Service Level Agreement
1.0 – AGREEMENT OVERVIEW
This document is the Service Level Agreement (hereby referred to as ‘SLA’) which is agreed to by the Client by using the Product(s) and/or Service(s) provided by the Company. As set out in this document, both the Company and the Client understand this represents the expected level of Support Services required for the provisioning and sustaining of Products and/or Services, and how they will be delivered by the Company.
This SLA document will remain valid at all times unless updated by a revised document. All active Clients will be informed of such a revision and the most recent document will be available on the Company Website.
While the SLA document outlines the parameters of all Products and/or Services supplied by the Company, the Client understands that the SLA does not supersede any current processes and procedures unless explicitly detailed within this document.
2.0 – GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of having this Service Level Agreement document in place is to ensure that the main Company goal and objective, of ensuring we provide honest, transparent information to our Clients, is met.
Clients can view the SLA document so that they can understand how the Company will deliver the Products and/or Services it offers. It details to Clients the correct assurances that are in place to provide consistency and reliability in the Services delivered across all the Products and Services offered by the Company, sets expectation levels and assists with their own business planning.
This main aim of this document is to provide a mutual Agreement between Client and Company, so that both parties understand the level of IT Service provisions laid out by the Company and set clear expectations to the Client, dependant on priority levels and available resources between both the Company, the Client and any third-party suppliers and customers.
The clear objectives of this Service Level Agreement are to:
Provide a clear, concise, documented description of all Works, whether planned, in progress or completed to a highly detailed standard.
Never write a document that has unnecessary ‘jargon’ in it, that is difficult for a non-technical person to understand.
Always explain Work, as many times as is necessary, until Clients understand what is happening with the IT area in their business.
Product a Scope of Work Document with every project that has three categories contained within it – an ‘essential’ category, which must occur to achieve the project needs, a ‘nice to have’ category, detailing what could be achieved at the same time as the project with extra Work, and finally ‘out of scope’, which covers what will not be achieved in the project.
Assign a point of contact to all Clients for the lifecycle of a project, so Clients know who they can get in touch with to discuss their needs, at any point in the project.
Take ownership and accountability for delivery of Products, Services and Works delivered by the Company, and take accountability for any issues by assigning clear roles and/or responsibilities to all parties concerned.
Ensure Clients do not have any perceptions of expected Service level provision by making sure that the Company covers every detail of actual Service Support & delivery available.
3.0 – STAKEHOLDERS
The following stakeholders are considered to have a business relationship with each other, for the purpose of providing a Product and/or Service. It is understood that the Company will form the role of being the IT Service Provider, and the Client will form the role of the customer.
The above relationship will be used as the basis of the Agreement and represent the primary stakeholders associated with this SLA; any third-party providers will not be involved with delivering Services directly unless otherwise agreed in writing in advance. All Clients will form the same Agreement with the Company, in that they will only communicate with the Company on all Company Works, unless again otherwise agreed in writing, in advance. The entities acting as stakeholders are detailed as below:
IT Service Provider(s): Balliante Limited. (“Company”)
Customer(s): Any person or company as detailed on the Agreement (“Client”)
4.0 – SERVICES SCOPE
This Agreement details the following Support Services that are provided by the Company:
4.1 – TELEPHONE SUPPORT
Telephone Support is available via the Company telephone line, by calling 0800 707 4460. Clients may distribute the Company telephone number amongst other Users in their business where they hold a subscription to a Support package. Telephone Support is normally used where a matter is more pressing or urgent, such as an outage or a fault where a deadline is due. This is so a Company representative can take the enquiry over the phone and try to deal with the problem with the User at the time. Issues are not always able to be resolved on the call and may require a call back, or to be escalated to a specialist team or even a site visit.
4.2 – EMAIL SUPPORT
Support requested via email is a perfect solution to an IT query where the matter is of a general nature and is the preferred method of request by the Company. Information can be given in writing, along with screenshots where necessary, to give the Company representative a good understanding of the issue. As with telephone Support, the issue may need to be escalated to a specialist team or a site visit, but it is a more convenient way to raise an IT query for less urgent queries, meaning that the User can carry on with their work tasks while waiting for a response.
4.3 – TICKETING SUPPORT
For the Clients who have access to the Company Customer Area, another option to raise a Support request is by raising a Ticket. Although all Users can raise Tickets, the Client(s) and their team members who directly hold the Agreement with the Company can also raise requests such as billing queries and package changes via this method. Tickets are considered the same as emails and would have the same response time.
