IT Service Management

Service Level Management

Even though there are many service management solutions to choose from, none of them have the data structure needed for accurate SLA reporting.  If they even recognize that a service deserves to be its own entity and not just a special type of configuration item (CI), these solutions do not account for the fact that there are normally multiple environments of a service, each with potentially different SLA targets.

For example, an outage of the QA environment of an application service may not need to be fixed during the weekend, but specialists may need to take immediate action if the production environment of that same service is affected on a Sunday.  Or the WiFi at the corporate headquarters may have more stringent SLA targets than the WiFi at a remote sales office.  These different environments of the same service can be registered as service instances in 4me.

4me service oriented data structure diagram

4me also recognizes that a managed service providers may have many dedicated service instances, each providing essentially the same functionality to a different customer.  But there can also be service instances that are used by multiple customers.  A shared service instance can therefore be linked to multiple service level agreements (SLAs) in 4me, allowing different targets to be set for each of these customers.

And where most service management applications seem to suggest that setting thresholds is the same as defining SLAs, 4me allows provider organizations to register actual SLAs that are meaningful not just for the provider, but also for its customers.

The unique data design of 4me makes it possible to provide what no other service management solutions are capable of: real-time insight into the quality of service that is being provided.  Organizations have a dashboard at their disposal to see how well each of their providers, whether internal or external, is performing.

The high-level overview for each provider on the left shows which providers are currently in violation of one or more SLA target.  This is illustrated by a red dot, which makes it easy for management to see where their attention needs to be focused.  And for provider reviews, the left side also provides a 12-month history where each month is represented by either a green or red block depending on whether any SLAs targets were violated.

Conversely, each organization also has access to the Customer Reports section of 4me’s Analytics console.  This dashboards shows how well the organization is performing for its internal and external customers.

From these provider or customer reports, it is possible to drill down into individual SLA reports and from there to individual requests that have been included in the calculations for the SLA report.

4me does not only track the end-to-end SLAs, though.  When a service instance of a customer relies on other service instances, the agreements that underpin the SLA are also visible in the SLA report of the customer.  Each underpinning agreement which targets have not been met is marked with a red dot to help organizations determine the cause of any target violations.