Large Microsoft Software Resellers, Managed Service Providers (MSP’s), Value- Added Resellers (VAR’s), Cloud Service Providers (CSP’s), and IT consultancies — traditional IT vendors of all stripes have started to offer Microsoft support in response to requests from their clients. However, the effort to add-on a 24/7 enterprise-level MSFT support has proven challenging for many.
Large IT Services organizations have some inherent advantages as they enter the high-end support market. Partners tend to be more nimble and responsive, with services (not software) as their core offering. They enjoy established relationships with clients and are already connected with Microsoft support in some capacity.
However, providing advanced high-level support across the entire Microsoft stack, including non-business hours is extremely difficult. From infrastructure to staffing senior engineers in off-hours, some otherwise competent IT outsources or Microsoft project shops have struggled.
Another area of concern is the ability to quickly escalate when necessary. Escalations to Microsoft for critical tickets is a vital requirement that not all Partners understand or are set up to manage well. It requires the right partner agreement and sophisticated vendor management practices to avoid ballooning costs or big delays.
Support sovereignty is the final sticking point holding back some global MS Software Resellers and multi-national MSPs. These international organizations are unable to guarantee who will work the ticket and from where. Just like data sovereignty, support sovereignty is critical to enterprises concerned about their security. Both Microsoft’s Premier Support data breach and JEDI federal requirements and concerns of support outsourcers industrial espionage and intellectual property theft highlight this important but often overlooked aspect of Microsoft Enterprise Support.