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Microsoft Great Plains Remote Support - overview

 by: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Great Plains is now standard mid-market ERP application, serving the whole spectrum of businesses. In the case of mid-size business we usually see strong IT team with SQL querying skills plus accounting department is already trained to use Great Plains and needs minimal help in figuring out on how to use new Great Plains version and features. In this situation company may leverage it's work force strength and minimize ERP application support cost. This is the goal of Microsoft Business Solutions and the philosophy of future computer systems. In this situation - in our opinion - there is no need to have expensive local support when consultants are coming to you on regular basis and spend at least four hours onsite, charging somewhat close to $200 per hour. Also, please take into consideration the fact that consulting companies have to train new hires to do the job, and formal training should be supplemented with serving to real customer. Below we give you your options to support Great Plains with minimized support cost.

Minimizing upgrade/migration cost. It is not a secret that Microsoft Business Solutions VAR has to maintain it's cash flow. It is often conflicts with your interests. Have Great Plains partner to trigger you Microsoft promotions on Migrations/Upgrade/Placing you back to enhancement program. Do not succumb to reseller attempt to sell you migration with list price.

Local Partner - is it the best and cost effective way? First, place yourself into local partner shoes. When he is fighting to win your business - he is competing against other local vars - they are using traditional sales&marketing techniques: trade shows, expensive permanent sales people to do cold calls and then presentations onsite. This will drive following hourly consulting rates to the sky. Nationwide small partner usually does its marketing over the internet and this is only few percent of the revenue. Another thing to consider - nationwide partner doesn't have to come to you and have onsite meeting - it is all done over the phone.

Do you have complex customization? If you do - you need to know that local partners are making substantial revenue on customization upgrade. At the same time they do not specialize in customizations - they have to deal with broad range of issues with their clients. I would guess - you would rather appeal to specialist who is dealing with customizations on the daily basis. The same comment is relevant for upgrade and migration.

Do I need consultant? It is probably good idea to have consultant to do the upgrade. We strongly recommend you to use consultant in the following cases

  • You have Dexterity customization

  • You are doing migration from Pervasive/Ctree to Microsoft SQL Server/MSDE, especially when you have third-parties without migration tools

  • You have a lot or ReportWriter Modified Great Plains Reports

  • You have old version of Great Plains: Dynamics or eEnteroprise 6.0 or prior - in this case you can not appeal to Microsoft Technical Support - it is discontinued

  • Your Great Plains has more than 20 users and you have to have upgrade done over the weekend - if it fails - you have business problems

  • You don't have support - in this case you have to select your Microsoft Business Solutions Partner and pay for the annual support/enhancement plan - you will get new registration key and will be ready for the upgrade

Good luck in self-support and if you have issues or concerns we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

About The Author

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Canada, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew: andrewk@albaspectrum.com


akarasev@albaspectrum.com


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