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ITIL :: View topic - What is OLA?
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What is OLA?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:36 pm    Post subject: What is OLA? Reply with quote

How is OLA and SLA different apart from being internal and external. What is the best practice approach to make an OLA. That is where do I need to start and what are the steps I need to take to complete it.

Please suggest.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And OLA should be discussed for each SLA you have in place. If you don't have an SLA in place you should then start off with an OLA before you engage your customer with an SLA. The OLA will make it much easier for you to sit down with the customer to discuss and SLA. By setting up an OLA you will have a better understanding of what your current capability is. This also allows you to negoiate more FTE's are needed for business's service increase...
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Joined: Oct 06, 2004
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Location: Bloomington, IL

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might help:

SLA: external customer, internal supplier (IT to customer/user)

OLA: internal customer, internal supplier (IT to IT)

UPC: internal customer, external supplier (Vendor to IT)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the reply Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.
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Location: UK, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: What is OLA? Reply with quote

Dear Shaji,

BPMS (Business Process Management Systems), an arm of six sigma initiative gives a meaningful basis as well as a model for developing OLA from SLA. I suggest that that can be looked into for approaching a solution for your situation. wrote:
How is OLA and SLA different apart from being internal and external. What is the best practice approach to make an OLA. That is where do I need to start and what are the steps I need to take to complete it.

Please suggest.


Thanks & Warm Regards,
Rajan Kanda
ITSM & Quality Management Consultant
+919836065857, +919331022263, +919830022217
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Underpinning Contracts, the SLA also provide cost for charging IT Services by the external providers. This is normal business practice.

However in many organisations, they rarely charge for services included in the Operational Level Agreements with internal providers. But things are starting to change and people start to think of the provision of IT Services do have a cost and it can be recovered or a charge incur to influence the way IT is used within many companies.
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pit crew

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:55 am    Post subject: never heard of OLA Reply with quote

I know SLA but use SLE (Service Level Expectations) to define the commitments of internal IT to IT. I have never heard of OLA? Can someone explain the acronym?
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Joined: Mar 12, 2005
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Operational Level Agreement

Pretty similar in structure to an SLA, but both parties are 'internal'' - either to the company or the ICT department.

OLAs are to define, and secure agreement and committment to, the operational efforts needed to support your SLAs.

In a sense OLA are 'incoming' and SLAs are 'outgoing'. An agreement with any party in the organisation to secure your capability to deliver on your SLAs should be considered an OLA - even if it's not strcitly an IT capability, eg: agreements on availability and access to information or processes in HR or Finance, which are critical inputs for delivering ICT services. (Not that these have to be covered in every case.)

As they are internal, often solely within ICT, the owner of the Service Level Management process is usually the 'recipient' signatory.
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Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 79
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:48 pm    Post subject: template for OLA Reply with quote


As RJP SLA and OLA are basically same thing except that parties are "internal" or "external".

In this site you can download free templates for both types of agreements

Hope It helps
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:26 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks Javier and RJP! This helped a lot.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: OLA vs SLA Reply with quote

I tend to disagree with the above examples as too simplistic.

I'm working this issue now for a client. OLAs describe provided services - how long to restore supported components of the service delivery chain whereas SLAs describe the end-to-end supported service parameters - availability, capacity, performance, etc. It's a difference, not just a distinction. Format can be roughly the same, but they do describe different things.

The SLA imperative to describe the end user experience is crucial because that's what the customer needs to know - the OLAs describe what the supported provider can count on to assist with maintaining the service delivery chain.

Also many OLAs and UPCs may be bound to a single SLA.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets answer the OP's question, which is just not to define what and OLA or an SLA is, but what is a best practice approach.

Well, its seems we defined OLA/SLA enough, no more detail needed there.

ITIL doesn't describe a best practice approach for creating an OLA, but has suggestions:

If you are doing any stakeholder analysis, you will probably have defined the parties in which services are dependent on, Customers, Internal, and External. From that point, as defined in what an OLA is, much like an SLA, you need to negotiate between internal parties along the Service chain of what commitments they can make, how those committments will be measured and reported. This should be a signed and agreed upon document, hence "Agreement" in OLA.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: SLAs and OLAs Reply with quote

In the company I work for, SLAs are external agreements (contracts) between real-end customers ( whether individual customers or businesses) and the companies Customer Facing Business Units and define what has been agreed to in respect to what the customer shoudl expect to be delivered ( performance, cost, penalties, dispute resolution,etc). OLAs are between the CFBUs (Customer Facing Business Units) and the internal delivery units and define what the internal delivery units can deliver to the CFBUs and underpin the external SLAs. The OLAs stipulate what can be delivered NOW... agreed architecture parameters and associated networks, performance ( based on CFBU forecasting) , reporting, stakeholders, etc. They can also contain the difference between what can be delivered now and what the CFBUs would like/require ( to meet SLAs, industry benchmarks) and what is required to meet that difference ( rearchitecture, additional HW/SW, more resources, ) and the difference is the basis of a Service Improvement Program which requires sponsorship/implementation to effect. The OLAs are also underpinned by Underpinning contracts (UCs) or vendor contracts
As such we can have SLAs covered by one or more OLAs or and OLA can underpin one or more SLAs.
This is a mutually beneficial structure as the CFBUs can consult the relevant OLAs as part of bidding processes and ascertain whether the internal groups can deliver what they'd like to put in an SLA or not ( if not, they may sell higher than what can be delivered and take a business risk). The internal groups are also made aware of what the CFBUs may and will require to maintain/increase their competitive advantage and whats required to do that ( ie SIPs).

I'd be interested in benchmarking the above with other companies ( IT< telcos, whatever) as the above works well if mutual co-operation between CFBUs and internal groups.[/quote]
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