ITIL Service Level Management: Meeting Service

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on June 2, 2023

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The concept of Online ITIL training encompasses various definitions that specifically pertain to ITIL Service Level Management. It is crucial for both the service-level manager and service owners to familiarize themselves with these definitions to implement efficient ITIL service-level management practices. Understanding these terms is essential when establishing service level agreements (SLAs). ITIL online courses offer comprehensive information on effective ITIL service-level management and the roles and responsibilities within an IT organization. In the absence of effective ITIL service level management, services may fail to meet the expectations of the business, potentially resulting in revenue loss. Now, let’s examine the important terms in ITIL Service Level Management individually.

Definitions of ITIL Service Level Management

1. IT service provider

The first term in the compilation of definitions concerning ITIL service level management is “IT service provider.” An IT service provider refers to a service provider responsible for delivering IT services to either internal or external customers. For instance, a bank offering a money withdrawal service to its customers serves as an example of an IT service provider. IT service providers must implement ITIL service-level management practices. It’s worth noting that a service can be provided to either another organization or a different department within the same organization. IT service providers engage in signing SLA documents to ensure that the services they provide align with the customer’s expectations. This aspect constitutes an integral part of ITIL service-level management.

2. Supplier

Another essential term to be clarified in the context of ITIL service-level management is “supplier.” A supplier refers to a third party entrusted with the provision of goods or services necessary for delivering IT services. Examples of suppliers encompass vendors supplying commodity hardware and software, network and telecom providers, as well as outsourcing organizations. For instance, a telecom operator offers SMS, data, and call services to its subscribers, and to facilitate these services, they require telecom switches, network routers, application servers, and so on. These components are supplied by suppliers as a component of ITIL service-level management.

3. Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Within ITIL service level management, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) represents a contractual agreement established between an IT service provider and a customer. To illustrate, consider yourself as a customer of a bank where the bank offers various services to you. These services may include features such as 24/7 customer support in case of any issues, access to Internet banking, and the ability to withdraw money from your account via ATMs. The SLA is a document that was mutually agreed upon and signed between you and the bank when you became their customer.

Similarly, business-to-business SLA contracts can also be established. For instance, if a telecom operator utilizes a GPS service from a separate supplier to offer geographic services to its customers, an SLA can be agreed upon between the supplier and the telecom operator.

The SLA serves as a document that outlines the IT service, documents the service levels, sets specific targets, and outlines the responsibilities of both the IT service provider and the customer. As an example, a bank may require that the money withdrawal service be completed within fifteen seconds. This represents a service level target that the business has set, and it is the responsibility of the IT service provider to strive to meet and surpass these levels. Such targets are clearly defined within the SLA. Effective ITIL service level management ensures that all the service levels specified in the SLA are adhered to.

It is important to note that a single SLA can cover multiple IT services or multiple customers. For instance, a bank provides various services, but only one agreement is signed between the customer and the bank. This agreement encompasses all the services provided by the bank.

4. ITIL Service level management: Operational Level Agreement

Another term that requires clarification is the operational level agreement (OLA). This agreement is established between an IT service provider and another division or department within the same organization. The key distinction to remember in the context of ITIL service-level management is that an SLA is signed with the customer, whereas an OLA is signed with another internal entity.

To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario where an IT department relies on financial services provided by the finance department in order to deliver services to the HR department. In order to ensure consistent service delivery to the HR department, the finance department must meet specific quality standards. These service levels between the IT department and the finance department are negotiated and documented within an OLA, outlining the responsibilities and targets that both parties must meet.

An Operation Level Agreement (OLA) plays an important role in facilitating the IT Service Provider’s delivery of IT services to customers. It ensures that all associated services and processes align with their respective service level targets to meet the agreed-upon service levels stated in the SLA with the customer. In situations where the IT Service Provider relies on services from other internal organizations within the same company to deliver the end services to customers, OLAs are utilized to ensure the smooth operation of the IT Service Provider.

Service-level managers must possess an understanding of how OLAs support the IT Service Provider in delivering IT services effectively within the realm of ITIL service-level management.

An important aspect to note about operation-level agreements in ITIL service-level management is that they define the specific goods or services to be provided, as well as the responsibilities of both parties involved. The OLA clearly outlines the obligations and duties of both the IT Service Provider and the other organization responsible for delivering the service.

5. ITIL Service level management: Contract

A contract is a legally enforceable agreement entered into by two or more parties, and understanding this is crucial for ensuring effective ITIL service-level management. In a contract, all the terms, conditions, obligations, and responsibilities negotiated and agreed upon by both parties are explicitly documented. The contract serves as a reference point in the event of any disputes between the parties, and if the conflict cannot be resolved through other means, it may be brought before a court of law. Hence, it is essential that every provision stated in the contract is carefully reviewed and agreed upon by all parties involved. It is important to note that any term or condition that cannot be feasibly fulfilled by either party should not be included in the contract to avoid potential conflicts and legal issues.

6. ITIL Service level management: Underpinning contract

An underpinning contract pertains to a specific type of contract established between an IT Service Provider and a third party. It can be considered as a subset of a contract, specifically when it is signed between an IT Service Provider and a supplier or partner. This third party is responsible for supplying goods or services that support the delivery of an IT Service to a customer.

For instance, let’s consider the scenario where you become a customer of a bank by signing a contract. After your bank account is approved, you receive debit and credit cards. The bank obtains these cards from card manufacturers. In this case, the bank must have entered into an underpinning contract with the card manufacturer to ensure the production and delivery of debit and credit cards for its customers.

The underpinning contract establishes the targets and responsibilities necessary to meet the agreed-upon Service Level Targets specified in the SLA. For example, if the bank commits to delivering a debit card within three days, the card manufacturer must produce the card within one day to achieve this target. All these terms, conditions, and targets are officially documented within the underpinning contract.

If you wish to deepen your understanding of these terms, it is highly recommended to enroll in an online ITIL course, which often offers free options to expand your knowledge in this area.

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