SLA’s and You

Recently, I have heard from several customers asking about the SLA’s (Service Level Agreement) available with Business Class Coax Internet services.  I thought that if a few people were asking, many more are probably at least wondering. This week’s post is an overview of SLA’s and how they affect your business.

Let’s start by defining what a Service Level Agreement is.  Wikipedia’s definition is as good as any that I have seen….”an official commitment that prevails between a service provider and a client. Particular aspects of the service – quality, availability, responsibilities – are  agreed between the service provider and the service user”. Internet Service Providers and Telcos will commonly include SLAs within the terms of their business level contracts with customers in order to define the level(s) of service being sold in plain language terms. In the Telecommunication Services world, an SLA will typically have quantifiable levels of service in:

  • Uptime or Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
  • Scheduled Downtime i.e. Maintenance Windows
  • Unscheduled Downtime or Mean Time To Repair or Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR)
  • Identifying which party is responsible for reporting faults or paying fees
  • Responsibility for various data rates, throughput, jitter; or similar measurable details.

Most Service Providers will provide tiered Service Level Agreements. Designated by terms such as; Good, Better and Best or Bronze, Silver and Gold. The different tiers come at different costs. Your job as customer is to determine what the cost of not meeting an SLA is to your company and choose the related SLA Tier to cover that need.

When it is deemed that an SLA level has not been met, the remediation terms of the contract kick in.  These terms usually include some sort of financial compensation and/or service credit. Sadly, the ease of getting compensation depends on the quality of the Service Provider and the ability to provide clear metrics regarding the service issue.

Your best bet is to choose a reliable carrier, build redundancy and backups into the Telecom Solutions you control and understand the financial impacts of a service outage or degradation.

You can call Teledata Select at 404-257-1502 to discuss the SLA’s you have with your service provider. Or send us a note via  Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

 

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultancy located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas.  His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses.  Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services.  The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system. They also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling.