Office 365 and Always-On Email in a Cloud First World

As many began to return home from its Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Microsoft confirmed an outage of Office 365 email.

According to Microsoft Support, it appears that affected users were unable to connect to the Exchange Online service, including Outlook, Outlook Web App (OWA), Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), and Exchange Web Services (EWS). Many users also experienced delays when sending and receiving messages.

Certainly Office 365 is not the only service to suffer like this – outages happen, but the reason why Office 365 outages grab widespread attention is because of its increasing popularity and the business critical nature of services it provides. Suffering from an Office 365 Outage? We'll Keep Your Business Running. Suffering from an Office 365 Outage? We'll Keep Your Business Running.

For many businesses, email is their most critical IT workload. Email is also highly valued by employees. Tolerance for email downtime is almost zero as it costs money, damages reputations and cripples business operations. In short, we all need it to work and to work all the time.

For years IT teams have built disaster recovery plans and systems predicated on the belief that IT fails and you always need a plan B. Nothing changes in a cloud first world. Cloud services clearly fail and if you don’t have an independent continuity service, your email will be down until Office 365 gets it back up again. And you can’t control when that will happen. One hour. Five hours. Days.

So take a leaf out of the on-premises risk management handbook. Make Office 365 safer with the addition of an independent third-party continuity service.

Office 365 will continue to have service outages. Sometimes these will be very disruptive because they affect an entire region. Other occasions may only see some customers or group of employees affected. But outages do and will happen. It’s irrational to expect them not to happen.

Many of us now live in a cloud-first world. So the question to ask ourselves is – what will happen to me when Office 365 goes offline? Do I have a plan B?

For all its strengths, if you rely 100% on Office 365 for your email you are asking for trouble. It’s just a matter of time.

Find out more about how we can help keep your business running during an Office 365 outage here.

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