A Managed Services Agreement (MSA) includes a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which is more than just a list of services, metrics, and penalties. An SLA is a vital part of an MSP’s daily operations because it helps determine expectations and how to measure them, ensuring client satisfaction and minimizing potential disputes. Your SLA contract should specify the expected services, the required level of those services, the expected response times for support requests, and the hours of operation for support. The SLA also defines the steps MSPs take to resolve any issues and the compensation the client receives if the MSP fails to meet the agreed-upon service level targets.
An MSP SLA clarifies areas of responsibility and sets expectations for both parties. Formalizing communication helps ensure clear and consistent communication between MSPs and their clients. By minimizing disputes and protecting both parties, a well-crafted SLA ensures that both parties know their rights and responsibilities. It includes important areas such as provided services, performance, troubleshooting and problem management, responsibilities, escalation, reporting, resolution, availability, scalability, termination, pricing and billing, and service level targets.
To align services and goals, MSPs should set realistic and achievable goals, track response times properly, and be specific and accurate. Avoiding complex SLAs and being transparent with clear terms helps ensure a positive and productive relationship between MSPs and their clients. Ultimately, a well-crafted SLA is essential for building solid client relations, and it is an integral part of an MSP’s daily negotiation to make the business successful and profitable.