Service Level Agreement: we write SLA for ... others, or the conclusion of an SLA with a Telecommunications Operator

    I’m sure that many hawkers have at least once in their life dealt with the issue of providing communication services for some office or company (our own home is also considered), all of us once, alas, not always thoughtfully, “waved” the contract for communication services, hoping that all It will be good / quality / stable.

    In half the cases the quality of communication services is acceptable, but there are situations where such services should be regulated and conclude with the Operators of the JMA ( the SLA ). The operators are reluctant to do this, claiming that they do not have such procedures, this is a deviation from standard conditions and "what are you worried about - no one complains with us."

    In such cases, you have to take the initiative into your own hands and write the SLA procedure for the Operator, and then painfully coordinate it and knock out the necessary conditions. Those who have, or still have to deal with this type of literary slavery - welcome, the topic is boring, but there is nowhere to go from it ...


    Oh, how wonderful it would be if the Operators worked exclusively responsibly, the equipment would never break, and if it did, then regenerated independently in the shortest possible time. Alas, for all this to work just the same, the SLA with the Operator is needed ... About SLA on Habré there are successful articles, but there are less successful ( IMHO), but often they are addressed to the internal processes of the company, or are described in general terms, but we have to deal with the Telecommunications Operator, what will he offer us on this issue? Let’s talk about a fixed connection today ...

    And he offers us “standard terms of the contract”, the section “operator’s responsibility”, which usually contains a couple of paragraphs. These couple of paragraphs are really quite standard, they are all almost the same, and they are all united by the concept of “1/720”.

    T. about if the Operator provides you with fixed communication services for a specific subscriber. fee, and, suddenly, these services will no longer be available, then with the generous supply of the Operator, for every hourdowntime from a monthly subscription fee will be deducted 1/720. At first glance, it's cool. But quickly it comes to understanding that it’s rude - in the month of only 720 hours, and in reality, if the Operator does not provide the service, he simply does not charge you a subscription fee, which, you see, is obvious ... and a little offensive. :)

    Such a service does not suit us, we want to motivate the Operator to work without downtime, and reduce downtime to a minimum, so we sit down to write SLA.

    Traditionally, you need to start with water ...
    1. The procedure for interaction between the Operator and the Company
    Very briefly describe the quality indicators of the services provided, the contacts of the responsible person / group from the side of the Operator.
    2. The rules for receiving, registering and processing applications from the Company.
    We tell you that there is a concept of a request or Trouble Ticket, as you prefer. We describe what is indicated in this application. We describe that we submit it, for example, electronically, with soap, from a specific address. We indicate what will be confirmation of the registration of the application

    ... but continue by prioritizing the urgency of the problem. This is important, we will use it. The SLA author himself must come up with the number of priorities, but if rude, there will be at least three.

    Let's take an example, we use the Internet access service and here:

    1. Internet access is completely absent - this is a “zero” (most important) priority - we will solve this problem urgently ...
    2. There is access, but the quality degrades ... Either the speed is significantly undershot or half of the nodes are inaccessible. We call it - “a problem on the Operator’s network leads to a decrease in the quality of services” - this priority will be “first”.
    3. There are other questions ... such a priority of the problem should also be. Let him be "second." These are accounts, additional agreements, acts of reconciliations, all sorts of clarifications. All this must also be decided within a certain time frame.

    After identifying priorities, we determine the time to resolve these issues. Time is a very important factor, on the one hand it’s downtime without services (a simple business), on the other hand, too short a downtime will cost the Operator a lot. Here we must try to evaluate soberly and with an eye to other factors.

    For example, try this:

    • Zero priority - decision time no more than 4 hours;
    • The first priority is a decision time of not more than 8 hours;
    • The second priority is a solution time of no more than 24 hours.

    We came up with all this, so that we would punish have a motivating effect on the Operator in the section "Responsibility of the Parties".

    Here we describe that the coefficient of service availability per month is 99.5%, i.e. downtime cannot exceed 4 hours per month. We will give the Operator some time for work scheduled and minor accidents.

    But! If these conditions are not met, now we are writing that for each hour of inactivity over 4 hours per month, the Operator will deduct, for example, 1/100 (recall Operator 1/720) from the monthly subscription fee. This is 1% per hour - this is a very incentive for the Operator.

    We just looked at an example, the paper will endure everything, you can invent any variations. For example, an availability ratio of 99.00% and 8 hours of free downtime. Other priorities are described in the same way.

    What else can / should be added to SLA
    3. The procedure for informing the Company about TT solutions We
    describe how often and in what ways the Operator informs about the solution to the problem and the timing of its elimination
    4. Escalation sheets
    If your manager is ill / inaccessible / behaves badly with the Operator? Who to complain? We document the name and contacts of the manager, his deputies and management. We indicate the critical time when we begin to complain to the Operator's Guide about the actions (or inaction) of the manager. By the way, the Operator will ask for a similar escalation sheet to complain to your Management :)
    5. Contact coordinates for communication
    Here we describe in detail all contacts, realizing that you may have to contact urgently ... at night ... when no one reads mail
    6. Responsibility areas
    In whose area of ​​responsibility is the power supply to the equipment of the Operator located in your server room? That's right - yours. It is with the availability of power on the equipment that the operator will start the conversation at "zero" priority. We describe who is responsible for what and where the boundary of responsibility is.
    7. The scheme of organization of communication services
    It is convenient to have a scheme at hand.
    8. The procedure for the Operator to carry out scheduled work
    On all scheduled work, on both sides, the Client and the Operator must notify each other in order to avoid unnecessary incidents.

    And now, all this “work” must be coordinated with the Operator, who in turn will fight for every percentage and hour. All trade-offs are governed by the value of the contract.

    The narration turned out to be a little crumpled, counter-questions are inevitable, waiting for them in the comments. In general, the issue is considered simple - fixed connection. I had experience writing an SLA for corporate mobile communications - I had to work hard there. If the reader is grateful and demands continuation, I have no right to refuse.

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