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Microsoft Partners: Zoom Outage Will Drive Customers To Teams

‘This is just validation of the fact that [Zoom] is less than ideal’ for many customers, one solution provider told CRN.

The untimely outage for videoconferencing app Zoom on Monday is sure to drive more customers to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft channel partners told CRN.

The Zoom outage lasted several hours and came as many customers are relying on the app’s videoconferencing capabilities to meet their work-from-home and remote learning needs.

[Related: Zoom Outages: Services Restored For Majority Of Users]

Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, has had strong reliability in recent months--and for the most part now matches Zoom on video meetings features, too, according to solution providers who partner with Microsoft.

The Zoom outage will “absolutely” drive more customers to Teams, said Matt Dierolf, enterprise architect at Blue Bell, Pa.-based Anexinet, No. 212 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500.

“There’ve been a lot of challenges with Zoom. Initially, it was security-related. This [outage] is Strike 2. I think a lot of customers were already on the verge of switching,” Dierolf said. “Yesterday’s outage was pretty large and I think it has a direct impact, with so many people relying on it to work from home. [Videoconferencing] has almost become a Tier 1 app -- a critical piece of your infrastructure. When there’s a major outage, people start looking other places.”

That’s especially the case for customers that are already paying for Teams as part of Office 365, he said. “I would say it’s definitely driving them to look more into Teams,” Dierolf said.

Zoom, which has not identified the cause of the outage, declined to comment when reached by CRN on Tuesday.

Matthew Bookspan, CEO of Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based solution provider Blacktip, said the Zoom outage is another selling point for solution providers who are working to get customers onto Teams.

“This is just validation of the fact that that tool [Zoom] is less than ideal,” Bookspan said.

Five months ago, Blacktip made a recommendation to all of its customers to avoid using Zoom, due to issues such as security, he said. About two-thirds have complied with the recommendation, but Bookspan said he believes that percentage will go up in the wake of the Zoom outage.

While Teams suffered an outage of its own in mid-March, early on in the shift to work-from-home, “Teams has been very, very reliable” ever since, Bookspan said. “They’ve really built out the back end.”

Additionally, “look how much the development team has done in the last two months alone. We now have a 7 x 7 grid, we’ve got Together Mode, we have a better waiting room scenario,” he said. “And then even on the admin side, the level of control and management that Microsoft has added is so much better.”

One solution provider that has already seen inquiries from customers about switching from Zoom to Teams is iV4, a unit of Atlanta-based ProArch. The outage affected some clients that had not yet migrated to Teams, said Jeanne Morelli, vice president of operations at iV4.

The solution provider “immediately received calls asking if we could provide them the licensing and a quick orientation on how to use Teams,” Morelli said in an email to CRN. Impacted customers included one organization whose board of directors had a Zoom meeting scheduled on Monday, she said.

Ultimately, “as you look at reliability, security, continuous enhancements and integration with business applications, Teams will continue to become the business application of choice,” Morelli said.

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