Frequent contact with Technical Team Members can make your work easier and more efficient, saving you time and money. You may have a problem and need help figuring out why. Or, you may need help with how to use Pearl to get results you want. Either way, you need Technical Support. Other times, you’d like us to make a change to Pearl, or want training so you can make changes yourself. Then, we provide New Work.
We offer two payment plans that cover both kinds of work. Under the Basic Support Agreement, you pay a flat monthly fee to cover an unlimited number of hours of Technical Support, plus you pay a lower hourly rate for New Work. Basic Support is great for new clients, who may have many questions about how to use the software; or long-time clients who rely on our help to maintain and support sophisticated installations. Some clients prefer it because it’s easier to have a fixed monthly amount to pay for technical support. It’s also a good insurance policy in case there are unexplained problems with your database. If you call us on average more than 2 hours of Technical Support per month, Basic Support saves you money. But, if you have not needed our help frequently, it may be more economical to choose Hourly Support. With the Hourly Support Agreement, you pay a slightly higher hourly rate for both New Work and Technical Support, but you only pay if you call.
Technical Support is helping you:
With Pearl: How it works; How to use it
· search for or enter data, change data, delete records, preview or print existing report and/or merge letters
· apply your skills to your unique situation, like entering Grant report schedules, recording early Loan payments, setting up Gift pledges, selecting a report
· use standard features of the software such as Chronicle (Events/Images), History, Find, Ad Hoc letters, Dupe Finder, Posting, Bank Rec., etc.
· customize Find lists, History lists, Payment Schedules, Soft Security, Audit Trail, etc.
· use the Filter on the Pearl Navigator or criteria in a query to get the records you want
· create or modify a basic query, report and/or merge letter, including use of the Wizards and Helpers
· change a field, such as making it longer or changing where it displays on the form
· set up a new Grant or Ledger year
· modify options in drop-down code lists
· maintain security options, such as adding a new user
· interpret our written instructions – such as installing Pearl updates yourself, or activating new features
Interface Pearl with Microsoft Office
· export the results of a Pearl report to Word so it can be attached as a document to an email, to HTML for display on a Web page, or to Excel for analysis
· create an email in Outlook for the email address on the displayed record in Pearl, or groups of addresses
· use the Mail Merge Helper
… and includes our time to:
Maintain Pearl to prevent or correct errors or malfunctions on the system
· troubleshoot problems in Pearl to find out why they are occurring
· explain informational or error messages
· resolve problems with tables, queries, forms, reports to restore them to working order
· help you compact the database or run the Prepare All Objects Utility
Troubleshoot apparent compatibility problems between Pearl and your computer.
· find out why Pearl won’t print
· troubleshoot why Pearl won’t run on a computer where it has always worked
Remember: It is your responsibility to keep timely backups of your Pearl data and to know how to restore this data if needed.
New Work is when we are providing:
System Design Advice or Feasibility of Plans and/or Specifications of Proposed Changes:
· advice on changing the database – finding a standard, easy, efficient and cost-effective way to implement a change (from a new field up to a new component)
· advice on how potential changes to the database will affect other aspects of Pearl for your consideration
Changes to Pearl
· new fields, tables, queries, reports, forms, merge letters, or changes to existing ones
· installation of Pearl updates for you, or activation or configuration of new features for you
· custom programming and/or fixes or changes to programs that were specifically written or adapted for your database, for example: accounting bridges, custom versions of standard features, etc.
· conversion of data from another medium into Pearl such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or delimited text files exported from other databases
· help to make Pearl work on a new computer or installing Microsoft Access
· help to restore data due to incorrect use of a Pearl feature or accident, such as posting journal entries to the wrong cash account or Ledger year, or running an improper action query, or due to file corruption, etc.
Assistance with Software other than Pearl
· installation, maintenance, troubleshooting or help using PCAnywhere, WinZip or PKZip for Windows, Backup software, Virus Scanning software, Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, etc.
· assistance with equipment operation, such as a printer, monitor, modem, etc. – subject to our familiarity with the product
· writing customized how-to or help documents
· whether done in person, via email, telephone, terminal server, etc – including preparation time
· help with advanced topics not covered in Essential or Basic Training: aliases, parameters, or expressions in select queries; groupby, export, crosstab or union queries and their reports; action queries; subtables in queries; subreports; multi-purpose reports; forms changes; adding or changing components, security configuration, advanced accounting functions, etc.
There is never a charge for:
· administrative time such as questions about your bill, responding to our client satisfaction survey, arranging meetings, setting up travel arrangements, etc.
· our time to fix programming errors in Pearl
· newsletters and software updates
Troubleshooting problems is clearly Technical Support. But in some cases, it’s hard to make the distinction between Technical Support and New Work. If the examples above still don’t clarify the difference, try using this formula: if we do something for you, it’s usually New Work; but if we show you how to do something yourself, it’s usually Technical Support (unless it’s helping with an advanced topic – see Training above for examples.)