Many of our clients think that once a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is signed and agreed upon, it’s untouchable until the end of the term. This is not the case in most circumstances. In fact, a good SLA should be changed periodically. Particularly, in the case of penalties and rewards built into the SLA, where there is often a need for change. Let’s say, for example, the software vendor is repeatedly missing deadlines and it has become detrimental to your business. Re-negotiating the SLA and increasing the penalties is a motivation tool to get that vendor to meet your deadlines. Otherwise, you’ll have to find another vendor that can do the job. This is the same should the rewards be paying out very well to the vendor – if the goals are being met so easily, perhaps a higher goal should be set to raise the bar?
SLAs are a tool, to be used by the purchaser and by the vendor, to insure quality service is provided over the life of the contract. Just because its signed, sealed and delivered, does NOT mean there is no room for re-negotiation.