The Support Problem
Unit4 Financials is one of the most flexible and powerful “best-of-breed” accounting systems in the world, but like all highly configurable applications, to allow for organisational growth and regulatory changes, you need application experts to keep the system running, ensure end users are fully supported and make/implement any configuration changes they require.
Typically, client’s employ in-house Coda Financials application support specialist(s) to support the finance system but as these staff move on in their careers are promoted or leave the business, the detailed application, technical and process knowledge left behind in the business can deteriorate.
Unfortunately, it’s also often the case that ongoing investment to support re-configuration of the finance system may be placed at the bottom of the pile when it comes to updates and maintenance, so before long organisations can find themselves in a difficult position. Some may find that they are are forced to operate with a finance system performing inefficiently as it was configured many years previously for a different or smaller business, or that it has not been kept up with current working practices and is not fit to meet their current requirements, or perhaps they are operating an unsupported version of the application and may perhaps be putting themselves at risk of technology failure with no/limited in-house skills to improve the situation.
In all these cases, our experience has shown that the client’s finance team often have to develop laborious and un-necessary workarounds where the users are hindered from operating efficiently and effectively. The result – a lot of wasted time and effort that could be better deployed on more value added activities.
In other cases it may be that clients already do have excellent in-house support skills but there might be specific areas of the application that they are not overly familiar with so maybe they need some specific technical advice and help on the application and they could do with a helping hand/expert to call on? Or it might be that the clients in-house support team are fully tied up on day-to-day support matters and so are unable to help the business implement important change projects? Or maybe they just want some holiday back-up or cover for other forms of absence.
This is where Millennium’s outsourced Service Desk can help
Millennium Consulting established the customer Service Desk in 2015 and currently support organisations using Unit4 Financials all over the world.
The Millennium Service Desk team currently consists of consultant grade application and technical experts who have many years of experience of working with the Unit4 (Coda) Financials system and are available to help answer any questions that you or your users have.
The Millennium Service Desk can be engaged to complement your current Unit4 Financials support & maintenance agreement (which provides for error logging, product fixes and new releases) by giving you access to accounting and technical experts who can answer any of your “How to” and Set-up/configuration questions, and assist you with your ongoing system maintenance tasks.
Using a state-of-the-art ticketed support management system, Millennium’s team of experts can be on the end of a phone, email or remote dial-in, in a matter of minutes to assist you with your software system.
Their prompt involvement can help you resolve issues quickly, with the minimum of downtime so with client portal access to our ticketing system you will always have full visibility over the status of all calls logged including full SLA monitoring and issue escalation features.
- Reduced headcount
- Lower operational and labour costs
- Improved business focus
- Business process streamlining
- Increased expertise (250+ years of experience)
- Immediate support for all modules from an accredited Unit4 Partner
- Rapid response and resolution times
- Optimal system performance
- Reduced systems risk
- Increased technology landscape awareness
- New user training
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Peace of mind
Managed by the Service Desk Manager based at the Kent Millennium Head Office, the current Service Desk team comprises 10 x Unit4 Financials Application and 6 x Unit4 Financials Technical consultants.
Each consultant has between 8 and 30 years experience working with Unit4 Coda Financials, giving a combined team experience of some 282 years.
For clients with international support needs then Millennium’s UK and Europe team service desk team provide support from 8am GMT until 6pm, then the US service desk team take over until 10pm GMT (5pm EST) Mon to Fri. (Note that Out of hours and weekend support is also available on request). Our consultants are based out of the following locations and where necessary can provide
- Unit4 Financials V4 - V15 (Previously known as Coda Financials)
- Unit4 Purchase Order Processing (POP)
- Unit4 Purchase Invoice Matching (PIM)
- Unit4 Financials Billing
- Unit4 Financials Fixed Assets
- Unit4XL (CodaXL)
- Unit4 Financials Workflow
- Unit4 Financials Flex-fields
- Unit4 Financials Analyser
- Unit4 Travel & Expenses
- Unit4 People Planning
- Unit4 Time Management
- Unit4 Italian Localisation
- Unit4 Financial Performance Management (FPM)
- Unit4 RAMS (Retail)
- Millennium - AutoCash
- Millennium - Interface Manager
- Millennium - B2C
Free up your key resources, reduce risk and keep up to date with change.
The Millennium Application Consulting team are not only experts in the Unit4 Financials application but also working with finance teams. They will support your finance / business users with advice on “Best Practice” set-up and answer their ‘How to?’ questions.
At busy times such as the month end or during staff holidays, sickness leave or maternity, our team are at hand to take over and assist with tasks, users can also shadow the service desk consultant to learn how to do these tasks themselves in future. Typical application support tasks include:
Unit4 Financials: Add new users, Training new users, Add new companies, Acquisitions/mergers and new chart of accounts, Add supplier / customer, Security profile administration, Portal customisation, Report creation & maintenance, Left / right rule set-up, Hierarchy grouping, Workflow set-up - documents and elements, Allocations – basis and proportional, Multi company combined reporting, Create remittances using print formatter, Create payfiles (eg BACS/SEPA) etc.
