back to article Microsoft builds admin tool to spare Office 365 sellers' blushes

Microsoft's legion of Office 365 floggers have waited 18 months for a tool that allows them to manage customers using the cloudy suite, and in that time blindly fielded some calls from irate folk suffering outages. But help is finally at hand, according to Adam Jung, senior product manager of the Office 365 team: a bigger and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    An important question needs to be asked

    Will this come with or without colours?

    (yes, this is a bit of a troll post, but I can really imagine Microsoft still capable of screwing it up by making the interface extremely awkward to use).

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Reminder: software is NOT a service.

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    A Simple solution?

    "There is nothing worse than customers calling to say our service is down and the reseller responding, is it?"

    If they're pushing it so much, maybe they should have to use it as part of their office job. so they'll know when it's down.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: A Simple solution?

      Hi Frank ly, as a Microsoft reseller I would like to jump here.

      While I agree with your premise that if a company is "pushing" a product they should dogfood it internally, there are two issues with your statement.

      1) Office 365 is vast. Just because it's down for one company does not mean it's down for another. Even users within the same company will not (usually) experience outages at the same time.

      2) That some of us are supporting customers using Office 365 does not mean we are "pushing" Office 365 to our customers.

      Personally, I would rather be peeled than use Office 365. Unfortunately, some of my clients request/require/demand that it be supported. Some come with Office 365 when the customer is acquired.

      That said, the new upgrades sound promising. They almost sound like they'll make administering office 365 for my client base easier. Which only makes we wonder what else Microsoft is going to change in order to fuck this up as they have proven is essentially inevitable.

  4. CatoTheCat

    "the fact they weren't is bizarre and illustrates a lack of vision and thought in the design process"

    Is that not the usual Microsoft experience?

  5. jason 7

    What I love... that Office 365 appears to be two different products.

    Oh the confusion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What I love...

      "Office 365 appears to be two different products."

      It is a suite of Office products with various subscription options - including both SAAS and physical install options. Not particularly challenging to understand.

  6. TRT Silver badge

    I've never had such a string...

    of complaints before as when the central IT department bought into the whole Outlook as part of Office 365, mail in the cloud, thing.

    I didn't realise so many users were using web access for their email until I was deluged with requests to connect their Outlook 2010 clients with the server.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "So Microsoft have finally invented a reseller interface."

      While at the same time obliterating margins for resellers and redesigning all aspects of their software to remove the need for resellers altogether.

      Mine's the one with the SPLA to the nuts.

  8. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Can I feel smug now?

    I don't trust anything in "the cloud" to be anything but vapourware.

    Do I have physical control over the files? No? Then they're no longer "my" files.

    Can I dictate whom has access to "my" files? In theory yes, in practice those files aren't under my physical control, so anyone with a ScriptKiddy mentality & a few extra cpu cycles can sit attacking those files until they've broken any encryption they may have been secured with.

    If the site where they're stored goes down, I can't access my files for a few hours?

    If the site goes away, do they send me all my files on a USB stick?


    I'll take my local client, locally stored files, my physical security over my own files, my own encryption over those files, and my ability to access them any damned time I want/need, NOT just when I've got an internet connection, access to a third party site, and that site decides to LET me access them, ThankYouVeryMuch.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go laugh myself silly over this latest Microsoft imitation of the Fuck Up Farie.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know exactly what its like to remotely support a crappy system with barely any tools or information. Mostly I just sympathise with the victims.

    Anonymous, obviously

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One told us, "There was no trigger to let us know the services were down, its absolutely critical. There is nothing worse than customers calling to say our service is down and the reseller responding, is it?""

    When there is an outage, many times it has impacted more than just Office365. So how is this trigger suppose to alert when most likely it will be running in the same cloud? Will the dashboard have a dashboard for outages?

  11. Foxhill

    This is going to be a bit of a chocolate teapot as far as the Service Status function.

    At the moment, users/clients will report outages up to an hour before the service status page on 365 changes. And even then it just changes to a 'we're investigating potential issues, oh and we have been for ages. Honest. Like, before you even noticed. Yeah we were on the ball.' stock message.

    If they ever do announce a problem, it then takes them FIVE DAYS to post a reason. Which is brilliant when customers are jumping up and down and wanting to be told it won't happen again. HAH.

    The only nice bit is the ability to manage the clients centrally.

    365's admin interface sucks anyway (thank christ for being able to use the EMC instead).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "it then takes them FIVE DAYS to post a reason"

      That's actually quite reasonable for root cause analysis on such a large system.

  12. David Strum

    Cheap company uses cheap designers

    It's this push to make money out of people - instead of providing a service - that people can then pay for (if they want it enough or even like it)

    Wake up Microsoft - you're doomed if you keep the cheap s/w designers and insist we pay for rubbish services. Vista, Surface - now their bread and butter Office; they're done!!!! Xbox to the rescue - bahhh!!!

    Appalling! Let the MS tanker - sink! I hate this company!

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