Part 1: Getting the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics Partner’s Helpdesk

As I said in my last post, most companies that depend on Microsoft Dynamics pay a substantial fee annually for the services of a helpdesk that is usually run by their partner of choice. Having spent years of my life on the other end of those services I thought it might help if I did a series of posts about how to get the best results from those helpdesk services.

Logging Issues

Most partners have multiple ways to log issues these days with not just traditional phone lines, but everything from online portals, to Skype. Actually it doesn’t matter which way you log it – as long as you follow these guidelines:


Different companies have different policies about who logs the calls – with larger companies often passing them through a coordinating function often run by their IT department. For me, this is not important, as long as you have a way of making sure multiple people are not logging the same issue (it’s not just wasted time but multiple people tackling the same issue can cause further problems) and the person logging the call is the one who understands the issue.

It’s no good IT staff logging issues that are finance or logistics specific. Far better the people who have the expertise in your organisation log it, having checked with your IT co-ordinator first and updating them as the issue is progressed or resolved. Otherwise you get the ‘Chinese whisper’ relay which inevitably distorts the symptoms and questions delaying the resolution.


Use any of the methods you’re comfortable with but make sure that you give precise information. This should include:

  • Any error messages you’ve had in full, screen capture them if possible
  • Enough information to reproduce the error including account, document or item numbers for instance
  • Explain precisely why you think it’s wrong and what it should have done, what is the desired outcome?
  • An idea of the severity of the issue and who it is affecting, what is it stopping and the impact?

I know all of the above sound obvious but you’d be amazed how often we get an email saying ‘my journals got a error I don’t understand’ without even telling you what type of journal let alone the batch or what the error message was. That just slows down the issue.


Your helpdesk will have a service level agreement (or SLA) which they will respond by, it’s usual these days to have different ones for different severities. Don’t make everything you log a ‘critically urgent’ case because they will desensitise and when you really need help they will not know. Be sensible and assess what the real impact is and to how many people. Follow up with a phone call if it really is critical, let them really understand your systems are all down. Ask for regular updates as to progress if it’s not an instant fix but making sure giving you those updates doesn’t slow the case down.

Again, it’s obvious, but when I have a massively urgent case that I deal with and ask further questions of the client and they tell me that it will be week before they can get to it, what do you think my reaction will be to the next urgent call from that client. It’s a two way street and to get the best from people (and helpdesks are all about people) you need to give it the same priority that you’re asking for.


This post is part of a 2-part series. A link to all the posts in this series are below;