Office 365 Getting E-Mail and 'Critical' Trouble Ticket Support Improvements
Microsoft on Wednesday announced new trouble-ticketing support additions to the Office 365 Admin Center portal for IT pros, including one improvement specifically aimed at Microsoft Premier users.
The additions for all Office 365 Admin Center users are coming on top of Microsoft support improvements announced back in September, such as faster phone responses and new "Need Help" and "Call Me" buttons added to the portal. Microsoft had also claimed back then that its Office 365 support was benefitting from the use of "telemetry" problem-reporting information sent back to Microsoft, as well as machine learning that was being applied to produce recommended actions and trouble tickets.
New Admin Center Additions
New in the Office 365 Admin Center portal and "currently rolling out to all customers" is a "New Service Request" menu option, which is located on the left side of the portal under "Support." It, along with the "Need Help" button, can be used to produce a support ticket with Microsoft.
Also new is the ability to request support communications from Microsoft using e-mail. The Office 365 Admin Center portal now has a new "Email Us" option. Microsoft currently supports e-mail attachments of up to 5MB in support communications, but it is looking toward expanding that capacity.
The updated portal also will now show "the status and history of all tickets, with the most recent tickets at the top of the list," Microsoft's announcement promised. IT pros can update their submitted tickets, too, although they can't alter a ticket's "description of issue, email address, and person of contact," the announcement added.
Premier Support Addition
Premier users of the Office 365 Admin Center soon will be getting the ability to label a trouble ticket as "Critical," which will get special routing and treatment by Microsoft.
"When you indicate a ticket as Critical, we will route the ticket to a Critical Situation management team that will manage your incident communications from beginning to end as it is being resolved by Premier engineers," the announcement explained.
That improvement will start to arrive for Premier users "in the beginning of April." It'll be available "to all Premier customers by July," Microsoft's announcement clarified.
Microsoft Premier is a supplemental technical support program offered to some organizations at additional cost. Microsoft previously announced that it is planning to replace its Premier program with the new Microsoft Unified Support program. The replacement with Microsoft Unified Support is expected to be in full effect worldwide by June of next year.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.