Microsoft Brags About Speedy Office 365 Customer Support After Two Days of Cloud Outages


Microsoft customers were frustrated by major outages to their cloud-based Lync and Exchange services earlier this week, with some calling out the vendor for its lack of timely communication about the problems.

Many customers vented on Microsoft's Office 365 user forum about experiencing long hold times when calling the Office 365 support hotline.

In spite of these issues, Microsoft wants customers to know its support team responds quickly to any questions that customers may have about the Office 365 suite of cloud apps.

Microsoft's unfortunately-timed tweet didn't escape the notice of some industry watchers on Twitter.

But while Microsoft appeared to be boasting about its Office 365 support, a Microsoft spokesperson told CRN this isn't the case.

The Office tweet was set up to publish in advance and was not edited after this week's cloud outages, according to the Microsoft spokesperson.

"We frequently post content for IT Pros/Office 365 Admins across several types of post categories/topics. This particular post, using the ‘that moment when’ convention, strives to relate to IT Pros/Office 365 Admins and their daily tasks. We are not making a general statement about the speed of our support experience," the spokesperson said in an email.

On Monday, Microsoft's Lync Online unified communications service went dark for around 8 hours for some customers, while yesterday's Exchange Online outage was inaccessible to some for around 6 hours. Both are sold as standalone services and as part of the Office 365 suite.

[Related: After Office 365 Cloud Outages, Partners Calling For Better Communication From Microsoft ]

Yesterday, Microsoft's Service health Dashboard erroneously indicated that the Exchange service was working fine, adding to the confusion and causing customers to flood phone support lines.

One reason why the outages received so much attention is because according to Microsoft, Office 365 is the fastest-growing product in its history, selling at a $2.5 billion annual rate. Microsoft says one in four enterprises are now using the suite of cloud apps.

Microsoft also has a solid track record of uptime with Office 365. Partners told CRN that Microsoft last quarter fulfilled its service level agreement, which promises 99.9 percent uptime, which means Office 365 was down for less than two hours total during the period.

Steve Tutino, president of Ipanema Solutions, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Microsoft partner, said Microsoft's support for Office 365 has been great so far, so he's willing to give the vendor the benefit of the doubt in this case.

"Our experience has been great with Office 365 technical support. We are only escalating to Microsoft when there is something really odd happening, and they always seem to be able to resolve the issue the same day or next," Tutino said.