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Microsoft Partner Support Guidance

Azure subscriptions sold through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

Partners transacting in the CSP model are the trusted advisor to their customers and own the relationship end-to-end, including support when their customer has a question or issue. Through support touch points partners can learn more about the customer, and their business, to identify new services and solutions that drive value. 

To fulfill the support requirement, the partner may resell support from another entity, they may outsource all or part of their support structure and/or they may set up a structure to provide support directly.  The partner may charge for all or part of the support provided to customers. The partner should articulate to their customers the support they will provide, the service hours and contact method, as well as the pricing (if charging for support). 

Partners are required to receive incoming support requests from customers, diagnose issues to the best of the partner’s ability and then resolve issues that are within scope of the baseline support boundaries. If the partner is unable to resolve an issue, they can escalate issues to Microsoft via the following support vehicles:

  • Commercial issue support is available to all partners in the CSP program
  • Technical issue support is available through:
    • Premier Support for Partners (fee base)
    • Advanced Support for Partners (fee base)
    • Signature Cloud Support (included with Gold/Silver competency)

Commercial Support: Billing and Subscription Management

The partner is required to be the first point of contact for support requests for the following scenarios around billing and subscription management:

  • Billing
    • The partner is responsible for resolving billing issues between the partner and the customer and for resolving support requests when these tasks cannot be successfully completed. Microsoft is responsible for resolving billing issues between Microsoft and the partner.
    • The partner is also responsible for setting-up and managing Azure spending (quota) limits on the subscription, as appropriate, and managing any questions or escalations that arise from the end customer.
  • Subscription creation and administration
    • The partner is responsible for creating new customer subscriptions when necessary and the administration of those customer subscriptions and for resolving support requests when these tasks cannot be successfully completed.
    • The partner is responsible for provision access for the customer on Azure Portal to create and manage resources under existing subscription and/or manage them on behalf of customers
  • User creation and administration
    • The partner is responsible for creating new user accounts within the customer subscription and the administration of those accounts and for resolving support requests when these tasks cannot be successfully completed
    • The partner may provide admin level access to users within the customer subscription, who may then have the ability to create new users or modify existing users.

 

Technical Support for Azure subscriptions

The partner is required to be the first point of contact for all technical support issues for Azure subscriptions to include; resource provisioning, set-up, deployment, configuration, and break-fix. Some examples of these issue types are listed in the following table.

The partner can provide this support as part of a support offering, for a fee, to the end customer.

Support Category

Examples

Resource Provisioning

Set-up & deployment

·        Subscription

o   Subscription entitlement

o   Billing itemization/consumptions

·        Portal Access

o   Log-in failures

o   Portal availability

  • Resource creation / provisioning

Resource Configuration/Management

·        Resource access

o   Permissions and user groups

o   Configuration of external users

·        Resource configuration

o   Service configuration issues

o   Single sign-on (SSO) / permissions

o   Active Directory synchronization

Initial Troubleshooting for all other issues

·        Platform Outage

·        Resource access / availability

·        Service / Platform Performance

o   Load balancing / networking

o   Subscription quota limits

·       How to’s (question on Resource/Service use)

 

 

Contacting Microsoft Support

When the partner is unable to resolve an end-customer’s support issue, the partner may engage Microsoft support for issues where assistance is needed.  The Partner can submit a service request on behalf of customers and work with Microsoft to resolve.  It is important to note that all service requests must begin in Partner Center.  When bypassing Partner Center, if the CSP partner is logged into the Azure portal they will be under the context of their own subscription, and not the customers thus “On Behalf Of” functionality will not be invoked.  

When engaging Microsoft Partner Support to resolve support issues, the partner must remain the primary point of contact with the end-customer throughout the engagement with Microsoft Partner Support.  Additionally, the Partner must provide their contact information within the service request rather than the end-customer’s contact information. If the partner is unable to resolve an issue, they can escalate issues to Microsoft via the following support vehicles:

  • Commercial issue support is available to all partners in the CSP program
  • Technical issue support is available through:
    • Premier Support for Partners (fee base)
    • Advanced Support for Partners (fee base)
    • Signature Cloud Support (included with Gold/Silver competency)

Detailed guidance on how to submit a request on behalf of a customer, or to report a problem with Partner Center can be found on the Partner Center portal within the How-To section.