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Service level management (SLM) is the key component in the ITIL service delivery area and helps in measuring the quality of the IT services provided and negotiated.
It can be considered as a negotiated agreement between the customer and vendor which are acceptable to both parties with respect to costs and expectations in order to support the business process.
In order for effective SLM, the following should be undertaken:
Documentation of all IT services provided.
Emphasis should be on customer’s business rather than technology.
Proper definition of the key IT service indicators
Ensure the monitoring of the agreed quality of services with the focus of improving them at an acceptable cost to customer.
Reporting of quality of service and service improvement plans.
Key benefits of SLM are:
Service level management help management in calculating the different expenditures involved and justifies the different charges to customers.
It helps in setting measurable and clear objectives.
The IT services provided are designed to meet only the customer’s needs.
The roles and responsibilities of the vendors and customers are clearly documented and established.
Customers are clearly provided with acceptable levels of quality and service.
Proper management of customer expectation is possible.
Monitoring of the service helps in identifying key areas of improvement.
Service level management helps in Trend-spotting which helps in avoiding service degradation.
It promotes a better understanding between It units and business.
Reducing costs of excess or insufficient capacity for IT units.
Challenges involved in SLM are:
Good communication channel between customers and service providers.
Proper alignment of the IT services with the customer’s business processes.
Proper monitoring of the service level agreement in order to improve the quality of service.