GP Support Got You Down?

Many GP users become confused as to who should provide them support on either Dynamics GP modules or their 3rd party ISV products that they own.  How does support work in these cases?

This is a common question throughout the Dynamics GP channel.  And the answer is not always simple as different VAR / resellers of the product – as well as different ISVs – may want end users to follow a different set of rules.  Accordingly, this answer is not intended to capture every different rule set that exists in the channel – only the generally accepted “best practice” rules that are most often used.

This is a two-part answer.  The first part is for general Dynamics GP module support.  The second part is for third-party ISV support.

Dynamics GP Support

Literally, all Dynamics GP end users should have a current support agreement with Microsoft.  Microsoft is always the “back stop” for any questions on any Dynamics GP modules – simple or complex. But there is a limit to how much you can use them and the costs associated with support incidents logged with them – not to mention the complexity of an end users’ configuration of the product.  In response to this, many VAR reseller partners provide either free Dynamics GP support to their clients or have their own help desk / support plans / or time and materials plans to help end users with these support issues.  In general, the larger and more complex the Dynamics GP system user, the more likely they will need VAR reseller support of the product.

Third-party ISV Product Support

Just as there are many third-party ISV products in the Dynamics GP world, so are there different support options.  Because third-party ISV products require support from time to time, all ISVs charge annual support for their solutions just like Microsoft.  And like Microsoft, the individual ISVs are the “back stop” for any questions concerning their solutions.  As the VAR reselling partner enables the sale of these support contracts to end users, most VAR resellers act as a first call /  Level 1 help desk to end users.  This is sometimes needed as many end users may not be able to determine if the support issue is a Dynamics GP issue or an issue with the third-party ISV product.  As most resellers can make this determination, the incident can either be handled by the VAR, Microsoft or the third-party ISV vendor.

Who handles it at this point is somewhat up to the reselling VAR.  Best practice suggests the following -  if it’s a relatively simple incident / answer, the VAR will usually answer it to the end user – whether it’s a Dynamics GP module or a third-party ISV product.  If it’s a third-party ISV product issue and deeper than they can handle, they will pass it over to the third-party ISV who are really the solution experts..  The ISV will then either deal with the reseller or the end user directly to solve the issue.  However, should the ISV then determine that the problem is actually found to be a Dynamics GP issue and not an ISV product issue, the issue is usually given back to the VAR reseller for general Dynamics GP support.

So, for the end user, the authorized Dynamics GP VAR reseller should be the starting point for Dynamics GP/ ISV support – from a best practices standpoint.  They can either provide answers quickly to problems or send an end user quickly to the right organization – whether it be Microsoft or the third-party ISV.