Microsoft Enhanced Application Support: Supporting Custom Applications
This post is provided by App Dev Manager Francis Lacroix who spotlights Microsoft Enhanced Application Support.
Custom solutions provided by consultants can sometimes challenge the development groups inheriting them. Perhaps they do not have the skillset to support them and enhance them, or they do not have experience with the platforms the solution was built on. In some cases, they will look to Premier Support for Developer to ramp up on these technologies and provide guidance. When the solution is provided by Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS), another option is available: Microsoft Enhanced Application Support.
What is Enhanced Application Support?
Microsoft Enhanced Application Support (EAS) merges the capabilities of two older Microsoft services: Premier Maintained Applications (PMA) and Managed Services for the Cloud (MSfC). For custom solutions built by MCS, EAS provides:
- Reactive Support: Break/fix support and incident and problem management.
- Proactive Support: Solution enhancements, application optimization,
- Operation Services (Azure applications only): Monitoring and release management for Azure environments.
EAS aligns along four distinct workloads:
I’ve had the pleasure of managing the delivery of the EAS service for a customer over the last 3 years for an MCS delivered custom large-scale application. While the customer had development teams who could have taken over the maintenance of the application, they had never worked with the specific platforms used to develop the solution (a mix of SharePoint and CRM). In order accelerate the time to operations and minimize the time to resolution for early issues, the customer chose to leverage EAS (what was then Premier Maintained Applications).
During this first year, the EAS team assigned to this customer helped them work through initial deployment issues, resolved environmental issues, provided guidance and best practices for the operation of the solution and ensured availability of the application for end users. One key issue addressed by the EAS team during the first year was a functionality loss due to changes to a third-party service API. The EAS team worked with the customer team to identify the root cause, scope the change required and update the necessary solution code.
Since then, we’ve moved focus from reactive and operational support to proactive solution enhancements. The customer solution support team, the end user representatives and the EAS team formed a working group which meets on a regular schedule. Change requests are brought forward by the end users and support team for inclusion in the product. These requests are triaged and scoped. Those that are selected for inclusion are then implemented by the EAS team and deployed in the customer’s staging environment for acceptance and deployment into production. This process has led to an increase in satisfaction with the solution from the end users.
Overall the main benefits to the customer were:
- Accelerated time to value: Since the customer did not need to train their developers or ramp them up on the solution, the knowledge, advice and help we provided enabled them to achieve faster results.
- Maximized uptime and reliability: EAS rigorously assesses people, processes, and technology to manage issues and remediate them programmatically.
- Continuous improvement: End users can issue service requests for solution enhancements that will improve their performance and expand their capacity.
Premier Support for Developers provides strategic technology guidance, critical support coverage, and a range of essential services to help teams optimize development lifecycles and improve software quality. Contact your Application Development Manager (ADM) or email us to learn more about what we can do for you.