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Announcing: Comprehensive Updates to Windows Azure Customer Support Offerings, and Free Standard Support till Dec 31, 2012

As customers transition to the cloud, a number of tasks traditionally handled in-house become the responsibility of a trusted cloud provider.  While the idea of using a vendor for technical…

As customers transition to the cloud, a number of tasks traditionally handled in-house become the responsibility of a trusted cloud provider.  While the idea of using a vendor for technical support isn’t new, the role of Customer Support in the cloud is quickly expanding beyond break/fix issues and into robust requirements tailored for specific needs.   Customer requirements for support are quickly outgrowing industry norms as the partnership between customers and cloud providers now spans from basic support all the way to advanced support from a team that knows your applications, your infrastructure, and also provides educational and advisory services.

Today we are pleased to announce significant enhancements to Windows Azure Customer Support which better reflect the needs of customers as they transition to the cloud and grow deployments.  Key improvements include more areas covered by local language support, specialized support options that address a variety of needs including break/fix issues, rapid response guarantees, and on-site consulting for architecture and optimization decisions.

Effective immediately, customers can choose from five support options.  All customers will receive Standard Support benefits through December 31, 2012 free of charge giving them time to evaluate and select the plan that best suits their business needs.

Here are the highlights of the updated support program:

  • All levels of support receive:
    • Improved forum support with twice the number of Microsoft engineers that provide timely answers to customers free of charge.
    • Increased seniority and technical expertise from our support engineers.
    • New support interface within the Management portal for faster support ticket submissions and the ability to manage, track, and interact with support engineers online. 
    • Expanded global support with eight languages including: English, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.
    • Flat rate monthly pricing.
  • Additional Benefits for Professional Direct and Premier
    • Faster response time with priority routing and escalation assistance.
    • Access to technical managers who understand your business and have knowledge of your application and environment.
    • Access to advisory services to help customers with specific features, architectural, and implementation questions.
    • A host of online or in-person professional services including:
      • Assessments
        • .NET Application Migration
        • Application Scalability
        • Application Cost Effectiveness
        • Infrastructure and Identity
        • Knowledge Transfer
          • Developing Windows Azure Solutions Workshop
          • Windows Azure Proof of Concept Accelerator
          • Windows Azure Application Monitoring and Diagnostic Workshop
        • Process Optimization
          • Implementing Windows Azure Release Management

1 Additional information on Premier Support, including how to purchase, can be found here.

2 15-minute response time is only available with the purchase of Microsoft Rapid Response and Premier Support for Windows Azure.

3 Business hours for local languages and 24×7 for English.

4 Professional Direct is only available in US, UK, and Canada.

These new support offers reflect the expanded role of support in the public cloud.  From forum based break/fix support, to expert help and training onsite from experts who are familiar with your applications, we’re offering a variety of options to meet your needs.   We invite you to try out the Standard Support Offer benefits that are provided free of charge through December 31, 2012 and let us know what you think!

–  Steven Martin, General Manager, Windows Azure Business Planning & Operations