Running Dynamics 365 in a cloud environment helps you take advantage of a myriad of benefits. Relying on the cloud means that your support needs are different, versus an on-premises environment. Furthermore, your business needs are specific to your strategic plan for growth. It follows, then, that not just any Microsoft partner will do. You need a partner who differentiates itself from the average partner; one who can offer stellar cloud and Dynamics support. Many Microsoft partners offer technical support for your Dynamics system running on an Azure environment. This kind of support is also called ‘managed services’ which are provided by a ‘managed services partner’. Essentially, a managed services partner is charged with keeping your cloud and Dynamics system in tip top shape. When you start the vetting process for your Microsoft support partner, begin with a short list of partners who offer managed services. Then, ask these four questions to make sure they are close fit for your company’s Dynamics and cloud support needs.

Will your managed services partner resolve your issues immediately?

No matter where your employees are located, no matter when they work, they need to have immediate access to tech support to resolve any issues that arise. Your managed services partner should have support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is essential for global companies. If your managed services support partner only operates 8am to 5pm GMT, that leaves many employees out of luck if they are based in other time zones. This could mean a delay in having a technical issue processed, putting you behind schedule. Your managed services partner’s reaction time is important, but how well they know your system is also crucial. Your managed services partner should have customer service centres in aspects that are critical to keeping your system running. Having competency centers means they have the expertise to resolve issues, even the tricky ones, quickly, so your employees can get back to work right away.

Does your managed services partner leverage intelligent monitoring?

Intelligent monitoring is an important aspect in optimising your system before an issue arises. This is the differentiating factor between reactive and proactive support—finding ways to remove system hindrances before it causes an issue. Intelligent monitoring minimises downtime, reduces the number of errors and helps your systems to run around the clock.

Has your current managed services partner only made useful recommendations?

A managed services partner should be that—a partner. True partners don’t try to push services or options that your business doesn’t need. True partners are also diligent in presenting recommendations that they sincerely believe will help improve your business. To offer useful recommendations, your managed services partner should be ‘in the know.’ Does your managed services partner keep a finger on the pulse in the Microsoft ecosystem? Your partner should be aware of the latest and most helpful pieces of information applicable to your business, then bring it to your attention.

Does your managed services partner have competency centers and skills to help your company grow?

Gartner defines competency centers as:

An organizational structure used to coordinate IT skills with an enterprise. Competency centers provide expertise for project or program support, acting both as repositories of knowledge and resource pools for multiple business areas. Skills-based competency centers, the most common type in an information services organization, are used for application development, software language skills, data management, Internet development and network design.

In short, competency centers are skills and expertise that support your business. Think about how you want your business to grow. Can your managed service provider help you manage change? Can your managed service provider take care of all the details to get your business is ready for the next level of scaling up across different geographic regions? What Now? If you’ve answered ‘NO’ to the questions above, it might be time to look for another partner. HSO’s Global Managed Services offers all of the benefits above, as well as training, application management, continuous optimisation and more. To talk to someone to find out if we’re a good fit for your business, get in touch with us. Read more about the business value of Global Managed Services by downloading the White paper below.

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