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Won't governing existing SLAs offend our service providers?

My company has outsourcing contracts in place with multiple service providers. If we were to invest in a solution to help "govern" the SLAs that we already have in place, won't our service providers take offense that we don't "trust" the reports that we're receiving?

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You've hit on a very interesting topic, and I thank you for posting your question. Let me answer your question by first stating that "outsourcing governance" is not an option -- it's a requirement. In an era where we operate under laws like Sarbanes-Oxley, we can no longer use "ignorance" as an excuse for non-performance. Outsourcing is about relinquishing control over some part of your business. Oblicore and other service-level management software providers are about regaining that control.

My experience shows me that most service providers today understand their customers' obligations to monitor service compliance. This is not because their customer's don't "trust" their service providers. Rather, it's because they are mandated to do so by their CIO or other company executive. By having an outsourcing governance system in place, you can validate reports that you're receiving from your service providers and, frankly, make sure you're getting what you've paid for. By having your own sets of reports and dashboards, you can take "emotion" out of the equation when resolving a discrepancy between you and your service provider.

Taking this topic a step further, it's best to have one service delivery management solution in place so you can monitor services delivered inside your organization, services received by external service providers and services that your company delivers to external customers outside of your organization. With such a solution in place, you can monitor, manage and report on service delivery across the entire enterprise.

This was first published in March 2006

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