Unit4 Assets: Bulk load assets, Copy asset config across companies, Configure asset masters, etc.
Unit4XL (CodaXL): Setup Journal loader, Setup Browse details, Setup Browse reports, Setup Balance (budget) loader, Setup Master data, etc.
Purchasing & Invoice Matching: Bulk load Items, Copy company, Set up self billing, Set up deferred matching, Create PO's using print formatter, etc.
Billing: Bulk load Items, Copy company, Create sales invoices using print formatter, etc.
Our Application team will work with you to put together a schedule to ensure that all the required maintenance tasks are carried out by either the Millennium Service Desk Applications team, or your own team with our support, or these tasks typically include:
Running Year End and System Integrity: Running year end is essential to close off the year and lock down the information for that year so that it can not be tampered with in future. It will also help with system performance. If you have not run a year end, when carrying out tasks like background matching, the system will be trying to match all the data since the last time you ran a month or year end. If this was many years ago, there could be huge amounts of data , and this may take more processing power than your system was set-up to handle and can cause your server to shut down. Includes running Document and Balance Audits an integral part of YE processing Running year end is not a particularly difficult process, but many of our clients prefer to have one of our expert Application team on hand to assist them through the process.
Reports Maintenance: Organisations are continually growing and evolving and new regulatory requirements are regularly being released across the world. As a result your Unit4 Financials and Unit4XL reports need updating. The Millennium Application team can develop or amend reports for you, or assist and train you how to do this yourself.
Workflow Hierarchy Maintenance: As people leave and join your organisation, or get promoted or have a change of responsibility, you will need to amend the workflow hierarchy. This requires a good understanding of Unit4 Financials Workflow.
Archiving: Depending on your specific requirements, or the amount of data inputted into your Unit4 Financials database, archiving should be scheduled every 1, 3 or 6 months.If archiving is not carried out, the response time for queries/searches/browses/transactional reports could start slowing down over time. This may be because your users are searching through millions of lines of data containing transactions paid/matched over a year ago, which may be irrelevant to their day to day reporting requirements.
Within Financials archiving your data does not mean that you can no longer browse it. When running a query, you have the option to search the live data, or include archived data. The majority of your browse requests are probably required to search only on active and most recent data so if you are regularly archiving, your searches of data will only view relevant live data, maintain optimal search response times and not slow down over time.
The Millennium Application team can help you set up the archiving feature in your Unit4 Financials system , then train the users to run the archiving at the agreed scheduled time.
With a combined experience of over 65 years supporting Unit4 Financials, there aren’t many technical issues out team have not seen and resolved in the past. If your system goes down, or becomes unresponsive, runs slowly or interfaces fail, our technical team can be remoted onto your system within minutes to investigate and help you resolve.
Typical technical issues and resolutions include:
- Server restarts
- Application re-installations
- Error Log checking
- Interface errors
- Unit4XL (CodaXL) connection to Unit4 Financials
- Unit4 Financials Services have ceased running
- Deploy Web Server (Wildfly /
lassfish / Tomcat) updates
- Trouble shooting Unit4 Financials
- Custom font deployments for the cheques
- Custom Scripts to Automate Production to Test Database copy
- On demand Production Company Copy to the Test Database
- Language pack deployment
- Develop, Setup and deploy Unit4 Structure Output API for multi formatted data extraction (csv, xml, txt etc)
Millennium’s expert Technical Unit4 Financials Consultants can monitor and maintain your system so you don’t have to. It is essential that your system is kept up-to-date, error free and performing at optimal speeds. For this to be achieved, the required Systems Maintenance may include:
New Release installs: Previously known as Service packs, Unit4 provide new Releases for the latest two versions of Unit4 Financials every 6 weeks. New releases contain bug fixes and also new functionally.
Unit4 Financials Environment monitoring, Including: Log table maintenance, Link table maintenance, Application and Web server log maintenance
Back-up LIVE and Refresh to TEST: Taking a backup of your LIVE system and
refreshing your TEST system should be carried out periodically, depending on how much
development you co on your system. Having an identical TEST and LIVE system is important as whenever you amend or develop your system, or add new modules or install
Releases, you need to be certain that even though your testing was successful in TEST, it will be the same in LIVE.
Database re-indexing and performance tuning: It ensures that Unit4 Financials continues to perform at optimal speeds when querying the data from the database.
Certificate conversion and deployment activities
Web Server Upgrades (Wildfly): Applying patches and upgrade the Wildfly software as approved by UNIT4
Microsoft Updates support: You should not set your Microsoft updates to automatic. When installing Microsoft updates, you must first install on your TEST system to ensure everything still works as it should. Unit4’s Releases contain updates to ensure your system is compatible with the Microsoft updates.
Regular Technical Reviews to cover
Technical set up: Database and application server performance, RDBMS update review, Operating system environment error checking, Releases/Service Pack check, Database maintenance check, Database local disk backup check, Web servers check, Core thick client configuration check, Test environment set up, Disaster recovery review, Reporting server check, License audit, Bespoke software review.
