Ramon Beense

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Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process to manage service levels ensures that all IT services provided to customers meet agreed-upon standards of quality. It is about ensuring that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place, are being adhered to and service levels are measured and reported on.

To achieve this, it’s essential to have the appropriate tools in place. Most often the systems and processes used to define service levels are leased out to third-party companies. It is therefore vital to know how to manage them in the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step in setting up an SLM process is to determine which services are essential for the business, and then establish realistic metrics for success. This is usually a matter of considering aspects like efficiency as well as user base and design considerations. It is essential to choose the right technology expertise that a company that is specialized in specific platforms may be able to commit to greater performance than a generalised service provider.

Once the SLA targets have been set, teams need to implement a strategy to meet them. This typically means implementing systems that track progress and alert teams automatically when there are problems with meeting targets.

A strong SLM process also includes continuous improvement processes. These will enable teams to learn from the metrics they track, and discover ways to improve the processes that cause problems. For instance, if an NOC service is consistently not meeting its SLA for answering telephone calls within 30 seconds, it should be possible to figure out why this is happening, and fix it.


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