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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Introduction to Service Level Management

Service Level Management (SLM) exists to ensure that services fully align with the needs of the business and meet the customers’ requirements for functionality, availability and performance. The goal is to ensure that levels of service are negotiated and agreed with customers and all services are delivered to the agreed service levels defined in terms of agreed performance indicators. SLM must also ensure that services are continually improved where improvements are required by the customer and can be justified in terms of their cost.

SLM is the steward of the relationship between the IT service provider and its customers and is accountable to the user for the services delivered.

The main purpose of Service Level Management is:
• To develop and negotiate SLAs with customers
• To ensure SLAs are underpinned by internal (OLAs) and external (UCs) agreements that support the achievement of agreed service levels
• To act as a bridge between the IT service provider and the business
• To manage and maintain positive, constructive relationships with the customer. As the primary interface between IT and the business, it must be kept up to date with all relevant developments.

SLM helps IT become more professional, consistent and productive in its relationship with customers, creating and keeping open effective lines of communication. It ensures IT focuses on what matters most to the customer and the business and helps IT to deliver better value for money.

It ensures services are aligned to the needs of the business, providing a clear basis for the delivery of services including the definition of roles and responsibilities for both sides, provides measurable and achievable targets for service delivery, helps build a better mutual understanding and helps improve customer satisfaction with IT services.

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