The Provance Blog

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A Deeper Dive Into SLA Management: All About OLAs and Underpinning Contracts

 

Operations Level Agreements (OLA) help to ensure that IT support staff are meeting the service level expectations of other support staff, management and colleagues in other departments. OLAs are the very foundation by which common agreement is obtained and good IT service practices are enforced. The external equivalent of an OLA is an Underpinning Contract (UC). In this blog post, I’ll focus on how you can configure both OLAs and UCs in Provance ITSM (if you want to learn about SLAs, click here).

But first, what are the definitions again?

Service Level Agreement: Response and resolution targets that has been agreed to by two parties, either with an organization and their customer or between internal users.

Operations Level Agreement: Interdepartmental response and resolution targets agreed upon to meet the KPIs of the SLA.

Underpinning Contracts: Response and resolution targets between an organization and their vendors.

How to Configure an OLA

So the first step to creating an OLA is by creating an SLA but the SLA is contracted (as seen in the screenshot below, to find out how to create SLAs, click here).

When setting up the SLA, I chose OLA Contracted in the SLA Type field, as seen in this screenshot:

 

To set up the OLA assignment, you need to start by going to the Service Management section in the top-level navigation, then click on OLAs in the drop-down navigation, which will bring up the Active Operational Level Agreements view. As you can see in this screen shot below, I’m going to open up the SLA (that was OLA contracted) that I just created.

 

 

It will bring up all the detail that’s been set-up in the SLA/OLA so far. Once you set up your OLA targets (which I chose Tier 2 Response Targets-Incidents), as seen in the screenshot below, you can then specify a name, start date, scope, supporting team that adheres to the OLA, what the level of the OLA, the service, the supporting SLA and your service level targets.  

 

 

Now, let’s see how this is applied once created in a real work scenario. An Incident has come through, a ticket has been created but I can’t solve the problem and I need to assign it to Tier 2 Support. I ensure that the ticket has a corporate level SLA already assigned. To assign to Tier, I hit the Escalate button and a pop-up window appears (see screenshot below). I’m given a couple of options, Escalate (which would take the escalation up a level) or Escalate and Assign.

 

I chose Escalate and Assign, which I can then assign to a specific user or specific team. Once I’ve done this, Provance ITSM determines which team to assign it to and checks to see if there’s any OLAs that are associated with this team. Then it will ask if I want to send a notification to the team.

Once I finish, Provance ITSM will bring me back to the original ticket. And if I scroll down to the SLA/OLA/UC section, as shown in the screenshot below, the OLA has now been assigned. And if you look under the SLA and SLA KPIs section, you can notice that our SLA is still running and the calculations are still being done for the overall customer agreement. And if you look under the OLA section, you can see that we have another counter with the OLA response time and resolution time.

How to Configure an UC

Just like I showed with OLAs, for UCs, you’ll first start off with creating an SLA Type, set up your response and resolution targets, then you’ll create a UC and relate that SLA type to the underpinning contract. For an example, I’ve set this up for Microsoft UC Targets, as seen in the screenshot below. Notice in the SLA Type I’ve chosen UC contracted SLA.

 

 

Then, under Service Level I will navigate to Underpinning Contracts. And here, for example, I see the Surface Pro contract and I click on it, which will bring up the following view:

 

This is where I can select the supplier, when the contract is started, the key contact, and how they like to be contacted. And then you can specify which SLA target needs to be applied and just importantly your UC target SLA. The UC target SLA would specify the targets that must be met to escalate the issue to the supplier, which you’d fill out in the Service Level Target and Support Hours sections. 

So, let’s see how this is going to play out in real life. I’m going to navigate back to the incident. If we’re not able to resolve this they can then assign this to a vendor just by simply going to the current level and changing it to third party. Now if I attempt to try to save this, I get an error saying that I must put in a value for the third party (as seen in the screenshot below).

Then I hit save. But wait, Provance ITSM wants to know what third party I’m assigning. And so I must fill out the 3rd Party Support field before I can continue (see screenshot below).

Once I fill out this field, Provance ITSM will check to see if there’s any underpinning contracts associated with this record. It will then assign—just like the OLA did—and create an SLA duration for the underpinning contract.

Check out our other blog posts in this series,  How to Configure SLAs, Monitoring Service Health and the Why and How for Status Changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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