What happens after Dynamics 365 goes live?

The day you “go live” with your Dynamics 365 ERP or CRM system is a major milestone achievement, but it doesn’t mean your work is done. Companies have to choose how the system will be supported after the implementation project is finished.

You have 4 major choices for ongoing Dynamics 365 support.

1. Use internal staff

In theory, using internal staff to support your ERP or CRM system should save your company money. However, we find that frequently staff members are stretched too thin and don’t have the expertise they need to maintain the system – at least not in all areas. Having people “guess” how to fix the system can create bigger, more expensive problems that then require the help of an external consultant.

We are a big believer in fostering an environment that creates Dynamics power users. BUT – we also believe that having an external support system is critical.

2. Use a Microsoft Dynamics partner for support as needed

The good part is that Microsoft Dynamics partners know Microsoft Dynamics – and if they just implemented your system, they probably already know your company. The challenge is that most Microsoft Dynamics partners don’t have a business model with a focus on support. Instead of having dedicated support personnel, they have consultants who are now engaged on another implementations, and are trying to juggle your support requests over lunch and whenever they have a spare moment. If your system isn’t being continually managed and updated, problems can start to creep in.

3. Using Microsoft Support for support

While Microsoft Support is good, it is ONLY support. Their technicians will resolve your support cases, but they won’t be proactive, you don’t have an assigned team, and they can’t go beyond the scope of their assignment.

4. Finding a partner that offers Managed Services

Not all Microsoft Dynamics partners offer a Managed Services / Support option, and those that do, don’t always have full-time dedicated staff devoted to servicing customers who have already gone live. The advantage of using a managed services team is that your systems are continually managed so they run smoothly, rather than dealing with break/fix support. The managed services team becomes a virtual extension of your team, with fixed costs, but more versatile skills.

Differences in Dynamics 365 Application Support / Managed Services

We can’t speak for how other Dynamics partners offer application support, but we can tell you how MCA Connect’s Managed Services team works to anticipate our clients’ needs. We help with things like:

  • Building technology roadmaps
  • Upgrade project management
  • Short-term staff augmentation
  • System support
  • ISV management
  • User training
  • Customizations and workflows
  • Plus, each of our clients have a designated client delivery team – a service delivery account manager, functional lead and a technical lead. This way, you get access to a spectrum of skills. And when we’re stumped? Our close relationship with Microsoft helps us escalate issues, and get answers more easily.

Author: Steve Walsh, Managed Services Practice

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