It is therefore advised to clearly define what you are (not) going to do under the agreement in a Service Level Agreement (‘SLA’). You can offer your client the SLA as a separate contract, or as part of the offer.
A Service Level Agreement specifies which levels of service you guarantee. This goes beyond the clauses in ‘standard’ contracts, in which at most the sentence ‘we make our best efforts to keep the service online 24/7’ is laid down.
A SLA is more extensive, specifying in detail in which way the services will be provided. This includes for example guarantees on the online time (‘at least 99,5%’) and protocols regarding disturbances (‘within 10 minutes a receipt, within 30 minutes a status report’). It is up to you in how much detail you want to go. In an SLA, it is important to clearly define the situations in which there is a violation of the obligations laid down in the document and what the consequences of such violations are.
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Every organisation needs their own general terms and conditions/terms of service, tailored to their needs.
A clear contract is paramount when doing IT projects. IT development is complex, and doubly so when its custom, and hard to control.
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