Microsoft Support Response Times – Mysteries Revealed

Written By: Sheri Carney of The Resource Group

from August 20, 2012

How long will it be until Microsoft responds to a support request for Microsoft Dynamics GP? When we need a solution by “yesterday,” it may seem like the answer to this question is enigmatic. Truth be told, there is actually a method to the madness! The key to knowing when to expect a response to a query lies within the Microsoft Dynamics GP Enhancement Plan you’re currently on.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP):
Customers on this base-level plan can expect a response time within eight business hours of the original request. That goes both for one-off incidents as well as for five-pack support packages.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Ready Advantage Plan (BRAP):

Customers pay an additional 2% of their System List Price to get the perks of this plan, which include six prepaid support incidents with Microsoft. The response time for the bonus prepaid incidents, as well as any additional one-off incidents or five-packs purchased, is a quick three hours.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Ready Advantage Plus Plan (BRAPP):
Just when everything seemed so straightforward, along comes the plan whose answer to “When will you get back to me?” is “It depends.” Customers on this plan pay an additional 9% of their System List Price over the base-level plan in order to receive unlimited support from Microsoft. However, the response time for this support is severity based. When a customer on the BRAPP plan initiates a support incident with Microsoft, they are directed to a series of Yes/No questions, which then calculate a decision on what the response priority should be. A “No” answer to any question brings the customer to the next question in the series.

Question 1: “Does this issue concern a production server that is currently down, or do you have a loss of a system that is creating a critical work stoppage?” A “Yes” to this question generates a “systems down” or “code red” notification to let Microsoft know that immediate help is needed. As long as the customer confirms that they are able to work through the issue at any hour, they are assigned a critical response time of within two hours. If the customer is unable to commit to availability at any hour, the case is classified as moderate and will be responded to within four hours.

Question 2: “Does this issue make you unable to deploy or ship on schedule?” This question provides the same results as the previous, with a “Yes” answer resulting in the assignment of either within a two- or four-hour response time based on the customer’s availability.

Question 3: “Does this issue have the potential to provide a company-wide work stoppage?” A “Yes” to this question qualifies for a four-hour response time as systems are not down but will be if the issue is not resolved. This is the final question in the series So if you get to this one and answer “No,” the incident is considered a minimum business impact and assigned a response time of within eight hours.

Regardless of the plan level you’re on, the key to speeding up the resolution time of a support case is to provide as much detail as possible when starting the request. This advice comes from first-hand experience. When I am providing support at the Help Desk of The Resource Group, the fewer emails exchanged with our customers to find out the version information, background details, what changes have occurred, screenshots of errors and what has been done so far to attempt to fix the issue, the faster we can get to the meat of the problem and achieve resolution.

Now that the mapping of the Microsoft assigned support response times has been decoded and tips have been shared as to what information to include in the initiation of a support incident, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and those impacted by the issue. It is important that you make sure that the Microsoft Dynamics GP plan purchased coincides with the response times expected. While there is no plan that promises “yesterday,” you can definitely avoid panic by understanding the options, choosing appropriately, and providing detailed and accurate information.