4.4 – REMOTE ASSISTANCE
Where initial verbal or written Support (via telephone, email or Ticket) does not resolve the technical problem, the primary method of assistance offered by the Company would be Remote Assistance. Using ‘Remote Desktop’ control software (and a Virtual Private Network, where available), a Company representative would access the Client’s (or their Users) machine to view, assist or take control of it, in order to solve the issue. The Client or User would normally be expected to be connected via chat or telephone to the Company representative at the same time. 95% of technical issues can be solved remotely making this the most effective and efficient way to receive assistance.
4.5 – ESCALATION ASSISTANCE
At times there are occasions where a matter needs to be raised for assistance that is of a more pressing or urgent nature and therefore cannot follow the normal Support assistance timeframes. This should only be used where severe detriment, either financially or otherwise, would occur if the normal route were followed. Clients must nominate in advance and make the Company aware of who can raise an escalation request. An escalation request must still be raised in the same manner, via raising a Support Request; however, the Client or Authorised User can manually request a raise in the priority level (see 6.2 – Service Priority Levels below for more information) to have the issue investigated more urgently.
Once an issue has been logged with the Company by raising a Ticket through telephone, email or via a Ticket directly, a Client or Authorised User should consider the impact this will have on their business. If the issue is deemed to be of an important nature, they can request that it is escalated to a higher priority. A Company representative will request further details, including the impact and the number of Users affected. They will then decide on the severity and reassign the Ticket to a higher priority level if it is deemed necessary.
On occasion, the Company may deem an issue more pressing and urgent than what it was originally logged as. Normally this is where the Company representative identifies an underlying problem of a more serious nature, or where the original problem could lead to further issues if it is not rectified promptly. Where the Company escalates an issue, the Company representative will update the Ticket, which will also notify the User via email. The Company representative will also endeavour to update by telephone too, for a high priority issue or where, as part of the fault, knows the User cannot access email.
4.6 – PLANNED ON-SITE ASSISTANCE
Sometimes an issue cannot be solved via Remote Assistance and so a visit to the Client’s site will be required. Following a Support call, email or Ticket, and after Remote Assistance has been explored or identified as unfeasible, a planned On-Site Assistance visit will be booked. During a visit, Clients and/or their Users are asked to make the equipment available to the Company representative. Equipment is considered unusable for the time of the repair and may need to be taken for further repair or replacement if deemed necessary. Each visit will be assessed at the time, ensuring as little disruption to the User as possible.
4.7 – EMERGENCY UNPLANNED ON-SITE ASSISTANCE
On occasion, an emergency may occur, where the Client or an Authorised User may need immediate Support with equipment that cannot be resolved remotely, for example equipment failure that would cause significant detrimental impact to the Client’s business. Where an unplanned On-Site Assistance visit is required, a request of this nature will only be considered where the Client or an Authorised User requests this. Requests must be made by telephone, using the Company telephone number and selecting the technical support option. An emergency visit is always considered a last resort option where other resolutions would not suit, and extra costs apply for an emergency visit.
4.8 – SYSTEM HEALTH CHECKS
Where a Support plan is in place, the Company will routinely carry out system health checks on the Client’s devices covered under the plan. Normally this is done remotely, but where this is not possible a planned visit may be booked to inspect equipment. As part of an inspection, routine maintenance and/or updates may also be carried out on Client’s devices, but where this will make them unusable for a period of time, notice will be given to the User in advance, via email or telephone.
4.9 – LIABILITIES
The Company accept no responsibility, under any circumstances, for any loss of business, custom, working time and/or revenue as a result of Downtime, and will not compensate Clients where there is any Downtime, even if it is caused or implemented by the Company. The Company also accepts no responsibility for data, whether before, during or after any technical Support given. Clients and their Users are reminded to always ensure Backup options are in place and that they are utilised regularly, backing up items including but not limited to documents, photos, videos, settings information and content, so that in the event of hardware or software failure, work is not lost. Occasionally, a remedy to a technical problem will be a complete reset of the machinery, therefore Backups to external sources, either online or external drive is preferable.
5.0 – SERVICE REQUIREMENTS AND ASSUMPTIONS
5.1 – CLIENT EXPECTATION REQUIREMENTS
The Client acknowledges that by using the Services provided by the Company, it assumes responsibility for the requirements in support of this Agreement, which include:
Ensuring that there is adequate availability of staff to assist the Company representative(s) where they are needed for the purpose of resolving a Support incident or request, for example being available to provide a password, keys or codes to gain access to hardware and/or software.
Replying and responding to emails, Tickets and telephone calls promptly to minimise delays to resolutions to Support requests.
Always dealing with Company representatives courteously and respectfully.
Providing payment on time and in full for all costs associated with Support Services.
5.2 – COMPANY EXPECTATION REQUIREMENTS
The Company agrees that in providing Products and/or Services to the Client, it assumes responsibility for the requirements in support of this Agreement, which include:
Setting clear Service levels and outlining expectations.
