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Just Say No to SLAs

Just say NO to SLAs

Most of you who’ve either purchased or delivered cloud services have been asked for an SLA (Service Level Agreement). I’ve seen SLAs that can be measured on inches of paper.  Why so big?

Just consider getting 10 people in a room and trying to write down the definition of what it means for an application to be down:

  • Do you mean a partial outage?
  • What if only one iPad can access the application, is the application up?
  • What if it’s down for one minute in the middle of the night? Is it down?

Now let’s imagine adding our lawyer friends into the mix to write in English our definition of application outage, and then discuss the terms of a penalty payment. If you do this, you’ll quickly see the contract getting thicker and thicker.

SLAs are an anachronism. They come from the day of companies using Model 3 and outsourcing. This means handing over all of your computers and staff to another company, so they can take over your mess and do it for less.

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In Between the Numbers: Renting Prosperity – A New Value Proposition

Have been thinking about the retail implications of an early May article in the Wall Street Journal.

“Renting Prosperity” (by Daniel Gross, May 5) spoke to the growing trend of rental – and not just in the traditional housing or automotive markets.  Numerous other rental business have emerged in recent years, from the Zipcar car-sharing plan to the Chegg.com college textbook service to the one million customers who have used Rent the Runway’s frock-and-accessory services.

The obvious implication for retail is all about new business models.  A number of traditional brick-and-mortar players are now testing the waters.  We’re aware of initiatives in which purveyors of hard goods are renting clothes washing machines by the load and high-end consumers of electronics are leasing home theatre set-ups and even iPads – along with monthly subscriptions, say, to Netflix. 

But the lessons of the rental trend go deeper than simply a new business model. 

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