White Paper | April 30, 2013

MSP Guide To Managed Services SLAs

Source: Continuum Managed Services, LLC

If you’re like most managed service providers, your first love is technology, not the law. As a result, you probably hope to speed through the process of writing your first service-level agreement in as little time as possible.

That could end up being a big mistake. A service-level agreement (SLA) protects you from legal action. More importantly, by ensuring that you and your clients share a common understanding up front regarding what you will and won’t be doing for them, a well-written SLA can actually prevent disputes from arising in the first place.

Five Key Principles

Throughout the process of creating your SLA, be sure to keep these five essential guidelines in mind:

  1. If it only takes you a few hours, you probably haven’t done it well: Preparing a high-quality SLA isn’t a task you complete in one sitting. Though few MSPs enjoy reading contracts, let alone writing them, do yourself a favor and take the time to do the job right. Otherwise, you could leave yourself vulnerable to costly complaints and lawsuits down the road.
  2. Don’t rely on templates alone: It’s not hard to find SLA templates online, and there’s nothing wrong with using such documents as a starting point or source of ideas. Just don’t treat them as a substitute for drafting an SLA of your own. Though it may save you time in the short run, taking a cookie-cutter approach to SLA writing can be a dangerous mistake.

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