Like the Dodo bird, Microsoft’s Software Assurance Benefit (SAB) of 24×7 Problem Resolution Support will become extinct in February 2023. This recent announcement comes as a bit of a surprise to analysts, and Microsoft enterprise customers with significant Software Assurance spends, who were told that the SA benefit would still be available to them after transitioning to Microsoft Unified Support.
Audience: Sourcing, Procurement and Vendor Management | CFO | CIO
In 2019 Microsoft announced it would be making changes to the Software Assurance PR Support benefit. The plan was for those Microsoft customers with a Software Assurance spend of $250,000 or more, to receive “as needed support” with a 24-hour response time.
Instead, Microsoft has decided to fully retire the 24×7 Problem Resolution benefit from Software Assurance for ALL customers effective February 1, 2023.
CFOs are battling inflation, weakened supply chains, and recession. CIOs and vendor management teams at enterprises must closely control all IT vendor costs including MSFT during economic downturns.
The loss of the Microsoft SA benefit will make Unified Support more difficult to justify as there will be no significant offset against a typical enterprise’s expanding cloud consumption – the primary driver of Unified cost.
With the retirement of Microsoft Premier Support in June 2022, enterprises now have only 2 options for support at Microsoft. The first is the Unified Support subscription model which is based on your percentage of spend at Microsoft.
If you don’t have a Unified Support contract as of February 2023, your only other option at Microsoft is the significantly slower (response and resolution time) Microsoft Professional Support which is a pay-per-incident model.
The removal of the Software Assurance (SA) benefit of 24×7 Problem Resolution (PR) Support will increase the cost of Microsoft Unified Support by 15% to 25% for all Microsoft support customers.
This SA benefit has been used in the past to soften the transition from Premier to Unified. As it stands, the SA benefit will not be available to those government, academic, and non-profit organizations who have yet to transition to Unified.
Enterprises reviewing multi-year Microsoft Unified Support contracts are being impacted with unexpected additional Unified cost since their support contract extends beyond February 2023 and no longer receives the SAB discount.
As such, significant IT budget dollars are at stake and Vendor and Procurement teams should explore all Microsoft alternatives to avoid higher-cost long term lock-in.
Gartner has identified US Cloud as the only independent and proven alternative to Microsoft. US Cloud fully replaces MS Unified resulting in significant savings to enterprises around the world.
In most cases, US Cloud Microsoft Support clients are experiencing faster response and resolution times than their previous year’s Unified response times and time to resolution.