Microsoft Unified Support renewal prices rise

Microsoft Unified Support Renewal Price Continues to Rise.

Microsoft Unified Support Renewal Prices Rising Faster Than Inflation

Microsoft Unified Support renewal prices rise
Transitioning from Microsoft Premier Support to Unified is stressful enough without the added pain of a cost increase alongside it. Many companies find that Unified is a significant price hike of 30-200% over its Premier predecessor.

While you could simply stay with Premier to avoid the pricing problem, Microsoft is moving away from Premier altogether by July 1, 2024. With less than a year to go, many businesses still under Premier will either have to wait out their contracts and plan ahead for Unified pricing or bite the bullet and start on Unified at their next renewal.

Why Are Microsoft Unified Support Cost Increases so High?

There are a few reasons behind the increase that also play into why the increases will continue into the future.

The first reason is that most companies have used up all their available Microsoft discounts to keep costs down while they transition from Premier to Unified. All of the possible Software Assurance (SA) credits have been applied and are no longer available, making discounts unavailable.

There are a couple factors behind why these discounts aren’t available. First, Microsoft Enterprise Sales teams knew that most Premier customers would see cost increases between 30-60% initially, so they rolled all the SA credits into the first year of Unified to offset the cost increase. SA credits used to be spread across the life of an Enterprise Agreement (EA), which usually ran for 3-5 years. So each year would see you using between 1/3 and 1/5 of your credits to keep costs down. Sadly, many organizations have burned all their discounts during the transitional year back to unified and have nothing left until their EA renews.

The second factor behind skyrocketed renewal costs is that, as your consumption of Microsoft products and services escalates, so too does the price. Unified Support is based on the amount of Cloud services you are using through Microsoft, so that consumption is spread across the life of your EA.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Impact on Unified Support

To give you a better understanding of how these renewals roll out, let’s look at two 5-year renewals for the same company.

The first is for a 2019, 5-year Microsoft EA renewal that is rolling out Office 365 to their users. While the first year (2014) is quiet, the second year involves rolling out the Office 365 pilot program, while the third year is the full Office 365 rollout to the entire enterprise. Due to the increased Office 365 subscription, the first major price increase would hit in 2019, but the lookback baseline would only affect roughly half of the prior EA. The second 5-year EA renewal in 2024 would see another Unified Support uptick as the baseline now covers the full 5-year stretch of Office 365 usage.

The second renewal is for 2024, as the company is now planning to roll out Azure for its production IT infrastructure. This is also the contract that will see the biggest price hike as the Office 365 contract hits full maturity. Following the same pattern as the first renewal, the first year (2019) is relaxed, with the second and third years accounting for the Azure pilot program and Azure rollout to enterprise, respectively. With the addition of Azure, the company will see another increase to their Unified Support EA renewal in 2024, with a third increase in 2029 as they see the full weight of Azure use hit their EA and Unified Support bills at the same time. Essentially, over the next ten years, this company will see four price increases for only two product lines. If they opted for more, such as Copilot, the price increase would be even higher.

Your Winning Unified Support Renewal Game Plan

For some businesses, the renewal date is fast approaching, so setting up a plan of how to handle the renewal efficiently will save you time, money, and stress.
  • Understand what is offered in each tier of Microsoft Unified Support and determine if it would meet your specific needs. If you need help, US Cloud has broken down each level of Microsoft Unified Support services to help you get your footing and figure out a plan of attack.
  • Follow the eight Microsoft enterprise negotiation tips from US Cloud to smooth over conversations with your Microsoft account manager leading up to and during your renewal. Since the shift to Microsoft Unified Support has also changed the way Microsoft approaches renewal conversations, make sure to stay on top of the latest ways to go over the new agreements with our handy guides.
  • Look outside Microsoft for opinions on pricing and services. They don’t hold a monopoly stranglehold on their own support services anymore. There are a variety of ways to license or subscribe to Microsoft’s offerings and get support. Bring in unbiased expertise to assist your sourcing team with vetting recommendations and helping structure EAs, SAs, and Support agreements that increase utilization and decrease spend.

US Cloud can help you prepare for your Unified Support, EA, and SA renewal conversations while also providing alternatives to Microsoft Unified that don’t break the bank. We respond to tickets of all severities within 15 minutes so you’re never left waiting hours or days for problem resolution. Our engineers work closely with your IT staff to provide proactive assistance on potential issues so they never disrupt your operations. We also save you 30-50% in the first year on all your Unified Support costs. Partner with US Cloud to avoid support cost renewal creep.

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