Microsoft rolled out a new add-on to its Premier support program on August 10 that is aimed at companies with mission-critical needs.
That new add-on, "Premier Mission Critical," is designed to provide the "fastest response times available from Microsoft" to get a business back up and running if an incident occurs.
Microsoft introduced in 2008 a high-end support offering, known as Premier Ultimate, that offered Microsoft's largest enterprise licenses unlimited problem resolution support (with some unspecified possible restrictions), IT health assessments, account management (both on-site and dedicated) and on-site support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At that time, Microsoft officials said the new Ultimate offering was also designed to help customers become more proactive and less reactive regarding their support needs.
The new Mission Critical add-on also has this "proactive" goal, and includes consulting time with Microsoft around the customer's infrastructure. From the press release:
"After the initial consultation, customers receive a dedicated line for support, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with priority access to the most knowledgeable experts. If an incident occurs, Premier Mission Critical provides customers with the fastest problem resolution services available from Microsoft Corp., including a 30-minute response time and an engagement process that begins at an advanced support level."
The products covered by Microsoft's Mission Critical program are all on-premises ones, not cloud services or infrastructure. Products for which the program is available include the .NET Framework, BizTalk Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Dynamics CRM, System Center, SQL Server and Windows Server. Support is available worldwide in English only.
There is no pre-set price list for the new add-on. Pricing for Premier Mission Critical "will be dependent on the level of engagement with Microsoft and the specific requirements," company officials said.
Microsoft offers offers four Premier options: Foundation, Standard, Premium Plus and Premier Ultimate. (Here's a chart showing how these options compare, feature-wise.) The new Mission-Critical add-on is one of several add-ons available for these plans. Other add-ons include Custom Support, Extended Hotfix Support and Premium Third-Tier Support.