To achieve their best performance with ERP and CRM and ensure continued adoption, proactive support is critical. Businesses need training, process alignment, regular system enhancements, upgrade management, system administration and last but not least, responsive help.
While the wisdom around how to properly approach a project is varied and extensive, ideas about how to properly support an ERP or CRM solution are less plentiful, so we’ve covered off a few approaches that we consider critical investments in the health of your solution.
In the first week following go-live day, we would typically be onsite for two full days to aid end users and staff as they begin to get comfortable with the new system.
After the first two days, we would facilitate end-of-day check ins with key users and staff. During these check ins, we discuss end user experiences, successes, challenges or frustrations, explore configuration issues, and begin to discuss ideas for further optimizing business operations using the new capabilities.
After the first week, any major operational concerns would have likely been addressed. Now is the time to tweak and adjust system configuration based on feedback from the first week. At this stage, we would also recommend moving to weekly check-in calls using screen sharing and remote sessions to provide additional training or assistance or to walk-through specific scenarios.
In this period, we would also deliver an end-user questionnaire to get feedback to be shared with the management team and used to further refine the system and processes. The focus of the check-ins is end-user experiences, process effectiveness, and addressing questions or concerns about the system.
For the first three month-end close periods, we can provide assistance to ensure that best practices are followed and help guide the team to use the system effectively to promote efficiency and high-quality business information.
Month-end close assistance typically includes support for posting journals, recurring journals, balancing AR and AP subledgers, and bank reconciliations, plus financial reporting. During the month-end close process, it is also useful to have training sessions for users or new staff and look at opportunities for process improvement.
After one fiscal quarter of use, or sooner, depending on business need, we would facilitate a collaborative report building session and refine existing reports. At this time, we would also work with key users to evolve their system dashboards to make the information presented more relevant to their work and goals.
Explore our Mastering Month-End series for more information on best practices in this area.
Dynamic 365 runs in the cloud on Azure servers sitting atop world-class infrastructure. For this reason, there is no requirement for traditional IT operations management. However, it is best practice to monitor system performance on a continuous basis to maintain adequate storage and perform basic optimization tasks as needed, including monitoring for updates from D365 that may need to be applied.
System administration also includes changes to user permissions and roles, adding and changing users, and minor configuration changes.
New Feature Planning
With each new release and update from Dynamics 365 comes new features and capabilities. Staying educated about these changes – through blog posts or webinars – means you will understand which new features you can leverage and put together a plan to adopt them.
New releases come out at a much higher cadence than they ever did in the on-premises world. To ensure that you’re always on the latest version (and that nothing breaks in the process), we would oversee the upgrade process each time D365 publishes a new release. With each upgrade, we would run through a series of tests, or work with users to conduct tests, to make sure that the upgrades do not negatively impact any processes or data. We also validate the correct functioning of the integrations after each upgrade.
New Employee Training
What happens when a key employee exits the organization and a replacement isn’t found in time? Or what if a few of your users want a bit of a refresher? Role-specific training will keep users up to speed and on top of best practices.