Late last year, Microsoft announced it’s transitioning all existing technical support plans into what it calls a Unified Support plan. According to Microsoft, this move – effective July 2018 – will make it easier for enterprises to pick three levels of support without having to tally up their available problem resolution or reactive support hours. The available tiers of support include:
Microsoft is hoping that by transitioning to this model, it will streamline billing and have companies breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer need to worry about whether they are running out of hours during a particular time period. Less a la carte, more unlimited buffet.
But what does that unlimited buffet come with? According to early reports from client companies, it will come with a hefty price tag. When Microsoft switches over to Unified Support, companies on average can expect a 25 to 30 percent price increase. In our conversations with our customers around the world, the reality is that the price increase will be as high as 35 percent or more.
As with other Microsoft online services, the company is charging you based on consumption. Costs will be based on your overall consumption of Microsoft online services as estimated in the prior year, even if you canceled services. The new Unified Support costs will also be tied to your Software Assurance payments, an annual cost you pay guaranteeing you receive software upgrades for the next major release along with some educational perks. It’s generally considered to have a separate purpose from getting support from Microsoft, but in the new Unified Support world it will all be mixed together.
Generally speaking, if you’re paying about 7 percent of your annual Software Assurance cost for Premier Support today, your support costs will rise by 30 percent. If you pay more than 10 percent of your annual Software Assurance cost for Premier Support, you’ll see a decrease in cost for Unified Support. If the math is making your head spin, think of it this way: Overall, the money Microsoft is charging for support in addition to Software Assurance maintenance will bring the company well above the 18 to 25 percent industry average for maintenance and support.
If you think that you could use Unified Support for one area of your business and not for another, think again. If you use Microsoft online services, you must implement Unified Support across your entire organization. There is no wiggle room, no ability to customize based on your specific business needs.
It’d be one thing if enterprises were generally happy with Microsoft support, but many companies we speak with stay out of fear. They accept the slow, confusing support they receive from Microsoft because they believe they cannot put their jobs on the line to go with a third-party enterprise support provider. They think the train already left the station, and they need to just hang on for the ride.
The good news is that for what many consider to be a new “Microsoft Tax,” there is a way out. US Cloud™ got its start helping companies outsource their IT administration in 1996, when SharePoint was just a project code-named Tahoe. Since then, US Cloud has been the first to host every version of SharePoint in the cloud.
Along our two decade journey, we’ve built up a significant knowledge base in managing virtually the entire Microsoft stack for clients around the world. US Cloud can help you break the vicious cycle of navigating the complex and frustrating world of Microsoft support.
US Cloud is your viable Microsoft support alternative, offering you:
So what are you waiting for? We offer our Microsoft support customers risk-free trials because we’re that confident once you get a taste of the US Cloud Microsoft Support experience, you’ll never go back. Contact us today to get more information on how we can help you maximize your use of Microsoft online services.