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Microsoft shifts some Exchange support to callback

Microsoft will have to prove it can return requests for help in a timely manner if it wants to keep IT managers in Exchange Server shops happy.

Microsoft will move its Exchange Server customers that hold Professional Support agreements to a callback model early next month in an effort to cut the amount of time people have to wait on hold.

According to the Exchange team blog, as of March 9, individuals that pay per-incident or buy a five-pack of support incidents will submit a request for support which will then be routed to the appropriate support team.

The company said the reason for the change is to cut wait times and to make sure the calls are routed to the correct resource.

Whether IT shops like the change or not will depend on how efficient Microsoft is able to handle the calls, said Matt Cain, an analyst at Gartner Inc., the Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm. "If the callback methodology provides greater efficiency, then customers will be all for it," he said.

But the real issue is will it have any impact on time to resolution. If the customer builds up confidence that the callback will come as quickly as they might be on hold, they'd certainly prefer not to be on hold, he said.

IT shops can call a toll free number to create a support ticket. Response time is based on the severity of the incident. Exchange managers can also create a support request online, which is also a callback model.

The change does not have any effect on enterprises with Premier Support agreements.

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