When evaluating the effectiveness of a Microsoft Support Partner, there are two critical metrics to ensure you consider. First, Initial Response Time or IRT, which is a time-bound metric that measures the time it takes for your vendor to respond once your problem is submitted.
And secondly, but no less important, is Time To Resolution or TTR, which measures the total time it takes your vendor to resolve your issue. Two extremely simple metrics, but incredibly important for your business outcomes…especially when you have a critical outage going into a holiday weekend!
The switch from Microsoft Premier to Microsoft Unified has been rife with issues that a casual search of r/sysadmin on Reddit spells out, but one of the more telling changes in the Unified model is the shift from financially-backed SLAs to service ‘targets’.
While initially somewhat innocuous, this key shift in language has had a monumental impact on the support experience under Unified. If you have an upcoming resub, try asking your Unified rep if they will commit to financially-backed SLA for initial response time. But don’t be surprised if you have trouble getting to yes.
At US Cloud all our support clients receive a 15-minute financially backed initial response time SLA. Fifteen minutes, no matter the issue, no matter the severity, no matter the time or day. Recently the actual number, which we track quite closely in Power BI, has been under 8 minutes! Compare that, for example, to Microsoft’s service ‘guideline’ for Azure Gov support…which comes in at a 60 minute ‘target’ for Severity A critical issues!
As far as Time To Resolution goes, we are typically 2x faster than Microsoft across an average of all tickets submitted in a given year. How do we do it? It’s pretty simple actually. By having a unique understanding of our customers’ accounts and strong relationships between our team and theirs, we drastically cut-down on the time it takes to solve your tickets. Additionally, we aren’t bouncing tickets across teams and partners (unless we are utilizing one of our gold-level MSPs to escalate a back-end or tenant ticket via Microsoft Premier For Partner contract).
Another Service Level Agreement we offer is for ticket escalation. In 2021, we became the first Microsoft third-party support provider to offer a financially-backed, time-bound, ticket escalation SLA. Standard to any US Cloud support contract, our escalation SLA ensures that high-severity tickets are systematically handled and rapidly resolved.
“Our biggest concern with selecting US Cloud was their ability to escalate tickets to Microsoft and any additional delay in escalation. This is a particularly acute concern on high severity issues where every minute counts. They’ve already proven to us they can escalate efficiently. The new Escalation SLA gives our stakeholders even more confidence in US Cloud and holds them accountable to deliver.”
– Richard G, VP of Infrastructure, Global 2000 Manufacturer
Of course, you’ll want to ensure that we are held accountable. All US Cloud customers have their own customer portal where they can view all open support tickets, ticket history, and SLA performance, 24x7x365.
At the end of the day, remember to press whoever you select for their approach to SLA’s…and know if they aren’t financially-backed…they are incredibly hard to enforce!