Introduction to the Service Level Agreement Functionality in D365

Dynamics 365 offers built-in comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA) functionality that caters to several different scenarios. In today’s post, we’ll explore this SLA functionality in more detail.

For one thing, SLAs are the first step toward crafting key performance indicators (KPIs) and then tracking performance against those KPIs. Of course, your support representatives see KPIs simply as timers on record forms that indicate the time remaining until (or time passed since) the prescribed (or allotted) amount of time to solve a support request. On the other hand, SLAs also can allow CRM users to pause the KPI timer depending on the status reason of the support request. For example, if a service representative cannot proceed until additional information is provided by the customer, a status reason of On Hold can be used to pause the timer until the status reason changes. It is important to remember that On Hold time, like everything else, can be tracked, measured, and reported. In many organizations, it’s just another KPI.

Within Dynamics 365, the SLA functionality can be configured to consider many different factors, including things like the SLA starting point from which the SLA is calculated, operational hours, holiday schedules, and pause/resume permissions. Prior to configuring an SLA, it's important to note that each one should include an SLA item record that defines the following:

Note that all SLA records must be activated, and a default SLA must be configured where entitlements are not being used.

To be able to properly configure an SLA in Dynamics 365, you must first configure your organization’s schedule.

Configuring the Customer Service Schedule

Follow these steps to create a Customer Service Schedule:

1. Go to Settings > Service Management.

2. On this page, find Customer Service Scheduleunder Service Terms.

3. You will see all existing Customer Service Calendars. To create a new one, click New in the Command bar.

4. In the popup window, name your Customer Service Schedule, add an optional description, and click Create.

5. Another popup window appears – this is where your organization’s weekly schedule can be customized:

Work Hours

Work Days

Holiday Schedule

Time Zone

Once all weekly schedule information is completed, select Save and Close. Note that if your organization needs more than one service schedule, simply repeat Steps 3-5. Once the weekly schedule is fully configured, it will look like this:

 

service level agreement

Configuring the SLA

Now that we have created a service schedule, we can define what our expected response levels should be. Our KPI’s can be based on two metrics: First Response Time and Resolution Time. Essentially, we need to determine what constitutes success or failure for each of those metrics, as well as what actions should be taken when a KPI is close to not being met or has not been met. Let’s look at a scenario where we want high priority cases to be resolved in 1 business day, and normal and low priority cases to be resolved within 3 business days.

1. Navigate to Settings > Service Management > Service Level Agreements, which can be found in the Service Terms

2. Click +New in the Command bar.

3. Name the new SLA (in our case, we’re calling it Default SLA. Identify the Entity to which the SLA should apply. In our demo, we’re using the Case NOTE: SLAs can apply to any Entity; the entity just needs to first be enabled for SLA tracking.

service level agreement

4. Click OK. A new SLA Form will appear on which you need to identify your desired Applicable From and SLA Type options:

Applicable From – From the list of available options, select the field from which the SLA items will be calculated. For our example, we will choose Created On, indicating that we want the SLA timer to begin as soon as the case record is created.

SLA Type – You can choose either Standard or Enhanced. What’s the difference?

When the appropriate options have been selected, save the SLA record. It will look like the screen below. Note that fields with the lock symbol cannot be updated once the SLA is saved:

service level agreement

Creating an SLA Item

Once the SLA record has been configured and saved, you can create the SLA Item record. In our case, we’re calling it First Response KPI. This SLA Item defines when the SLA is applicable, as well as its success criteria:

service level agreement

Within the Success Actions, SLA Item Failure, and SLA Item Warning sections, we can define additional actions - like sending an email or changing the status of the record based on predefined criteria. In our example above, we defined Failure after 1 hour and Warn after 30 minutes.