Honouring target response times.
Providing clear, concise communications where changes are necessary.
Giving appropriate notification of scheduled maintenance which would result in Downtime.
Minimising unplanned maintenance except in emergencies and providing as much notification of these events as possible.
5.3 – SERVICE ASSUMPTIONS
The following assumptions are agreed between both parties and are related to in-scope Services:
Any relevant changes to Products and/or Services will be communicated with the other party and documented to all stakeholders.
Any problems in Service are reported to the other party as soon as reasonably possible.
Any changes to the business structure, set up or hierarchy is communicated as soon as possible.
All relevant documentation will be actively available on request.
All processes detailed are to be followed, with changes requiring advance written notice.
5.4 – SERVICE RESPONSES
As part of the Service delivered by the Company, sometimes it may be necessary to reply to a Ticket with further questions or a request for examples and/or screenshots of the issue. Where the Company needs to request this of a User, it is asked that a prompt response is given to the request in order for the Ticket to be progressed effectively, and the matter closed as efficiently as possible.
Where a Ticket is Priority one or two, it is requested that a reply to a request is answered within one hour during business hours, and , where necessary to appoint a point of contact to deal with the issue outside of business hours.
Where a Ticket is Priority three, a reply to a request should be answered within two hours.
Where a Ticket is priority four or five, a reply to a request should be answered within four hours.
6.0 – SERVICE MANAGEMENT
6.1 – SERVICE AVAILABILITY
As part of providing an excellent Service level to our Clients, the following criteria are in place to ensure that the measures of Support Services are correctly delivered to maintain a consistent Support Service:
Full telephone Support is available during the Company office hours which are Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, excluding bank holidays observed in England. During these times, Company representatives will be available for full Support, for all matters regarding IT technical Support, customer services, sales and billing queries etc.
Outside of the above times is considered ‘out of hours’. During this time, telephone Support will be available for IT technical Support only. Out of hours Support is only available to Clients who hold an active subscription for this.
As with telephone Support, any enquiries raised for matters regarding IT technical Support, customer services, sales and billing queries etc by email will be answered within the Company office hours. Queries raised via email have a targeted response time of one hour, with a complete resolution to the issue expected within one business day. The Company cannot guarantee this during busy periods or where the issue raised is of a complex nature. Clients and their Users are asked to provide as much information as possible regarding the issue and to supply error messages and/or screenshots to assist the with identifying and rectifying the issue as promptly as possible.
Out of hours, email Support will be available for Clients who hold an active subscription to this. Outside of normal business hours, a response is expected within six hours. For an out of hours emergency, should a faster response be required, an Authorised User should escalate via telephone (for further information see 4.5 – Escalation Assistance).
All enquiries will be raised as a ‘Ticket’, whether this be via telephone, email or by directly raising a Ticket. If a Client or their User uses telephone or email to request Support, a Company representative will raise the Ticket on the system on their behalf.
All Clients, Authorised Users and Users have the ability to open a Ticket via the Company Customer Area, and it is the Company’s preferred method of IT Support.
As with email, Tickets follow the same response times of one hour in business hours and six hours outside of these hours.
Where an On-Site Assistance visit is required, after Remote Assistance options have been exhausted, the Company representative will book an appointment to visit the Client’s site.
From the time of booking, the Company standard response time endeavours to have a representative On-Site at the Client’s premises within 72 hours. This may vary depending on the priority level and the complexity of the issue and/or supplier delivery time, should parts be required.
Emergency assistance should always be requested by the Client or Authorised User. Where this is requested by any other party, the Company will not act upon the request until it has received confirmation to proceed from the Client or Authorised User.
From the time of booking (or after receiving confirmation to proceed), the Company emergency response time endeavours to be at the Client’s premises within six hours. A second visit may be necessary where an emergency temporary fix has been applied to install the permanent solution.
6.2 – SERVICE PRIORITY LEVELS
To accurately measure and correctly deliver the Services outlined in this and other Company Agreement(s), the Company will respond to Support related requests and/or incidents by categorising them with a priority level. Depending on the severity of the problem, the number of Users affected and the cost impact to the business, the Company gives each issue a priority level, as detailed in the below information:
P1 – Labelled ‘Critical’, this is the highest priority level. It is used where there is a high level of risk involved, such as a major security breach, risk to the business (or its reputation), potential legal or regulatory breaches, a very important or main system outage, full network outages or an issue affecting many or all Users. These issues will be dealt with as an emergency, and on most occasions, other priority level Tickets may be stopped to assist with this issue.
