Microsoft Premier Support Pricing and Alternatives.

Microsoft Premier Support Pricing and Alternatives.

Microsoft Premier Support Pricing and Alternatives

As many enterprises know, Premier Support for the public sector is ending on July 1, 2024. It’s going away, now to be replaced entirely by Unified support. What does this entail for public enterprises across the world? Not too much, initially. Those that are renewing will have to face the music, but everyone else will stick to their initial contracts. Once that time is up, though, Unified is the only option available.

Microsoft Premier Support Pricing and Alternatives.

Microsoft Premier & Unified Support Pricing

Close-up of a keyboard with a focus on the Microsoft Windows key.
Evaluating Microsoft Premier and Unified Support Alternatives.

Premier Support may be going away, but how does this compare to what you will be paying with Unified?

To start, Premier is a per-hour pricing model based on consumption. You pay according to how much you use, so if you relied on support for 50 hours in a month, you are billed for using 50 hours of support.
Under Unified, you pay based on your IT spend per product class, which encompasses the previous 12 months of:

  • Cloud services purchases
  • Azure consumption
  • License-only purchases
  • Software assurance
  • License + software assurance purchases

Your past year of Microsoft service consumption is added onto a “fixed” yearly rate, which determines how much you pay each year. While it’s marketed as predictable and fixed, recent international pricing adjustments have become a regular facet of the Unified landscape.

Microsoft has even come forward to state that they will be making local currency pricing assessments twice a year to ensure everything is priced with USD fluctuations considered. If they’re willing to make changes on the fly to “meet inflation rates,” then who’s to say they won’t adjust for everyone in the future?
With Unified, you can look forward to a contract that costs more than Premier and any market alternatives, especially if you’ve invested heavily into cloud services.

Digital board showing exchange rates for USD, GBP, EUR, and JPY, illustrating the concept of Microsoft making local currency pricing assessments twice a year to account for USD fluctuations.
Microsoft adjusts pricing based on biannual USD fluctuation assessments.

Microsoft Premier Support Alternatives

Man with a headset working at a computer desk in an office with multiple monitors, representing US Cloud's better Microsoft support for less.
US Cloud: Faster Microsoft support for less.

Taking all these pricing changes into account, you’re left with no recourse but to follow through with a Unified contract and hope that you can negotiate a solid deal. Alternatively, there are third-party options available, but many of them offer only select parts of the Microsoft support package.

US Cloud is different. If you were to compare us to Microsoft directly, (which we’ve already taken the liberty to do here), you’ll see that we can take on those looking for new Unified homes without the bloated prices of Unified support.

We offer the best parts of Premier and Unified while cutting out the aspects that make Unified so universally controversial. Just how do we stack up to their services and save you money, though?

US Cloud Support vs Microsoft Unified

While Microsoft and US Cloud both offer 24/7 technical support, that’s where the comparison ends. When you take into account who staffs that 24/7 support, it also puts your support situation into perspective. Microsoft offers 24/7 technical support, but the lower priority tickets are handled by overseas third-party engineers.

These v-dash technicians are less experienced and cheaper than in-house support engineers, but act as a way to offload lower-impact tickets so Microsoft professionals can focus on high severity tickets.

US Cloud has fully US-based engineers that respond to tickets within 15 minutes of submission, regardless of their severity level. None of your tickets are handled overseas, where compliance isn’t covered. We also support enterprises across the world, 24/7.

Here is a break down of the differences between US Cloud and Microsoft Support:

US Cloud Support Microsoft Unified
24/7 Technical Support Yes Yes
Response Time Within 15 minutes Varies; lower priority tickets delayed
Support Staff Fully US-based engineers Overseas third-party engineers for low priority tickets
Ticket Handling All tickets handled by in-house engineers Low severity tickets handled by v-dash technicians
Compliance Full compliance with US regulations Overseas support may lack full compliance
Global Support Yes Yes
Primary Revenue Source Support Software
Financial Incentive for Support High Low
Support Experience Over 6 years as validated by Gartner Established but less focused on support
Cost 30-50% less than Microsoft Higher
Replacement for Unified/Premier Support Yes NA

The majority of our revenue comes from Microsoft Problem Resolution Support (PRS) and break-fix support, while Microsoft has its main revenue sources elsewhere. They don’t have the financial incentive to provide you with the best support possible, while that’s all US Cloud does.

