Part 2: Getting the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics Partner’s Helpdesk: Fix the cause before the symptoms

It’s no exaggeration to say that the most valuable thing a lot of companies have is their master and transactional data. One rogue process can destroy that value very quickly and even cause doubt about your data integrity which has an amazing impact.

Therefore, it’s not good enough to simply put the data right – you need to make sure the cause is understood and corrected/prevented.

In fact, I maintain that the priority is finding and fixing the cause. If that delays this transaction, then so be it.  Your customer will not be impressed if the same issue happens again so it’s better to take longer now understanding and solving the root cause than it is doing a quick fix.

Consistently Reproduce the Issue

The hardest ones to solve are always the ones where you know the result is wrong but you’re not sure how it got there. If it only happens infrequently, it doesn’t mean it not serious, but it does make it harder to spot the pattern of process that resulted in the failure.

The more experienced the helpdesk operator the more chance they might have seen something similar before but the more precise information you give them the better chance they have. Otherwise you have to apply age old fault finding skills of narrowing down the possibilities but that takes time and consistency from both user and helper.

Remember until the problem can be reproduced at will it will not be able to be solved. Helping your helpdesk to do that will make your life easier as well.

One thing is for certain, the old saying ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’ applies here. Issues do not go away on their own, they might go quiet for a while because some data or process is slightly different but chances are if not fully understood it will return.

No magic wands

Much as we would all like to just make every issue disappear that doesn’t happen. Your helpdesk is trying to help you get to a result as soon as possible because they will have other calls to work on after yours. All parties should remain calm and communicate clearly, that the fastest way to get the problem fully understood and that means it on the way to resolution.


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

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]

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