Service Level Management
For providers of IT and BPO services, service level management plays an integral role all the way through the value chain. This applies to pure play professional service companies, embedded professional service firms, and internal IT departments found across all industries.
The objective of Service Level Management (SLM), as defined by IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), is to define, monitor, and control service level agreements and related service quality.SLM is a central function of IT service management (ITSM) and is responsible for qualitative and quantitative control of the services which the IT organization performs for its internal and external customers.
How SLM is implemented in SAP IT Service Management?
In SAP CRM, SLM specifies the type of service and corresponding service levels, ensuring that services are delivered according to the agreed-upon conditions. Accordingly, the arrangements in place between customers and internal IT support providers are continually monitored and reviewed.
It includes the following:
Contract: Contracts are legally binding agreements between specified parties to fulfill all the terms and conditions outlined in the agreements. A contract maps the agreed-upon service provision scope between the IT organization and the customer. It also represents long-term service relationships with customers, contains prices and penalties, and refers to the IT configuration items.
Service Level Agreement (SLA): SLAs represent an essential element of SLM. An SLA is an agreement between an IT organization and its customers, in which the services to be performed are determined end-to-end. This includes both qualitative and quantitative specifications, such as performance and service availability. They are used in SLA determination to assign the correct service profile and response profile to service transactions such as service requests, requests for change, and service orders.
SLAs are defined by the following:
- Service Profiles define the timeframes during which the IT services specified in the contract must be executed. The service windows defined in the service profile are used as a basis for calculating the start and end dates defined at service process level, as well as the response times.
- Response Profiles define the periods within which the processing of the service should start, and by which the processing should be completed. The corresponding dates (first response date and completion date) are calculated based on these periods and with reference to the service profile in the service process, which is created with reference to the contract.
Both service profiles and response profiles can be assigned to a number of transactions, such as service request (or incident), problem, request for change, and service order. They can be determined from the objects to which they have been assigned, such as contracts, products, installed bases, objects, service or sales organizations, or specific business partners.
Service Level Metrics (SLM): SLMs are criteria negotiated between a customer and service provider that define a quantitative target that must be achieved for the service provided within a timeframe. SLMs are assigned at the contract item level. They provide the user with the flexibility to assign as many metrics as possible to the contract item and also select timeframe and language, or cancel a reading. With the help of SLMs, users can compare real-time measurements against historical baseline trends and thereby detect anomalies and remediate the issues immediately.
IT Services: These are IT-related services, such as installation and investigation, that are applied to CRM products. They are integrated into IT service transactions such as service requests, requests for change, and problems.
Benefits of Service Level Management
SLM can help customers do the following:
- Ensure that the agreed-upon IT services are delivered when and where they are supposed to be
- Liaise with other areas of ITSM to ensure that the required levels and quality of service are achieved within the resources agreed to with Financial Management
- Produce and maintain a Service Catalog (a list of standard IT service options and agreements made available to customers)
- Ensure that appropriate IT Service Continuity plans have been made to support the business and its continuity requirements