We can completely replace your Unified or Premier support and have over 5 years’ experience doing so. We are a validated independent third-party Microsoft support provider, as vetted by Gartner. You’re getting the whole support package for 30-50% less than you would with Microsoft.

Technical Account Management and Strategic Guidance

With Microsoft, you no longer have access to a Technical Account Manager (TAM) like you do with US Cloud. Instead, you have a Customer Success Account Manager (CSAM). The difference between the two roles is the level of experience they have and how they’re measured for success at US Cloud and Microsoft respectively.

TAMs typically have 10 or more years of industry experience, while CSAMs have 2-4 years of experience. TAMs often have deep technical expertise and are measured on customer satisfaction at US Cloud. CSAMs typically have minimal Microsoft technical expertise and are measured based on account growth at Microsoft.

US Cloud TAM vs. Microsoft CSAM: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Feature US Cloud TAM
(Technical Account Manager)
Microsoft CSAM
(Customer Success Account Manager)
Primary Focus Customer Relationship Management, Technical Expertise, Deep Product Knowledge, Strategic Guidance Customer Relationship Management
Support Level Advanced Microsoft Knowledge Basic Microsoft Knowledge
Ideal Customer Enterprises with Complex IT Infrastructures and High Support Needs Enterprises of All Sizes, Particularly Those New to Microsoft Products
Typical Activities Account Management, Business Reviews, Performance Optimization, Service Level Agreement (SLA) Management, Proactive Services Account Management, Business Reviews, Onboarding and Training, Proactive Services
Skills Customer Service Skills, Business Acumen, Relationship Building, Strong Technical Background, Deep Understanding of Microsoft Products/Services Customer Service Skills, Business Acumen, Relationship Building
KPI Customer Satisfaction Account Growth

US Cloud Supports End-Of-Life Products For 10 Years

Computer screen with code, representing Microsoft Premier and Unified Support Alternatives.
Exploring Microsoft Premier and Unified Support Alternatives through technical frameworks.

Another big difference is that Microsoft does not support end-of-life products while US Cloud does. We know it takes time to reformat the budget and prepare to upgrade to a new system, not including the time it takes to research and train on new functions. We keep your services running for up to 10 years past their end-of-life date, so you don’t have to worry about beta testing a new version for Microsoft.

We have a deep understanding of Microsoft products, but there are some tickets that just can’t be handled in-house. These go through dedicated escalation partners to ensure your ticket is handled by Microsoft with the urgency it requires. All three points keep your costs lower so you can feed that funding back into projects that help your business grow.

No More Premier Pricing

It will be sorely missed, but the days of Premier pricing are gone as of July 1, 2024. That flexible budget is now dependent on Microsoft keeping the status quo, but even then, your Unified bills will be incredibly high. If you miss the bucket of hours approach and would prefer a support option that has your best interest in mind, US Cloud has you covered.

We save you 30-50% on your annual support spend through faster response and resolution times. Our financially backed SLAs guarantee that your ticket will have a response within 15 minutes of submission regardless of severity. On top of that, our resolution time is, on average, twice as fast as Microsoft’s. Premier is going away, but that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a pricy Unified agreement. For faster Microsoft support for less, look to US Cloud.

Get Microsoft Support for Less

Unlock Better Support & Bigger Savings

  • Save 30-50% on Microsoft Premier/Unified Support
  • 2x Faster Resolution Time + SLAs
  • All-American Microsoft-Certified Engineers
  • 24/7 Global Customer Support