I do not normally get excited when talking about technical support but Microsoft Premier is different. The goal with having a Premier contract is that you will be more proactive, and try to locate and resolve issues before they become bigger problems. By purchasing this agreement you will also have access to an account manager that will communicate with you regularly to ensure that your goals and needs are being met.
One of the great benefits with a Premier agreement is the Risk Assessment Programs (RAPs). You are able to use a portion of your contract hours to have a Premier Field Engineer, onsite or remotely, analyze your environment. These engineers specialize in the product that they support. Microsoft has different RAPs for each of their products. An additional part of the RAP is knowledge transfer. The engineer will assess what you know and try to fill in any gaps. You will have access to an expert that will be able to answer any questions you may have about the product. Microsoft has developed tools to thoroughly check your configuration and will provide you with a detailed report. This report will contain the information on how to correct potential problems or confirm that what you have already done is to best practice.
We all face those problems that are difficult to resolve. It might be something that is uncommon and unique to your environment. The problem resolution support with Premier will enable you to access higher level engineers and easily escalate your case if needed. This was the original reason why my company decided to go with a Premier contract. We had an issue with Kerberos authentication that we were not able to get resolved using the standard technical support or through our other support channels. Once we were able to log a case with Premier we were able to quickly find a solution. I do not believe we would have been able to resolve our issue without it.
Another part of Premier is access to training. You will be able to use part of your hours towards training courses on a variety of different topics. You can also use part of your Premier hours to obtain a pass to the annual Microsoft Ignite Conference (formally known as TechEd). This can be helpful if you have a limited training budget.
From my experience our Premier agreement with Microsoft has proven its value. My company has done many RAPs for different applications including Exchange, Active Directory, Group Policy, and SharePoint. We have also had PFEs come onsite for consultations on Lync and implementing a proper EFS infrastructure. Every one of these engagements have exceed our expectations and have always left us in a better place than when we started. If you support an enterprise environment I recommend you visit the link below and see if you too could benefit from this program.
This article was not approve or requested by Microsoft. Since our experience with Microsoft Premier has been so good I thought I would share.