P2 – Labelled ‘High’, this is the second highest priority level. This level is used for when an issue is still a fairly high risk, however it is localised, so it is affecting several Users rather than everyone, and/or causing a high level of disruption to critical Users. Examples of this priority level would be a partial network outage, complete outages of non-critical systems and/or localised security concerns.
P3 – Labelled ‘Moderate’, this is classed as a normal priority level. This situation would be classified as issues that are affecting one or few Users, or intermittent faults of many Users. Normally something in this priority would be fixed as soon as possible, but not prioritised over a high or critical issue. Examples of a moderate issue would be software malfunction or computer failure for one User, or a wireless access point being unavailable in a small section of a building.
P4 – Labelled ‘Medium’, something in this priority would still be classed as a fault or incident, however there would be a workaround or alternative system in place for Users to utilise. It would not cause significant inconvenience to the User, so the issue can be rectified where there are no outstanding higher priority items.
P5 – Labelled ‘Low’, an issue in this priority level would be regarded as insignificant, where the User is still able to fully carry out their work duties with no impact to business operations. Example tasks in this priority level would be assistance to change a screen layout, help to change monitor brightness or change a ringtone.
The below response times are outlined as a timeframe to allow the Company time to respond and deal with the IT fault and/or incident. While complexity issues and other factors may mean that the Company cannot provide a guarantee to the below response times for every Ticket, the times are a target to the Company and can be used as a good guide and indication to the lead time to Clients and Users of the resolution time for most requests.
In hours – A response is provided within 15 minutes, with full resolution achieved within 4 hours.
Out of hours – A response is provided within 1 hour, with full resolution achieved within 8 hours.
In hours – A response is provided within 30 minutes, with full resolution achieved within 8 hours.
Out of hours – A response is provided within 1 hour, with full resolution achieved within 16 hours.
In hours – A response is provided within 1 hour, with full resolution achieved within 1 day.
Out of hours – A response is provided within 2 hours, with full resolution achieved within 2 days.
In hours – A response is provided within 4 hours, with full resolution achieved within 5 days.
Out of hours – A response is provided within 1 day, with full resolution achieved within 5 days.
In hours – A response is provided within 8 hours, with full resolution achieved within 10 days.
Out of hours – A response is provided within 1 day, with full resolution achieved within 10 days.
6.3 – NOTIFICATIONS
Noticing of any planned Downtime will be given well in advance and would not be performed without the agreement of the Client. The Company will always be clear and concise in its communication around Downtime. This will include what Work is to be performed, why it is necessary, when the Service will be taken offline, when it will be available again and what Services will be available and unavailable during the maintenance period. It will also update during the maintenance if it will not meet the targeted uptime.
On occasion, it will be necessary to take systems offline without notice. This is always done as a last resort in an extreme emergency event where it would be unfeasible to issue a planned notice of Downtime. Any unplanned Downtime will be communicated as widely as possible, with written notification being given to the Client. The Company will provide a clear and concise communication around the Downtime. This will include what Work had to be performed, why it could not be performed as planned Downtime, why it was necessary, when the Service was taken offline and when it will be available again. Communication around what Services will be available and unavailable during the maintenance period will still go out to the affected Users, with updates being provided during the maintenance if it will not meet the original planned uptime.
7.0 – SERVER SERVICE LEVELS
The Company provides Managed and Unmanaged Servers to its Clients, and the following Service levels are set out so that Clients understand what is provided with each Product and can decide between which they require:
Monitored and Alerted
Unlimited Text Message and Email alerts
Unlimited Server reboots
Lifetime Hardware replacement
24-hour monitoring and alerts
On-Site fault diagnosis
Free Operating System reinstalls
Server reboot (agreed in advance)
Operating system updates (Company managed)
Proactive hardware replacement (agreed in advance)
Fast Response Times
Under 4 Hours
Under 2 Hours
Under 1 Hour
What our customers say
We have had a great experience with Balliante, great deals on dedicated servers and top notch customer service. Done a tremendous job servicing all of our needs, thank you!
Balliante, is by far the finest I.T company I have ever had the privilege to work with. They are personable, caring and considerate. Characteristics that are very, very rare in I.T. They have become trusted partners and I wouldn't recommend any other I.T company at this point.
I just want to say what a fantastic service Balliante provided, nothing was too much trouble. Really personable and very professional. Would recommend any day of the week
We recently briefed Balliante to create us a new intranet. the team have been such a huge support for us as we transition through a big growth spurt, nothing has been too much trouble and every online session we’ve had has been fun.
Sorted our IT out for us. Top service thanks so much guys really happy.
Really friendly and professional attitude. Approachable and excellent value services provided. Nothing is too much trouble. Very empathetic in simplifying technical issues which in an IT world is a very valuable attribute.
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