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Saturday, February 27, 2010

SLA and commodity services

Last time I remember having an issue with my phone line was in the 80s. Since then, France Telecom made an extraordinary job and France is a country where I never had to complain about phone infrastructure.

But Internet came and people came and argued that France Telecom subscription was too expensive and that they could use Internet instead. Voice Over IP was the killer technology for offering the integrated communications to all.

Now, with Internet, and VOiP we're back to the good old days where a full building could be out of "communications" for a certain time. Who's fault is it? The technology? The equipment?

Well, I will say, the Service Level Agreement.Ensuring a good SLA has a cost! There is no secret, if you want good voice quality, no echo on the line, good availability, no disconnect, you have to pay for! In a way or another.

In the future days, companies will more and more find new ways of making cost reductions, by degrading SLA of major "commodity services". This will lead to more and more unsatisfied workers and customers. This will also impact business processes KPI and overall quality. If the basics are not provided, like ability to communicate, then, how to execute complete tasks over the flat world? One hour of downtime can ruin any excellent business plan based on cost reduction and productivity increase.

Change the technology, not the SLA!