Microsoft Polishes Up Office 365's Support Capabilities

Microsoft is promising several improvements to Office 365's support for organizations.

According to a Microsoft Tech Community announcement this week by Anne Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team, the support that's available in the Office 365 Admin Center will start to deliver faster phone responses, improved ticketing and the ability to get more specific about problems using telemetry information.

All Office 365 tenancies will see these changes by the end of next month, but Microsoft is currently rolling out this capability "over the next couple of weeks," Michels said.

With the new approach, Microsoft is promising that its support personnel will "strive to call back you back in 20 minutes or less" via a new "Let us call you" option. There's also a direct "Call me" button for existing cases, which connects organizations to support personnel in "about 10 minutes."

Users of the Office 365 Admin Center will see a new "Need help" button, which will be located at the bottom right corner of each page in the portal. When the button gets clicked, IT pros will be directed toward self-help tools or the option to contact a Microsoft support agent.

The new support service also will detect problems proactively in Office 365 tenancies.

"Instead of waiting for you to call us, if we detect certain issues with your service -- for example failures in your experience with Skype for Business calls -- we will give you a courtesy call proactively and walk you through how to fix the issue," the announcement explained. "If you miss the call, you will be able to view a summary of the guidance in the Message Center."

Microsoft is using machine learning on the submitted problem descriptions to route trouble tickets to the right support agents. In addition, an organization's telemetry info is being used to formulate recommended actions.

Microsoft is currently working on adding support for users with multiple open tickets. It's also working on adding support for showing the history of tickets.

The new support service doesn't include e-mail support. However, Microsoft is looking at "how to enable this going forward," according to Michels, in the comments section of her post.

In a separate announcement, Michels noted a few new Office 365 Admin Center management improvements that were added this month. The portal now will show guest access in Office 365, displaying an icon next to guest user names for easier identification.

Microsoft also made it easier for IT pros to verify their tenancy's domain via e-mail. Here's how that process works:

When you add a domain, our systems connect with your registrar to detect the email addresses that are listed as owner of the domain. In a next step, we will send a verification code to those email addresses. You can then simply verify your domain by providing the code sent to you.

Deleting a domain is easier for Office 365 tenancies "with users, groups and/or application dependencies that do not exceed 100 in total." Such deletions now can be done through an automated process, Microsoft's announcement explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


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