Online Dynamics Support Pivots Toward Microsoft Partners’ Optimization of Customer Support
By Linda Rosencrance, MSDynamicsWorld.com
First published on MSDynamicsWorld.com, August 8th 2016. To read the original article, follow this link:
When Online Dynamics Support launched its online communications and support platform in late 2015, the team believed the biggest opportunity would be around helping Dynamics ERP and CRM customers get more timely, affordable, and direct technical support by accessing a network of freelance consultants.
But, as with many new offerings, the real opportunity may have been waiting to reveal itself. The company has shifted gears slightly, keeping the platform intact but re-focusing on the needs of more traditional Microsoft channel partners.
They presented their new model recently at WPC 2016 and shared some of their latest plans with MSDynamicsWorld. “In launching Online Dynamics Support, what we found was quite a bit of interest from the partner channel in terms of looking at potential ways they could either integrate with a service like ours or see benefit from it,” says Jimmi Jakobsen, managing director of Online Dynamics Support. “So on that basis, we changed our strategy to make it a stronger proposition to partners. Although we will still have Dynamics end users using the platform independent of a partner, our key growth effort is with the partners.”
The company is now promoting its Customer Support Portal, an application allowing service organizations to connect their customers with their support teams, to improve the support communication lines, and speed up issue resolution, according to Jakobsen. The portal lets partners streamline the support delivery between their support teams and their customers, with a ticketing system as well as IM, voice call, screen share, recording, and remote control functionality to expedite support issues. “This removes the need for multiple tools/subscription costs to resolve a support issue, e.g. TeamViewer, GoToMeeting, Zendesk, etc.,” Jakobsen says. “The partner is able to distribute the platform to as many customers/users as they require.”
Partners also get another important feature with the Customer Support Portal: access to additional resources via Online Dynamics Support’s global network of independent consultants. Jakobsen says the portal provides a safe environment where partners to have full control over everything support and adding freelance consultants when necessary. “Initially, the partners are utilizing the tool as an internal tool for channeling their own support-so their support teams can freely communicate with customers,” he says. “Then when situations dictate, they can reach out to the freelance network that we have.”
That ability to scale up support resources is driving interest from partners because there is a shortage of skillset within the Dynamics industry, according to Jakobsen.
“When it comes to getting access to that skillset to deliver to a customer, partners are always keen to find the most efficient way of doing that,” he says.
The company offers the following scenario: A partner has a contractor onsite dealing with a particular customer, but when that contractor leaves for a new assignment, a lot of the customer and process knowledge goes with him. “So the value for the partner is in being able to buy a license for that contractor and have him maintain communication with the customer through the partner umbrella,” Jakobsen says. “The contractor will be happy with the additional revenue, but the true value is with the partner because they’re getting that knowledge and the relationship that the contractor had with the customer and being able to keep that as part of their business.”
At WPC 2016 the company also saw enquiries from beyond the traditional Dynamics channel – partners outside of the Dynamics ecosystem that resell Office 365 and devices for example, that are looking to use the platform for selling support services to Microsoft Dynamics users. “They don’t have the skillset internally to offer it, so they could use the platform to build what is essentially a virtual team,” Jakobsen says. “They see a revenue opportunity there, as well as an opportunity to grow their business.” And outside that arena, at the end of the day the platform is a very effective communication tool that they can utilize for their existing support delivery.”