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The hidden cost of free NetSuite support



 

Although NetSuite does not typically offer free support directly from the company itself, some NetSuite Solution Providers do offer a headline grabbing free NetSuite support service. However, these kind of free support offerings often come with a number of hidden costs and not all of them are financial.

 

NetSuite’s support options

 

NetSuite itself offers three tiers of support, ranging from Basic Support, through Premium Support and Advanced Customer support.

 

NetSuite’s Basic Support is included within all NetSuite subscriptions and so could be termed ‘free support’ as it is bundled in with the ongoing cost of the software. Basic Support is just that and offers online support for defects and critical issues via the SuiteAnswers knowledge base and access to the NetSuite Support Community group.

 

This community group allows you to ask questions and seek advice from other NetSuite users and experts. While this isn't official support from NetSuite, you can often find helpful advice and solutions here.

 

The next tier, NetSuite Premium Support provides added assistance, offering help for critical and non-critical issues, priority case queuing, weekend support, early notification of upcoming releases, and commerce response services, although this attracts an additional ‘premium’ fee.

 

The top tier of NetSuite support is Advanced Customer Support and offers to proactively keep your NetSuite system running at its best, ensuring that it scales alongside your business. This again is a premium offering which can be negotiated with NetSuite.

 

It’s also worthwhile pointing out that NetSuite provides various training resources, including documentation, videos, and webinars, which can help you understand and troubleshoot issues on your own.

 

NetSuite Solution Provider support

 

It’s likely that you used a NetSuite Solution Provider to implement your NetSuite solution for you, these are specialist consulting firms and individual consultants who specialise in NetSuite implementation and support.

 

While most NetSuite partners offer support packages, most will not offer free NetSuite support and there is a good reason why. Those that do offer free support are likely using a marketing technique known as the ‘freemium’ model: basic free support with more complicated issues covered by their premium plan, which inevitably persuades you to sign-up to their ‘premium’ or paid support contract.

 

Why free support is a false economy

 

Supporting a NetSuite implementation is key to its success. NetSuite is an organic system that is designed to be scaleable, so it can grow as your business grows and your needs from the system evolve.

 

At its most basic level, NetSuite support should include a dedicated helpdesk – with a real human being to talk to – for any minor support issues that are required. In addition, the system will need some ongoing maintenance and technical tweaks that will require the skills of a NetSuite developer. This kind of solution is fine for companies with modest growth plans to be achieved organically, a relatively straight-forward NetSuite implementation, and no plans to expand or extend its capabilities.

 

Companies with more ambitious plans, seeking to grow more rapidly and to expand the capabilities of their system will require a much more intense level of support. In addition to the basic support needs, there will be a requirement for onboarding and training employees, extending some functionality of the NetSuite implementation and a drive to optimise their systems to drive that growth. This increased ambition increases the requirement from the NetSuite partner in terms of time and resources, which may include system architects, developers, and training specialists.

 

For companies who plan on rapidly developing and extending their NetSuite system, the level of support required will be even more intense. Such requirements will require the skills of business analysts, system architects, database engineers and technical developers. These kind of support requirements require serious ongoing investment and the building of a true working partnership between client and solutions provider.

 

Free support isn’t great support

 

Considering the needs that we’ve outlined above; it becomes clear that no company could provide the kind of support to fulfil those needs on a no-cost basis. And in fact, you wouldn’t want them too. Consider a scenario where you’ve experienced a serious technical problem that means your staff cannot use the system. This would not be a good time for your allocation of ‘free’ support to have expired this month!

 

When considering your NetSuite support options, it is important to think about your requirements from the NetSuite not just now, but in a few years from now. It’s important to review your growth plans and to integrate the growth of the system into those plans. A good NetSuite Solution Provider will factor in your growth plans and support requirements into any implementation proposal, before the system is built and certainly not after.

 

We build your growth and support plans into our implementation proposals as a matter of course, and we also help support companies that have not benefitted from that kind of attention to detail as well. Whether you’re considering a new NetSuite implementation, or need help with a poorly implemented one, get in touch with the NetSuite experts.

    

 

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