Why do I need support?
As you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 more, it will become a crucial component of your business. It’s a hugely reliable platform, but occasionally you’ll need technical help with your system.
Unless you’re technically trained in Microsoft Dynamics, things you may need help with include:
- Unexpected changes because of updates to Dynamics
- Setting up new users
- Features not working as expected
Also, you’re likely to want to make improvements to your system
- New business requirements
- Changes to processes and forms
What types of support are there?
Pay as you go
Contact a supplier with details of your problem, supply them with login details and they will fix the issue.
- Pros – flexible and for people with simple systems, it can work out to be good value for money
- Cons – likely to be an expensive hourly rate. No guarantee of response time. Suppliers may have little familiarity with your system
A fixed, regular fee from a known supplier.
- Pros – You’ll be confident that your supplier will respond quickly, as you’ll have a service level agreement (SLA). Costs are predictable and spread over longer periods. You’ll often have a named contact who is familiar with your system. Unused support time can often be used for system development. Proactive monitoring can stop problems before they happen. Training and reporting is often included in support contracts. Support can grow with you
- Cons – Can appear to be expensive. Usually a calculation based on time or productivity lost due to the system not working, will show that the investment can be good value for money.
You either recruit or train a member of staff to be your support contact.
- Pros – great system knowledge. Often great availability.
- Cons – Expensive, depending on how they are used the rest of their time. Workflow and availability can be hard to manage. Cover is hard to arrange for holidays
What factors to consider
How reliant on Dynamics are you? Can you afford downtime? Is your system simple, or complex and customised heavily?
In house expertise
Can you train or recruit someone in-house to be the technical contact? Would there be downtime jobs for this person?
Response time SLA
How long can you afford for problems to go un-fixed? You’ll need to balance this against what you’re prepared to pay for a service
Expertise of the supplier
Is your supplier a Microsoft partner? Which level are they?
What should a support contract include?
- Break/fix support
- Service level agreement
- A clear price list
- Is development included – can hours be rolled over?
- A named contact
- Data use
- Data quality [link to webinar]
Ask your your support company if the contract covers
- Setting up new users
- Dynamics 365 updates and upgrades
- Data backups
- Creating new dashboards and views
- Workflow and process config
- Entity configuration
- Form configuration
- Data imports
- Creating custom reports (Power BI)
- Access to a knowledge base