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8 Microsoft Channel Cutbacks That Made Partners See Red

Microsoft says it invests $2 billion annually in the channel. But a trend of recent Microsoft channel cutbacks has partners concerned about where things are going.

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8. Limits On Phone Support For Partners

In November 2013, Microsoft began limiting the number of business-critical phone support incidents for Gold and Silver partners. For Microsoft's competency partners, the limit is now 15 incidents for Gold partners and 10 incidents for Silver partners, according to a Microsoft document viewed by CRN. Microsoft Action Pack subscribers did not see any changes to their business-critical phone support limits.

Microsoft, in the document, said partners can get free support from its Partner Support Community. Or they can use their advisory hours to get training from "experienced Microsoft technical consultants." If partners need more support than that, they can buy Premier Support for Partners plans, Microsoft said in the document.

One partner told CRN Microsoft's Office 365 support has been watered down significantly. "It's to the point where it's no longer truly escalated," the partner said. "They originally promised level 3 only and that all personnel would be Microsoft employees. That isn't true anymore."

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