and service-based SLAs that operate widely in the States. An agreement of this form generally involves a number of legal and technical terms, whose clear and complete definitions are to be provided in this very document, along with the terms and conditions of the agreement. Agreements that define the service level also have certain metrics and standards that are largely based on the attainment of the service objectives of the respective organization.
A company or business firm can frame service level agreements as much as agencies and organizations that provide web services, but the basic format of framing the document follows a set pattern. A few of the most important features that must be contained in these documents are:
- Support obligations: The agreement, according to this particular feature, should highlight the responsibilities involved in execution of the specific service(s), from the point of view of the service provider himself or the corresponding company.
- Customer obligations: Obligations of the customer involve moral duties, and sometimes legal even, on acceptance of the said service; and the agreement should clearly outline its details.
- Technical support: The agreement, as per this section, should include details of the technicalities involved in the particular service.
- Limitations of liabilities: There might be certain cases and conditions under which the terms of the agreement remain invalid and the service provider is not liable of any charges issued. Such clauses must be clearly mentioned to avoid any confusion in the near future.
- Term and termination: The service level agreement should necessarily specify the exact term of validity of the agreement and include the clauses that define conditions wherein the agreement may stand cancelled, often due to a “breach of contract” or similar reasons.