Once the SLA Items have been created and the SLA has been configured, saved, activated and set as default, it will look like this:

service level agreement

Seeing it in Action

Once saved, the SLA timer is displayed within the Enhanced SLA Details tab, and it correctly takes into consideration the business hours, as well as the First response in and Resolve in times for the SLA. When the SLA for resolution has been met, it will display Succeeded; when it has not been met, it displays Expired.

service level agreement

So, that’s how SLA’s work in Dynamics 365. Hopefully you can see how this can be useful in your organization. For more tips and tricks, be sure to subscribe to our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

Are you an organization wondering how to ensure that Service Level Agreements are only impacted by business hours? Worry no longer inquisitive reader! There are a few simple steps in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that you can take to create a service schedule. But before you do this, you will need to create both a Holiday Schedule and a Customer Service Schedule. This blog will take you through the necessary instructions including:

Listed below is how to create a Customer Service Schedule:

1. Go to Settings à Service Management.

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

 

2. On this page, find "Customer Service Schedule" under the Service Terms section.

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

 

3. There will be a view of all of the Customer Service Calendars. To create a new one, go to the command bar and select "New".

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

 

4. A popup will show up. This is where you add the name of the Customer Service Schedule – the description field is optional. Once you are done filling in the information, select "Create".

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

 

5. Once you have selected that, another popup will show up. This is where the weekly schedule is can be customized to your organization's needs.

Create a Customer Service Schedule for SLA's in Dynamics CRM

 

Work Hours

Work Day

Holiday Schedule

 

Time Zone

 

6. Once all of the weekly schedule information is completed, select "Save and Close"

 

Now you have successfully created a service schedule along with adding a holiday schedule. If your organization needs more than one service schedule, that can be done as well. Just simply repeat the steps from 3 – 6 to do so. If you have any further questions surrounding Dynamics CRM, head over to our blog or read our CRM Book for all things Dynamics related!

Happy CRM'ing!

Spring '14 Wave Update: Service Level Agreements in Dynamics CRM

It is another new and powerful feature for the Microsoft Dynamics Spring '14 Wave Release; Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have the ability to track service expectation for cases. The new SLAs allows organizations to set up standards for the amount of time it takes to respond or complete a case. SLAs include four components:

 

SLA Landing Page

Spring '14 Wave Update: Service Level Agreements in Dynamics CRM

 

 SLA Details

Spring '14 Wave Update: Service Level Agreements in Dynamics CRM

SLAs are able to be setup as a system default SLA or tie specifically to an Account or Contact or multiple Accounts or Contacts.

In order to monitor SLAs the case form includes a new section called SLA Applicable, which will populate when a SLA is setup. After the case is saved, the appropriate SLA will be applied to the case. If the SLA is setup with a First Response by and/or Resolve by, users will see a date and time for when the first response needs to be sent and/or when the case should be resolved by (i.e., 6/20/2014 1:45 PM). Another new feature on the case form is the ability to customize the form to include a timer, which counts down the days, hours, and/or minutes until the first response needs to be sent and/or when the case needs to be resolved.

Case Form

Spring '14 Wave Update: Service Level Agreements in Dynamics CRM

Spring '14 Wave Update: Service Level Agreements in Dynamics CRM

Before the Spring '14 Wave implemented SLAs, contracts were another way to monitor service agreements between organizations and accounts. Contracts use contract support levels that are allotted in terms of number of incidents, or amount of time. When a case is resolved against a contract, case resolution reduces contract allotment by the appropriate amount.

Some key differences between contracts and SLAs is that contracts track case resolution to the contract allotment, while SLAs track service expectations (i.e., time left to respond or complete a Case). Also SLAs can be setup as a default for the entire organization or a specific account or contract whereas contracts are typically only set up for specific accounts.

SLAs are a great enhancement to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and can help organizations keep track of metrics tied to SLAs. It's just one of the many great roll-outs this year. If you are looking for any other Wave updates, head over to our blog to get a deep-dive into all things Spring '14 related as well as anything else Dynamics related. And as always... Happy CRM'ing!