In talking to customers who are looking at moving support, it's interesting to hear some of the things they are told by their incumbent Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central partner to stop them from doing so!
We take over customers' Dynamics NAV Support and Dynamics 365 Business Central Support every week and currently serve over 500 customers who began their Dynamics NAV journey with a variety of different resellers.
It is very rare to find inaccessible code. Where this is the case, it is generally through unethical practices by the occasional reseller and it should not be assumed that this is a regular occurrence. Whatever your situation, we will always try to find a way to assist you.
We have processes before onboarding customers to ensure that we can access everything that we will need to going forward in our relationship with you. We also carry out an audit process to allow us to discuss any difficulties that may exist from your experience with your previous reseller.
Again in our experience, this is rarely an issue. We can divide modifications and changes to your system into two areas. Firstly, modifications carried out in the normal customer range that have been done for you specifically. You can continue to use these modifications regardless of partner. Add-on ISV products (for example, Zetadocs and Continia) can be used too, you will simply pay BREP through your new reseller and onwards to the ISV.
The last category is ISV code that is industry specific, for example a vertical market product written by your existing reseller in a controlled ISV range in your licence. You can still continue to use this software (unless you have a contract that specifically excludes this after a change of partner), however you may be required to continue to pay BREP or subscription costs if you currently do on those products to your current reseller.
It is worth saying that this type of reseller authored ISV product is the area most likely to make a transfer more difficult but we have extensive experience dealing with this circumstance, having done so for many of our customers in the past.
Wrong! In short, you can move your licence and therefore your Microsoft Enhancement contract at any point - the contract is between you and Microsoft, not you and the partner.
It's worth checking that the partner contract doesn't stipulate that Microsoft Enhancement forms part of their contract but to be honest, it doesn't matter too much, as long as you've paid you can move or if it's due for renewal then you can move and then pay!
You know there is a certain degree of truth in this, but let's explore that a little more...
If your current partner still has the original team who implemented the solution, then yes they will have some better head knowledge on you and your systems. In reality, the staff who did the original install have moved on and taken with them the aforementioned precious knowledge. The fact you're looking around says that you're not getting great service or direction and therefore this argument only holds water if the original team are there and are actively engaged with you as a customer.
The success of any new partner depends on how good their take-on methodology is. Any good Dynamics NAV/Business Central techie can look at code and the developer notes, to get an idea of how it's working technically. But is that really enough? We don't think so, which is why when we take on a customer, we get the users to walk us through all of their key processes, essentially their 'Day in the Life'. Then we can get a much better idea of what we are supporting and in the context of their business. This also helps us identify potential issues, quick wins and start to work with the customer to develop a long term systems strategy.
The most common issue we come across are cancellation clauses and more to the point, contracts not being cancelled in time! The majority of Dynamics NAV/Business Central partners will have the following terms in the support agreements and it's something most customers are not aware of until they come to terminate the agreement.
Essentially the clause will say something like 'the agreement requires the customer to provide written notice of termination at least three months prior to the contract renewal date.' In practice, this means that if your support contract renewal date is 1st January, you should have given written notice to the partner by 30th September. If you don't, then legally you're obliged to re-sign for another year. The practical solution? Give notice to your partner every time you renew or negotiate a rolling quarterly contract. We are strong believers that great service, good advice and value for money should be enough to keep customers, so we don't insist on tricky little clauses that tie people in unknowingly.