Many of the Service Desk team are also experienced trainers and can provide remote training for your staff. Whether the training you require is applications or technical, or for new staff/beginner, intermediate or advance, or for a particular specialist module or simply for something you do not know; just raise a training request via a support ticket and one of our team will contact you to arrange an agenda and a convenient time for the training.Typical training sessions include:
Basic: Starting to use Financials, Home Page & Menu, Favourites & History, Icons & Navigation, Dates, Enquiries and Running a report.
Accounts Assistant: Entry clerk training plus: Creating a journal, Posting a journal, Intercompany, Reconciliation, Changing periods, Reversing journals, Audit reports, Year end process, Designing reports, Create Asset type, Asset depreciation, Disposing of Assets, Unit4XL Journal loader, Unit4XL Browse details, Unit4XL Browse reports, Unit4XL Balance loader and Unit4XL Master data.
Entry Clerk: Dates, Intray & Management, Enquiries, Accounts Receivable, Add customer, Enter customer invoice, Accepting Receipts ,Accounts Payablem, Add supplier, Enter supplier invoice, Posting to the intray, Posting to the books and Creating a payment run
Super User / IT Systems: Customisation, Administration, Company Creation, Archiving, Masters, Reports, Workflow, Unit4XL, Dashboard Design and Modifications, Creating Data Selectors and Presenters, Creating Dataviews and metadata for Unit4 Financials internal or
Accountant: Accounts Assistant plus: Company creation, Archiving, Elements, Selectors & Presenters, Currency & exchange rates, Banks, Tax codes, Documents, Changing periods, Reversing journals, and Audit reports.
Technical Maintenance: Releases installations, Log table maintenance, Link table maintenance, Web server log maintenance, App server log maintenance, Refresh TEST environment ,Database re-indexing, Performance tuning, App re-installations, On demand Production Company Copy to the Test Database, Language pack deployment and Develop/Setup/deploy Unit4 Structure Output API for data extraction (csv, xml, txt etc)
There are two reasons why Outsourcing work to Millennium Service desk and help towards reducing your carbon footprint.
1.Millennium is a carbon neutral organisation
As of 2019, Millennium Consulting has taken steps to ensure that the company is carbon neutral. Millennium has achieved this by offsetting all of it’s energy and staff travel carbon emissions by taking part in a scheme to plant native trees in Kenya.
Millennium appointed an internal environmental team who has developed Sustainability Work
Policies and invested time in training employees on the importance of sustaining the environment. Some of these activities include, the elimination of single use plastics from offices, the introduction of more plants into offices, paperless work practices and also the head office team has organised local beach clean littler pick events on the South Kent Coast.
2. Reduced headcount or consultancy requirements
Every person in the workplace has a carbon foot print, their travel to work, energy
consumption, and indirect organisational processes associated with employing a permanent member of staff. Or when you hire contractors, this typically involves even more travel and the use of extra equipment and resources.
By utilising Millennium Outsourced Service Desk, 100% of support is carried out remotely. The
consultants work from their home offices so there is no travel required to either Millennium offices or a the customers.
The only indirect organisational process is agreeing and purchasing a Service Desk contract every 6, 12 or 24 months.
If you are interested in Millennium’s Service Desk, your Millennium Account Manager will work with you to assess your support requirement. This is to identify how many hours of support per month you require and if you require just a few hours to help your team out when they need it, or if you require a fully outsourced support team, or somewhere in between.
Once the estimate has been agreed, your Service Desk contract will be drawn up and sent to you for approval.
Typically Service Desk contracts start with an initial duration of 3 months. When the first 3 month period is complete, we take a look at the usage to identify if our estimation of required hours was roughly correct, or if you require more or less hours going forward.If you use up your hours before the end of the contract, we will continue to provide your support and invoice you for any overtime at the end of each month, or we can renew the contract early. If you reach the contract end date with a number of unused hours, you do not lose them, we either roll them into the next contract, or you can use them up with consultancy.
Depending on the complexity of your system and processes, we will either carry out an on-site systems and process review and support handover documentation project, or we will send you a support handover web-form to complete. The information provided in either scenario provides Millennium’s Service Desk team with the knowledge required to provide a fast issues resolution service.
Once we have you set-up on our internal Support/Ticketing system, a kick-off Web Meeting will be arranged to introduce your nominated users to our team and a demo of how the service works will be provided, with a walkthrough of the ticketing and on-line portal process. During this meeting we will also discuss your maintenance and account management requirements and a schedule will be agreed.
You will then be LIVE on Millennium Service Desk system and all your nominated users will be able to access the Millennium team by email, telephone or through your online portal. All information will be logged in the Service Desk ticketing system available to view at any time through the portal.
Millennium’s consultants will answer queries via phone or email, and when required access your system (adhering to your organisation security protocols) via a direct VPN or using a web meeting service like WebEx or TeamViewer .
At the end of every month our Service Desk Manager will email you with a usage report. You can also view your usage and tickets by logging into your on-line portal.
At the end of the first contract period, If we are happy that our estimation of required hours is correct, then we will renew the contract for a longer period of 6, 12 or 24 months.
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