For many technically adept people, professionally employed or otherwise, we often have an inclination to troubleshoot a problem independently of outside professional support channels as long as possible. Sometimes we get tunnel vision, sometimes we don’t want to look bad in front of others, and sometimes we flat out just don’t want to deal with Level 1 tech support prior to getting the issue escalated (“Yes, I, too, read the documentation, did the same web search and read the same 2-year-old blogs!”)
However, with cloud services like Office 365, we are now in an environment where we don’t have all of the information available to us. We can’t get all the logs and, most importantly, we don’t know what’s going on in the Microsoft environment at the time we’re having a problem. Unpublished downtime, networking issues and server bugs are all issues that I have experienced in different client environments when configuring various elements of Office 365. As a rule, I now submit a service ticket before any significant level of troubleshooting happens just to make sure I’ve put the gears in motion. If I can resolve the problem quickly on my own, then I can close the ticket on my own. Support is included with Office 365, so there is no financial risk here. On the other hand, if I don’t have all the information needed to resolve the problem on my own (or the necessary permissions), then I’m already one step closer to either getting past Level 1 tech support…or having Level 1 tech support point out the one detail that I missed while thinking I couldnt’ possibly be the cause of the problem… Either way, the issue gets resolved much faster than pouring over all the information we’ve seen time and time again.
For those not professionally managing these environments, this mentality should be kept in mind as a reason to engage a professional services team before starting on a deployment/migration project. A Microsoft partner can bring project experience and expertise to the table that can help offset many frustrations, both from a technical and a business standpoint. Why sit on the phone with support for hours at a time when we’ve already seen it before? Also, by the time you’re neck deep in a failed migration, it’s much harder technically and time-wise for a consultant to simply “jump in and fix it”. Projects go best when they’re done correctly from the start. Raise your odds of success and have a Microsoft partner relationship established before starting your project.