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3 Good Reasons for using a single support provider for Hardware, Sage 50 and Microsoft

 

Cost savings for Sage 50 users and discounts of scale for hardware support

The higher profile you have with a single supplier the more important and priority a customer you are to them.
This means that as a customer you are more likely to be able to negotiate better deals for a combined support solution, one that supports every aspect of your IT strategy.

Very often – as is the case with Qi, the more support contracts you have in place, the greater discounts of scale can be reflected.  Price is important for sure but it’s not everything.  Let’s look at the operational impact a single point of support has on your business and the benefits this can return.

1 Convenience is key especially if you are using Sage 50 Accounts and  Sage Manufacturing

A single support provider can offer flexible options regarding renewal times.

Qi for example will offer to bring support contracts ‘in line’ so that everything renews at the same time.

If our customers prefer different renewal dates at different times of the year – that’s fine too.  You are the customer and it’s about what works for you.

What software you use impacts on what hardware you need.  Where and how a business works will impact on your security requirements.  IT decisions need to be symbiotic to ensure best performance.

When we visit for your QiCover meeting which is included in an annual contract, to review services, industry changes and optimisations the wider IT strategy can be discussed.

Using one provider makes monitoring and controlling your spend much easier and the process is made much simpler by having a single point of contact. Issues are resolved faster and less of your time is taken to achieve this.

2 Convenience and Reliability accessing Sage and hardware support

Having a single point of support makes resolving issues much more effective and if your support provider is reliable and effective staff frustrations will be eased and time will be saved.

Example

An error in Sage 50 Accounts but what in your IT infrastructure is the root cause?

A customer runs both Sage 50 Accounts and Sage Manufacturing Controller on an on-premise server.  An error message displays in Sage Accounts but is due to an error in Sage Manufacturing.  You call Sage UK for accounts support but they identify the error is in fact in Manufacturing.  You hang up and then call your Sage Business Partner as they support your Sage Manufacturing.  The issue is resolved this time, but the error has actually been caused via a client PC virus.  You then call your hardware support company.

These three phone calls which will take at least 20 minutes each could be rationalised down to a single phone call to a single provider who will address the issue without taking up your time as your Sage Accounts, Sage Manufacturing, Hardware & Network support are in the same building.  In the case of Qi – some are even in the same office and in the case of Accounts and Manufacturing – in the same team!

3 Compatibility issues for Sage 50 users and support.

Many businesses choose different suppliers, and this is usually down to procurement and looking at individual costs per service and not the big picture. This approach brings with it some risk that the customer will later encounter issues with compatibility.

Example

Sage 50 Cloud and Sage 50 Manufacturing

Your accounts department subscribes to Sage 50 Cloud with Sage UK to get access to the SAGE MTD module and because the MD needs to access Sage Accounts from abroad.  Sage 50 Cloud accounting offers the benefits of continuous updates and annual grades.  As an example, 7 users on Sage 50 Cloud Accounts Professional is £140 a month to include support with Sage UK.  You don’t have to run Sage 50 Cloud on your own server, and you can access from any internet capable PC or laptop.  Sage UK as the current support provide for Sage Accounts is more than happy to organise their contract.

BUT Sage 50 Cloud is not compatible with Sage Manufacturing.  If you use Sage Manufacturing, you must install your accounts to your on-premise server.  Whilst Sage UK still allows the purchase of Sage 50 Manufacturing, they no longer run a support desk for it but rely on their network of Business Partners to support end users.

The question is not asked whether the business:

  • Needs to upgrade from their current perpetually owned licence aside from MTD and remote access
  • Will be able to make use of the updates and upgrades regularly enough considering the additional work required to maintain compatibility with Sage Manufacturing?
  • Can an alternative solution be deployed to enable the MD to access Sage from overseas?

If ultimately the decision was to move to the subscription model, the accounts department could have processed this through the Sage Business Partner that supports Sage 50 Manufacturing, not paid any more but had the benefit of the ‘joined up support’ asking pertinent questions and making the right recommendations based on the bigger picture.

If your systems and software they run are procured and supported by multiple providers, cohesion is harder to achieve, and this will directly impact on productivity by making it so much harder for colleagues to collaborate with one another with ease.

 

Conclusion

One provider, one call for all your Sage  50, Sage Manufacturing and Hardware support

Businesses should take the time to arm themselves with the information which will allow them to make the right decision that will be beneficial in the long term. Essentially, a little bit of legwork at the beginning of a relationship goes a long way in delivering long-term success.

Qi will put in the legwork with you.

As an example, at the beginning of every new QiCover Hardware contract we include an on-site audit of your current IT setup.  We check cables, switches, routers, PC’s and servers.  We discuss backups and security.  If we already support your accounts, MRP or ERP software we can easily identify any obvious changes that need to be made or any clear areas of concern.  We can make recommendations to improve processing times for example by consulting with our software support team.

And Also……..

When you need to upgrade Sage 50 Accounts and Manufacturing to the next generation of ERP our advice will be based on our holistic understanding of your IT infrastructure.

Top tips for Sage 50 users

  • You can process your Sage 50 subscription through your Business Partner, and it will cost you no more but ensures your call them directly for support.
  • Using one knowledgeable provider to support your Sage applications ensures you get access to joined up thinking as they have a holistic view of your business.
  • Using the same provider to support your hardware ensures that you always get the best advice regarding your existing network and any changes you wish to make.

 

Top tips for Office 365 licensing

The monthly cost of licensing is the same wherever you get your Office 365 licensing from.  Transferring your Office 365 licensing to your hardware support provider ensures that you can get support and advice from the same place.  Office 365 and Windows versions are linked as are Sage 50 Accounts and Office 365 versions.  Make one call and get advice and your questions answered from a single point of support.

 

FACT

94% of hardware and network issues are resolved remotely.

 

Your hardware support company does not have to be on your doorstep.  Your hardware support provider should be the best fit for your IT strategy because of knowledge, skill and immediate access to information on the software you run (colleagues) – location should not be a key factor in the decision-making process.

 

Thought for the Day

Would time be used more effectively if your staff knew that it was the same number they had to call for all their IT support calls.  Would formulating your wider IT strategy as part of your business plan be more effectively supported by a singe point of reference who understood your hardware and software needs.

Get in contact with Qi to discuss how multiple contracts can be streamlined to save you time, frustration and money.