Thanks for your question. My name is Hazlina, and I am a Senior Manager for an applications engineering team within Intel.
Regarding your question, only select customers are eligible for Intel Premier Support access. Majority of our customers are now using the forums platform as their main support platform. The reason for this is the forum is a better platform to support customers due its simplified user interface and additional capabilities offered (e.g. machine translation capability). With forums, we will enable many other customers like you to search for answers for questions that have been resolved prior or for any on-going discussions. Also, we made no change to the support team; the engineers supporting customers through Intel Premier Support are now supporting the customers through forums. You can identify them by "Intel" in their userID. Overall, with more simplified interface and no change to the support expertise, this should result in an improved customer experience.
As to the requirement for Intel Premier Support, this is based on the engagement that each of the account has with Intel from the business perspective (short term and long term) and also from the customer's project requirement perspective. Like I have outlined above, only select customers are entitled for Intel Premier Support and majority will be getting the technical support through forums. If you need more clarification on this, it will be best to contact your field representative (if any).
Please do give the forums a try and please let me know if you have any feedback on the support you are getting. You may private message me on the feedback you have so that I can address it personally to you.
Look forward to supporting you here on the forums.