Our guest contributor for today's blog is Asher Nierman, who supports the Advanced Support for Partners program. 

Update May 9, 2023: The Advanced Support for Partners public community and discussion board is live on the new Partner Community site. Stay informed by following and subscribing.

The Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners (ASfP) services offering was launched in 2015 as part of our commitment to supporting growth-oriented cloud partners in their digital transformation journeys. As technology and the needs of partners have evolved, so too has ASfP, which now supports a wide range of cloud partners including Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators (SI), and others deploying, supporting, or developing complex Microsoft technology solutions. The ASfP offering is built on three benefit pillars: 

  • Partner Success Account Manager (PSAM): The PSAM is your direct connection and dedicated business advisor at Microsoft. Your PSAM will be ready on day one to quickly learn about your unique business needs and help develop a customized plan to achieve your growth goals across the entire Microsoft Cloud including Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform. 
  • Cloud Enablement Services: ASfP provides partners with direct and prioritized access to Microsoft Cloud experts who will help optimize cloud projects, enrich your technical capabilities, and strengthen your customer offering. This includes 12 Cloud Consults, access to senior Partner Technical Consultants, and a variety of assessments and technical planning engagements. 
  • Elevated Technical Support: When support challenges arise, your PSAM is your ally with the tools, access, and cross-team connections to help resolve issues more quickly. Quicker response times and case prioritization apply to all cloud support cases opened directly to Microsoft with an ASfP entitlement. And as an added benefit, the ASfP Incident Support Operations team is an additional path to receive escalation support for ASfP entitled cases. (Support experiences vary based on Partner type, customer associations, permissions, and licensing; it is recommended you speak with an ASfP specialist ahead of plan activation to understand how you will experience these elevated technical support benefits). 

In today’s blog, we will be focusing on the first pillar and exploring the benefits of dedicated account management with a Partner Success Account Manager. PSAMs serve as trusted advisors, advocates, and support resources, working with partners to grow your business in the Microsoft cloud, drive technical readiness, and achieve your business goals. If you are looking to deliver greater value and achieve success in the cloud, a PSAM can help in the following ways: 

1) Providing a single point of contact 

Partners regularly tell me that the most valuable benefit in ASfP is having a dedicated, in-house Partner Success Account Manager as their single point of contact. You are able to reach a PSAM by phone, email or chat in order to convey your needs and challenges firsthand. This relationship comes with the confidence that the PSAM will help develop action plans to remove success blockers, overcome challenges, and answer a wide range of questions. Having a single point of contact who is a dependable resource coordinator is both reassuring and empowering for partners – and is a powerful growth agent.  

“The SAM team is always there to help, especially when we have difficult situations. The SAMs have even followed up with remote support, of their own doing, a few times.” — Tharindu Ruwanpathirana (TR), Chief Technology Officer, Cavalry 

2) Building a closer business relationship 

Working closely with your PSAM fosters a deeper relationship with Microsoft, providing additional insights into our products and services and ensuring you stay up to date on the latest industry developments and trends. This knowledge is a real asset in making sure that you are using the most effective solutions for your business and that you are taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise. As the first step in cultivating this connection, a PSAM will work with you to develop a Partner Success Plan — a living document that ensures high, ongoing satisfaction with your investment in ASfP. 

“Our service account manager is really proactive around education and release notifications. For Azure and Office 365, she lets us know what features are coming out and upcoming training webinars so our experts can learn early.” — Jeremy MacBean, Director of Business Development, IT Weapons  

3) Enhancing the partner and customer experiences 

A PSAM enhances the experience of both partners and end customers by providing prompt support during technical break-fix escalations and guidance on proactive enablement benefits. With access to Microsoft support portals and internal tools, PSAMs act as reliable allies in resolving issues efficiently. By coordinating the various ASfP cloud enablement benefits that provide partners with best practices and efficiency improvements, PSAMs help ensure both partners and customer businesses run more efficiently and are positively impacted across the planning, building, growing, and supporting stages of cloud implementations.   

“Our experience in ASfP has been invaluable and is directly correlated to our ability to serve more customers, across more technologies, and with higher levels of customer satisfaction, which has allowed us to exceed our growth targets and properly plan for the future.” — Lance Wilson, CEO, AMG Services 

Ultimately, a PSAM in Advanced Support for Partners plays a crucial role in helping partners grow and thrive, making ASfP well worth the investment. And while the PSAM is one of the most valuable benefits in the ASfP offering, partners can unlock additional value through the various partner enablement and technical support benefits included in every agreement. If your business is not already in Advanced Support for Partners and taking advantage of these valuable benefits, visit the ASfP website to learn more or fill out this form to speak directly with an ASfP specialist

For partners looking for complete, end-to-end managed support across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises, with even more benefits such as Azure Rapid Response, Critical Situation Support, and a fully tailored support and development package, consider Premier Support for Partners.   


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