Application maintenance outsourcing (AMO) involves the maintenance and/or enhancement of custom-developed software or customized packaged applications by an external provider. Examples of maintenance include regulatory changes, software upgrades, new release installations, and "fix it if it breaks" troubleshooting.
In order to successfully manage AMO relationships, it is important for IT professionals to include clear and unambiguous Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in their outsourcing contracts. A service level agreement is a document that outlines the services that are expected by a customer from a vendor. It includes measurements that will be used to gauge whether or not the vendor is meeting the expected level of service, and sometimes includes rewards and penalties that will be issued if the vendor exceeds or fails to meet the expected level of service.