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Microsoft: Most Critical IT Service Calls Not Due to Software

People and processes are the root cause of most big IT problems, rather than software or hardware, according to an internal Microsoft Services poll.

That finding was described as "not surprising" by Simon Hall, an operations consultant at Microsoft Premier Support UK, in a blog post. Problems with software or hardware turned out to be less of an issue in the poll.

"We saw that 80% of all downtime had the underlying root cause attributed to People and Process issues," Hall explained in the blog. "That means that 80% of all the Critical Issues our customers faced were wholly preventable."

This "it's you, not us" operator error explanation might be subject to debate, but subscribers to Microsoft's enterprise support services likely have little time to care. They pay for on-site support and 24x7 access to Microsoft's technical account manager specialists. It's a step up from the more limited Web site and call support offered by Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing option.

Process issues were also described in the poll as problematic. The Microsoft Premier team is somewhat flexible in that regard, supporting both ITIL and MOF approaches, according to the blog.

Microsoft Services Premier Support has four plans that vary according to a matrix listed here. Premier Foundation is the entry-level service offering with 24x7 and on-site support. Premiere Standard, Premier Plus and Premier Ultimate represent increasing levels of service access with greater proactive support from Microsoft.

Microsoft's total support organization consists of an Enterprise Services team and a Customer Support Services team. Support is provided across 88 countries by about 9,720 IT pros, according to Microsoft's stats. About 4,500 of that total number are support engineers.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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