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Have you ever felt “alone in the dark” with your Office 365 problem? It is probably a bit harsh and surprising, but I feel this almost every time I use a standard Office 365 support. But fortunately, there are some other options – check out what you can do instead.
Well, I have more than three years of experience in supporting our customers with Office 365 knowledge. In most cases, we are capable of helping them by ourselves, but in some scenarios, we use Office 365 Support.
I have to tell you – when a ticket, by some coincidence, goes to standard Office 365 Support, I feel that I’m wasting my time.
Let me give you a few examples on that.
Once we had a problem with permission requests in SharePoint. And users were not able to approve them. So what did we do? We have submitted a ticket to the support, and I heard on the phone “Sorry sir, I’m a junior support engineer, and there is nothing more I can click in the UI to solve your problem”. I just took a deep breath and thanked the lady for help… cursing the whole situation in my head.
In another case, we fought with SharePoint Variations problem. I was asked to activate some features on the production site. Those of you who know SharePoint, probably feel that it’s easy to turn on features, but disabling them may be extremely difficult. And the support shouldn’t ask for such actions.
The last case is related to my latest video “Why you should disable external sharing in SharePoint Online”. I discovered an unexpected SharePoint behavior that may result in sharing a document with a random person.
It took over a month to diagnose the cause. Moreover, I didn’t get any solution. Just an answer that even though the behavior is surprising, it works by design. I have to say, I was very conscientious while preparing the case – I sent repro steps with video.
Still, like I said, it took over a month, during which our customer could send sensitive information to the wrong/unknown group of people by accident.
Is O365 Support so terrible? Well, it depends on your luck. If you are unlucky to go to the first support line, your experience will be similar to mine. I have a customer, who sends tickets only after 6 PM, and they are sometimes directed to the second support line with way more experienced people on board.
So now, let me tell you what you’ve been all waiting for… What are your other options?
The first one is to buy a Microsoft Premier Support. Within the service, you get a dedicated contract manager, whose task is to make sure your systems work flawlessly and to help you manage them in a proper way.
The biggest difference is that Premier Support engineers are one of the best that I know, and they also have a shortcut to the product groups and Senior Cloud engineers in Microsoft.
Such contracts can give you also some excellent training, and it can cover all you Microsoft solutions.
The disadvantage here is… the price.
Your second option is using Microsoft Partner help. As a Partner, we have access to Signature Support for partners. I must say, that people who work there are probably as good as those from Premier Support, but they cover only cloud services.
The case that I mentioned at the beginning, that took standard support over a month, was resolved by Signature support in one day. I sent them the same materials, and the next day I was provided with an explanation and a complete solution. So if you want to have your bugs fixed fast, you should contact us or a partner of your choice with proper cloud competencies.
We can also provide you a one hour response time during your business hour or 24/7 option if your business requires it.
Maybe it will surprise you, but it’s possible to get our help without spending a penny. If you assign Predica as your Digital Partner of Record, we are eligible for usage and adoption funds from Microsoft.
It’s a small monthly payment based on your actual service usage and in most cases it’s sufficient to provide our services at no cost.
You may ask – why do you submit tickets to standard support if we have the Signature one. Well, the answer is simple – sometimes they are sent to the standard line by coincidence by Microsoft workflows, I didn’t manage to find any pattern here.
To sum up – if you are not happy with the standard Office 365 support, you can buy Microsoft Premier Support or turn to a vendor to discuss your needs and terms.
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