The Microsoft OEM Engineering Services team has some valuable services that Windows Storage Server partners can leverage to help design, deliver and support embedded storage solutions. Getting access to a Technical Account Manager (TAM) can really impact the success of a product. TAMs can escalate issues through the highest levels of Microsoft. TAMs can dig deep into Microsoft to discuss architecture and help resolve blocking problems very fast. The team offers 24x7 problem resolution and they can even write some code if you need help. They have programs starting at 100 hours per year and go up to having full-time dedicated personnel on-site at Microsoft working on your behalf. I highly recommend checking out the services that are available. You could spend millions on external consulting services, however, this program has rates that start at just $190/hr with a minimum purchase of 100 hours for Foundation Services or a minimum of 400 hours for Managed Services. When I talk to partners about their experiences, they tell me it was well worth the cost.
Microsoft OEM Services is designed to help OEMs, ODMs and IHVs quickly develop and deploy quality systems and devices and to support those products during their expected lifecycles. The program offers personalized support relationship, 24x7 problem resolution services, proactive information, trainings and workshop services that allow technology partners to accelerate their development cycles and enables them to produce successful systems and devices based on Windows platform and technologies. The platforms we cover include Windows client, server, Windows embedded and Windows Mobile products.
Microsoft OEM Services provides a comprehensive suite of services focusing on four key areas of customer needs:
- Account Management – Personal/Team account management and advocacy within Microsoft to ensure that the needs of our customers are met.
- Proactive Services – Proactive development, advisory services, planning and review services, and lab services aimed at reducing development time and optimizing the use of Microsoft technologies.
- Information Services – Extensive information services to ensure your staff remains current on technology issues and products.
- Technical Support – Fast, accurate solutions to support issues around the clock for the life of the product.
Microsoft OEM services provide the following key features as part of an annual subscription service:
Customers are assigned an Technical Account Manager (TAM) familiar with Windows hardware and software design who works closely with your staff to proactively assist on development issues and to ensure issues are resolved in the most effective way. The TAM conducts the following activities:
- Orientation and Planning Review - An initial meeting between the TAM and designated customer contacts to outline all service elements and establish expectations.
- Status Meetings – Regularly scheduled calls or meetings providing an update on all aspects of the contract and services delivered.
- Support Usage Reports – Provided on a regular basis, these reports give you details of service activity over the previous period, including information on closed and outstanding support case status.
- Escalation Management – The TAM ensures that issues are escalated promptly and the appropriate resources are working to resolve issues in a timeframe that meets your needs.
The TAM works closely with your staff throughout the development cycle to ensure they are equipped with all the relevant information on current and emerging Microsoft products and technologies. Your company may select from a broad range of Proactive Services that may include:
- Technology Architecture Design Reviews – The TAM and a team of technical specialists are available to conduct detailed reviews of your technology architecture, system and program code. The team will make recommendations to ensure that your system takes advantage of underlying Microsoft technologies to deliver the best performance.
- Access to Microsoft Test Labs – The TAM may assist your company to leverage the expertise of Microsoft Labs that focus on performance, device and application compatibility testing. For this service, the TAM may assist you to place your devices in the test labs or share Microsoft testing best practices to help your company improve quality and compatibility.
- Development Advisory Services - Ongoing ad-hoc development advice and best practice recommendations from Microsoft technical professionals who are experts on the Windows technologies you are using.
- Events and workshop – Invitation to participate in Windows Developer focused technical events and workshop to learn about the latest in products, development and testing tools.
- Developer Training – The TAM team can provide onsite and event training to ensure your developers understand current Microsoft Windows products and tools.
- Pre-Release Beta Programs – The TAM will help you to participate in selected beta programs and provide limited beta support when required. While the TAM can help facilitate your knowledge of and involvement in these programs, participation is not guaranteed.
In addition to services provided by the TAM, customers have access to the following information services provided directly by Microsoft support:
- Exclusive Events on Leading Technologies – Customers are invited to exclusive events delivered by Microsoft that are focused on leading Microsoft Windows technologies.
- Leverage Service Hours - Customers can exchange service hours for consulting, training, technical development events, and break/fix support.
- Knowledge Base – Online access to an extensive information resource of problems and solutions including whitepapers and best practices.
Formal escalation procedures ensure the appropriate level of attention is applied to each support incident until final resolution.
- Issue Submission – Support issues may be submitted either via TAM, the web or phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Extended Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) Support – During the main stream support phase of a product, partners can request a QFE at no cost. During the extended phase lifecycle phase of a product fixes may be available for an additional fee.
- Multi-vendor Coordination – Microsoft and third-party software suppliers work collaboratively to resolve complex multi-vendor product issues.
- Emergency Onsite Support – This optional, fee-based service provides expert onsite help when issues cannot be resolved remotely.
Flexibility and Scalability
Microsoft OEM Services is highly flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of your organization. Each customized service begins by determining the amount of technical resources allocated for your Microsoft support relationship. Additional TAM time may be added to each standard package as required.
- Level A: 1600+ hours by a TAM-led team.
- Level B: 800+ hours by a TAM-led team.
- Level C: 400+ hours by a TAM-led team.
- Information on 100 or 200 hour OEM Foundation Services offerings are available on request.
To learn more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or your Microsoft OEM Account Manager or Pre-Sales Engineer. Pricing is available on request.
Here are the services available for the managed accounts: