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Monday, July 2, 2012

Maximizing your GP support

Posted by Armanino Dynamics Team

We’ve previously covered expediting the GP support process, but here are a few more advanced tips for GP users and administrators, as well as IT support staff tasked with assisting GP support within the organization.  

Screenshots, a picture is worth a thousand words

When you first encounter an error message, grab a screenshot and take a moment to jot down a few descriptive notes regarding the problem you’re experiencing. This will be the starting point for the support team that responds to your request and will make a huge impact on how quickly they are able to resolve your issue. A good way to think about logging an error is to treat it like a story. If you read just the ending it makes no sense, but with a little background (and photos) you can get the whole picture!
Here are a few great screen capture resources worthy of adding to your arsenal:
  • If you need an aid for screen captures, we highly recommend Jing® by TechSmith
  • Alternatively, Microsoft OneNote also provides an easy to use screen clipping tool (Windows key + S). A benefit to using OneNote is the capability to grab a specific screenshot area, which is automatically stored to the clipboard and can be pasted into an email, Word, MSPaint, or OneNote document by pressing CTRL+V. Using OneNote will also allow you build a new document and add your screenshots plus any notes you might want to add. After that, just email the page to the support team directly out of OneNote.
  • Now for those of you who don’t plan on installing additional software (or are prevented by IT policy), Windows still has the built in Print Screen function. Find the Print Screen key, and when used, you will have a screen shot loaded into your clipboard to paste into an email, Word, or your location of choice. ProTip – Print Screen grabs everything and if you use dual monitors, the popup error messages have a harder time of being read. ALT+Print Screen will capture the active window on the screen.

Location, location, location (…and context)

Along with the error message, a few other questions which can help the support team quick address your problem include:
  • What GP window did you encounter this error in?
  • What were you trying to do?
  • Are you the only one seeing this error message or do others with similar access encounter the same error?
  • Can you reproduce the error message?
Here is a great example of providing detail regarding which screen you are actually on and what you are trying to do. This level of detail goes a long way in your support consultant being able to reproduce the error, determine cause, and find solutions.

Sales Transaction Entry on Save for a new Sales Order

ORSales Item Detail Entry when adding a dropship new line item? 

This level of detail goes a long to help your support consultant in being able to reproduce the error, determine cause, and find solutions.

New support procedures

Many technicians, including myself, enjoy receiving support requests from previous clients (and oftentimes we already know the specifics, requirements, processes, and quirks of your system). However, sometimes the initial technician who worked on your project is not always available and sometimes they won’t even see an email until end of day. If the problem is not urgent and your initial tech has solved similar problems for you in the past, then please send over an email.
But if it’s a work stoppage issue or month end, here is a quicker way to get a response!
We’ve implemented JIRA for GP support for just this reason.  Login to JIRA Support and get your ticket started. You can still send your tech an email and let them know the case number and details. But with your JIRA case, you’re already in the queue. This ensures that you get the fastest support possible, and also alerts the technician who worked on your project.

During the support call

If we setup a screenshare for troubleshooting, don’t hesitate to ask questions and take notes! While we look into the issue we encourage you to take notes and screenshots on our steps to troubleshoot the problem. If you add these notes to your initial Word or OneNote error description (see above), then you can record the issue and steps to fix it all within in the same document.
If this is an error or issue that you’ve had us work on before, please ask questions! Is this something you or your staff could resolve on your own? Ask us! The best way to maximize your GP support is to pick up a few techniques and fixes so you and your team can address smaller issues and gain additional GP knowledge.

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