Microsoft Service Advantage Boosts Commitment To Enterprise Customers Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 27, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced several new and enhanced services, including preventive support options for mission-critical information technology (IT) systems maintenance, new consultative migration and planning services, and a single contract for all Microsoft®
direct services worldwide. These changes are part of a comprehensive portfolio of direct and partner-supplied enterprise customer services, called Microsoft Service Advantage.

This extensive portfolio of services provides customers with the technical services needed for successful development and deployment of their mission-critical client-server software systems. Microsoft Service Advantage builds on Microsoft’s long-term investment and commitment to delivering high-quality consulting, support and partner services for enterprise customers worldwide.

Following are four new additions to Microsoft Service Advantage:

  • Premier Watch is a new support option for Premier customers providing continuous remote-server monitoring and server-restoration support for mission-critical servers based on the Windows NT
    operating system and Microsoft BackOffice

  • Technology Consulting Blueprints are timely planning and migration services from Microsoft Consulting Services. Based on Microsoft’s best practices and experiences, each Blueprint service provides a set of predefined deliverables focusing on a specific technology topic.

  • Enterprise Program Manager is a new offering for on-site, long-term IT planning.

  • Master Services Agreement is a new option for enterprise customers to combine their chosen mix of consulting and support services under a single contract.

Microsoft Invests in Customer Satisfaction

Microsoft’s service offerings provide skills transfer, direct services and detailed technical information that help Microsoft customers and service partners achieve maximum operational effectiveness with minimum service cost.

Microsoft employs 3,000 technical service professionals in more than 40 countries, dedicated to enterprise service. The company has built an infrastructure that supports both high-quality direct services and the ability to transfer Microsoft support skills rapidly to partners specializing in multivendor customer service. Today’s announcement builds on Microsoft’s current consulting services as well as its Premier offerings, which deliver mission-critical support worldwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the past year, Microsoft opened five additional regional support centers, which offer remote and on-site service. In addition, Microsoft expanded its worldwide consulting services while training more than 400 Microsoft Solution Providers in its best consulting practices and more than 3,000 Solution Providers and customers in the Microsoft Solutions Framework.

“Our goal is to help customers successfully deploy Microsoft software as quickly as possible to achieve business advantage,”
said Deborah Willingham, vice president of support at Microsoft.
“Delivering know-how to our customers and partners and helping them develop and implement reliable solutions are our primary goals. Customer satisfaction is the measure of our success.”

“Microsoft’s service model is compelling because Microsoft is not in service for the profit,”
said Ladd Bodem, vice president of Dataquest Inc.
“Instead, it invests in direct-service options and helps its worldwide partners deliver quality in their multivendor services. This formula offers real value in client-server computing.”

Additions and Enhancements to Microsoft Direct-Service Offerings

In addition to existing direct services, Microsoft Service Advantage includes the following new and enhanced direct services:

  • Premier Watch helps ensure that the customer’s IT organization has maximum server availability and quickest recovery time for mission-critical servers.

  • Early Assist enables Premier and Premier Global customers to access release-level technical support (including telephone support) for selected beta products under their existing support contracts. Beta support was formerly offered online only.

  • Premier ServiceDesk enables Premier and Premier Global customers to submit detailed, annotated service requests electronically and gain exclusive access to Premier customer information and services on a secured support area on the Internet at Premier customers will be invited to participate in regularly scheduled expert round-table voice conferences to discuss product futures and other technical information.

  • Multivendor Coordination helps ensure problem resolution for Premier customers in a multivendor environment. Microsoft will take the lead in diagnosing multivendor issues and work with other vendors if the problem resulted from a non-Microsoft product. Microsoft will keep the originally submitted incident open until the problem has been resolved.

  • Premier Development Lab is a new optional service that allows Premier customers to obtain expert assistance on-site at Microsoft for developing or porting applications to Microsoft platforms or implementing Microsoft technologies such as OLE and the Win 32®

  • Custom Consulting offers expanded options for custom consulting engagements focusing on client-server architecture and design, applications development and project management. A new offering is the Enterprise Program Manager , whichoffers large organizations the option of contracting the services of a long-term, on-site senior-level consultant who works with the customer to successfully design and implement Microsoft technologies to meet business objectives.

  • Technology Consulting Blueprints include nine new and enhanced services: Windows® 95 Migration Planning, Office for Windows 95 Migration Planning, Planning for Microsoft Exchange Server, Migrating from Banyan® VINES®
    to Windows NT, Systems Management Server Deployment Planning, and four Internet and intranet-related services. These are migration planning from NetScape
    Server to Microsoft Internet Server, Internet applications development planning, Internet and intranet infrastructure planning, and integrating Web applications with mainframe transactions.

  • Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) is a process that guides and assists organizations in planning, building and managing software projects. It is based on Microsoft’s best practices that include extensive development experience and consulting interaction with enterprise customers. An enhanced version of Microsoft’s facilitated training course, due for release this summer, will add enterprise architecture planning and enhanced component solutions with examples using Microsoft technologies. Since its launch in 1994, more than 4,000 individuals have used this best-practices framework for solutions-development discipline and designing component solutions.

Global Service Network: Multivendor Integration and Large-Scale Deployment

Microsoft recognizes that the complex demands of multivendor integration and deployment often require strategic relationships with specialized service organizations.

Authorized Support Centers (ASCs) are Microsoft Solution Providers selected for their ability to provide the high-quality support and full range of services enterprise customers need to deploy and operate distributed computing systems successfully. ASCs augment support that is available directly from Microsoft by offering complete life-cycle multivendor support services. ASCs offer services as a separate line of business and are well-established with an existing infrastructure for the delivery of high-volume support.

Microsoft also has strategic consulting alliances with Microsoft Solution Provider partners that specialize in system integration and large-scale deployment. These large organizations have the consulting depth to plan, design and implement worldwide solutions while helping enterprise customers integrate Microsoft products into their existing infrastructure. During the past year, Microsoft has formed strategic alliances with respected global organizations such as Digital Equipment Corp. and Wang Laboratories Inc. Microsoft Service Advantage builds on Microsoft’s existing services and network of Solution Providers to support enterprise customers worldwide. Microsoft Service Advantage includes information services for a variety of audiences, a large network of Solution Provider Partners, integration experts in the Microsoft Global Support network, and direct interaction with Microsoft consultants and support engineers.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.


Microsoft, Windows NT, BackOffice, Win32 and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Banyan and VINES are registered trademarks of Banyan Systems Inc.

NetScape is a trademark of NetScape Communications Corp.

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