When the chips are down and you’ve reach the point where you need help, it is reassuring to know Microsoft Support Professionals are only a phone call or maybe an email away. We want you to know what your paid-for and free Microsoft Support options are. We also want you to let us know if there’s anything we could do to improve our support offerings. Send us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org we do want to hear from you.
Microsoft offers a range of support services designed to meet the needs of developers no matter what size of organisation you work in – from enterprises down, to small business to individuals. It is worth taking the time to understand what these offerings are – to ensure you get access to appropriate and timely support. If your organisation purchases Software Assurance, Essential or Premier services you should check with your contracts manager on the included support offerings.
As an individual developer or as a member of a developer team it is always worth remembering the maxim – ‘forewarned is forearmed’. On any issue or even during project planning, the freely available knowledgebase should be searched for known and potential issues. The knowledgebase is updated directly by Microsoft Support professionals when incidents are identified as repeatable issues.
There is a range of paid for Microsoft support services available for software developers. These are contained within the Professional Support service. There are a number of elements to this service as laid out below:
1. Professional Pay Per Incident
2. Professional Pay Per Incident 5 Pack
3. Business Critical After Hours Support
4. MSDN/TechNet Subscription Incident Support
After raising a paid-for support call, the next important thing is response time. How long will it take to get someone who knows what they are talking about to call you back? Microsoft has three support incident levels, Severity A, B and C. These each have an Initial Response Time associated with them.
Severity A: – 2 hours
Severity B: – 4 business hours
Severity C: – 8 business hours.
There are a number of common features to the support services.
1. Product coverage – all production versions of Microsoft servers, tools and business applications
2. Lifetime – full customer agreement is required to close an incident.
For current support service prices see this page.
Looking at each one in turn:
Professional Pay per Incident/ Professional Pay per Incident 5 Pack
Professional Pay per Incident provides a fixed cost single assisted break-fix support during business hours. You can start a support incident by phone or by email.
Support incidents can be purchased in packs of 5 with a 1 year lifetime from set up of contract.
Business Critical After Hours Support.
A fixed cost single assisted break-fix after business hours support request for Severity A issues on production versions of Microsoft server, tools and business applications. Support is purchase directly from Microsoft and is initiated by phone only. This is effectively the same as a Professional Pay per Incident but occurs outside normal business hours.
MSDN/TechNet Subscription Incident Support.
Depending on the style and level of your subscription you have between 2 and 4 incidents available for your use. These are assisted break-fix incidents, solution design services are available to developers under Premier Service contracts purchased annually.
In addition to these service offerings above there is also Warranty Support. 2 to 4 incidents may be included ‘in the box’ with certain Microsoft tools and business applications. For example MSDN Professional subscriptions include two no-charge support incidents, Visual Studio professional or higher with MSDN Premium include four no-charge support incidents, entitling you to technical product support from Microsoft either by telephone or online during normal business hours.
All Microsoft Technical Support services are subject to Microsoft Technical Support General Terms & Conditions.