Oracle’s B2B Service Cloud provides service level agreement (SLA) support through Service Entitlement Milestones. Milestones are basically timers that are assigned to Service Requests (SRs) to ensure specific actions are performed within compliance threshold limits.
Service Cloud includes two predefined milestones: First Response Metric and Resolution Metric. Administrators can also define new milestones as needed to support your business requirements.
In Part 1 we’ll look at how the First Response and Resolution milestones function on service requests and some of the compliance analytics available to agents and managers. In the upcoming Part 2 post, I’ll cover the behind-the-scenes functionality and architecture of entitlements and coverages.
Using Milestones on Service Requests
When an SR is created, Oracle assigns the First Response with a 60-minute threshold and the Resolution milestone with a 240-minute threshold based on the matching coverage template and entitlement rules. Both milestones are configured to start timing immediately.
When the service agent opens the SR, the nearest active Milestone is displayed in the main summary tab header (the field location will depend on your implementation).
This field includes an icon indicating the current compliance status and can be clicked to display additional details in a pop-up window:
The current milestone and Time Remaining field can also be displayed on the Spotlight region which is always visible at the top of the SR page. Note that the Time Remaining is calculated when the SR is first opened and isn’t updated until the record is refreshed.
In addition to the current milestone fields, the Milestone Details subtab lists all assigned milestones with complete details. You can also view milestones on a timeline.
From the timeline view, you’ll notice that the Resolution metric is much further out than 4 hours from the SR creation time. This is because I’ve configured the milestones to use a service calendar with non-working hours between 9 PM and 8 AM; the threshold hours apply only during service working hours while the timeline (and Time Remaining) show the full 24 hours.
Completing Milestones and Pause Events
When the agent logs a customer response action, Oracle will update the first response status to Complete and record the completion timestamp. Once the SR is refreshed, the summary milestone and time remaining fields will now display data for the next milestone, resolution metric.
Notice in the pop-up window above that the resolution metric has a pause condition defined. When the SR is Waiting on Customer, the Resolution timer will be stopped. This will display in the UI with a Paused status, no Due Date, and the Time Remaining will switch to net time remaining.
Once the SR status is changed from Waiting on Customer, Oracle returns the milestone status to In Progress and calculates a new Due Date and total time remaining. (In this example, the SR was Waiting on Customer for 8 minutes.)
Resolving the SR will complete the Resolution milestone and record the timestamp.
Aging and Missed Milestones
What happens when milestones are at risk for being missed?
In addition to the final compliance threshold, a warning threshold can be set for each milestone. When the warning threshold is reached a notification can be triggered to alert the assigned agent. The warning threshold also displays as an icon on the SR page:
If the milestone’s final threshold is exceeded, another notification can be sent and the milestone indicators on the SR will show that the milestone is now out of compliance. The Time Remaining will now track how late the milestone is.
Once the milestone is finally completed, the status will include the amount of time it was late.
In addition to the Milestone summary fields and Milestone Details subtab on the SR page, these fields can be added to the Service Request landing page. This helps agents prioritize SRs that need attention based on SLA compliance.
B2B Service Cloud provides out-of-the-box infolets and analytics to summarize compliance metrics so that agents and managers can get a clear picture of real-time SLA current performance as well as historical trends.
Compliance tiles on the Service infolets page show the current number SRs with milestones that are past warning threshold (Near Overdue) and have expired. The infolets also highlight SRs flagged as critical that are out of compliance.
Clicking on these infolets will open a detailed report listing the individual SRs. This report can be filtered to show only overdue or near overdue (warning) SRs. The Detailed report also includes deep links to open the SR page to make updates and then return directly back to the report. Using this flow, the report acts as a specialized queue helping agents focus on overdue and at-risk SRs.
In addition to the out-of-the-box Compliance analytics, custom analytics can be created to show data as time series, across groups, as pivots by milestone, by SR severity, and so on. For example, here is a simple-to-create graph showing the percentage of milestone violations by assigned agent.
This wraps up the user-facing features of B2B Service Cloud milestones. In my next blog post, we’ll go behind to scenes to see how milestones, entitlements, and coverages are used to ensure the correct milestone thresholds are applied to an SR.