Resellers and service providers will qualify for unlimited free support under Microsoft's new customer support strategy announced yesterday.
The software giant has based its revamped support structure on customer types rather than product types. The four tiers available are Alliance for global accounts; Premier for premier accounts; Professional for IT professionals, developers and resellers; and Personal for consumers and home users.
"We are offering free support for resellers and consultants through the Direct Access Program," explained Hugh Jones, director of product support services at Microsoft. "The criterion is that it has to be causing a significant business outage for their customer. The fact that we are supporting the service provider as an intermediary (between the customer and Microsoft) limits demand.
"The service providers can solve the problem themselves 99 per cent of the time, but they need our support because it looks bad when they can't solve the 1 per cent of hairy ones. We prefer to manage demand rather than limit them to two incidents per year."
Microsoft's outsourcing partner for its call centres is Sydney-based developer and integrator Datacom.