XLA to increase productivity and revenue

The demand for IT quality is increasing due to agility and mobility. Availability and performance are expected, and alongside security, the focus is particularly on User Experience (UX): A positive user experience is paramount, and many companies are increasingly measuring IT quality by the satisfaction and productivity of their employees. Therefore, UX is becoming the decisive criterion for evaluating IT services. Experience Level Agreements (XLA) are forming the new foundation for collaborations, with traditional metrics and KPIs playing a complementary role. For this business obligation, the need for smart service management tools is growing. amasol is developing a reporting tool called klaricore, which enables the continuous monitoring of XLAs – for a comprehensive evaluation of IT services and their value creation for companies, leading to greater customer satisfaction and increased productivity.


Today, it is no longer enough to be highly technically skilled and to operate IT with high performance constantly. It is equally important to evaluate the overall performance of IT or a service provider from the perspective of users or customers. This is because Digital Employee Experience (DEX) and Customer Experience (CX) are crucial for the productivity and success of companies. User satisfaction can only be increased, and customer loyalty strengthened, if the focus is primarily on the expectations and experiences of the users. Company websites, especially in e-commerce, must be tailored and designed solely to meet the users' demands.1 Employees expect a positive experience at the digital workplace: modern hardware, user-friendly software, and smart digital processes, solid IT security, and reliable support that is primarily tailored to their satisfaction and productivity.

Perspective Shift to UX

Until now, agreements with IT or external service providers were usually based on Service Level Agreements (SLAs), ensuring continuous operation, availability, and performance. However, these agreements do not guarantee that the applications within companies truly support business performance effectively. The sole focus on these traditional parameters has the disadvantage of not clearly revealing what is happening in IT on the user level. For example, the number of tickets submitted per day provides only vague insights. 

Additionally, proving whether IT projects were completed within an agreed timeframe and budget overlooks a crucial success metric: User Experience. SLAs are typically defined solely by technical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The service provider meets the required criteria, and targets are considered "achieved" because application performance is satisfactory, but their effectiveness from the user's perspective on a PC or laptop is generally ignored.

Traditional performance indicators will remain important but not exclusively so; they need to be supplemented with parameters for measuring

UX, with user satisfaction being the top priority. Only through this shift in perspective can user productivity be ensured. Concurrently, UX and CX also become focal points for a realistic evaluation of IT and external service providers.

Combining SLA and XLA

By incorporating XLA criteria, the expectations for IT service or application quality, focusing on UX, are included in SLAs. New metrics demonstrate what performance truly reaches the end user, and binding figures depict the real experiences employees have with provided software and technical services at their digital workplaces, or what potential customers encounter on websites. Quantitative UX metrics are derived from telemetry data from end devices regarding application or network performance, and qualitative values are gathered from user feedback or customer satisfaction surveys. Correlating these with traditional SLA indicators from the backend creates a holistic view: the result describes the actual quality of IT – including performance and UX for employees or customers. This includes evaluating service desk channels and user experiences with support.

XLAs to Increase Productivity

XLAs can demonstrate the actual business benefits of IT and IT services as value-added. User satisfaction, as a key evaluation element, correlates with efficiency and productivity. Analyses of technical SLA and XLA indicators, along with qualitative feedback, can regularly inform measures to optimize the service experience. 

For example, user insights can help reduce the number and duration of disruptions or avoid a high volume of tickets when introducing new applications. Support can also adapt to the varying IT competencies of employees, providing differentiated assistance. Such measures systematically enhance user productivity and demonstrably increase the business value of IT services.

Aligning Service Levels with Business Goals

With the introduction of XLAs, satisfaction and productivity factors allow services to align closely with a company’s strategic goals. It is possible to systematically vary and adapt target specifications for XLA measurements to meet changing requirements. The user’s emotional experience is always the key indicator. For example, if a company wants to improve the customer experience on its sites through an optimal payment process or achieve better service experiences for internal users by significantly shortening resolution times, iterative steps toward these goals should be agreed upon in realistic increments. Timeframes for optimizing a payment process or restoring system availability can be defined. XLAs provide IT service providers with clear guidelines, while their contribution to optimization is also reflected through regular qualitative UX measurements. This process can incorporate various incentives for IT service providers into the agreements – performance-based rewards, success fees, or bonuses. While traditional SLAs usually foresee sanctions for failing fixed targets, XLAs introduce variable goals and compensation. If user and customer demands change over time or new business goals bring different service requirements, agreements can be adjusted accordingly.

The Importance of UX Design

A crucial prerequisite for a good user experience is the appropriate design of websites and applications. IT services can strive to satisfy users or customers, but if the user interface design is poor or the navigation concept is not coherent, they will only achieve their goals to a limited extent. UX is largely determined by the quality of usability. If the responsibility for design lies solely with the company, it must establish the foundation for systematically optimizing UX to truly enhance user satisfaction. Some companies appoint Chief Experience Officers responsible for designing applications and websites, while others adopt UxOps. In this approach, an operational team of researchers, psychologists, and designers conducts comprehensive target group and user analyses, develops online presence journeys, and designs the overall user experience.2 XLAs can only be effectively implemented if UX management is also well-structured.

klaricore: Reporting Tool for XLA

For Service Level Management (SLM), evaluating service quality against agreed goals and regular reporting requires smart tools. amasol has specialized in automating SLA reporting for over 20 years. Leveraging this extensive expertise, the company has developed an SLM tool that facilitates the introduction and prioritization of XLAs and provides comprehensive IT service evaluations: klaricore.

The concept is based on the OKR (Objectives and Key Results)3 method, a system or framework originally developed at Intel as a management method and now used in product development and agile project management. 

The principle is simple: IT service goals are aligned with strategic company objectives and closely coordinated with the business. They are to be achieved step by step through key results defined by quantitative metrics like performance, system restoration deadlines, ticket volumes, or percentage-rated user feedback. This provides management and stakeholders with transparency throughout the contract duration. Regular KPI reporting quantifies whether all level agreements are met and the extent to which IT services contribute to UX optimization and business goal achievement. Additionally, teams can regularly evaluate trends and key results to adjust the course or identify critical factors and take appropriate actions.

Prioritizing UX

Introducing XLAs will be necessary for most companies, as UX becomes a decisive success criterion, especially in e-commerce. Employees also expect performance and usability. Shifting the focus from solely technical criteria to prioritizing a positive experience is essential. The current generation of users – those between 14 and 42 years old – will not tolerate negative experiences. "The bar for digital experiences has been raised, and those who fail risk alienating an entire generation of application users."4 Companies and IT service providers should work together to avoid this. The goal is to bind the Application Generation as customers and motivate employees to be productive through excellent UX.

XLA will become the new SLA.


1 amasol. Blog: UXOps for an Optimal User Experience https://www.amasol.de/en/blog/detail-page/uxops-for-an-optimal-user-experience 

2 amasol. Blog: UXOps for an Optimal User Experience https://www.amasol.de/en/blog/detail-page/uxops-for-an-optimal-user-experience

3 amasol. Blog: Objectives and Key Results (OKR): Only the Right Goals Lead to the Right Resultshttps://www.amasol.de/en/blog/detail-page/objectives-and-key-results-okr-only-the-right-goals-lead-to-the-right-results

4 RTInsights. 4 Things Every Business Must Know About The Application Generation: https://www.rtinsights.com/4-things-every-business-must-know-about-the-application-generation/