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Outsourcing Agreement Example

Posted on 2008-06-17
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Last Modified: 2008-07-16
This is more of a business IT question than technical.

We need to engage an outsourcing company to do support for us, so I need to come up with an outline of what we need covered.

I am looking for an example of an outsourcing agreement so that I can get an idea of what needs to be included.
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Question by:LFCNZ
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by:David-Howard
ID: 21808246
The answers to your question will need a little more insight for those that follow.
What exactly are you outsourcing?
Desktop support, server support, data backup/disaster recovery, network cabling, does your business include phone support within the I.T. department, etc.

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by:David-Howard
ID: 21808300
I'm about to run out of the door for the day. But some points to consider would be.
1) Reporting (Chain of command for the client as well as the outsourcer).
2) Description of your infrastructure (including technical)
3) Support (First line, etc.) (I'm assuming this will be primarily Desktop support)
4) Managment Procedures (Problem escalations, change of management, etc.)
5) Severity levels and required response times. Also known as Service Level Agreements. (How long do they have to respond to logged problems.)
6) Defined responsibilites of the company you outsource to as well as the responsibilities of the client (you).
Just a few things to consider and hopefully get you started. I'm sure more posts are to follow on this.
David
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by:LFCNZ
ID: 21809020
Hi David

A bit more background.

The company I am at only has approximately 70 staff, 30 based at one site in Australia and 30-40 staff based over 4 sites in New Zealand.

For the Australian site I will need someone to fix desktop issues that can't be done remotely by myself and also to fix server issues again that can't be done remotely by myself or that I need help with technically.

For New Zealand, I will do all the desktop/server support for the 4 sites but will need an escalation point for server technical issues that I need help with.

I will be the first point of contact for all issues and if I can't fix it or don't thave the time then I will escalate it to the outsourcing company.

For New Zealand Outsourcing company needs to be contactable 24/7 for server issues with an immediate SLA.

For Australia the outsourcing compnay needs to be contactable 24/7 for server issues with an immediate SLA.

For desktop in Australia I was thinking I might have a resource onsite for 10-20 hours a weekand have an SLA of 2 hours for urgent desktop issues.

Not sure whether my SLA's are reasonable?
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David-Howard earned 250 total points
ID: 21823828
If you are talking about the success of your business then your SLA's (especially where servers are concerned) are not unreasonable at all. However, when you and the outsourcing group sit down to negotiate you need to have specifics for your SLA's. An example of this would be how the computer group ACS handles SLA's. They fall within 1hour, 2 hour, 4 hour and 8 business hours (normally).
If I have a desktop that is down (work stoppage) that should fall under a 1 hour SLA agreement. Meaning, that the support group has 1 hour to address the issue. Rarely does that mean "resolve" it in one hour. (As I think it should)
This means that you will need exact step by step agreements on how these issues are resolved. If they address the issue in 1 hour what is the agreed upon time before the issue should be resolved. This leads into having RSS or Ready Service Spares. The last association I had with ACS, they placed that burden on the ownership. In other words, we addressed the issue but you don't have RSS's in stock so how can we quickly replace the system to get them back up and running?" The same approach should be taken with your servers but to a higher degree. I'm sure that you know, servers just simply cannot be down. Even when they are. :-)
No matter whom you outsource to I would watch how things are handled with respect to the ticket queue and the SLA matrix's. Some outsourcing groups are very clever in how they "address" issues and not fail the SLA's. I know with ACS if an SLA was missed by them they didn't get paid for that ticket. To that end they had what was called RFR. (Request for relief). Another point that should be discussed in detail. RFR's can bail an outsourcing company out when they fail on their end. In short, they failed to address the issue properly, it's not documented in that manner and they still get paid for the ticket. I would definitely keep an eye on missed SLA's.
David
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