ERP support after implementation and go-live

Complex, yet powerful: that’s the tango in a nutshell. And your ERP project – if done right. But how do you make sure your ERP selection and implementation track doesn’t hit a false note? In our many years on the floor, we’ve learned it takes an entire choreography: from determining business objectives and scope to selecting the right ERP product and partner. Don’t just take our word for it: we’ve asked our customers to chime in as well. Because we all know it takes two to tango!

Need to bring the right rhythm to your ERP project? Who better than Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Cegeka? 

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What is ERP support – and why do I need it?

The curtain is about to fall, your big ERP production is finally coming to an end… But is it? The primary ERP implementation may be over – for now - but there’s a new challenge ahead: making sure everything runs smoothly and evolves in line with your business needs.


Your job now? Help the end users adopt the new ERP system. Answer questions, offer demos, listen to their feedback… We’ve said it before: ERP is a long-term commitment, not a ‘one-and-done’ project. Be ready to get stuck in again!
 

With the right mindset and focus on optimization, a support and service organization can be a true partner to enlarge the scope of your project and to think about future growth. Discover how to support your business after a migration or implementation based on our experience. 

 

Getting started with business processes This is how we are doing this at Cegeka

 

Because based on the insights of your end users, you may need to optimize your ERP system further. Or maybe you’ve gone live with your first phase, but there are still next steps to be taken and features to be added. Whatever the case: continuous optimization and business continuity should always be the goal.

 

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The hypercare phase

After go-live, it’s all hands on deck to make sure the new ERP system runs smoothly. That means both the project team, the partner’s support team and the internal IT team are working together to strive for that stability. And that’s great, but make sure you manage expectations with the rest of your organization: it won’t always be this way.

Eventually, the project team phases out, and the support team – however that’s configured, usually a mix of partner support and internal helpdesk – takes over. This means the team grows smaller, which in turn may lead to slightly longer response times. So get organized in advance and communicate clearly to the entire organization!

 

The many styles of ERP support

ERP partners can offer many different types of support – so make sure to take it into account during the selection process. Depending on your own IT department and/or internal expertise, you may need:

  • Availability: your ERP never sleeps – particularly if your organization is active in different countries and time zones. Make sure your ERP partner offers 24/7 support, so you always have access to the expertise and support you need.

  • Business continuity: Your ERP needs to be reliable, but incidents will occur. They key is to be organized, so you can solve them quickly and eliminate or minimize impact on business. Do you have a partner that offers you service level agreements with strong response and resolution times? The right support, in a service window tailored to your business (24/7, 12/5, 24/5…) gives you that peace of mind.

  • Continuous optimization: you don’t just want to safeguard your business – you want to improve! Markets are constantly changing, and new challenges and opportunities arise. Plus, cloud applications are constantly being optimized and pushing new updates out. Being able to quickly adapt and provide an answer can give you an edge over the competition. Leverage your ERP to help you seize business opportunities!

  • Training for your internal helpdesk: ideally, the people maintaining your internal helpdesk were closely involved with the ERP project. But even so, they will need some initial (technical) support from your partner. By ensuring your ERP partner’s support, your internal helpdesk has time to grow into their new role. This in turn will improve the level of support they can give to the end users of your new ERP system. Alternatively, you can opt to fully outsource the helpdesk to your partner as well.

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How do I prepare for ERP support?

Feeling like your ERP implementation was just the tip of the iceberg and you may have bitten off more than you can chew? Don’t worry: there are some steps you can take to prepare your organization for the go-live and corresponding ERP support phase.

  • Think about support when selecting your ERP team:
    Preparing for ERP support starts from day one in your ERP project. When selecting the key users, for example: ideally, you can find people who are also willing to be part of your helpdesk after go-live. This way, they can support their colleagues and you build up internal knowledge of the ERP system.

Here’s how to assemble the right ERP crew for your project!

  • Consider the impact of support on your roadmap and budget: ERP as a strategy, combined with continuous optimization puts another perspective on your ERP and support budget. The balance shifts: your initial implementation costs will be lower, whereas the ‘support’ phase – which also covers the continuous optimization - will be higher. Besides the support, it also covers adding new functionalities and processes closely aligned to the business needs, which in turn will impact the support efforts again. In the end, there is a shift in spending: it will be more spread out over time.

Let’s talk ERP roadmap and budget

  • Think about your ERP tooling: Besides your ERP team, it pays to consider your tooling in advance as well. You want to collect all incident data in a central location, and appoint them to specific people. Ideally, there’s also the possibility for communication, so all parties involved can check the status of their support ticket. And of course, you’ll want to register all the knowledge you’re gaining about the new ERP and centralize it for future reference. If you only start working on this after go-live, you’ll have a hard time getting everything set up properly. So make sure to tackle this set-up during implementation.

    In case of continuous optimization, your ERP system will be updated regularly. Consider using test automation to lower the workload during these updates. Ideally, you can set up and roll out this test automation during implementation as well.

May we have this dance?
Cegeka and Microsoft Dynamics 365: the best ERP partners you could ask for! Get in touch and let’s choreograph your ERP track together.


Two to Tango: there’s no I in ERP

To successfully start and finish an ERP project, it takes Two to Tango. Join us and our customers as we zoom in on all things ERP – from the perspective of true partnership. Featured in this first season: the full choreography of setting up your ERP strategy.

Check out the first season

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