Microsoft Shuffles Support Offerings

Microsoft Corp. has revamped its support offerings around four specific customer segments, targeting customers from the enterprise to the home user. The new support structure aligns with the new divisions formed earlier this year at Microsoft.

Microsoft Corp. has revamped its support offerings around four specific customer segments, targeting customers from the enterprise to the home user. The new support structure aligns with the new divisions formed earlier this year at Microsoft.

Microsoft Alliance Support is designated for enterprise customers who run mission-critical applications on Microsoft platforms. This support program provides enterprises with service-level commitments and the dedicated resources they need to achieve their business objectives.

Alliance Support is available via two service offerings: Microsoft Alliance Support for Enterprise Systems and Microsoft Alliance Support for High Availability. Alliance Support for Enterprise Systems provides customers with dedicated Technical Account Managers (TAMs) and support professionals who are focused on meeting specific responsive service levels based on the customer's needs.

Alliance Support for High Availability engages the services of Microsoft Certified Support Center’s high-availability providers to offer availability-based service-level commitments. One such provider is Unisys Corp., a new addition to the Microsoft Certified Support Center program.

Microsoft Premier Support is aimed at enterprise customers and organizations that require a managed-support relationship with Microsoft. Premier Support includes four specific offerings, each one designed for a specific customer type: Premier for the Enterprise, Premier for Developers, Premier for Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs) and Premier for Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Premier Support provides proactive account management, proactive technical services, information resources and high-quality 24x7 incident resolution. The Premier Online Support Web site also features critical problem alerts, regular product newsletters, incident tracking and expert round tables.

The Professional Support offerings focus on the needs of the community of technical professionals, including resellers, consultants, IT professionals, software developers, MCSPs, original computer manufacturers and systems builders. These offerings deliver technical information using the Internet and provide 24x7 incident resolution from expert support professionals. The offerings provide paths to Microsoft support experts via the Web and telephone.

Microsoft Personal Support is designed for general consumer and home-responsive incident support in a simple, easy-to-use manner.

"We want to ensure that the service offerings we bring to the market are tailored to that market segment," said Kevin Johnson, vice president of product support services at Microsoft in a teleconference.

Alliance and Premier support are now available. The new Professional and Personal offerings are scheduled to be available July 1 in the United States and by the end of the year for the rest of the world.

Microsoft's Revamped Support Program

  • Microsoft
Alliance Support -- for enterprise customers who are running mission-critical applications
  • Microsoft
  • Premier Support -- designed to meet the needs of enterprise customers and organizations that require a managed-support relationship with Microsoft
  • Microsoft
  • Professional Support -- for technical professionals that require access to technical information and incident resolution from experts
  • Microsoft
  • Personal Support -- for general consumers and home users

    Source: Microsoft Corp.