FAQ - Pre sales questions

Question
Service Level Agreement (SLA) web
Answer

Added value applications service level agreement.

History

Added value applications ltd. has been supplying Temporary staff or Staff bank software for over ten years. We make continuous and dedicated efforts to ensure our software is as reliable as possible.

Mostly during this period we were dealing with (windows) network environments, our latest product is entirely web based.

One of our customers (a large NHS Foundation Trust) has compared the cost of ownership of our software against some 100 other packages it used: ranging from  Microsoft and Oracle to those supplied by single developer companies. Ava software was in the 2nd highest placed product in terms of reliability and subsequently low cost of ownership for our windows product.

In practice our software has been more than ten time more reliable that the technology infrastructure that it was running on. 

It is our aim to maintain this in the future.

So can we guarantee that tomorrow?

Our software is developed in house, in the UK by a team of developers. The minimum academic level of education is a university degree. Some have multiple degrees and diplomas.

We implement modern techniques for code safety. Our developers are part of the society they are developing for. You may occasionally speak with them if you are a focus of a development feature or have some specific issue we need to discuss. We keep the string between you and them as short as possible. With these factors we have the best control over code quality.

Realistically no software supplier can guarantee specific reliability for the overall availability and usage of their software. At the end of the day, that is what matters to you. We offer advice on best practice. We are all beholden to ISP and hardware reliability and (now browser) updates from other software suppliers.

For example the last major issue affecting some of our customers was a Sophos antivirus update which deleted a wide range of perfectly harmless and uninfected software. One of the items it instantly deleted was part of our software, ironically it also deleted part of their software rendering machine generally unusable. We had the problem fixed within a few hours, even though the problem was clearly not of our making.

Indeed when we could get through to some of our customers' inundated NHS IT departments, we were able to help them resolve the issues with both our software and many other stricken systems hours before Sophos had their own resolution to the problem they had created.

Actually this occurred a few years ago now, it's still the worst outage our systems have suffered.

What can we promise?

We will do updates away from times that are critical to you.

When failures happen, more often than not its when they are totally beyond our control: we will recover your data to the best of our ability. We currently host at Microsoft and your data is backed up every 5 minutes. We regularly restore data on our development machines from random customers, ensuring that we can analyse issues as speedily as possible. There may be a cost in restoring this data if its loss due to customer actions.

You can opt for your data to be mirrored across two Microsoft data centres: UK South and UK West with automatic switch over for 100% availability. This does come at a cost: we can advise you on this.

In the event of data loss we will refund licence fees up to and including the period covered by the data loss. This excludes situations where the data loss was caused by hardware failure or 3rd party software. In the case of 3rd Party responsibility: there may be a reasonable charge for the skills and time required. This is the practical and legal limit of our liability. Using our software signifies agreement to this limit.

We are focused on making our software as reliable as possible: we want a quiet life in this respect as much as you do. If we find 3rd party software which may cause failures to your Ava system and we know you are using it, we will advise you or your IT consultants on the best course to resolve these issues as immediately as possible. For instance we will never recommend BT as your internet provider. Consistently over the years Sky and others have higher customer satisfaction levels (ten times) and lower outages than BT for little difference in cost.

When we provide web based services: we will use an ISP with a reputation second to none. We currently use a company called Microsoft. Their UK storage complies with UK and EU legislation on Data Protection.

 

Microsoft SLA

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This FAQ was last updated on Monday, April 10, 2017

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