aka “Why did you move GP Partner?”
m-hance, like most Microsoft Partners, receives several enquiries per month from existing Dynamics GP customers looking to change their current GP Support provider.
There is a continual turnover in the sector, just try typing “Microsoft Dynamics GP Support” into your search engine and watch those sponsored links appear.
Once an end-user has decided they need a change, typically they will choose two or three Partners, invite them in to discuss their current issues and what makes that Partner different, before making a decision and selecting a new preferred Partner.
It is very rare in our experience that the incumbent Partner is selected in such a process. By this point, it is too late to fix whatever was broken.
One of the things m-hance does when approached by an organisation looking to switch their current GP Support provider, is to ask the end-user “Why are you looking to change?” This then helps us to get a better understanding of their needs and also helps us to improve our service to our customer base.
So, what have we found? Interestingly very few end users spoke about the cost of Support. Whilst different Partners offered different models, it wasn’t a deciding factor for a lot of them.
It may not be rocket science but firstly, a caveat; it’s difficult to quantify what are often qualitative answers but we’ve tried, and this is our top 3:
- Service Desk delays & SLA’s
As the first point of contact when you have a problem, the majority of people we spoke to wanted to speak to a real person in order to gain some reassurance that their problem had been logged and their issue understood.
Logging a call via a portal or being told everybody is busy was cold comfort when transactions appeared to be missing, or somebody had accidentally released the wrong invoices for payment.
Another concern was a Support Desk having not just enough, but enough resource with the right knowledge specifically associated with more specialist elements of Dynamics GP such as Project Accounting, Analytical Accounting or third-party products (e.g. Jet Reports or SmartConnect).
This came across in all the discussions we had and, as is often the case, frustration builds until ultimately a customer cannot put up with it anymore and votes with their feet. In some cases, it almost felt like the customer was taken for granted.
Whether it was:
- a lack of response to a sales request, delaying a decision;
- a delay in responding to a Support call, delaying a resolution; or
- a general lack of engagement meaning the system never improved.
Like a pressure valve being released, the decision to review the GP Partner was almost therapeutic.
No. 1 wasn’t about the money or the services received specifically, but more generally about the nature of the relationship.
Everybody we spoke to accepted that you can have problems with I.T.; it’s a given. Whether it’s infrastructure, integrations, databases or applications, we can all have problems.
What seemed to heavily influence a client’s view of a Partner was once a problem occurred, how was it dealt with. Who got involved? Was there plenty of communication? Did individuals at the Partner take ownership? Were there clear escalation points and could they pick up the phone and talk to someone, not chase someone, but actually talk to someone?
Prevention was roundly accepted as better than cure but it’s the understanding and engagement your Partner has with your business, the individuals involved and a desire to get problems resolved when they occur that seems to make the difference.
I’d love to hear your feedback on all things Dynamics GP Support related, please email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
New Business Development