Microsoft Joins Forces With Digital, Hewlett-Packard To Bring Support to More Enterprise Customers

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 21, 1997 — Microsoft Corp., in conjunction with Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., today announced Microsoft® Authorized Support, a new support service modeled on Microsoft’s successful Premier Support service. The service combines support from Microsoft and either Digital or HP, providing increased options for midsize enterprise organizations.

With Microsoft Authorized Support, customers can receive support from Digital or HP on up to 75 support incidents per year, covering Microsoft and selected multivendor products 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also provided is a Technical Account Manager (TAM) from Digital or HP to directly oversee the customer’s support relationship, work to prevent problems and help the customer reduce overall support costs. For escalating issues, customers will interact directly with Microsoft engineers. Microsoft also provides technical information services to help prevent problems or resolve them more quickly.

“Windows NT® is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for corporate computing, and we’re excited to provide growing midsize enterprise customers with new options for mission-critical support,”
said Deborah Willingham, vice president of the enterprise customer unit at Microsoft.
“Authorized Support defines a new model for the industry, providing customers with a choice of service provider with Microsoft built in.”

“As the world’s largest Microsoft Certified Solution Provider, Digital is pleased to be working with Microsoft to offer customers broader support options for enterprise service solutions supporting the total life cycle of the Microsoft software environment,”
said Peter Mercury, vice president and general manager of Digital’s multivendor services business.
“Digital will complement Microsoft Authorized Support with other multivendor services that address installation and start-up, migration, implementation and management to help enterprises realize the full benefits of Microsoft Technology.”

“Digital understands both the customer side and the Microsoft side of things,”
said Joel Ammons of Colorado Department of Transportation.
“Digital is one of the very few that understands and that has hands-on experience with Windows NT at the enterprise level. It is good to see the two companies joining forces to make it easier for customers to receive support for a mixed vendor environment.”

“Back in March, HP and Microsoft formed a strategic relationship to meet the computing needs of enterprise customers – today’s announcement is another indicator of the strength of this ongoing strategic relationship,”
said Ann Livermore, vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s software and services group.
“Microsoft Authorized Support from Hewlett-Packard provides outstanding multivendor coverage for an enterprise customer’s overall Windows NT environment, and when combined with HP’s complete portfolio of Windows NT-based services, including high availability support, disaster recovery, professional services and training, customers have the flexibility to choose the services they need as they increasingly deploy critical Windows NT-based applications.”

Key Features of Authorized Support

Modeled on Microsoft Premier Support, Authorized Support has three major deliverables:

  • Technical Account Management. This is a proactive relationship aimed at eliminating problems before they occur and helping customers reduce their overall support costs. TAMs from Digital and HP are Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers who have a close relationship with Microsoft engineers and support managers and a mission to help ensure customer satisfaction. Regular contact, status reporting and support planning assistance help customers deploy products faster, increase system availability and reduce overall support costs.

  • Technical support. This means full 24-by-seven support for Microsoft and other vendors’ PC software products, with rigorous escalation procedures, problem tracking and fully integrated back-up support from Microsoft. Faster problem resolution is achieved through better integration of customer and Digital or HP support staff under the leadership of the TAM. The basic service allows for submission of 75 support issues per year from any number of preauthorized customer contacts. Additional Technical Account Manager services and support incidents are available for a fee.

  • Technical information services. This range of services is provided directly from Microsoft. It includes the following:

  • Premier ServiceDesk. This private Web site, exclusive to Microsoft Premier Support and Authorized Support customers, features weekly product and support news flashes, critical problem alerts, customer-to-customer forums, hot-fix (code-fix) and service pack information. These services may be customized to suit individual customers’ needs.

  • TechNet. A CD-ROM subscription gives access to thousands of support-related and product information articles, resource kits, service packs and utilities. TechNet is proven to reduce support calls by over 60 percent.

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Authorized Support is available from Digital and HP immediately in North America, with starting prices of under $30,000. Service availability in Europe is expected by early 1998 and in other countries during 1998. Similar services from Microsoft’s other support associates are expected to become available during 1998.

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

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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