These impact the treatment your ticket is given and the time and money invested into it.
When a support issue arises, you submit a ticket into the Microsoft Unified Portal. When submitting the ticket, you need to identify the level of severity of your issue on a scale of A, B, or C.
You get unlimited reactive support hours and there are three levels – Core, Advanced, Performance – which have a minimum contract size of $25,000, $50,000, and $175,000, and pricing based on a percentage of Office 365 annual costs, client software annual costs, other software, and online annual costs. Most clients find that they end up in the $175,000 category though.
It’s clear that Unified Support Core and Advanced tiers offer 2-4 times slower response times when compared to Microsoft Premier Support. The previous wait times for critical or severe issues was an hour, while standard tickets were given a two-hour grace period. Unified has no such guarantees. Support contracts commit to 1 hour for critical and 8 hours for standard tickets on the Core tier, while Advanced has 1 hour for critical and 4 hours for standard tickets. Those on the Performance tier have a slightly better outlook with service level agreements (SLAs) providing 30-minute initial response times for critical cases, but 4 hour wait times for standard tickets, double what the previous guarantee was.
You would think that unlimited tickets would mean rapid support, as no business offering a model like that could sustain anything less without amassing a large backlog of tickets. However, as many companies decide to stick with it and gauge the effectiveness of the services offered, they soon find that the price doesn’t match the responsiveness.
If you don’t have aggressive SLAs that are financially backed in your support contract, you may be paying three times the cost of support just to wait around for a fix that might never come. Since the Advanced tier of Unified Support doesn’t make business sense for most smaller businesses, many find a “workaround” by submitting all tickets as Severity A.
While this heightens the response time, it creates a disparity in the system resulting in Severity A being considered a false flag for certain accounts. As Microsoft continues to push clients to adopt Office 365 and Azure alongside support systems, companies worry that the demand will outpace the available support and leave them in the dust.
At US Cloud, we see the struggles that clients go through every day. Office 365 and Azure are top support topics for Microsoft enterprise support service customers, trying to make it seem like a deal when it’s actually a bit of a scam. We can work with enterprises of all sizes to ensure they are maximizing their potential investments in Microsoft software and services through stellar support.
US Cloud is the only Gartner-recognized third-party support alternative to Microsoft. Not only will you save 30-50% in the first year when switching over to us, but you have 15-minute guaranteed responses with financially backed SLAs. We take the pain out of the support process so you can prosper.