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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group Inc.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Helps College Students Make the Grade in a Tight Job Market – While Michigan-based Technical Support Team Makes Life Easier for the Professors


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We have a really interesting client in Michigan for whom we act as their outsourced Microsoft Dynamics GP technical support desk.

For over 30 years, our client has published high-quality supplements for collegiate accounting and information systems courses, including popular courseware for Microsoft Dynamics GP. Over time, the company has slowly and strategically added to its product line. Today, the company publishes eight supplements; six are authored by its distinguished staff.

Just recently,  the director of operations for the publishing company told us that training with Microsoft Dynamics GP software gives new accounting graduates a leg up in a tight job market.

The long-term job outlook for accounting is strong. The field is projected to expand 22 percent by 2018, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau report notes that “as many business processes are now automated, practical knowledge of computers and their applications is a great asset for jobseekers in the accounting and auditing fields.” About 1.3 million people held accounting or auditing jobs in the United States in 2008. The field is expected to experience “much faster than average employment growth from 2008-2018,” the report says.

Companies who choose to invest in a Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting system know that more and more students are learning the application, allowing for an easier and efficient hiring process.

“We’ve had people tell us that their students are getting jobs because of our books, because they know the software,” the publisher’s operations director says. “I think The TM Group has helped with that because if as students they have a positive experience with the software, they’re more likely to go out there and recommend it to their new employers.”

“A lot of them are getting jobs because they can say, yes, I know how to use Microsoft Dynamics GP and I learned using the leading college text book. Companies like that,” she says. “The future employee has  already completed the training.”

The publisher has produced Microsoft Dynamics GP supplements for accounting professors for about a decade – the 5th edition of Computerized Accounting Using Microsoft Dynamics GP was released in 2010. The company had three employees when it first published the supplement. Today, the company remains small, with just four employees.

The Director of Operations  is heavily involved in writing and editing the materials. Because the firm is so small, she originally had the additional duty of fielding calls from professors with software installation issues.

“Being a medium- to large-sized accounting package, Microsoft Dynamics GP is very powerful, which is great,” she says. “But the flipside of that is more things can go wrong.

“I was getting inundated with questions, not about our book, but rather ‘I can’t get the software loaded.’ I’d say, ‘well you have to do this and this’ – but I’m not a computer person. I’m functional, but when it gets to giving error codes that have seven digits on them, I don’t know what they mean. It was over my head.

I would end up having to submit the issue to tech support at Microsoft. That worked, but it was very cumbersome. I’d submit a request, then they’d submit an answer to me; I’d send it to the professor, then the professor would send me a further question. Every question took forever to get answered.”

They concluded that a partner was needed to provide Microsoft Dynamics GP technical support to their professors.  “The people in the Education Division at Microsoft suggested we might want to talk to The TM Group,”  the director explains.

The company prides itself on great customer service. Partnering with The TM Group has enhanced the firm’s client-based reputation while also allowing staffers to focus more on their areas of expertise – accounting and publishing.

“It has really simplified my life because I don’t get a lot of technical questions,” the director says. “There are still some headaches out there because professors are trying to use a commercial package in an educational setting. Every school has a different setup for its computer lab, so there are an exponential number of problems that can happen.

“The good news is: I haven’t had to deal with too many of them.”

The partnership between The TM Group and the publisher has run smoothly. Communication between the two companies has been minimal – which is a good thing, the director explains.

“We have a technical staff on hand that can handle any issues when they install software,” explains a senior  TM Group consultant. . “Probably 90 percent of what we field is installation errors, resolving configuration issues.”

The partnership permits professors to quickly and easily resolve software issues. Professors seeking technical support can tap directly into The TM Group’s support desk. The TM Group consultants average more than 15 years’ experience.

The TM Group support team is available through email during normal business hours. Our staff responds to every email – usually instantly, at most within one business day. Often, we are able to  immediately resolves the problem.

Also, affordability of its product line is vital to the small publisher’s business model. The firm keeps the suggested retail price of its publications well below the competition (whose materials can range from $100 to $200.)  Partnering with The TM Group has them keep operating expenses low enough to continue offering their products at a competitive price.

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics business solutions, The TM Group and our complete range of consulting implementation services and dedicated technical support team, please email me at kenj@tmgroupinc.com or  call 888-482-2864.  Please visit our website at www.tmgroupinc.com for details and upcoming calendar of our Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM training classes we well.

By The TM Group, a Michigan partner for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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