Looking to find a CSP?
You've made the decision to take advantage of Cloud-Based productivity with Microsoft 365 or to build your next great idea in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. As you prepare to make the transition to a CSP, there are some key questions you should be asking to ensure your decision brings the most value and return on investment to your organization.
Review the following seven questions and click the tabs to gauge the effectiveness of a Cloud Solutions Provider.
It goes to an offshore team who reads a script.
It goes to an onshore team that has a wide range of technologies.
It goes to a dedicated onshore team who is focused on Microsoft.
It goes to a dedicated onshore team who is focused on Microsoft and knows about the customer’s business (setup & configuration).
Even Better + the team can turn to deployment engineers who deploy the solutions every day and likely worked on your engagement to ask questions and get their expert input advice and troubleshooting brain (Interlink).
We utilize a distributor who starts with a Level 1 help desk OR we have an EA Agreement but only have access to the generic 800# support that is available to clients starting at quantity 1.
We utilize a local Partner who has a Microsoft Cloud Support Agreement
- *This is the lowest level of paid support which does not have a Technical Account Manager - (a paid Microsoft resource that is responsible for your service delivery) or east way to escalate tickets to Microsoft.
We utilize a local partner who has a Microsoft Premier Agreement (Interlink) Highest level of Microsoft agreement which has a shared Technical Account Manager - who can escalate issues and ensure they are driven to conclusion. Premier Agreements also include the ability to escalate critical tickets to Severity Level A which means that Microsoft will commit dedicated resources to the ticket for fast resolution.
We have our own Microsoft Unified Support Agreement
*Lower level - shared Technical Account Manager - starts at $40K -– determined as a percentage of the license spend with Microsoft. Can be particularly useful for clients who have deep adoption of Microsoft Business solutions.
Dedicated Technical Account Manager which typically comes at $750K+ per year in Unified support.
They operate by “Best Effort” and do not give a guarantee of when they can address your issue.
They have a Service Level Agreement with you (SLA is time to respond. “we’ll be back in X amount of time.”) (Interlink).
We look online and hope for the best.
We have a contact who can pull in a licensing specialist who has limited technical knowledge.
Our partner has certified licensing specialists on staff, and they can pull in licensing knowledgeable technical resources to help architect things with licensing expense as a primary criteria. (Interlink).
Local provider who must contact a distributor who has to contact Microsoft.
Bigger provider who purchases direct from Microsoft but has a massive billing department and can take weeks to get things resolved.
Direct access to your provider’s accounting department who is well versed in the nuances of Microsoft billing and proration scenarios. (Interlink).
They are a Microsoft Silver or Gold Partner - these are the dated ways that partners refer to themselves
They are a Microsoft Solutions Partner in the area of technology that you are purchasing (there are 6). Interlink has four:
- Modern Work
- Data & AI
They are a Microsoft Solutions Partner and have specific competency of the solution area that you are working on (there are 30). Interlink has 9:
- Teamwork Deployment
- Meetings & Meeting Rooms for Microsoft Teams
- Calling for Microsoft Teams
- Adoption & Change Management
- Threat Protection
- Information Protection and Governance
- Identity & Access Management
- Azure Virtual Desktop
- Infra & Database Migration