Technical support for on-premises or cloud products

Appropriate roles: Global admin | MPN Partner Admin | Admin agent

Note

Starting October 3, 2022, the Microsoft Partner Network is now called the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

Overview

This article is for members of the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program who need to know how to:

  • Activate their technical benefits
  • View their Access ID and Contract ID
  • Know which products and versions are supported
  • Start the process to create a technical support incident / ticket using Microsoft Cloud Partner Program benefits

Some examples of users and roles for whom this article is relevant and under which circumstances are:

  • Global admin or MPN Partner Admin to activate your technical support benefits
  • Any Microsoft Cloud Partner Program-associated user account to view your Access ID and Contract ID after activation
  • Admin agent to create support on behalf of your customer for cloud products
  • Any account Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Microsoft Services Agreement (MSA) to create on-premises support requests on behalf of your customer or for your own organization

The Partner Center Technical benefits page shows information about two separate benefits:

Steps

  1. Activate your technical benefits (requires Global admin or MPN Partner Admin).

    After activation, all user accounts can view the Access ID and Contract ID to associate the benefits with their account.

  2. Check the technical support entitlement and supported products to see if your Microsoft Cloud Partner Program benefits can be used for your intended product and version.

  3. Microsoft Product Support (for recent on-premises products): Use Support for Business for on-premises product support

  4. Signature Cloud Support (for cloud products): Users with the Admin agent role select Customers and service management to create a request. See the following details about each step:

View and activate your technical support benefits

To view or activate your technical support benefits:

  1. Sign in to the Partner Center with your associated account and select Benefits.

    Note

    You must have an MPN-associated account. If your account is only associated with CSP and not associated with Microsoft Cloud Partner Prgram, you'll get the error message, You are not authorized for this action.

  2. Select Technical benefits.

    The Technical benefits page displays your organization's active Solutions Partner designation or legacy Gold/Silver benefits pack or Microsoft Action Pack membership offers.

    Note

    If you don't have active membership offers, you will see the message Looks like you don't have any benefits yet.

    If your company has active membership offers but you can't see them, you have signed in using the wrong account.

    To check your account, select the Account icon at the top right of the page and select Sign-in with another account (if required).

    Screenshot of the Activate button at the Technical Benefits page at Partner Center.

  3. To activate the benefit, select the Activate button.

    If the Activate button appears dimmed, your account doesn't have the Global admin or MPN Partner Admin security role.

    To find a user who has the required permissions to activate your benefits:

    To use Microsoft Product Support or Signature Product Support, you must activate the benefit.

    The user account used for activation must have the Global admin or MPN Partner Admin role.

Screenshot of Activated Technical Benefits showing the Access ID and Contract ID.

Access ID and Contract ID are displayed to all users after successful activation. You can use Microsoft Product Support and Signature Product Support (Gold and Silver members) when the Access ID and Contract ID are displayed.

Note

You will need the Access ID and Contract ID the first time you use Microsoft Product Support or Signature Product Support for each account. After benefits have been associated with your account, you won't need to use the Access ID and Contract ID again.

Technical support entitlement and supported products

Technical support provides troubleshooting for a specific problem, an error message, or for functionality that isn't working as expected.

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Product Support and Signature Cloud Support can be used only for supported Microsoft products and versions. (Not all products and versions are supported).

Note

Your technical support benefits must be activated before you can use them.

As part of the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program membership, partners are eligible for the following technical support:

Technical support Action Pack Solutions Partner designation Legacy Silver Legacy Gold
Microsoft Product Support - For recent on-premises products only 10 Incidents 20 Incidents 15 Incidents 20 Incidents
Signature Cloud Support - For cloud products only Unlimited Cloud Competencies:
Unlimited

Other competencies:
Five Incidents
Cloud Competencies:
Unlimited

Other competencies:
10 Incidents

Microsoft product support (on-premises)

  • You can use the benefit Microsoft Product Support for technical support requests only for recent versions of on-premises products.

    • Recent versions of on-premises products include only the current product (N) and the previous product version (N-1).

    • Previous versions are supported only if they are within mainstream support, based on the N-1 support policy.

    • Non-supported products and versions: use the relevant paid support option or purchase a partner support plan.

  • You need the Access ID and Contract ID the first time you use the benefit per user account.

  • The benefits are associated with your user account until they expire or there are no more support incidents remaining.

  • Any user account (Azure AD or MSA) can use technical support for on-premises products if they have the Access ID and Contract ID.

Support for Business

  1. Select Support for Business to create a support request for an on-premises product.

    • The Support for Business (SfB) workflow doesn't require a specific role or permissions. Any Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) work account or personal Microsoft Account (MSA) can be used.
  2. Select the Product and Support Type.

  3. Your next action depends on if you've previously added your support plan.

    • If you haven't added your support plan, select Do you need to purchase or add more support plans?, select the Add Contract button, and enter the Access ID and Contract ID.

    • If you've* added your support plan, the Access ID and Contract ID are associated with your account, and you don't need to add them again.

