How to Decide Which SLA is Right For You

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What is an SLA?

SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are the governing force in the relationship between the consumer and an enterprise support provider. SLAs clearly define what is expected by both parties with measurable objectives. An example is a signed agreement between an IT department and a support provider. The SLA spells out when and how the support service will be conducted. An OLA (Operating Level Agreement) is another name for SLAs but is for agreements within an organization without an established provider-customer relationship. Now, let’s dive into the three different types of SLAs.

Service Based SLAs

A Service-Based SLA is one identical service pack for all customers. This type of agreement is essentially “one size fits all;” it does not provide additional options or the ability to flex with individual IT environments. The advantage of this type, however, is that it simplifies the process for the various maintenance providers who utilize this type of SLA. There are three categories a client will fit into when using a Service-Based SLA. These categories are divided by how efficiently they meet the needs of the customer. The first category contains those whose IT infrastructure requirements perfectly match the tenets of the agreement, while the second category contains clients who are paying for services that they are never able to fully utilize. In the third category, clients find the Service-Based SLA inadequate to meet all their needs as their IT environments exceed the specified services. Two examples of how an SLA may not reach the needs of an IT department would be faster response time and a readily available hardware inventory for break-fix scenarios. For many companies looking for third party enterprise support options, Service-Based SLAs may not be the best option if they do not efficiently and effectively meet their needs. Customers who commonly prefer this agreement are IT service providers, corporate IT, and IT service management.

Customer Based SLAs

Customer-Based SLAs are designed to contain all the possible services needed by an organization or department. This SLA is a general overview of all the services contained within a single agreement that is structured around each customer’s needs. The focus on each customer individually is what sets a Customer-Based SLA apart from a Service-Based SLA. An example would be an IT service provider offering several services packaged together within on SLA in order to meet all the needs of a client.

Multi-Level SLAs

The final type of SLA is a Multi-Level SLA. This SLA is customized based on the needs of the end-user client/company. The SLA is divided into three levels and allows the user/client to integrate multiple conditions into the agreement to provide a more suitable service to the client’s needs.The Multi-Level SLA’s three levels are the corporate, customer, and service levels. The corporate level covers basic service level management (SLM) issues and does not require constant updating. It contains an in-depth discussion of all the necessary parts of the agreement and applies to all customers. The customer level of a Multi-Level SLA focuses on a singular customer group and covers all relevant SLM issues regardless of services used. The Service-Level SLA has a distinct focus on the the individual services and defining the service for the individual client.

Mathing Needs to SLAs

Many organizations need enterprise system support and maintenance. The support and maintenance process is defined by SLAs. At thomastech, we believe that IT managers need to be given a choice of SLAs and the ability to customize them. After all, IT managers know their own enviroment’s needs, and thus they are the best equipped to make the right choice. thomastech provides a selection of SLAs that are centered around the core concept of empowering you, the IT professional. The goal of thomastech is to empower you through hardware and enterprise maintenance so you can keep your systems running and your data moving. Going beyond many other third party maintenance providers for enterprise systems, thomastech provides you the freedom to custom-tailor the support process and SLAs to best fit your IT environment. To learn more about our SLAs, visit our support page at or call (330) 225-3117 to speak with a real person to find a personalized solution to your enterprise support needs.

thomastech's unwavering commitment to quality, comprehensive solutions, and round-the-clock expertise transformed our Data Center journey." - John T.

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