Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:35 pm Post subject: Re: Service Catalogue and SLA
I am into a project now that involves developing agreements between the Datacenter dept. and various business units in a large telecom company. I am looking at developing ITIL based SLA's.
I dont quite understand the difference between Service Catalogues and Service Level Agreements and hence, I am not able to appreciate the role of each one of these documents.
What do I exactly put in a Service Catalogue and what is it to be put in a SLA? How are these two different from each other and more importantly, why is there a need for these two to coexist?
I have read through the various posts related to SLA and Service Catalogue but I'm still lost.
Can someone please help me?
The Service catalogue defines the services available from your organisation to the customer and the SLA defines the agreed levels of these services. In your organisation you probably deliver many different services, and you define these services in your service catalogue. With your customer you then sign an agreement, a service level agreement, where you define what services from the service catalogue you will deliver, and the levels/metrics of these.
Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:14 pm Post subject: Service Catalogue and SLA
Thanks for your mail. I have about 8 services being offered by my department to "a" business unit. So, do u mean that I have 8 service catalogues ( one for each service ) and one blanket SLA with the business unit?
If thats the case, then where do I capture information regarding performance, monitoring and tracking of my service levels, the thresholds for each service that i offer? Is it in the SLA or in the service catalogue? My guess is that it should be in the service catalogue since the service metrics is specific to the service being offered. Correct me if i am wrong.
Also, is the SLA written in legal language? Do I have to define terms and conditions and get it approved by my legal department (for lingo) before I get business unit to sign on it?
Joined: Mar 12, 2005 Posts: 255 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:24 am Post subject:
the ITIL chapter on Service Level Management has a sample Service Catalogue that is a very simple table: With the names of the services on one side and the customers who receive them on the other. The cells just have an 'X' where the customer and a service a paired.
So from this you can see that in 'pure' ITIL terms (no such thing really ) the Service Catalogue 'entries' are about as simple as it gets. Way less detail than the service description section of an SLA for example.
Of course may organisations have extended the idea (and use) of the Service Catalogue considerably, and I expect when ITIL V3 arrives we will see it reflect this trend.
In the mean time it is probably useful to consider the purpose of the two different documents: The SLA is to establish an 'agreed' understanding about the specific what, where, when, how and who involved in delivering a specific service to a specific customer - though a lot of SLAs are defualt 'enterprise' SLAs which automatically apply to all customers.
The Service Catalogue is intended to simply list what the services are, and who recieves them. It is this document (or rather collection of documents) that many IT organisations choose to publish (usually on an intranet) as a kind of a 'menu' of services available. As such it usually describes the services in a very end-user way - not overly technical.
In addition to being a menu, some organisations include information on how to access (apply for) the service, and anything else they think is of value.
Note that where organisations treat their catalogue as a public document they tend not to list the current customers of each service.
There is another quite critical difference between a service catalogue entry and an SLA. The SLA drives processes and establishes the metrics for measuring and assessing delivery.
The catalogue entry does not provide the 'parameter' for any processes. It is of course an output of the process that lead to a service being defined and implemented: the planning and negotiation processes. But no ITIL process need to refer to it in operation.
I agree with the definitions of Service Catalogue and SLA given above. One point regarding the language used. ITIL states that:
SLAs with the business are written in business language (describes the service in terms the business understands for example the Payroll system)
OLAs (operational Level agreements)with support groups are written in technical language (describes the parts of the infrastructure supported by the support group, for example Oracle database administration)
UC (underpinning Contracts) with 3rd parties are the only ones written in legal language, for example witha hardware maintenance company or telecoms supplier. (This can be confusing, as the supplier maywell refer to the agreement as an SLA, but as far as the Service Level manager is concerned, it is a contract which enables him/her to provide the services agreed in the Customer SLA.
This is one area which shows that ITIL was written to suit the situation where a company ahs an IT deprtment providing support. It does not fit quite so easily into an out-source arrangement, for example. _________________ Liz Gallacher,
Accredited ITIL and ISO/IEC20000 Trainer and Consultant - Freelance
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