Over the last month, we’ve been diving deeper into the world of Microsoft Premier Support. First, we gave you an alternative path to save money and improve service » when Microsoft transitions to Unified Support. Then, we outlined the potential challenges those of us in the public sector may face » with Microsoft’s global support model. Finally, we explored the changes you can expect between Microsoft Premier and Unified Support » as well as the specifics behind the 30-60% price increases » and what it means for your bottom line.
As with any negotiation, you should be completely confident that you’ve done as much background research as possible. That way, you can ask the right questions and get the right level of support for your business-critical systems at the right time.
Today, we’re bringing everything together to give you seven negotiating tactics when you meet with Microsoft. The global tech giant is mandating that all support customers move into this Unified model come 2019, so if they haven’t come knocking yet – they will do so, and soon.
At the end of the day, Microsoft’s transition from Premier to Unified Support has three major impacts:
- The shift from hourly Premier to “unlimited” Unified support negates the need to track hours. But, for the vast majority of companies, you will ultimately pay more for Unified Support.
- Overall maintenance and support costs are predicted to rise to 33 to 39 percent of your total Microsoft licensing costs, well above the industry average of 18 to 25 percent.
- Microsoft will be able to charge you more to support its cloud based products, increasing costs for products like Office 365.
Based on these impacts, here are the seven things you should do as you enter into negotiations with your Microsoft account manager:
- Include the 33 to 39 percent annual maintenance and support costs in your calculations when you evaluate on-premises software maintenance and support offerings.
- Include the costs of optional services in Unified Support that were included in Premier costs, so you have a real idea of how much more money you’ll be paying – or for service you’ll be losing.
- Add 8 to 12 percent for support fees in your calculations when you evaluate Microsoft cloud-based services (think Dynamics 365 and Azure) against competitors’ fees, including premium support.
- Include 6 to 10 percent support fees for Office 365, against competitors’ prices.
- Request that you receive transition pricing or discounts to reduce overall costs.
- Escalate your understandable concerns about Unified Support within your management team, and by extension to upper Microsoft management levels.
- What isn’t known is that you could renew Premier Support for an additional year – this can be an option you throw onto the table to counter Microsoft’s proposals.
The Alternative Option
When you take all of this together, you’ll be able to bargain with Microsoft on a deeper level. Maybe this will work for you, and maybe it won’t. If it doesn’t, you don’t have to go away from using Microsoft software and services entirely – there is an alternative to Microsoft’s support, and that alternative is US Cloud.
- USA-based support – You will never be outsourced to a call center overseas. All US Cloud staff are located in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Up to 50 percent cost savings – Only purchase the support you need and don’t pay extra for support on products you don’t use
- 5x faster response – Microsoft Premier Support average response times hover around 30 minutes. US Cloud will respond to your ticket in 6 minutes.
- Hours that never expire – Your support hours never expire with us, and since you’re only paying for the support you need, it allows you to make a smarter financial decision for your business without sacrificing quality.
- Two decades of Microsoft experience – US Cloud is a Microsoft Certified Partner and Cloud Solution Provider, meaning we are experts in the ins and outs of Microsoft technologies.
- A white glove customer experience, every time – We won’t make you repeat your issue over and over again when we transfer you to the right experts to solve your issue. Our only goal is your complete satisfaction.
- Billing on your terms – We offer subscription billing and installment options that meet your specific needs.
Contact us today » to get more information on the only true alternative to Microsoft Premier (Unified) Support.