Several Microsoft partners told CRN earlier this week they think Microsoft should have provided more frequent updates about the outages. By not doing so, Microsoft put partners in a tough position with their own customers.
Microsoft is aware of this and Jha offered an apology to those affected. "I want to apologize on behalf of the Office 365 team for the impact and inconvenience this has caused. Email and realtime communications are critical to your business, and my team and I fully recognize our accountability and responsibility as your partner and service provider," he said in the forum post.
Reed Wilson, founder and president of Palmetto Technology Group, a Greenville, S.C.-based Microsoft partner, told CRN he's satisfied with Jha's explanation.
"It makes sense. My only issue was the communication cadence," Wilson said. "I believe Microsoft is continuing to work on these processes. They know they can do better and are always open to feedback."
Microsoft claims that Office 365 is the fastest-growing business in its history and is now on a $2.5 billion annual sales rate. And for the past couple of years, Office 365 has had a sterling track record for uptime.
Microsoft's service level promises 99.9 percent uptime per quarter, which amounts to just under nine hours of downtime. But during the first calendar quarter, Office 365 saw 99.99 uptime, according to Microsoft.
On the other hand, Microsoft is trying to get more partners selling Office 365, and its response to this week's cloud outages could give pause to ones that are looking at doing so.
The Office 365 outages will no doubt be a topic of discussion at Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference, being held from July 13-16 in Washington, D.C.
PUBLISHED JUNE 27, 2014