Microsoft: Pay for Azure upfront and we'll give you $12,000 in free support

Microsoft is offering up to $12,000 worth of free support to anyone who makes a prepaid commitment to Azure.

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The Azure offer is Microsoft's latest effort to entice more traditional enterprise customers that still prefer to run their own infrastructure.

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Microsoft is offering support upgrades to customers that have committed to Microsoft's Azure cloud for the year.

If you're on an Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA), meaning you pay upfront for Azure resources, Microsoft will bump you up to a higher support tier for 12 months beginning on May 1. The offer comes at no extra charge and applies to new and existing customers.

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The offer is Microsoft's latest effort to entice more of its traditional customers to use Azure, especially in the enterprise, where many businesses still prefer to run their own infrastructure. Microsoft just this week launched a free Cloud Essential training bundle for IT pros who manage that infrastructure and may not yet be comfortable with the cloud.

Azure EA customers that don't currently have any support will get Standard Support free of charge for the year, valued at $3,600 annually.

Customers without support but that have a prepaid commitment of $100,000 or that use $10,000 a month in Azure services for three consecutive months will get ProDirect Support, rather than the usual Standard Support. ProDirect Support would otherwise cost $12,000 a year.

All EA customers on Azure with ProDirect Support will receive six App Consulting sessions free of charge, while six additional consulting sessions are on offer for those at that support level already but with a prepaid commitment of $100,000.

The consulting sessions consist of a one-on-one meeting with an Azure technical pro who is an expert in areas such as architecting cloud environments, app design and implementation, and workload deployment.

The offers are available to new and existing customers who have or buy Azure Services on an EA from May 1, 2016, through until June 30, 2017.

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