One of our Partner Sales Executives, Terry Stein (@TerryStein_MSFT), put together an email that does a very good job of identifying the support options partners have available to support their customers with Azure deployments. I liked it so much, I wanted to share it with everyone, so here it is from Terry:
I want to give you a quick blurb on Support. It can be one of the key ways that you differentiate your organization from the other partners who are moving companies to the cloud.
I’ve been having a ton of support conversations with many partners, because it’s a common concern. The questions could represent a quick FAQ list for sure. For instance:
· “How do I support my customers in the cloud?”
· “What does support look like if I sell through the CSP model?”
· “How is support handled for workloads in Azure?”
The list could go on, for sure. The key to all of these questions is to find the customer support answer BEFORE it’s a customer emergency. And with that, there are two things you need to know and leverage to better support your customers.
1. You have an MPN benefit for support if you have a MAPS or a silver/gold competency. While these are truly support incidents that save you from paying $499 to phone in and create a support ticket, these incidents do not have prioritization or escalation privileges. Also, be sure to notice the SLAs on response times. If this meets your business objectives regarding support for your customers, then great. If not, read #2.
2. Now for the BEST OPTION. Advanced Support for Partners (ASfP) is a difference-maker for your business. Here is the link to a file that describe more about it, and additionally, and here is a promo right now to get it for less than the normal price.
Many partners will struggle to absorb the fact that the normal cost is $1250/month. However, I encourage you to think about it from the perspective of turning it into a revenue generator for your organization. If you create a differentiated service offering that provides a higher level SLA, etc., many of your customers will be interested in paying a premium to get a better support option. Use the premium fee that you add on to your normal support offering to off-set the cost of ASfP. After a few customers are signed up, you’ll be covering your cost, and with a few more customers signed up, you’ll be making a profit on the differentiated offering.
Here’s my point to all of this “Support” stuff. When customers call you about something not working right, you need options to help them get it resolved quickly. I strongly encourage EVERY partner to take a close look at this offering. ASfP is a differentiator. I’m not trying to “sell” you on this offering. I’m trying to help you be more successful, and create stickiness for your customers to stay your customers. Ultimately, it’s your choice. I can honestly tell you though, that if I was a cloud partner organization, I’d be using this service to help my business take care of my customers…and make a profit from it.
Let me know if you have questions, or if you’d like to speak with someone from the support team who can give you a more in-depth overview.
From what I’ve seen, most partners don’t think about support until they are already in production. I feel you should test your support, just like you test your deployment. Please ensure that you have the correct level of support for your customers before, you run into a problem.
Until next time,