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Microsoft Rolls Out 'Mission Critical' Support

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Microsoft is expanding its options for large and mid-sized businesses by offering a new service to specifically provide fast response and customized, ongoing support for mission critical applications.

Called "Premier Mission Critical," the new service is an add-on to Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) established Premier Support plan.

"We're expanding the Premier portfolio to have a more intimate relationship with customers with the goal of ensuring that the solution is, and stays, healthy," Norm Judah, CTO of Microsoft Services, told InternetNews.com.

The new service, which is "layered" on top of Premier support, provides customers with a dedicated Microsoft Solution Engineer who consistently supports the customer.

"The Solution Engineer is attached to the customer, spends time at the customer's location, and is integrated into the way the solution works," Judah said.

Among the services Microsoft said customers receive with Premier Mission Critical support is a team of engineers who validate each customer's system design and understand the configuration and deployment. That is followed by continuing support, including ongoing risk assessment and security evaluations.

Also high on the list of support services is a dedicated line that users can call any time, day or night, year round.

And, in the case of a solution outage or some other crippling incident, Microsoft guarantees a half-hour response time. In its statement, Microsoft claims that Premier Mission Critical support provides the fastest problem resolution available from the company.

"It allows us to respond faster with a high value application," Judah added. "It's [support is] customized in each case."

The new support offering covers the .NET Framework, BizTalk Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It also covers System Center, SQL Server, and Windows Server.

Premier Mission Critical support, in English, is available globally. Pricing varies depending on the customers' needs but starts, Judah said, in the "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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