How to choose your Infor M3 Support Partner
Nov 26 2020
Infor customers have access to included Infor Support as part of their M3 or CloudSuite contract. Why would you seek additional support and how do you choose the right partner?
Infor has a comprehensive support offering for its M3 and CloudSuite customers. There are extensive resources and portals, many of which can be accessed via an interactive self-service portal called Infor Concierge.
However, sometimes the truly extensive nature of the offering is one of the main reasons that many companies choose to partner with an additional Infor support partner. By partnering with someone who knows and understands your business, and who can help you gain what you need, when you need it offers significant opportunity in terms of self-sufficiency, efficiency and ROI.
What to look for in an Infor support partner:
#1. Knowledge and focus on Infor CloudSuite and M3 Software
The number one thing to look for in an Infor support partner is significant knowledge of Infor software from both a functional and technical perspective.
- You need to be sure that the team you are speaking with is deeply experienced with Infor solutions, and can tap into knowledge that only comes from hands-on experience implementing and working with Infor solutions in critical production environments.
- Be aware of how many software vendors the provider claims to support. Delivering an adequate level of Infor support usually requires that this is the main focus of the provider.
- The team should have a broad depth of knowledge across functional areas of Infor M3, including but not limited to modules like Finance, Purchasing, Sales, Supply Chain Execution, Equipment, Manufacturing and Production, as well as integration and mobile solutions.
- There should be deep understanding of the entire Infor CloudSuite eco-system – including Infor OS, the core applications such as Infor M3, PLM, WMS, the ION integration platform, AI and Analytics.
- The team should have top-level proven technical skills to support development requirements and that these will deliver the best business results. For Infor CloudSuite support it is important to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest possibilities in the solution. A good question to ask is about recent evidence of the capabilities of the technical team in the CloudSuite environment.
#2. Front-line support backed up by a team of Infor specialists
As we all know, front-line support sometimes stops there. The front-line team of your Infor support partner should not only be skilled enough to quickly interpret and investigate your issue in a meaningful way, but they need to be able to rapidly escalate and leverage the knowledge of an experienced team.
The front line support team members should retain ownership, drive resolution, and keep you informed of progress, with the perspective of someone who understands your issue and how it is impacting your business.
#3. Reduces the need for Infor product support
The software vendor is almost always responsible some level of support such as systems support. But did you know that the vast majority of software bugs raised in this category can be resolved without the need to go to Infor support. For example, a good support partner can often identify that it’s not actually a software bug, but related to another issue such as user-error or data issues. A support team who knows your business and implementation makes it easier to identify this, which will avoid extra time and communication spent on unnecessary issue resolution with Infor Support
There will be times when you will need to go to Infor Support and in these cases it’s important to have a team who can be a bridge between your business and Infor support. Someone who understands your issue, your business, and how to be an advocate with Infor support to ensure you get the speediest and best resolution to your issue.
#5. Enables self-sufficiency
Many support engagements don’t proactively seek to enable your self-sufficiency, but a quality support provider understands that enabling customers to be self-sufficient where possible is a better long-term proposition for everyone. Whilst a support provider should be able to handle any issue that arises, no matter how big or small, it is best practice to build knowledge in the customer through a proactive support framework. The support team should have processes and protocols in place to avoid recurrance and reporting of similar small issues through ongoing education and training. Fluency to the vast repository available in the Infor Support portals are key to this.
#6. Values partnership
This is one of the most important criteria. Beyond an implementation, migration or an upgrade, the support engagement is the relationship that remains. Your Infor support partner should walk hand-in-hand with you over the life of your implementation understanding your business goals and changing priorities to ensure you are always getting the most from your Infor applications.