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Support

Office 365
 

Applies to: Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2014-05-16

With every Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise, Midsize Business, Small Business, Academic, and Government subscription, Microsoft Support provides global technical, pre-sales, billing and, subscription support. Support is available both online through the Office 365 portal, and by telephone for both paid and trial subscriptions. For more information, see Office 365 Support Options.

Authorized administrators can use the Office 365 portal to submit service requests online, access support telephone numbers, and view all open and recently closed service requests. Service requests submitted in the Office 365 portal can be reopened for up to 14 days after the request has been closed. For instructions, see Contact support for technical, pre-sales, billing, and subscription issues.

Self-service support is available for all Office 365 plans, and includes troubleshooting tools and videos, help articles and videos, as well as forums and wikis in the Office 365 community. For more information about self-service support resources, see the Help and Training service description.

Pre-sales support for Office 365 provides assistance on subscription features and benefits, plan comparisons, pricing and licensing, and helps to identify the right solution to meet your business needs. In addition, pre-sales support can help you find a Partner, and purchase and sign up for a trial. You can call during local business hours, Monday through Friday. Pre-sales support can be accessed using the same phone number as with technical support. The support telephone number can be found on the Office 365 portal of the free trial. For instructions, see Contact support for technical, pre-sales, billing, and subscription issues.

Assistance for billing and subscription management issues is available online or by telephone during local business hours, Monday through Friday. Billing and subscription management support can be accessed using the same phone number and online service request process as with technical support. The support telephone number can be found on the Office 365 portal. For instructions, see Contact support for technical, pre-sales, billing, and subscription issues.

Here are some examples of billing and subscription management issues:

  • Signing up for a trial or purchasing a subscription

  • Converting from a trial subscription to a paid subscription

  • Understanding the bill

  • Renewing a subscription

  • Adding or removing licenses

  • Canceling a paid subscription

Technical support for Office 365 subscriptions provides assistance with basic installation, setup, and general technical usage. Some examples of these issues are listed in the following table.

 

Support Category Examples

Installation and setup

  • Exchange Online:

    • Office 365 mailbox migration

    • Recipient configuration (mailbox permissions, configuring mail forwarding, configuring shared mailbox)

    • Autodiscover configuration

  • SharePoint Online:

    • Permissions and user groups

    • Configuration of external users

  • Lync Online:

    • Installation and creating contacts

  • Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus: Installation and setup assistance

Configuration

  • Service configuration failure issues

    • Provisioning issues

    • Domain setup and re-delegation

  • Service configuration issues

    • Single sign-on (SSO)

    • Active Directory synchronization

Microsoft assigns a severity level to a case when it is opened, based on an assessment of the issue type and customer impact. Examples of issue types and severity levels are shown in the following table.

 

Severity Level Operations and Support Description Examples

Sev A (Critical)

One or more services aren’t accessible or are unusable. Production, operations, or deployment deadlines are severely affected, or there will be a severe impact on production or profitability. Multiple users or services are affected.

  • Widespread problems sending or receiving mail.

  • SharePoint site down.

  • All users can’t send instant messages, join or schedule Lync Meetings, or make Lync calls.

Sev B (High)

The service is usable but in an impaired fashion. The situation has moderate business impact and can be dealt with during business hours. A single user, customer, or service is partially affected.

  • One user can’t access email.

  • One user or admin can’t access SharePoint site.

  • Several users can’t send instant messages, join or schedule Lync Meetings, or make Lync calls.

Sev C (Medium)

The situation has minimal business impact. The issue is important but does not have a significant current service or productivity impact for the customer. A single user is experiencing partial disruption, but an acceptable workaround exists.

  • User can’t access email by using Outlook, but can access email by using Outlook Web App.

  • Issues configuring external recipients for a SharePoint site.

  • One user can’t send instant messages, join or schedule Lync Meetings, or make Lync calls.

Initial response time is based on the severity levels described above and the type of Office 365 subscription. The response time objectives are described in the following table.

 

Severity Level

Office 365 Small Business

Office 365 Small Business Premium

Office 365 Midsize Business

Office 365 Enterprise E1

Office 365 Education A2

Office 365 Government G2

Office 365 Enterprise E3

Office 365 Education A3

Office 365 Government G3

Office 365 Enterprise E4

Office 365 Education A4

Office 365 Government G4

Office 365 Enterprise K1

Office 365 Government K1

Elevated Support Options1

Response time for Sev A (Critical)

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

1 hour,

Anytime2

Response time for Sev B (High)

Business hours response3

Next business day,

8 hours,

Anytime2

8 hours,

Anytime2

8 hours,

Anytime2

8 hours,

Anytime2

2 hours,

Anytime2

Response time for Sev C (Medium)

Business hours response3

Business hours response

Anytime2

Anytime2

Anytime2

Anytime2

4 hours,

Anytime2

NoteNote:
1 For descriptions of the elevated support options, see Additional Support Options.
2 Calls and service requests are handled 24 hours a day, seven days a week in most countries and regions.
3 For Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium customers, phone support is provided for critical issues (Sev A). For other support issues, customers can use online self-service support options or submit service requests online through the Office 365 portal.

