Microsoft Unified Support is too expensive

Microsoft Unified Support is Too Expensive.

Microsoft Unified Support is Too Expensive

Microsoft Unified Support is too expensive
Enterprises around the world have voiced their discontent with the cost of Microsoft Unified Support.

It’s far too expensive for the quality of support it offers and often leads to long wait times that can increase downtime and frustrate users. What’s worse is that Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down the annual price increases.

Microsoft Commercial Support Costs Rise Again

Commercial Support costs for Microsoft enterprise customers have risen faster than inflation every year, for the vast majority since 2017 when Unified was first introduced.

While Unified does simplify down to three plans, Core, Advanced, and Performance, many former Microsoft Premier Support clients find the tradeoff in expenses to be a step too far despite the simplified packages.

Premier Support is still an option for education, state, local, and federal government entities, until July 1, 2024. In less than a year, all renewals will be forced to move to Unified, a move that will undoubtedly lead to increased IT spend for many organizations. For businesses outside of these four industries, Premier Support isn’t even an option, with support having ended July 1, 2022.

What Makes Unified Support So Expensive?

Under the new Unified Support plan, support costs for Cloud Services that used to be included in Premier Support for no extra cost are now charged to your Unified account.

Unified costs are based on how many Microsoft cloud services an enterprise uses in the prior year, even if a service was cancelled halfway through the year. While the average cost for maintenance and support services sits between 18-25%, the combined 6-12% Microsoft support cost and 25-29% SA maintenance cost places Microsoft well above what they should be charging.

Since Unified Support fees are now calculated based on a percentage of your net spend with Microsoft, the overall cost is up 30-60% in the first year. In the past, Premier Support was an additional cost on top of your Microsoft annual fees. You paid a fee based on the number of Problem Resolution Support hours, Support Account Management hours, or support for a specific product. Your Premier Support agreement would clearly outline the hours, services, and resources that are entitled to you as part of your Microsoft support package. The cost varies, but you have a fixed cost upfront.

Unified Support renewals create an entirely different level of complexity since they are based on your cloud consumption during the past year, SA credits, on-premises licenses, and more. Unified Support renewal preparation will take much longer than with Premier, so give yourself at least three months prior to renewal and don’t make Unified part of your Microsoft EA since the cost is often overlooked.

Microsoft Unified Support Expenses Aren’t Slowing Down

Cloud service consumption is the number one performance metric at Microsoft and also happens to be the key variable in determining your Unified cost.

The more cloud services you use through Microsoft, the higher your Unified Support costs increase. Microsoft’s goal is to increase all enterprise’s cloud consumption year over year, so the odds are good that your Unified Support cost will increase alongside it.

Some enterprises can absorb the 12-15% increase in the first year of Unified transition, but that isn’t something that everyone can fit into the budget. Add a 10-12% increase in year 2 and a 30-45% increase in year 3 and you have a recipe for an expensive technology soup that shows no signs of slowing down. By year three, you should either be looking for an alternative that can save you on the money lost, or preparing for a painful renewal.

Forecasting Your Microsoft Unified Support Spend

Compare your last Premier Support contract with your latest Microsoft Unified Support agreement.

Microsoft enterprise support is probably the fastest expanding IT expense on the list, nearly 28-46% higher in Unified than Premier. Once you have a list of the Microsoft products and services you need and where they land in your Unified cost, put them in a spreadsheet and apply anticipated growth across various products for the next five years.

This analysis will lead you to a relatively effective Unified Support forecast that will run you anywhere between 170-485% more than Premier over the next five years. In order to avoid these extravagant price increases, choosing a Gartner-recognized third-party Microsoft Unified Support option like US Cloud is the right choice. We reduce your IT spend by 30-50% in the first year, only support what you need us to support instead of lump bundles, and have dedicated engineers ready to step in and handle any issue that comes up at any time. Save money and time when you work with US Cloud.

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