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CRM RFP Data Center Uptime and SLA Requirements

GUARANTEED UPTIME
CRM hosting provider must provide assurances that the hosted CRM service will be continuously available. Service Provider will take steps to ensure that the CRM software is available for use by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. At all times during the term of this Agreement, and for all renewal periods, Service Provider's level of performance shall meet or exceed the Service Level Agreement (SLA) performance standards. Please provide a descriptive summary of your data center operations, including high availability (HA), redundancy, information security and disaster recovery with business continuity. Please also provide a list of all dates and outage durations for any and all downtime or hosted service interruption of any type whatsoever during the prior three fiscal years. Failure to provide this request will negatively affect the CRM vendor's ability to deliver a continuous CRM software hosted service and may disqualify the CRM vendor from further consideration. Please also provide a schedule by date of all incurred system maintenance exercises which resulted in any change of CRM software system availability or performance to the CRM user experience performed during the prior three fiscal years.

Advice:

The entire CRM Software as a Service (SaaS) value proposition is predicated on continuously available hosted service delivery. Failure to deliver the service - whether for planned (e.g. scheduled maintenance) or unplanned outages - and even for short periods will lower user productivity, frustrate CRM users and challenge user adoption. Some of the larger SaaS CRM vendors have taken the approach to put all downtime into the category of "scheduled maintenance" and exclude these outages from Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This disguise defeats the purpose of scheduled maintenance and does a disservice to CRM SaaS users. If you really want to see the real CRM SaaS downtime and understand how much availability your users will incur, demand both the historical downtime and maintenance schedules for the prior three (3) years. The scheduled maintenance downtime for a few of the larger SaaS CRM vendors will blow you away.

SCHEDULED DOWN TIME
In the course of maintaining the CRM Software there may be occasions whereby Service Provider will need to make the CRM software unavailable. Service Provider shall make commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that, the scheduled down time will be no more than one (1) hour. Furthermore, scheduled downtime should NOT be excluded from downtime computations as part of the Service Level Agreement guarantee.

DELIVERY LOCATIONS
Service Provider shall provide the hosted CRM services from the identified data centers. Service Provider may provide any or all of the Services from another facility only after providing advanced notice. Any migration of Services to another facility at Service Provider's request shall be conducted by Service Provider at its sole expense pursuant to a migration plan prepared by Service Provider. Any material breach of such migration plan by Service Provider shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement. All of Service Provider's obligations contained in this Agreement, including, without limitation, the obligation to meet Service Levels, shall continue to apply during and after any such migration.