Writing an IT service-level agreement

If you're rolling out a services-based line of business, such as managed services, an IT service-level agreement (SLA) is as essential as your vendor partnerships. Whereas many resellers may have previously acted just as an intermediary between their customers and vendors, more and more are providing service directly -- or at least rebranding services from a managed service provider (MSP) as their own. This closer, longer-term relationship means you'll have to draft an SLA to define exactly what you should and shouldn't be expected to do for your clients. Learn what an SLA is and how to draft an SLA that will save both you and your clients headaches in the future.

Executive Summary

An IT service-level agreement (SLA) could make the difference between your success and failure as a managed service provider (MSP). Verbal agreements or handshake deals can often end in financial disaster. Even though an SLA clearly defines your roles and responsibilities in managing all or some aspects of your customer's IT infrastructure, too few MSPs have SLAs in place. In this Channel Business How-To, you'll learn what an SLA is and how to draft one that protects both you and your customers.

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This was first published in February 2008

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