Contracts, Entitlements & the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface
In 2017, Microsoft announced the deprecation of the Contracts entity as well as Contract Line Items and Contract Templates in Dynamics 365.
This functionality has been replaced by the Entitlements entity, first introduced back in 2014, and it stated Contracts would be removed from a future major release.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Contracts still remains available in the product and continues to be used by many organisations in tracking their client service and support agreements.
However, with Dynamics customers increasingly looking to migrate to the newer Unified Interface it is important to note that the legacy Contracts entity is not supported in this experience.
In comparison to Contracts, the Entitlements functionality provides greater control over the type, and the amount of support, that an individual customer is entitled to receive. Capacity can be stated in terms of the number of cases, or available hours.
In addition to tracking the dates that a customer is entitled to receive support, the Entitlements entity will adapt to handle contracts that stipulate a maximum number of cases and / or a maximum consumption of support time. Entitlement terms can be defined across single and multi-channels which can be product specific (e.g. a warranty) and specific to restrict support for individual contacts.
For a deep dive into how Entitlements are managed in Dynamics 365 try this module on Microsoft Learn.
If your organisation is still using Contracts, it is strongly recommended that you replace these processes with Entitlements before to enabling the Unified Interface.
Migrating from Contracts to Entitlements
Preact have formulated a process to help Dynamics 365 administrators configure Entitlements. This work can be undertaken through our managed service, or completed in a one-off consultancy engagement.
In the first instance, we'll review how you are currently using Contracts, how you want to manage these agreements going forward, and how this fits with the out of the box Entitlements functionality.
During this process we'll share examples of how the extended capabilities of Entitlements can be utilised. This is an opportunity to standardise any custom functionality currently in use, where possible, and streamline workflows. Depending on individual requirements some additional customisation may still be needed.
Following these discussions, we will complete the configuration of Entitlements to meet your requirements. This will include:
- Fields and custom relationships added as required
- Configuring custom views
- Recreating existing workflows, or re-defining these
- Adding Business Rules to enforce controls as required
- Recreate or build new reports as required (Power BI, Excel etc)
Data from active Contracts will need to be moved to the new Entitlements process. This functions in a different way and based on the outcome of the Fit Gap, a set of translations may be required.
We'll initially release Entitlements as a trial enabling your core users to test and provide feedback. Subsequent changes will be made and this process will be repeated as required based on the results from these changes.
Once user acceptance testing has been signed off, the changes will be pushed to your production instance. At this time a live migration from Contracts to Entitlements is run and no further changes will be made to Contracts.
Upon completion the Entitlements functionality is live. If required, Contracts records can be left in place on a read-only basis if any users need to refer to these.
In comparison to Contracts, the Entitlements entity offers a better user experience which involves significantly fewer clicks. To find out more about how this functionality will help you better manage agreements, warranties and contracts, and to advance your preparations for the Unified Interface, please get in touch.