Support for standalone plans is handled with the same level of support and response time objectives as Office 365 plans in the Enterprise service family. For a list of standalone plans, see Standalone services.

Support for Office 365 additional online services, such as Office 365 ProPlus, Project Online, Visio Online, and Yammer, is handled with the same level of support and response time objectives as the Office 365 subscription they are being used with. 

Depending on the location and language, support engineers are available during most regional business hours and, in several cases, on a 24-hour basis. For more information, see International Phone Numbers and Office 365 Support Options. If additional translation assistance is required, support engineers can remain on the line and arrange for a translator to join the call.

Microsoft understands that receiving timely technical support from qualified professionals is a key aspect of cloud services. Equally important is the critical role that the customer’s IT department plays in the support of its users.

People with Office 365 administrator roles are the only ones in the customer’s organization authorized to access the Admin section of the Office 365 portal and to communicate directly with Microsoft about Office 365 service requests.

With Office 365 Enterprise and Office 365 Midsize Business, you can designate several types of administrators who serve different functions. This service description uses the generic title administrator to refer to all categories of administrators. For more information about the types of administrator roles, see Assigning admin roles.

The administrator is:

  • Responsible for service administration and account maintenance.

  • The primary contact that sets up and supports each service user.

  • Authorized to submit service requests to Microsoft.

The administrator’s role is to:

  • Provide user account setup and configuration to allow users access to the services.

  • Address client connectivity, client software, and mobility installation issues.

  • Address service availability issues within the customer’s organizational span of control.

  • Use Microsoft’s self-service support resources to resolve support issues.

The administrator is expected to provide initial assistance for the customer’s users. However, if the administrator is unable to resolve issues with the help of self-service support resources, he or she should contact Technical Support.

Microsoft support’s role is to:

  • Troubleshoot and provide technical guidance for customer issues and escalations.

  • Gather and validate information related to specific service requests.

  • Provide issue coordination and resolution management.

  • Maintain communication with the administrators to help ensure that issues are addressed on an ongoing basis.

  • Provide assistance with licensing, invoicing, and subscription inquiries.

  • Provide assistance with purchasing and trial inquiries.

  • Continually gather customer feedback on how to improve the service through surveys.

While the support services included with Office 365 meet the needs of many customers, customers with more advanced requirements or complex environments should consider paid support options from Microsoft. These elevated support offers include quicker response objectives, the ability to set issue severity level, and access to additional technical resources and support account management. There are several types of additional support services available:

  • For options for large enterprise customers looking for a full-lifecycle service to support their move to Office 365, see Microsoft Cloud Vantage Services.

  • For options for large enterprise customers looking for a managed support service that covers both Office 365 and on-premises technologies required to access the online service, see Premier Support.

  • For options for smaller enterprise customers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, see Professional Direct Support.

You can select a Microsoft partner and delegate administrative functions, including creating service request tickets. For more information, see the Partners service description and Add, change, or delete a subscription advisor partner.

Developers can learn more about developing Office and SharePoint applications for Office 365 at the MSDN Microsoft Developer Network. Developer support is available through online blogs and forums in the developer community, through Premier or Partner support resources, or directly through Microsoft.  For links to developer support options, see Support Resources.

If you have already purchased licenses from Microsoft under a volume licensing program, here’s where to go for support:

The following table summarizes the support options available for each subscription plan.

 

Feature

Office 365 Small Business

Office 365 Small Business Premium

Office 365 Midsize Business

Office 365 Enterprise E1

Office 365 Education A2

Office 365 Government G2

Office 365 Enterprise E3

Office 365 Education A3

Office 365 Government G3

Office 365 Enterprise E4

Office 365 Education A4

Office 365 Government G4

Office 365 Enterprise K1

Office 365 Government K1

Phone support for administrators

Yes1

Yes1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Online technical support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pre-sales support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Billing and subscription support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Elevated support options available

Yes2

Yes2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NoteNote:
1 For Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium customers, phone support is provided for critical issues (Sev A) as defined in Technical Support Initial Response Times. For other support inquiries, customers can use online self-service support options or submit service requests online through the Office 365 portal.
2 See Additional Support Options for countries where elevated support options are available for Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium customers.

If you have comments or questions about this topic, we'd love to hear from you. Just send your feedback to Office 365 Service Description Feedback. Your comments will help us provide the most accurate and concise content.

 
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