2 Apr 2009

On SA Fulfillment

Author: q | Filed under: Frustrations, SBS 2008

This past week, I went through the process to get the SBS 2003 Software Assurance fulfillment for a couple of my customers who are finally needing to activate those SA rights. The process was a little more cumbersome than I had hoped, and I could not find a location that documented the process in a single location. So, to hopefully help someone else who may be needing to get this done, and to make you aware of a couple of hiccups in the process, here”s the scoop.

First, you have to place an order for the SBS 2008 media from MS Fulfillment. Unlike many other products where you can download the installation media through the eOpen site, SBS has the installation key printed and attached to the media set, so you have to get a media order placed. This is done through the VLSC Fulfillment line at 800-336-0098, You will need the Open License number and Authorization code to confirm the license, then you will confirm other details of the order. So long as you have the media shipped to the license holder, there is no additional shipping charge. Piece of cake,once you know the right number to call.

Second,you need to call a different group if you are activating SA for SBS 2003 Premium, because that comes with additional media (Server 2003, ISA 2006, Outlook, Sharepoint Designer). The number to call for that fulfillment is 866-326-7110. The first order I called in for had no problems. We provided the License Number and verified the customer details, and the order was placed. The second time I called in I reached an agent who had no idea what I was talking about. After going round and round with the agent, he checked with his supervisor and got a laundry list of things they wanted us to provide to be able to process the order. I opted not to continue down that road (since I didn”t when we placed the first order and by all accounts I shouldn”t have had any issues). I called in again later hoping to reach a different agent who knew what I was talking about, and when he also had no idea what the SBS 2003 SA Fulfillment entailed, I bailed and will wait to try again later to get someone who is able to figure out what”s going on.

I”ve heard other anecdotal evidence of issues with getting the SBS 2003 Premium Make Good materials, so it”s clear that this is not a common process that this group is dealing with. However, if you need to get the SA media for either, hopefully you won”t run into the same type of trouble that I am.

Just to make sure I hadn”t got my wires crossed, I called back into the 866-326-7110 number and asked to confirm that the order we placed a couple of days ago had actually shipped. This wasn”t a bogus call, as we did not get a shipping confirmation e-mail with the tracking number like we were told. The agent who answered the phone was able to pull up the order and provide the shipping confirmation (they hadn”t entered the e-mail address after all, which is why no shipping notification was received). So I know I”m talking to the right people after all. After getting the confirmation, I asked if she could place the smae order for a different customer, and she got the order completed without any issues, just like the first order we placed.

I”m not sure yet what the "magic words" are to get the agents at the second line to look in the right place in the script to get the SBS 2003 Premium SA order done, but I don”t have many more of these to do, so I”ll wing it should I have any trouble in the future. And if I do figure out the "magic words" I”ll post back here.

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