Azure Unified Support Costs
As a specific Unified Support category, Azure seems to be the most aggressive in terms of support costs, coming in at 10.5 percent of overall Azure spend. This effectively amounts to an “Azure tax” and nullifies any price discounting the end user may have negotiated. Many US Cloud enterprise clients have questioned how they could justify incremental Azure spend if every dollar they spend is subject to a 10.5 percent support tax.
Unified Support is not designed as a multi-year contract but instead is designed to reset each year in an effort to sweep all of the year’s spend into a “true up” for support moving forward. For example, if a customer spends more during a year than the established baseline, MSFT will calculate the incremental Unified Support costs in arrears and invoice the end user for the amount of spend above the baseline. This new amount will then become the updated baseline for the next year of Unified Support.