22 of 24 people found the following review helpful:
Where is your SLM these days?, Nov 19, 2022
In the old school of thought, the three most important rules in business were location, location, and location. In today's virtual world, the new rules are service, service, and service. Foundations of Service Level Management establishes a framework from which to address the SLM phenomenon. It is comprehensive, up-to-date, and embraces the actual and virtual complexities inherent in today's computing environments.
How well are we serving our customers? How well are we serving ourselves? How well are our vendors serving us? These are simple questions often extremely difficult to answer accurately, timely, and in an easy to understand manner. These perspectives lie at the heart of FoSLM's focus and, like a breath of fresh air, renews the SLM mindset.
As one manager of a large credit card company put it: "A fool with a tool is still a fool." FoSLM brings this point home by emphasizing that a plan must be in place before selecting the tool to make it happen. The number of companies offering SLM tools is approaching the three-digit mark. Because of this, it is vital that a company have their plan in place before shopping. Otherwise, like going to the supermarket hungry, you may wind up buying things you don't really need. And while you may eventually eat those other things, shelfware has the potential of costing time, money, and careers.
Drawing on decades of combined experience, the authors zero in on the concept of "end-to-end" metrics. This customer-centric view cannot be seen among the vast silos of vertically aligned data based on individual network components. These must be combined and related to business functions at the transaction level -- and reported in a manner the customer understands. Quality service, from the customer's viewpoint, is the prime directive.
For companies embarking on establishing or refurbishing their SLM programs, the FoSLM book is a must. There are strategies, tactics, and operations for building a game plan. There are examples, templates, and references in its appendix. Dozens of available SLM-related products are briefly discussed. To use an Emerilism, the FoSLM takes SLM and kicks it up a notch.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful:
Dissapointed, Aug 16, 2023
I admit I was impressed by the table of contents of this book, and I admit I had no previous experience with the subject, but sure with the 'real life' of support services for a database company. Most of the book is devoted to review commercial software available on the market and for me, this is just enough to be dissapointed. There are better commercial magazines or even websites can provide you this information for free... Although some formulas and templates looks very interesting (that's why 2 stars), maybe should you consider a help desk book instead.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful:
Among the best on the subject, Jun 20, 2023
This book is important for two reasons: (1) it's written by experienced practitioners who have specialized in service level management for a large part of their careers, and (2) it covers all of the key points of creating, implementing and managing an effective service level management initiative.
The five chapters of Part I thoroughly covers principles. One of the strongest chapters in this part is 2, which addresses factors and issues that other books (and articles and white papers) seem to sidestep. Among them are the effect of batch processing and workload on your ability to meet service level objectives, security, recovery management and costs/affordability. Lest you think that batch processing is a thing of the past, consider what it takes to refresh data warehouses and data marts, which depend on batch processing. Workload management, especially the balancing act of squeezing in batch jobs, back-ups and other tasks that need to occur in maintenance windows that are shrinking because the demands of e-commerce and supply chain management practically demand 24x7, is highlighted in this book as well. Other chapters in Part I that contained gems include: the report card summary in chapter 3 (service level reporting), the plethora of tips in chapter 4 (service level agreements) and the excellent collection of resources cited in chapter 5 (standards efforts).
Part II of the book is weak. It consists of a chapter on service level management practices for a selection of U.S. companies, and a chapter on service level management products. In my opinion this entire part of the book can be dispensed with because the authors have a web site that augments this book that provides a more up-to-date survey of practices in the U.S. and an additional survey that is global. The chapter on products was obsolete before the book was published. Again, the web site (URL is provided in the book) provides up-to-date information.
Part III is superb. It is a roadmap to developing, implementing and managing service levels, starting with chapter 8 that leads you through developing a business case. Chapter 9, implementing service level management, was a little light because the task is much larger than what the authors squeezed into the 14 pages allocated to this topic. Chapter 10 is devoted to data and metrics, which are essential to a viable service level management initiative. The remaining two chapters are a wrap-up; however, each is worth a thorough reading because there are gems of information and advice sprinkled throughout.
The appendices are forms and templates, which can also be obtained in soft copy from the authors' web site. Each of these artifacts are valuable and will save you a significant amount of time if you're starting from scratch.
I'm tempted to subtract a star for Part II's deficiencies, but I won't because this book still stands as the best I've read. Moreover, the authors make available updated information on their web page, which is something you cannot do with a paper book, and also provide a wealth of additional material that adds significantly to this book's value. My hope is the authors will trade the page count consumed by Part II for a more in-depth treatment of implementation in chapter 9.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
Much-needed book on a neglected topic, Dec 27, 2022
There is a real dearth of books that deal with service level management from an IT pespective, which makes this a "must-have" for consultants, production services managers and others in IT whose job involves service delivery.
The book is straightforward and puts service level management into perspective. It addresses all key process areas for establishing, implementing and managing service delivery. Also provided are artifacts from the authors' web site that are invaluable to anyone who is in the process of implementing SLM.
I especially like the business case approach taken to quantify the value of a sound service delivery program, and also thought that treament of how to negotiate a service level agreement was a highlight of this book.
Why 4 stars instead of 5? Some of the URLs provided in the book either were dead or led to sites that did not provide valuable content.
If service delivery is your business I strongly recommend this book. There are two companion books that should also be on your book shelf: IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (the material complements this book) and Mission Critical Systems Managemet (also complements this book, but also has an excellent SLA template and addresses SLM in a comprehensive manner).
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful:
you've read the book, now visit www.nextslm.org-, Nov 22, 2022
"Foundations of Service Level Management" (the book)has spawned a significant website- the world's only Service Level Management learning community. The book mentions the website- almost as an afterthought by the publisher, but believe me it is worth it!
The book not only explains how to implement Service Level Management (SLM), it also points out how to avoid common pitfalls. The web-site takes their efforts online
Nextslm.org is an educational zone- you can post comments and questions to the authors along w/ other industry experts on SLM.
The site also provides:
- a benchmark tool which helps you assess the state of your organisational SLM efforts
- specific recommendations for developing a Service Level Management discipline
- templates for building Service Level Agreements
- guidelines to shorten the process of negotiating a Service Level Agreement
- sample business justifications supporting Service Level Management investments
- a comprehensive list of vendor products used for Service Level Management
- an ongoing discussion group
- a free report: "Service Level Management- North America Survey 2000"
- links to SLM/SLA resources
- a featured "ASP of the Month"
and much more...
Visit the site, read more about it and learn why SLM is a critical core competence in the New Economy! A "must-read" if you're an IT manager, an ASP exec, or an enterprise business-process owner, a dotcom dude- or even if you're just an e-wannabee :-)