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EFaru Supporting Dynamics GP Internally: Recommendations

 
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Andrew Karasev



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1505

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: EFaru Supporting Dynamics GP Internally: Recommendations Reply with quote

When your new Corporate ERP is already implemented and works in production environment, there is the time to rationalize technical support cost. As your team of consultants expects more billable hours in the short, mid-term and even long term future, these people might not be willing to give you budget minimization advises. This is why I’d like to give you my experience as technical support insider and certified consultant. We’ll come through the steps on how consultant gets the answer, what are the most popular support request subjects:

1. What your consultant does, when she or he gets technical support request? Of course, first of all we are registering the case in our tech support database, it might be MS CRM Service Log, or simply email from the receptionist. Then we login Microsoft Dynamics Partner Source and search knowledge base – chances are high that something like that already happened in the past with another customer and it was resolved by MBS tech support team and published. If your case is not described on the Partner Source, we have two options. First one is to open tech support case with Microsoft. And the second option is to organize web session or come out onsite and apply our own judgment: make SQL queries, enable error logging in Dex.ini, try Check Links and other methods

2. How to support up to 50% of the requests internally? The answer is to login Customer Source and search the same knowledge base, see previous paragraph. This is right, Microsoft exposes in the CS the majority of the technical fixes, in some cases it thinks that the fix requires certified consultant intervention and those are not exposed through the Customer Source. Of course, you have to be in good standing with Microsoft Dynamics annual support plan in the sense that you have to have active plan, otherwise your Customer Source access will be blocked.

3. You can open direct support case with Microsoft Dynamics. If you have active annual support contract with MBS – you may be entitled to free support (luxury plans) or discounted price per case. If your support contract is no longer active, you can still place the support case, assuming that you are on the version, still supportable directly by Microsoft (currently 2010/11.0, 10.0, 9.0)

4. What if we do not have access to Customer Source? Well, this was probably a budget cutting decision in the past to stop paying for the annual support. That historical decision probably allowed you to make some savings in the short term perspective, but down the road – your tech support cost may increase, as you have to deal with external consulting help, typically billed on the hours spent basis

5. Typical Support Case Subjects. In our opinion, the batch posting failure and following recovery is the champion. In Great Plains application doesn’t deploy SQL batch commit and rollback constructions, batch posting logic has several steps. If couple of steps went through and the rest of the steps failed – you have to do batch recovery routine. In the latest versions you can always open Batch Recovery window, our recommendation is to try first to print Batch Edit List report, where watch for errors. If you see the errors, you have to open the documents and review them – typically incorrect GL posting accounts are the culprits, you can review them in GL Distribution section. Second case in its popularity is user login limbo, where user is already logged into the company. You can either delete the user as interface suggests, or go into User Activity screen and kick out the user from there. Another more advanced option is to delete the user directly in the SQL Activity table in the Dynamics DB. The third request in its popularity is about Modified Report or Form security – be sure the user has the right to access modified report, or if you reinstalled Great Plains on the new computer – Reports.dic dictionary is available in the path specified in Dynamics.set file

6. What to do if we are on the old version of GP or Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac? Direct support is not available from Microsoft. There are still consulting firms out there, who can support Great Plains Dynamics on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree and even GPA for DOS. If you are recovering from depression, our recommendation would be to consider upgrade from GPA 9.5, 9.2, or Pervasive SQL 2000 version 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0 all the way to the current version 2010/11.0. You should expect some budget, but it is much better option, comparing to initiating Corporate ERP implementation process from scratch on the new platform

7. Microsoft Small Business Financials 9.0, 8.0, 7.5, 7.0 support. Microsoft recommended its SBF customers migrate to Dynamics GP, migration tool is available for SBF 9.0 to GP 9.0. As you may be aware – Small Business Financial product line is frozen on version 9.0. We understand that for some customers upgrading to the more expensive product line is crossing their expectation budget border. If you think that migration is too expensive, please review small business accounting packages, such as QuickBooks, PeachTree, SAP Business One

8. Upscale migration from Great Plains to Oracle Financials/eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft. If your new ERP or MRP system doesn’t have migration tool, we recommend you to do direct data export from GP via SQL Select statements or custom reports in ReportWriter. If you let us know your requirements, we should be able to export GP data in the recommended format, including Excel, XML, MS Access, Text File, or you name it

9. Support internationally. This option is possible via Web Sessions, Skype or Phone conferences and direct visits onsite (in the case of the large scale project). Our consulting team speaks English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Filipino. Feel free to call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, or email help@efaru.com

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space
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