IT departments getting into SLAs

Do you have a service level agreement for the company network? Do you know whether you're meeting it?

Do you have a service level agreement for the company network? Do you know whether you're meeting it?

Long the domain of service providers, service level agreements are now being used within organisations, says Micromuse Asia-Pacific marketing director Paul Harapin.

"The more I speak to chief executives or information chiefs in enterprise business the more they use the same terminology as service providers. They are seeing themselves as service providers," says Harapin, whose company sells network management software.

"However, they're [enterprise service level agreements] very much along the lines of a document stating you have to provide 99.99% service with someone running a report at the end of the month to say whether or not you reached it. Many companies are realising that isn't good enough."

Harapin claims Micromuse's Netcool software suite can provide the information IT departments need to ensure they're adhering to their service level agreements.

Netcool monitors networks and provides a real-time status report of the network infrastructure.

"It allows operators to discover the problem, understand what it is and how to address it, then what services it's impacting. It can say which customers have been affected by a failure and allow operations people to see which service level agreement is affected."

Harapin says IT management systems can be divided into two areas.

"Tivoli, HP [Openview] and CA [Unicenter] are focused more on the systems side, managing the desktops and servers. Our software is very focused on helping customers discover and resolve problems on networks and services running across those networks. It looks at all the underlying network infrastructure, from routers and hubs, broadband devices, wireless devices and the end result to the customer. What quality of service is the customer getting?"

Harapin says 30% of Netcool's customer base is now enterprise and overseas sites include Citibank, amazon.com and Morgan Banks. In New Zealand, where it is distributed through Cisco partners, it is used by Telstra Saturn but has no enterprise customers.

The number one reason customers give for buying Netcool is rapid deploymentm says Harapin, because it is an out-of-the box solution which takes days rather than months to implement.

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Tags service level agreement

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