The Design of Microsoft® Support Network 1.0 Essay

1176 Words Apr 9th, 2010 5 Pages
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation:
The Design of Microsoft® Support Network 1.0

1. What factors suggest that Microsoft's PSS Division needs a more comprehensive and flexible approach for its service offerings?
Admittedly, Microsoft's support services were not as good as those offered by some competitors. Several factors contributed to the nondescript nature of Microsoft services. Previous support service policy had been determined at the product level. Annually, each product manager negotiated with PSS over the type, extent, and pricing of services to be offered to customers along with their products. Because Microsoft had 150 products, the result was a hodgepodge of service offerings. Some products had no support
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Microsoft managers took progressive steps to leverage the work of PSS engineers. First, the development group engaged in continuous efforts to make all software as "user-friendly" as possible. Resulting reductions in user problems would lower demand for service. Second, managers initiated special efforts to give customers tools and information, so that they could resolve as many problems themselves as possible. Third, the firm would inform customers about and encourage them to use third party service providers (e.g., VARs, dealers, ISVs) in their communities and industries. Finally, if the first three methods proved ineffective, then managers would actively directed customers to PSS personnel.

3. How should the Microsoft Support Network 1.0 matrix be structured in terms of rows and columns?
Early on in their analyses, the task force hit upon the idea of using a matrix to summarize the various service offerings. Members referred to it as the Microsoft Support Network 1.0. The rows of the matrix would consist of major service groupings, while the columns would capture the differences in those services across product or customer segment categories. In turn, each element in the matrix would describe a specific service offering and include a fee structure. To avoid customer confusion, the group concluded that 4 rows and 4 columns should be the largest size of the matrix; however, no research had been done to

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