Today, most businesses rely on Microsoft technologies to keep their business running. Those organizations have chosen to pay the Microsoft premium over an open source software alternative. As their Microsoft portfolio evolves, a mixture of on-premises and Office 365 / Azure is creating a complex hybrid Microsoft environment with lots of variables. Microsoft technology availability at the business is critical. Fast troubleshooting and professional Microsoft support for all their technologies has never been more important or challenging – as IT teams continue to shrink in headcount and are tasked to leverage cutting-edge tech like machine learning and artificial intelligence to do more with less.
Organizations with their own IT team are looking to escalate Microsoft incidents they can’t resolve themselves. Smaller businesses without dedicated IT teams are looking for a partner to take on all their Microsoft support. Many organizations have selected Microsoft Premium Support Services from US Cloud. Let’s look at the available services and see which US Cloud Microsoft Premium Support is right for you.
Microsoft Professional Support from US Cloud provides a fast and affordable means for smaller organizations to stand up a 24/7 Microsoft support team. With just a 25 hour purchase (hours never expire), the organization retains US Cloud allowing the business to reach out to the US Cloud Pro Support team 24/7. Even better, our initial response time is guaranteed at 30 minutes or less.
US Cloud Pro Support is delivered by the same US citizen team that delivers our enterprise-grade Premier Support Service serving the Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprise community. We support the underserved SMB Microsoft community by giving them a smaller bite of the premium support apple. US Cloud Pro Support will handle severity 1-4 incidents and time to resolution is averaging 17 days as opposed to 63+ days with Microsoft Professional Support.
Additional benefits of Microsoft Professional Support at US Cloud include cross-platform support for AWS, VMware and Cisco technologies. Advanced support services include onsite support (+T&E), root cause analysis, and products out of support lifecycle (end of life). US Cloud’s goal is enterprise-grade Microsoft support for any size business that values ultra-responsive expert support delivered by screened US citizens.
Larger organizations with their own IT team may have used Microsoft Premier Support Services in the past. MSFT Premier is now Unified Support and many businesses are seeing cost increases of 50% or more. As a result, many businesses are cutting their Microsoft Unified cost in half by switching to US Cloud Premier Support.
Assuming you have the IT budget to go either route for Microsoft premium support, the biggest differences between the two Microsoft support programs are a Technical Account Manager (TAM), better hourly support rates and Designated Support Engineers (DSE).
A TAM delivers a higher level of Microsoft support by interfacing between your internal IT team and the US Cloud Premier Support team.
This role is all about service delivery management. As the conduit between your organization and our global support resources, the TAM will manage your Microsoft technology stack via a range of activities related to improving the operational health of your IT. The value the Technical Account Manager brings to Premier Support is increased customer satisfaction, reduced support costs, and the awareness needed around Microsoft product improvements.
As a trusted adviser, the TAM ensures clients are making the most of their Microsoft technology by creating a tailored service delivery plan to drive business value from the client’s IT investments, and improve operational stability and performance. The TAM will also manage the delivery and follow-up of proactive services outlined in the service delivery plan as well as effectively communicate the realized value of delivered services through Service Reviews with the client.
Better hourly support rates are attainable by 2 vehicles. First, by moving up from a lower plan to a higher Premier Support Plan. The base plan is Core, the middle plan is Advanced, and the top plan is Performance. Each plan includes more support hours and a better hourly support rate.
The second means to a better hourly support rate is committing to US Cloud Premier Support for multiple years. For example, 5,000 PRS hours per year, for 5 years. This locks in your organization’s support savings over time.
Dedicated Support Engineers keep your enterprise running at maximum performance with dedicated support for your core Microsoft technologies.
Do you have recurring problems with your Microsoft technology, but no time to investigate and identify the root cause? Are staff changes, deployments or upgrades of newer technologies impacting your internal IT resources and exposing gaps in your knowledgebase?
DSEs help you achieve long-term IT success by helping to ensure successful deployments, planning for supportability and helping to reduce mission-critical downtime. Dedicated Support Engineering (DSE) can offer you the expertise you need to get off the break/fix merry-go-round and proactively prevent problems so they don’t occur. Identify the root cause of recurring problems and address them so they don’t reoccur, and give your IT staff the expert training they need to get the most from your Microsoft investment.
Many Microsoft technology-based organizations are not aware of a Microsoft Professional Support alternative at US Cloud. The Problem: Small and midsized businesses – which make up more than 90% of all businesses worldwide – are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Microsoft support. Many organizations are ditching the delay and frustration associated with Microsoft Professional Support and choosing US Cloud. But let’s explore the issue further first.
When you decide to use Microsoft software and services for your business, you expect to receive the highest quality support possible. Oftentimes, when companies sign enterprise agreements with Microsoft, it comes with enterprise support. Before July 2018, this was called Premier Support, but recently the company transitioned to Unified Support. We’ve written at length about what this means for your business, but there’s an interesting use case we’ve come across with our small and midsize clients that you need to know about: Microsoft Professional Support, also known as Pay Per Incident (PPI).
If you use Microsoft software and services but don’t spend enough money to qualify for an enterprise agreement, chances are you’ve been pointed to PPI by Microsoft. Available as a single PPI or a 5-pack of incidents, this level of support focuses on troubleshooting a specific problem, error message, or functionality that is not working as intended for Microsoft products. In these cases, Microsoft defines an incident as a single support issue and the reasonable effort to resolve it. You can only submit PPI requests online, and you can expect to have an initial response anywhere between two and eight hours after you contact Microsoft. When Microsoft does finally get back to you, a support professional assigned to your case will define what it believes to be the problem and won’t start working on resolve it until you agree to their definition.
The fact that it is a slow response time is one thing, but the bigger issue comes in that PPI incidents don’t have to be resolved to be considered closed. Microsoft doesn’t guarantee it will solve your issue. Even if the support professional assigned to your case can’t fix your problem, you could still be charged by Microsoft.
The other problem with PPI is that Microsoft will not guarantee that a US citizen – much less an actual Microsoft employee – will be assigned to troubleshoot your support ticket. This becomes a huge issue for public sector agencies who cannot allow anyone outside of the United States to perform software support services, due to NIST Special Publication 800-171 Protecting Covered Defense Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations (DFARS) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Essentially, DFARS and ITAR mandate that data and information accumulated by many public sector agencies cannot go outside the United States, with very few exceptions. When it comes to support of enterprise systems, ensuring that support is based in the USA and not overseas is paramount. These public sector agencies cannot risk otherwise.
The good news is you can ditch the delays and frustration by using US Cloud Pro Support as your alternative to Microsoft PPI:
Ready for a better support experience without a 30% Microsoft Tax? Contact us today for a free trial and ensure your Microsoft investment is in good hands with US Cloud.