SAMexpert Microsoft Licensing Experts

What's the difference between Premier Support and Unified Support? Premier Support has been around for 20 years. Unified Support is relatively new – three years. From the service perspective, they are identical. What's changed is the way Microsoft is billing the end customer.

Premier Support was a fixed cost that you were paying based on your service levels, the consulting services that you're receiving, your TAM services, and so on. And it was predictable.

Unified Support is no longer predictable. It's based on your actual cost to Microsoft. It's linked to your Enterprise Agreement, CSP costs, to your Azure consumption. It's a fluctuating changing cost that you're going to be paying to Microsoft over the term of the Unified Agreement. And every year, it's going to go up as it's based on a percentage of those costs.

There are also different rates for online and on-premise licenses. So as you continue to consume additional services, either being on Office 365 or Azure, your overall cost for Unified Support will increase.

That doesn't mean you're going to be receiving more benefits, or you're going to be seeing additional value. Your cost is going to increase. And you're not going to understand what you are receiving for it.

So our recommendation is straightforward.

  • Understand your baseline.

  • Ensure that your Azure baseline is known and your enterprise agreement baseline is known.

  • And negotiate the percentages on which the actual calculations are done. The larger you are, the more leverage you have in such a negotiation.

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