SLAs and KPIs aren’t the point
Technology Services Agreements use Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a quantifiable proxy for the achievement of the intended business value. If these metrics are met, the business value will be created and the company’s ends achieved.
Great vendors understand that these metrics aren’t the point of the agreement. While transactional vendors are focused on, and satisfied by hitting those metrics, true partners understand the purpose behind the engagement and deliver the outcome that was desired. SLA achievement is implied, but secondary to the outcome or business value intended.
I don’t mean that True Partners are vendors who do anything it takes including overserving against the agreement without complaint. I mean that True Partners understand the intent behind the agreement and then work toward that intent, not the letter of the contract.
No contract perfectly translates the business outcome into SLAs and quantifiable metrics. Just as architectural drawings can’t describe the feeling of walking into the foyer of your new home.
Working with vendors who meet SLAs but take no ownership for the service is like eating from a bad cafeteria. While technically edible, it doesn’t really create the experience you want.