Don`t hesitate to pick up the phone and send emails to suppliers asking for them. They have been interested in their products, and they are generally happy to help in any way they can. Hey, sometimes it can generate more revenue in hardware, software or support. It`s a win-win! Cisco SMARTnet, Juniper J-Care and HP Care Packs are by far the most common support contracts of the suppliers we offer, but we also provide contracts less frequently for many others, including: IBM, Force 10 and Sun, to name a few. For advice on all suppliers, we support or receive an offer for a new coverage or to renew an existing contract, just ask, because we are always happy to share our experience. Customers can create common metrics with multiple service providers that take into account the multi-supplier impact and impact the creditor may have on processes that are not considered to be in compliance with the contract. If something goes wrong, react early and inform your board of directors and management. Also make sure you have your support to enforce the terms of the contract, even if it means that the elements degenerate to make sure you receive them. While issues such as due diligence and notification of failures or the provision of audit reports may be covered in other areas of the contract, it is not a bad idea to ensure that otherwise you can add them as an ALS provision.

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) focuses on measuring the performance and quality of service agreed upon by your organization and the provider and can be used as a measurement tool as part of the contract or as a stand-alone document. The main objective of alS is to identify the level of service provided. This is not to say that you should contain everything arbitrarily, because it would be expensive, quickly. It would be like buying the most expensive medical insurance, but you would never go near a hospital, and if you did, with a tiny portion of it. Prioritize your resources and focus first on the most important ones – firewalls, core switches, payroll applications, terminal protection suites, encryption software, etc. Pay attention to your budget and consider the cost of downtime versus the value of the assistance. ALS defines the service your organization expects from a lender and determines how to measure service and determines corrective actions or possible penalties for non-compliance with agreed service levels. It should clearly state metrics, responsibilities, expectations and timing and frequency, so that in the event of a problem, there is an objective measure that can be used to measure compliance with contractual conditions.

It ensures that all parties have the same understanding of the requirements. Purchasing a support and maintenance contract from a supplier can seem complicated, especially if not all levels of service are available to everyone. This becomes even more complicated if you understand what is covered by the contract on the main case itself and what is not and if the device needs continuous coverage from the first sale. Where to start? Inventory. What do you have, who and what versions do you have? Which of them is covered by a guarantee, an extended guarantee or some kind of assistance contract management agreement? While you probably have a good idea of what you have and how many of them, you can`t always know if it`s covered, how long and when it needs to be renewed or replaced. The first things first. You have a good, up-to-date and comprehensive inventory of all hardware, software and service resources. We also note that we cannot access it if new patches and updates are made available without support agreement. Ask anyone who is trying to download the firmware, how creative they need to be to get the files they need – and whether it still comes from a reliable source.