Microsoft Unified Support vs Premier Support
MICROSOFT UNIFIED SUPPORT VS. PREMIER SUPPORT
See the Microsoft Unified Support vs Premier Support comparison chart for full details. Read the top 5 differences and how to save 30-50%.
Compare Microsoft Unified Support to Premier Chart
Unified Support is the replacement for Microsoft Premier Support. In Premier, organizations bought the number of support hours they needed for proactive/reactive support, Technical Account Managers (TAM) and Dedicated Support Engineers (DSE).
In late 2017 Microsoft introduced Unified, in which you receive unlimited amounts of some types of support. The price is determined by the enterprise’s entire MSFT software and cloud services spend. Review the Unified vs Premier Chart below for full details.
|Support Feature||Microsoft Premier Support (EOL 7/22)||Microsoft Unified
|Pricing||Per-hour pricing based on consumption||6% of Office 365 and client software annual costs and 8% of other software and online services annual cost||8% of Office 365 and client software annual costs and 10% of other software and online services annual cost||10% of Office 365 and client software annual costs, and 12% of other software and online services annual cost|
|Account Management||Technical account manager (TAM) – team, shared or dedicated||Customer success account manager (CSAM) – shared||Customer success account manager (CSAM) – shared||Customer success account manager (CSAM) + technical advocate|
Automated and online programs
|Support assistance hours||As needed||As needed||As needed|
Engineer-led risk assessments, chalk talks, planning and implementation engagements
|Can be obtained using Support Assistance hours||Optional, extra charge||Specific number of days included||Specific number of days included|
|PRS hours||As needed||As needed||As needed|
|Included without using hours||Included in fees @6% of cost for O365 and 8% for Azure and Dynamics||Included in fees @8% of cost for O365 and 10% for Azure and Dynamics||Included in fees @10% of cost for O365 and 12% for Azure and Dynamics|
|Initial Response Time||1 hour critical; otherwise, 2 hours during business hours||1 hour critical; 8 hours standard||1 hour critical; 4 hours standard||30 minutes critical; 4 hours standard|
|Third-Tier Support||Optional, extra charge||N/A (no option)||Included (priority routing for critical)||Included (priority routing for all incidents)|
|Technical Training||Expert-led webinars, hands-on labs, learning paths||On-demand, self-service||On-demand, self-service||On-demand, self-service|
|Advisory Support||Included. Counts towards hours.||Limited to 6 hours per incident||Limited to 6 hours per incident||Limited to 6 hours per incident|
|Minimum Contract Size||N/A||$25,000||$50,000||$175,000|
Top 5 Differences Between MSFT Unified & Premier Support
#1 END OF LIFE VS. ONE OPTION
Premier is End of Life (EOL) July 1, 2022. Microsoft Premier Support is being retired in July 2022 and will no longer be available for new support subscriptions or renewals.
Unified is the only option from MSFT. Microsoft Unified Support is now the only enterprise support option available from MSFT in 2022. All Premier Support subscriptions will be moved to the Unified support model. For those preferring the retired Premier model, third-party MSFT support is available.
#2 AS NEEDED VS. CONSUMPTION-BASED
Premier is a consumption-based support model. You buy the number of hours you think you will need in a given year. Overall, most Sourcing, Procurement and Vendor Management (SPVM) buyers feel that Premier gets them close to their actual needs most of the time.
Unified is an as needed support model. The issue being that some SPVM buyers and organizations don’t need support for all Microsoft products and cloud services – they simply don’t use all of them. As a result, they can’t justify the significant cost increase of moving from Premier to Unified.
#3 SOFTWARE ASSURANCE BENEFITS (SAB)
Premier offers SAB credits. Software Assurance Benefit (SAB) incident credits were used to offset Premier Support cost. Under Unified, SAB credits were available during the transition from Premier to Unified. However, Microsoft is officially retiring Premier in July 2022.
Unified does not offer SAB credits. Under Unified, SAB credits were available during the transition from Premier to Unified. Enterprises found that SAB credits could often reduce an organization’s Unified support bill by 25% or more according to Gartner (June 2020). However, Microsoft has officially retired SAB credits in February 2022.
#4 TAM VS. CSAM
Premier offers TAMs. Microsoft Premier Support offers Technical Account Managers (TAM) as part of of Premier Support. TAMs typically have 10+ years experience in MSFT technologies and a degree in MIS, IT or CS. TAMs investigate the client’s business objectives, anticipate current and future technology needs, develop a strategic technology solution roadmap and lead the proposed solution work-streams to bring clients to that future state. Salary: $100,000 to $170,000. Key MSFT KPI: Customer Satisfaction
Unified offers CSAMs. Microsoft Unified Support offers Customer Success Account Managers (CSAM) as part of Unified Support. CSAMs typically have 2-4 years experience in MSFT technologies and a degree in business, MIS, IT or CS. CSAMs drive program management and acceleration of cloud adoption by providing cross-engagement oversight, resource orchestration, and blocker escalation, in close collaboration with key account team unit members and business partners supporting customer success. Salary: $75,000 to $145,000 Key MSFT KPI: Cloud Spend
#5 DEDICATED SUPPORT ENGINEERS (DSE)
Premier has 400 hour minimum. Microsoft Premier Support has a 400 hour DSE minimum for all MSFT technologies. Premier Support DSE rates are $295 per hour. Lower DSE minimums and rates are available with third-party Microsoft Support providers.
Unified has 600 hour minimum. Microsoft Unified Support has a 600 hour minimum for Microsoft 365 and Azure DSEs. All other MSFT technologies have a 400 hour DSE threshold. Unified Support DSE rates are $315 per hour. US Cloud offers a 150 hour DSE minimum and 30-50% support savings for all Microsoft technologies.