Making Cloud SLAs readily usable in the EU private sector

Takeaways from SLA-Ready workshop @ Cloud Forward 2016

Last week, on Wednesday 19 October, SLA-Ready took part in Cloud Forward 2016, the Hola Cloud Project initiative, where SLA-Ready hosted a workshop "Are you SLA-Ready? Your essential business guide to cloud contracts and SLAs".

The workshop marked an important step in connecting SME customers and cloud services providers, both large and small, reprentatives from the European Commission and several research institutes to share best practices and practical tips on Cloud service level agreements. 

Drawing on the SLA Common Reference Model, the workshop was specifically designed for small businesses who face significant challenges in understanding the terms of a cloud service contract, especially cloud SLAs but who can't afford legal or security experts to guide them through critical aspects. 

  • Nick Ferguson (Trust-IT Services) chaired the event and introduced some of the challenges facing cloud customers and providers when it comes to cloud service level agreements (SLAs), along with the services and tools provided by SLA-Ready to tackle them.
  • Ruben Trapero (TUDA) illustrated how the SLA-Ready Common Reference Model has created best practices and priorities for Service Level Agreements.
  • Janneke Breeuwsma (Arthur’s Legal) gave a legal perspective on cloud contracts through practical use cases about customer-provider obligations, data protection, compliance and legal clauses when signing an SLA.

The second part of the workshop featured a panel discussion between customers and providers on key cloud SLAs with a special emphasis on how to increase cloud SLA terminology and standardisation and how to implement best practices so all sides benefit. 

Takeaways from the panel discussion

Cloud service providers:

  • Carlos Rubia Marcos from Wellness Telecom S.L. & ENTICE Project, and Pawel Skrzypek from 7Bulls will be using the SLA Common Reference Model to improve their SLAs, acknowledging that greater transparency is the key to a better cloud environment and market.
  • Pawel Skrzypek from 7Bulls sees the SLA Common Reference Model as an excellent first step towards providing a cloud SLA, especially when the parties involved in signing the cloud contract are not in a position to negotiate. 
  • 7Bulls now plans to share the SLA Common Reference Model with other providers from their network to help them overcome major challenges when preparing a cloud SLA.

Cloud customers:

  • George Suciu from Beia Consult & SWITCH Project, along with the independent cloud consultant Frank Bennett from iCloud Ltd & Deputy Chair of Cloud Industry Forum, noted the value of SLA-Ready services, not just the SLA Common Reference Model, but also the more cloud customer oriented SLA-AID, as an essential step for any SME looking for a cloud service provider that fits their needs.

The workshop demonstrated that SLA-Ready tools and services are invaluable in increasing transparency within the cloud market, helping cloud customers to plan their cloud uptake, as well as providers in adopting best practices that give them competitive edge, especially in the large SME market. 

Here's a quick link to SLA-Ready FREE services for cloud customers and providers - so you can check them out today.