  4. View your support plan under Types of support or Unavailable support plans.

    Valid support plans are displayed under Types of support.

  5. If your support plan isn't displayed, select Unavailable support plans to view more information on why you can't use your support plan.

    A support plan isn't displayed if it has expired, has no units remaining, or can't be used for the specified product (for example, for versions of products that are no longer supported).

    If you try to use partner support for a product that is no longer supported, you'll see the message Support plan cannot be used for the specified product. However, you can purchase pay-per-incident (PPI) support if the product is within the Fixed Lifecycle Policy.

  6. You can purchase a support incident online if your sign-in using an MSA account eg Outlook.com, Gmail etc. Unfortunately, Azure AD accounts won't display the option to purchase support see Paid Professional support isn't available for Active Directory accounts. On the Create a new support request page, after you complete Step 1: Product and Support Type, scroll down the page until you see the text Do you need to purchase or add more support plans? and select Buy now to purchase using a credit card.

Find out how many partner support incidents remain

You can only see remaining incidents through the Support for Business portal after you select an on-premises product. Cloud portals (for example, Azure or LCS) don't show incidents remaining. Instead, they hide the support contract when you have no incidents remaining or it expires. Therefore, the Support for Business portal is used for both on-premises and cloud support plans.

To create an on-premises support incident:

  • Use the Support for Business portal to start the process.

    We don't create a support request because we don't complete the process.

    Incidents remaining information is displayed after entering product information, under the Types of Support or Unavailable support plans sections.

To find out how many partner support incidents remain:

  1. Sign in to the Support for Business portal and select Windows 11 and any version, category, or problem.

    Doing so doesn't create a support request.

    Providing this information displays the Types of Support or Unavailable support plans sections, which are where you can see incidents remaining.

  2. If you need to associate your support contract with your account, expand Do you need to purchase, or add more support plans and select the Add Contract button to enter your Access ID and Contract ID.

    If your support contract is already associated with your account, your Partner support plan is displayed in the Types of Support section. The number of incidents remaining is updated when a support ticket is opened or closed.

    If you associated your support contract but it isn't displayed, the selected product or version is invalid, your support contract has expired, or you have no remaining partner support incidents.

  3. If you need to check Partner Signature support incidents remaining, there's another step: Expand the Unavailable support plans section to see the Partner Signature information. Partner Signature support isn't valid for on-premises products, which is why it's displayed in the Unavailable support plans section (we selected Windows 11).

    If your Partner support plan is displayed, the selected product or version is invalid, the support contract has expired, or you have no partner support incidents remaining.

    You can purchase more support incidents online if you use an MSA account to sign-in. (You can't use an Azure AD account to purchase paid support).

Signature Cloud Support (cloud-only)

Legacy Gold or Silver competency partners can use the benefit Signature Cloud Support for technical support requests for cloud products only.

Action Pack partners aren't eligible for Signature Cloud Support.

You'll need the Access ID and Contract ID the first time you use the benefit for Azure, Dynamics 365, and other cloud products. (An exception is Microsoft 365). The benefits are associated with your user account until they expire or there are no more support incidents remaining.

Note

When using the using the Azure portal, if your support contract is already associated with the account and you attempt to add the same support contract again, you'll see an error message that states Access ID is already associated when you add the Access ID and Contract ID. For more information, see the following section, Handle the Azure portal error "Access ID is already associated".

CSP partners creating Azure requests can use the Cloud Solution Provider support plan without adding a support contract.

Users with Admin agent role can select Customers under CSP in the left navigation menu, select Service Management, and select New request. When you select the relevant workload, the workload-specific portal opens, and you add a support contract and create a request.

Handle the Azure portal error "Access ID is already associated"

When you use the Azure portal, you use Signature Cloud Support by selecting Help + Support > Support Plans > Link support benefits and enter the Access ID and Contract ID.

If you have Microsoft Action Pack, you don't get Cloud support because it doesn't include Signature Cloud Support. Microsoft Action Pack includes only Microsoft Product Support (on-premises).

Important

You might see the error message This Access ID is already associated with an account. Please contact your Technical Account Manager to obtain a new Access ID. This error message is invalid and should be ignored.

You'll see the preceding error message if you associate a support contract with an account more than once when using the Azure portal. See the following scenarios.

  • If you have gold or silver technical benefits and have previously added the contract for on-premises support, then you use the Azure portal and add the contract a second time to the same account. You only need to associate the support contract with an account once. Therefore, you don't need to Link support benefits in Azure. If you use Link support benefits when the contract is already associated with the account, you'll see the error that should be ignored. Use + New Support request and create a support incident as normal and the support plan will be displayed.

  • If the support contract has expired or the Signature 10-pack or Signature 5-pack have no incidents remaining, the support contract is hidden because it's invalid. If you Link support benefits again, you'll see the error because the contract is already associated. You can purchase a new support plan to get Azure support incidents.

Partner support plans

You can get paid support from Microsoft that includes technical support and a range of extra service options.

You can compare partner support plans or see the following articles for partner-specific plans:

Next steps