We want you to get the most value from your Premier Support agreement.  Premier Support delivers excellent proactive and reactive services - but we believe that it's your Technical Account Manager (TAM) that makes the real difference to the value you receive.  In this month's OPINION blog we would like to recommend that you:

  1. Challenge your TAM - A TAM should understand your priorities, understand your business, understand our services and link them all together. Do they?
  2. Take a structured approach - We think a structured approach is best and use the PSDM methodology.  We'll explain it here.
  3. Develop a strong relationship -A strong relationship with your TAM will significantly increase the value of your premier agreement.
  4. See what other customers have done - See some great customer stories.
  5. Listen to Neil Vickers - Our Premier Support UK Director gives his views on TAMs
  6. Let us know your views - Do you find your TAM delivers value?  What more should Premier Support be offering to you?


1. Challenge your TAM

We think that TAM's are most effective when they do the following:

  • Understand your business needs & priorities
  • Understand the current health of your IT environment
  • Understand where you want to get to
  • Recommend the right mix of proactive services for your needs                      
  • Build and communicate your joint service improvement plan
  • Drive the execution of this plan
  • Report back to your stakeholders
  • Prove value!


If you aren't using the TAM effectively you're not making the most of your Premier agreement!


2. Take a Structured Approach

Ask your TAM to talk to you about PSDM (Premier Service Delivery Management).  Using this methodology we can help you send less time on the tactical and technical responsibilities of IT operations, and more time anticipating the needs of your business.

A quick introduction to PSDM:

  • Orientation & services introduction:  If you are new to Premier this session introduces you to Premier Services
  • Identify current state:  Here we work with you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your IT environment in order to accurately recommend proactive services
  • Define desired state:  Here we discuss and agree with you a future state vision and a roadmap for achieving it
  • Build and update service delivery plan: Here we document what has been agreed with you
  • Service delivery status meeting: This provides timely, accurate status to you and keeps you up to date on the progress of all Premier services
  • Attain desired state: Even when we have achieved our initial goals we will continue to gather information so we can make further recommendations and help drive continuous improvement


3. Develop a Strong Relationship

Your TAM wants to be a trusted advisor, and help you achieve your goals.  Of course we need to earn the right to be your trusted advisor!  Your TAM will build a strong relationship with your team and can help you make better use of what you have, as well as helping you reduce costs.  We have many examples of where a TAM has helped their customer get the most from their existing assets and licenses by managing:

  • Infrastructure and Process Assessments
  • Service Improvement Plans
  • Skills Transfer


Whilst some of our smaller engagements don't offer the scope for an in depth TAM relationship, your TAM will still be your trusted advisor - ready to research queries and provide guidance.  We hope that over time you will decide to invest in a deeper relationship with Premier support, and get access to all the benefits we can deliver.

4. See what other customers have done


5. Listen to Neil Vickers

Neil, our Premier Support Director, has recorded a short video giving his thoughts on how TAM's are the centre piece of your Premier agreement.

6.  Let us know your views

Are we talking rubbish?  Do you work with your TAM in a more effective way?  Do you agree with what we have said, but struggle to implement it?  We'd love to hear from you and get your views.  Either contact us directly, leave a comment or join us on one of our community sites - Linked In or Facebook.


To Summarise

  • Challenge your TAM - Talk to your TAM about the value they can deliver for you.  Discuss your requirements - do you need more TAM time for specific activities?
  • Share your experiences!  How has your TAM made a difference to your organisation? What has worked well/less well
  • Got any questions, please contact us! 


Further reading


Thanks for reading,


Sarah Stretton

Microsoft Premier Support UK