While choosing cloud ERP can reduce hardware and IT support needed to maintain the system, a company with cloud ERP still needs application support and management resources. The number of ERP systems in the marketplace can make it challenging to recruit ERP specialists, pushing many companies to outsource their cloud ERP help desk.
Selecting the right vendor can be difficult. A cloud ERP help desk vendor must not only be an expert on the technical aspects of a particular ERP software; it must also deliver on report writing and integration, among other key support needs. The support vendor will train an organization's employees when needed, and its consulting services could lead to growth opportunities and workflow improvements.
Here's the criteria IT leaders should think about when attempting to choose an outsourced cloud ERP help desk vendor.
Is the vendor's service-level agreement a good fit?
IT leaders should review vendors' service-level agreements. The vendor needs to employ enough support agents to support the company based on priority level and ensure that the response time meets the company's needs.
Support hours are also important. If an outsourced help desk does not offer 24/7 support, a company may not receive appropriate help when an outage or system issue occurs, which can negatively affect business.
Does the vendor possess the right domain expertise?
IT leaders should also consider whether a cloud ERP support vendor has expertise in their company's specific industry. For example, if a manufacturer contacts a help desk with a warehouse module issue and the help desk staff only works on healthcare, the staff member's lack of knowledge could delay the process.
What services does the vendor offer?
Companies' ERP needs generally go beyond simply resolving their application issues. When choosing a cloud ERP support vendor, IT leaders should evaluate the following skills or services:
- Consulting services. These services will provide insights and best practices.
- Integration services. Integration services will support EDI or other third-party app integrations.
- Data management services. These services will support report writing, KPIs and other analytics needs.
- Cloud ERP customization services. These services will help with any ad hoc software that extends the ERP's capabilities.
Is the vendor's cost structure a good fit?
IT leaders' final comparison point for vendors should be support pricing structure. Leaders should ensure they understand what a vendor's support package will include. For example, some vendors may offer a flat monthly fee for unlimited cloud ERP support, while others may propose a retainer against which they bill support hours. Identifying which pricing model is the best fit is a key part of the selection process.