When you are looking for your new business internet, phone and telecom provider you are requesting a very essential, yet complex service. In the Service Level Agreement (SLA) your service provider guarantees you a certain quality of service.
There are three main levels of Service Level Agreements.
- The Customer-based SLA: This is an agreement between you and your provider, which is tailored accordingly for your particular business requirements. It covers all services that you will be using.
- The Service-based SLA: This is a more uniform agreement that covers one specific service. The provider uses the same standard service-based SLA for each of their clients.
- The Multilevel SLA: This is a more detailed and complex agreement. It will address your provider’s commitments and guarantees to you at corporate, customer and service levels.
Through the Service Level Agreement your provider agrees to take responsibility and provide solutions to you for their services as needed along the way. Here are a few main questions you may consider asking when reviewing your business internet, phone and telecom SLA.:
What is the expected uptime?
Having a reliable provider who has an expected uptime of 99.99% is very essential when it comes to your business internet, phone and telecom needs. You are paying a certain price to your provider because you want to avoid paying the cost of a downtime. Is the expected uptime 99.99%? Or is it lower?
What is your expected transmission time noted on the Service Level Agreement?
Although you cannot eliminate latency entirely in today’s time, you do want to make sure that your data delivery is quick and efficient.
What is the guaranteed packet delivery rate?
Of course, you want to make sure that your data delivery is quick, but you also want to make sure that it is actually effective. Is the packet delivery guaranteed to be at least at a 99.5% or greater rate?
What is your provider’s MTTR or “Mean Time To Respond or Repair”?
If your business internet or phone services go down, how quickly will your provider aid or arrive with a solution for you? Note that not all SLAs have the MTTR include. However, it still is important for you as the consumer to know the answer to the question.
What kind of customer service can you expect?
What is the provider’s contact process like, and what is the direct contact Information for the support team? Who is the best contact in case your service goes down or the equipment malfunctions? What is their email and phone number? What are their hours and availability like?
Is there an exit clause on the Service Level Agreement?
Now, in case the provider has not fulfilled the guarantees noted on the SLA, can you exit the agreement? Can the SLA be re-written? If so, then under what circumstances? What are the termination and cancellation conditions, and what does that process look like?