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Tech-centric vs Customer-centric Service Levels

By Mike Marzullo, HP Applications Consultant

Are you getting the most out of your service provider?

 

T F.jpgHere are the correct answers!

True: All outsourcing contracts are governed by a contract

True:  A set of service performance metrics are a part of the contract

False: Proper service performance metrics ensure service quality

 

Not so. According to a recent Alsbridge report, true service quality can be compromised if service performance metrics are not properly aligned with SLAs that are focused on customer business processes. The tendency has been to focus a contract on the specific technology group performance metrics that apply to the service provider.

 

I couldn’t agree more, Alsbridge.  When working with our clients we often encounter 2 scenarios:

1.  Alignment between service level measures and expected business outcomes isn’t there.

2.  Synchronization of objectives between the service providers across the IT stack isn’t happening.

 

Let’s talk about that first scenario for a second.  So how do you go about building business service levels (BSLs)?

 

We start with the components that make up the service level.  They include seven areas that are defined for each service level.  Some of the areas will look familiar, as they are also used in the traditional, operational IT service levels… things like the measurement period, measurement definition and acceptable percentages.

 

But some of the areas are a little different than what you would expect in an operational service level (OSL).  These components are tied specifically to the business outcomes… service measures, measurement times and correction windows are tied specifically to the requirement of the business. And while most OSLs include provisions for low volume, the BSLs identify circumstances for non-performance to expand that concept to include other acceptable events that would be recognized because of the end-to-end nature of the service level.

 

1.  Service Measure – to determine the process that is to be measured, in business terms

2.  Measurement Times – to identify what the business needs and when it is needed

3.  Correction Window – to figure out how much time can be spared for recovery before there is business impact

4.  Measurement Period – to document the frequency of the evaluation

5.  Measurement Definitions – to gain consensus on what is a success and what is a miss, then build KPI calculations

6.  Acceptable Percentages – to determine what percentage of success contributes performance below, at, or above expectations for a measurement period

7.  Circumstances for Non-Performance – to document any reasons in which a miss would not be counted in the acceptable percentages

 

Remember that second scenario we found...the lack of synchronizing objectives across providers?  Well, BSLs can also help there too.  Because of the end-to-end nature of service level measures, and because the BSL is measuring the business outcome as opposed to the IT-provider performance, the KPI can represent a measurement across the entire IT stack, including other providers.

 

Business Service Levels can help you transform your organization… enabling you to align IT to the business objectives and implement shared success measures with the capability to systematically measure, monitor, track, report, and continuously improve them. And once you start aligning service performance to business outcomes, you’ll have transparency into how IT supports the business process so that both sides can begin to realize significant benefits. 

 

You can begin to manage the environment by objective, measure the things that matter, and invest in the right areas.

 

Learn more

Visit the HP Applications Management Services page.

 

Comments
Nadhan | ‎01-13-2012 12:19 AM

Mike, This is a well-timed, eye-opening perspective on the critical need to align service levels with business outcomes when managing applications.  Such a mind-set will defenitely facilitate flipping the 80/20 Innovation/Maintenance Spending Trap

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  • Business Development leader for HP’s Testing Practice in Americas and TaaS Global Capability Leader
  • Anthony works in the ES Apps Enterprise APJ . He is a self-motivated and well-disposed individual. He is a certified SAP FICO consultant. He has over twenty years industry experience in business transformation and Information Technology consulting (SAP). With excellent, interpersonal and communication skills, Anthony is able to influence and motivate at all levels. An empathic team player, He derives fulfilment in contributing towards others' development. Anthony possesses good analytical and problem-solving skills. He is a quick thinker, remains calm under pressure, handles multiple tasks, and accomplishes objectives with excellent time management. He is flexible and accustomed to meeting high standards and deadlines. Anthony possesses practical knowledge of business processes and concepts and has a keen eye for detail. He is aware of the importance of an effective system and quality management.
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  • Benjamin Romberg has over twenty five years experience in the IT industry, the last twelve of which have been as a testing professional. He has experience as a test analyst, performance tester, automation specialist, test lead, test manager, test consultant and test executive. He has worked on all types of testing engagements ranging from small web based applications through to core system upgrades. Benjamin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics, a Post Graduate Degree in Software Engineering and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. Benjamin now leads HP’s Testing and Quality Assurance Practice in Asia Pacific and Japan.
  • Over the past 5 years, I have participated in the different stages of delivering Microsoft Enterprise Applications to customers as large as 40.000 concurrent users across Europe with a focus on the public and call center sector. During this period, I worked in numerous technical (lead) and business consultant roles. Using this experience, I am currently a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 expert which specializes in guiding enterprise customers and implementation teams through the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
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  • Lori Lewis leads Global Digital and Integrated Marketing for the Applications and Business Services division in HP’s Enterprise Services. The organization is focused on providing clients with enterprise applications services and solutions to solve some of their most pressing business problems. For over 2 decades, she has championed innovative communication approaches to drive and grow market share and build motivated, empowered teams. She is a compelling, passionate ambassador of the art and science of marketing and the amazing results it can achieve when done with integrity and passion. Ms. Lewis’ credentials, track record, and enthusiasm are essential ingredients her team relies on as they work together to establish HP as the undisputed leader in information management and analytics services.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution architect, C# developer, MBA, husband, father, Auburn man. Follow me on Twitter @lucas_is.
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  • Shafraz Nasser is the Lead Microsoft CRM Architect with HP Enterprise Services in the South Pacific Microsoft Dynamics Practice. His focus is on selling, architecting and overseeing delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM based implementations within New Zealand.
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  • Tom is the Global Product Marketing lead for HP's Cloud Applications Services. Tom has over 20 years of experience in information technology and a proven track record for implementing innovative client solutions in several industries including government, healthcare, and telecommunications. He thrives on developing services and solutions which result in business process improvement through greater systems efficiency.
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