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A customer service agreement is a part of a service contract where systems performance and support is formally defined for either technical or personal services. As an example, Internet Service Providers will commonly include customer service agreements within the terms of their contracts with customers to define the availability a software application, or the response time of the help desk.


BO: Kevin O'Brien
PO: Varies
TO: Varies


While specific customer service Agreements should exist for all of UMassOnline's technology services and systems, the attributes of the CSA might be consistent, that is, all services (help desk, project management, training, etc.) and systems (Confluence, Blackboard, etc.) would require a definition for "response time." For example, the response time of the help desk might be within 10 min. of initial contact, while the response time of the LMS might be, a page loads in less than 1 second.

Common Attributes within SLAs with initial Metrics Proposed

System Metrics

  • Scheduled Uptime: The percentage of time, over a specified period, that an application is running. This indicates the stability of the application software. Known and planned downtime for upgrades or standard maintenance do not count against the uptime guarantee.
    • Recommended: 99.9%/year
  • Availability: The percentage of time a software application is accessible to users. This indicates the stability of both the application and the infrastructure that supports it. Availability and Uptime are not the same.
    • Recommended: 99.9%/year
  • Performance: Thresholds for application response time (from end-user request to page load) and interactivity (from end-user request to completed output).
    • Recommended:
  • Systems Monitoring: Mechanisms for assessing the health of a service or system.
    • Recommended:
  • Service and Systems Communications: The contacts, communication channels and schedule for informing relevant stakeholders.
    • Recommended:
  • Service and Maintenance Windows: Weekly times for minor/small-scale technical and/or administrative activities on the system or service; and annual times for enterprise/large-scale technical and/or administrative activities on the system or service.
    • Recommended:

Support Metrics

  • Response time: The time it takes to make contact with a service representative.
  • Issue resolution: The process (contacts, workflow and schedule) for resolving open issues.
  • Authorized representatives: Those who can sign off on actions affecting the performance of a system or service.

Current Status



Associated Systems and Services

Customer Service Agreement


  1. Followers of the SLA NIFTI page: I'd be interested in your thoughts on how UC Santa Cruz presents their catalog of services, an their service metrics reports. Could something similar to this be a model for us? I can certainly appreciate the clarity of the presentation of information. (The links are in the Resources section.)

  2. We might have an opportunity to put together a reference implementation to test our SLA. Several campuses have expressed interest in using Confluence for their own projects outside of UMOL specific initiatives.

    I think we could apply the outline above and UCSC's examples as a framework for a Confluence SLA test case.

    What do you think?

    1. I think you've already started. Works for me.