Increasing Visitor Attraction and Retention

Why Your Business Needs an SLA Manager

Perhaps one of the most critical aspects of the success of your Service Level Agreement is the manager who oversees its development, implementation and performance. While there are many different reasons why you should designate an SLA manager, many businesses are confused regarding who should take this job. Because of the importance and value an SLA has over the communications and expectations between a customer and a business, many organizations choose to hire a full-time SLA manager.

Roles and Responsibilities of an SLA Manager

While the exact responsibilities an SLA manager may have varies based upon the type of work the business performs, there are several primary roles this professional must carry out. Before assigning this position, it’s important that the professional is able to fulfill the following roles and responsibilities. You may be surprised at how dynamic this position truly is.

  • Selling Responsibility – An SLA manager has the responsibility of selling the benefits of the Service Level Agreement and its terms to current and potential customers. If the manager is unable to clearly define the benefits and requirements of each section, you may be presented with a customer who agreed to the SLA under false pretenses.
  • Negotiating Responsibility – SLA managers are designed to work directly with both parties to create an agreement that satisfies both of their requirements. Therefore, an SLA manager also works as a professional negotiator capable of opening up the floor for debate and offering constructive suggestions to move along this sometimes complex process.
  • Conflict Manager – There are times when actual, or hypothetical, service delivery issues arise. When this is the case, an SLA manager is responsible for managing this conflict in a fast and effective manner. The best person suited for this job is one who’s able to quickly gather information, identify issues and proactively work with both parties to resolve these issues.

The following are other responsibilities and expectations that fall into this professional position:

  • Serving as the point of contact between two or more parties regarding the SLA and any concerns that are created due to the actual agreement or delivery of service from the business to customer (or vice versa).
  • Service as the primary contact when an issue must be escalated. Therefore, the SLA manager must be able to look at each situation objectively, not merely for the benefit of his employer.
  • Calculating and implementing changes to the Service Level Agreement. There are many times when an SLA must be modified based upon circumstances or alterations within an industry or client.
  • Facilitating conflict resolution steps. When an issue arises between a business and a customer, it’s the responsibility of the SLA manager to facilitate the necessary processes to begin conflict resolution procedures.
  • Assess the effectiveness and validity of Service Level Agreement. Not only is this professional responsible for overseeing the implementation of an SLA, but he must continually assess the effectiveness of a current SLA and determine whether or not any changes should be implemented to continually provide excellent communications between the business and the customer.

Monitoring Website Business Processes to Safeguard Visibility

Safeguarding the visibility and popularity of your website should be a top priority for any digital enterprise. Establishing a smooth and fully-operational IT infrastructure is a multi-step process. The needs of the business must be continually monitored and managed in order to ensure all critical issues and fixes are attended to within a timely manner. While there are many different methods in which this goal is accomplished, the use of website monitoring solutions is among the most popular and effective.

When it comes to determining which processes to monitor and manage, many network administrators find themselves at a loss. Because the modern website features dynamic content and embedded content, effective monitoring the most critical processes can become lost in the crowd. While determining the ideal processes to monitor and manage is based upon your unique website infrastructure, the following processes are considered essential when it comes to safeguarding the visibility and reputation of your digital enterprise.

Enterprise Availability

The notion of monitoring the availability and uptime of a website is nothing new. In fact, there are many free monitoring solutions designed to PING your website to determine whether or not it is available. This is one situation where web application testing might be useful, especially in an enterprise situation (and there are tools out there that are free too). However, many of these free services lack the monitoring scope that’s needed in order to sustain continuous availability.

When monitoring the availability of your enterprise, it’s imperative that you place monitoring metrics regarding:

  • Overall Availability (website uptime)
  • Per-Page Loading Times (response times for each page; not just the website)
  • Web Server Response Times (the duration it takes for your server to complete a request)

Database Performance

The majority of modern websites, whether private blogs or sprawling eCommerce verticals, utilize a database to execute specific tasks. In fact, the involvement of a database is essential in order to complete many common tasks and business processes. Because of this, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution effectively monitor the availability, performance and completed requests. By narrowing your monitoring capabilities to your database, you’re able to safeguard the performance and interactivity between the enterprise and your visitors/customers.

Email Availability

Without an effective email client, it’s impossible to remain in-contact with your customers. For many digital enterprises, an unreliable email server result in disaster. When selecting a website monitoring solution, choose one that utilizes various techniques and features to monitor the availability, response times and success-rate of outbound and inbound emails.

Real-Time Monitoring Reports

While nightly or weekly reports are essential to monitor the overall performance and functionality of your website, it’s imperative that your solution provides real-time monitoring alerts. The goal of this monitoring method is to catch errors and issues as soon as they happen. By doing so, you may implement a fix or correction that prevents a host of visitors from experiencing the same error.

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