Foundations of Service Level Management provides detailed recommendations for creating a service level management strategy and establishing service level agreements. This book also shows IT managers and executives at third-party SLM companies how to deploy services more quickly, placing a premium on time to market and time to scale, become more service oriented, delivering guaranteed services through service-level agreements (SLAs), evolve from reactive network management to proactive service management, and reduce costs whenever possible by automating network and service management.
Review By: Sadie Paige 10/08/2002
This book is a comprehensive and practical guide to the rollout of SLM within an IT organization. Although the main focus is on the interaction between the IT department and its internal client base, it includes reference to external users and devotes a chapter to the application of SLM to the interaction between the IT department and the various service providers.
The book comprises three sections, several appendices, and a glossary of terms.
Part One describes how the IT environment of the early 21st century increases the need for SLM and then defines the components of a Service Level Agreement (SLA)—the tool to enforce SLM—and how to measure and report on them. Also discussed are the various types of SLA and the process for developing an SLA, including tips on who to involve and the format.
Part Two discusses the practical side of SLM, referencing the work and findings of industry research organizations such as Forrester and GIGA, and provides details of a 1999 survey on SLM conducted by International Network Services. A second chapter is devoted to SLM products—describing tools available and providing guidance on their application.
In Part Three the focus shifts to Service Level Management in general: how to estimate the business value of SLM and how to construct an effective SLM rollout strategy. SLA measurement techniques are revisited.
Included in the appendix are templates for Service Level Agreements, Customer Surveys, and selected vendors of SLM monitoring software.
This is a must-read for anyone who is rolling out an SLM program within their organization. Whether it is being driven by the development team, the QA department, or IT, this book provides practical, useful tips on all aspects of SLM: from how to prepare a business justification of SLM through how to negotiate service levels—and how long that might take—to advice on service level reporting. The balance of perspectives between the client (user) and service supplier (IT department) is especially commendable.
In addition to answering the “how to…” type of questions, this book also provides good references to the relatively immature SLM worldwide standards, to the results of industry research into SLM adoption, and provides what appears to be a comprehensive list of SLM tools, including vendor details.
The chapters are well structured, with Tips and Notes sprinkled throughout. The text is brought to life with real anecdotal and analogical examples. Each chapter concludes with a useful summary. However, numbered sections and subsections would have helped to provide a user “map” and allowed for the development of a more detailed table of contents; thus increasing its usefulness as a reference book.
The only other criticism is the curious structure of the book. While each chapter can be read as a stand-alone item, and there is a natural flow to parts one and three, part two deals more with resources and tools and as such would fit better with the Appendices.