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Microsoft Partner Support Guidance

Office 365 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
  • Tenant creation and administration
    • The partner is responsible for creating new customer tenants when necessary and the administration of those customer tenants and for resolving support requests when these tasks cannot be successfully completed
  • User creation and administration
    • The partner is responsible for creating new user accounts within the customer tenant 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 tenant, who may then have the ability to create new users or modify existing users
  • License procurement within tenant
    • The partner is responsible for procuring new products and subscriptions within the customer tenant and for resolving support requests when these tasks do not complete successfully
  • License assignment and reassignment to users within tenant
    • The partner is responsible for assigning and reassigning available licenses to user accounts within the customer tenant and for resolving support requests when these tasks cannot be or are not successfully completed
  • Deployment and activation of license to end customer device
    • The partner is responsible for ensuring the end customer can deploy the licenses they have procured.

 

Technical Support for Office 365 subscriptions

The partner is required to be the first point of contact for all technical support issues for Office 365 subscriptions to include installation and setup, configuration, general technical usage and post-deployment break-fix. Some examples of these issue types are listed in the following table.

 

Support Category

Examples

Installation and setup

  • Exchange Online:
    • Office 365 mailbox migration
    • Recipient configuration (mailbox permissions, configuring mail forwarding, configuring shared mailbox)
    • Auto discover configuration
  • SharePoint Online:
    • Permissions and user groups
    • Configuration of external users
  • Skype for Business Online:
    • Installation and creating contacts
  • Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus: Installation and setup assistance

Configuration

  • Service configuration failure issues
    • Provisioning issues
    • Domain setup and re-delegation
  • Service configuration issues
    • Single sign-on (SSO)
    • Active Directory synchronization

Service not working

  • Break in the flow of email
  • Authentication issues
  • Unable to connect to Skype
    • Skype call are not being received
    • Calls are not going out
  • SharePoint

 

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 Microsoft Office 365 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. 

Community Manager

Re: Microsoft Partner Support Guidance

This is great information. Thanks, TJ!

Highlighted
Influencer

Re: Microsoft Partner Support Guidance

Great post TJ! This is very useful for partners selling in the CSP model (which is a model that I like btw)!

 

Regards, Per