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Difference between OLA and SLA

Difference between OLA and SLA

Service level agreements (SLAs) and operational level agreements (OLAs) are important tools that every cloud service provider uses to manage services and support customers. But what is the difference between an SLA and OLA? Both of these are contract-based documents, which detail obligations and performance standards set forth by parties involved in a business relationship. They both help businesses efficiently manage their respective relationships with suppliers, partners, or customers by outlining service expectations, response times, and penalties for failure to meet requirements. These two important agreements are almost identical in nature but have some subtle differences as well. While both serve similar purposes; they are different from one another based on their scope and the services they cover. In this blog post, we explain the difference between SLA vs OLA in greater detail.

What is OLA?

  • An operational level agreement (OLA) is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a relationship between two parties. An OLA is an important tool for businesses to use during the operational level of their supply chain in order to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page with regard to the services being provided and the overall goals of the partnership.
  • An OLA can be used to define the roles and responsibilities of each party involved, set expectations on the performance targets to be achieved, outline the scope of work, establish payment terms and processes, and more.
  • An OLA is vital to both parties because it ensures that expectations are clearly defined and understood, thereby reducing the risk of misunderstandings or disagreements.
  • A good OLA is written in a way that makes it clear to both parties exactly what they are agreeing to. It should contain all relevant information, such as payment terms, the scope of work, etc.

What is SLA?

  • A service level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a business and its customers on the level of service that is expected. It can cover everything from response times to quality of service. Customers can view these agreements as a promise by the business to deliver the specified level of service. It also helps businesses to be accountable for the quality of their services to customers. Along with outlining what a business will offer, an SLA should also outline what customers can expect from the business. It should also outline what happens when things go wrong, including how the business will respond at that time.
  • SLAs are most commonly used in online businesses where the service provided is intangible. This includes anything from e-commerce to content delivery. However, they are also used in more traditional businesses as well. It is important to have an SLA in place for all businesses, no matter what the industry.

Difference between OLA (Operational Level Agreement) and SLA (Service Level Agreement)

  • A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a customer and a service provider that sets the terms of their relationship. It defines the standards and expectations of both parties and includes the obligations and responsibilities of each party. SLAs are particularly important in the cloud computing industry, where they help to ensure that customers receive the services they expect.
  • An SLA can encompass a wide range of business needs and objectives. For example, it could cover the quality of service and response times on a customer’s website, or it could guarantee the ability to send and receive emails at a certain volume per month.
  • SLAs are also commonly used in operational level agreements (OLAs), which are used to define the standards of performance for key business processes and systems. OLAs ensure that both parties understand their roles and responsibilities in a given scenario and help to minimize potential conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • OLAs often include detailed metrics regarding performance levels, response times, and other key metrics. These metrics allow both parties to track progress over time, and to adjust as necessary. They also help to ensure that both parties are working towards the same goals.


SLAs and OLA are very similar in nature, but they have subtle differences. Both SLAs and OLAs set expectations and define the responsibilities of the parties involved. However, they differ in the scope of work they cover and the desired outcomes that they aim to achieve. SLAs cover the long-term relationship between two organizations and are essential to any business that hopes to maintain a long-term customer engagement. OLA is more of a short-term service agreement and is used to define what services a business will provide and how they will be delivered over the short term.

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