Quality ideally is measured according to objective criteria agreed on by both parties. But how do you know which criteria are meaningful for your situation? And how can you measure how well the service meets those targets?
There is a need on the part of enterprises and their external service providers (IT service companies, integrators, cloud providers, CDN providers, online content providers) to define relevant SLA metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) together with an experienced APM specialist. Likewise, corporate IT teams need to ensure good, fast digital services companywide and have the KPIs to prove it.
An objective, impartial eye on SLAs
ip-label’s position as a trusted third party ensures neutrality and objective measurements. This impartiality facilitates communication between the service provider and the enterprise, for instance, or between corporate IT and other departments within the company.
“ip-label gives us an independent third-party view of our critical applications. The measurements provide full real-time visibility into the availability and performance of our internal and external services,” says one IT Manager in the energy sector.
Existing standard SLAs supplied by service providers may not correspond to their business customers’ needs and expectations.
For instance, what if a provider doesn’t count ‘short’ periods of downtime? An enterprise’s digital services (website, IVR, SaaS applications, access to data, etc.) would be affected without any recourse! How much time was lost when the system was down? How many purchases couldn’t be completed?
The remedy: Ekara user-centric application monitoring. Ekara yields objective fine-grain measurement of availability and performance in real time.
Determining responsibility with objective metrics
Ekara measures not only response times and availability, but also shows the impact of errors – in other words, how users and business are affected by technical shortcomings. Analysis based on objective measured data facilitates the calculation of penalties.
Furthermore, diagnostic elements show where responsibility for a problem lies. The service provider may not be at fault after all! With our synthetic monitoring, a provider of business applications in the cloud reports, “We were able to prove that the issues our customers’ users were complaining about were not related to login time, and that the SaaS application was functioning properly.” The diagnostics helped pinpoint the problem, which was then solved by an optimization on the customer’s side.
Whether or not your applications run on an infrastructure that you own and operate, you need to monitor the levels of service that you are providing to your internal users.
Establishing and monitoring internal SLAs
Experienced APM specialists can work with your teams to establish a performance baseline. This baseline is used to negotiate SLAs between IT and business units. Monitoring with Ekara delivers a view of performance and service levels over time.
Internal SLA reporting
The results from monitoring are summarized visually in clear, relevant, customizable reports. Ekara reports can be scheduled to automatically reach the right people at the right times to support decisions on where to direct IT investments the most efficiently and fairly.
In some companies, bonuses for IT staff are calculated based on how closely SLA targets are met, so checking and proving service level conformity has measurable value. “Using metrics from user-side monitoring, the reports demonstrate that we are fulfilling SLAs and achieving our quality goals,” explains the IT manager of a mobility services company.