Microsoft Dynamics CRM Entitlements Entity Explained

Dynamics CRM Entitlements

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM entitlements entity was first introduced in 2014 and is an evolution of the legacy Contract records.

Entitlements follows a similar concept but in comparison to Contracts this offers several features which were lacking in the earlier entity.

These improvements combine to enforce greater control over the type and amount of support that each customer is entitled to receive.

This can be stated in terms of the number of CRM cases or available hours.

As we featured in an earlier post CRM entitlements can also be used with another recent addition, Service Level Agreements.

To access entitlements CRM administrators can browse to: Settings -> Service Management -> Entitlement

Service Management

Each entitlement is based on the number of hours or number of cases.

The choice will depend on the product or service that the customer has purchased:

Entitlement terms

Each Entitlement record includes 4 key fields:

1. Allocation Type

Defining if the entitlement is based on the number of cases or hours consumed by the customer.

2. Decrease Remaining On

Case Resolution: The total number of Entitlement terms is decreased when a case is closed
Case Creation: Or, the number of Entitlement terms is decreased when a case is created

3. Total Terms

This represents total terms which have been purchased by any customer.

For example, if 15 is entered in this field it will reflect either 15 cases or 15 hours depending on the allocation type selected.

4. Remaining Terms

This is a running total that is automatically calculated by Dynamics CRM which shows the remaining resource available for the customer.

Working with CRM Entitlements

You can define the above terms for each entitlement channel.

The default channels are Phone, Email, Web, Facebook, Twitter. You can add or edit this channel from the Case Origin Global option set.

This means CRM will now support advanced entitlement agreements whereby support can be metered and capped by specific channels.

To demonstrate this we’ll create a new Entitlement on an account named Fourth Coffee.

We’ll define a Start and End date that will apply for this customer contract. In the below example we've applied a restriction to enforce these entitlement terms.

In the form below we’ve also defined the Entitlement Terms and Entitlement Channel.

Entitlement rules

The date range will validate the Entitlement for the defined customer which would prevent any case being created outside these dates.

In this example the allocation type is set to track the number of cases.

The total terms is entered as 5 which means this customer is entitled to get help with up to 5 support cases.

The same figure appears in the 'Remaining Terms' calculation field which confirms that no cases have been resolved for this client since the agreement commenced.

For this example we’ve detailed a series of entitlement channels which limit the number of cases this customer can log during the agreement period by origin.

In this scenario they can log 2 cases by web, 1 by email and log 2 cases by phone during this timeframe.

Once complete the entitlement must be activated.

To demonstrate we’ll create a new case for this account.

Record example with entitlements

In the example above the new case that references this account entitlement originates from a web request.

The case form has automatically shown an available entitlement rule we’ve defined for this customer in an entitlements grid on the case form.

To fully enforce entitlements this field can be set as mandatory to ensure an entitlement record is set for every case.

The CRM Online Spring 15 Update includes a new feature to set a default entitlement for each customer which removes the need for users to manually associate available entitlements when a new case is created.

Once this case is closed we can review the Entitlement Terms.

As shown below the remaining terms have been reduced by 1 and because this case originated from a web request the remaining terms for this channel are also reduced.

Entitlement terms

The reduced terms are also reflect on the entitlement grid when a new case is created for this account, or when the earlier case record is opened (see below):

Update entitlement terms

If we go ahead and create another case for the same customer with Origin = Phone and resolve this it reduces the remaining terms and also reduce the same in ‘Phone’ channel.

Remaining entitlement terms

In this example we’ve defined ‘Decrease Remaining On’ as Case Resolution. Using the option of 'Decrease on Case Creation' the remaining terms would be reduced immediately when the case is first saved.

In instances where Allocation Type is set to Number of Hours this will reduce the hours based on the billable time which you have specified while closing the case.

In the event that one of these channels had no terms available CRM will fire the following error.

Error message for entitlements

The same error will pop-up if you attempt to close the case (or create, depending on the settings applied) if the channel is not defined in the Entitlement.

Using the above example this error would appear if a CRM user attempts to resolve a case where Twitter is selected as the origin as this channel was not previously defined for our entitlement.

If any case related to Entitlement are subsequently reactivated, it will increment the remaining term.

Unrestricted Entitlement Terms

In some situations it may be uncertain how much usage or entitlement a client will need at the outset of their agreement.

In these circumstance it may be agreed that the customer will be retrospectively billed if they exceed the initial terms but support won't be withheld if they exceed the initial limit.

When the entitlement record is created there is an option to select 'No' in response to 'Restrict based on Entitlement Terms'.

In this scenario CRM will not generate an error in the above example despite there being insufficient Terms available.

Instead it will go into the negative for terms in this situation. For example, if remaining terms is zero and you close an additional case then Remaining Terms will be -1.

This enables the client to get immediate help with their issue without CRM enforcing entitlement restrictions. The business can subsequently identify those accounts with negative entitlements and bill customers separately for their additional usage beyond the agreed terms.

Using the same scenario for unrestricted entitlements, if you have a case where Facebook or another origin is selected which isn't defined in the Entitlement Channel it will reduce the terms from the Total Terms but this will not reflect any changes in the entitlement channel grid when the case is closed.

We hope you find this is a useful introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM entitlements.

Please contact us to discuss how this entity can be applied to your own database including how you can migrate your processes from the legacy contracts entity.