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    « Are You Nickel and Diming? | Main | We Don't Care.... We're the Phone Company »

    January 30, 2008

    Acceptable Service Levels

    I had an interesting discussion with an IT director of a large reprographics firm.  He was complaining about the service levels of telecommunication firms.  He was saying the service level agreements (SLA's) commit to 99% uptime for network services.   When you look at the numbers that just not acceptable. If you assume 2,000 working hours in a year that means that you can be down for 2.5 days per year [2,000 * (1-.99) / 8 ] and still be within what they consider acceptable.  As your business transforms into a more IT centric business where interaction between offices, partners and customers is dependent on the network, 99% is just not good enough.  Those numbers also assume working hours.  One of the benefits of some of the Internet based technology is your customers can interact with your company in non-traditional working hours.  This means you could be "down" for much longer than 2.5 days.  The conclusion this IT director came to is he must take charge of the situation.  If 99% uptime is the best his vendors can provide then he needs to create his own back up plans because 99% isn't good enough for his business to operate and is certainly not acceptable to his customers.

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