Reviewing the fine print of any legal document can be exhausting. Managed Services SLA exhibits are easy to skim through and verify that availability, response times and other included metrics are as expected only to find yourself in a situation that you did not expect. Here are the top red flags you should avoid to get the service and value you expect:
1. SLA breach provisions put burden on you. Anything in your Service Level Agreement (SLA) requiring you to notify the provider when there is a breach should be a show stopper. Same red flag applies to provisions requiring your action to get credit for downtime. Language like this means that you will be required to monitor independently in order to hold your managed services provider accountable. Worse, given their incentives to hide outages, they are unlikely to provide any reporting or visibility into the performance of your system.
2. Downtime calculations require a call. It is OK if critical customer-reported items require a call and not just a ticket submission, particularly if you have a response time SLA. However, uptime or availability calculations should not depend on your call. Ensure that in the event of a system or application failure that your Managed Services provider is required to notify you, not that you have to notify them. Reports should at least be sent to you monthly (or more frequently) with a review of all incidents.
3. Force Majeure events or exclusions. Nuclear fallout is a reasonable exception to managed services accountability. In that event, we probably all have bigger worries. However, broad or vague exclusions such as "unexpected traffic increases," "custom code," or "events beyond provider's control" remove all protections from your side of the contract. A good Managed Services provider will not need these catch-all excuses for not providing the expected level of service.
4. Remedy limits. Particularly when it comes to fee credits, if your application or website is down for an extended period of time with no response, what is the result? Carefully weigh contractual remedy limits against against the damage to your brand in the event of an outage—particularly with regard to the termination agreement below.
5. The termination agreement. There is only one right answer here: That you can leave for any time and any reason. Anything else is an admission that a provider relies on contracts to keep customers rather than value. Some language, specifically language that specifies both breach requirements and a contractual opportunity to remedy an issue should be avoided at all costs, as often the only choice will be to buy out your contract regardless of the service provided.
How does Freedom Managed Services stack up?
1. Fee credits are our basic remedy. In the event of a service failure, we will automatically apply credits as well as providing you with a Root Cause Analysis (RCA), real-time transparent monitoring, and monthly reporting.
2. Freedom will notify you of an incident AND our response-time SLAs for critical incidents are in effect from the start of the impairment in addition to our availability SLA. Notifications come with detailed reporting linked to our real-time monitoring so that you have up to date information on the status of the incident.
3. At 99.99% uptime guarantee, we expect to cover even the nuclear fallout scenario, but even below that SLA level, traffic, deployments, patching, and disaster recovery (DR) scenarios all fall into our availability calculations and are not excluded.
4. Our SLAs provide up to a 40% credit. For example, a 99.9% SLA provides a 40% free credit if availability drops below 99% for a calendar month.
5. Our termination agreement is 90 days, no questions asked AND we will help you transition.
Freedom Managed Services provides WCMS, eCommerce, Search and PIM managed services for a variety of applications including Adobe Experience Manager, Hybris, Magento, SOLR and a variety of others. Reach out to us today to see how we can support you.