January's Microsoft O365 outage had limited but serious impact


Beltug carried out a Consultation on the impact felt by our members from the Microsoft O365 outage in January 2019. The question sent out was:


"Several of our members reported problems with Microsoft's O365 in mid-January.


We would like to get a better view on the impact: please tell us if you experienced any difficulties.


If you wish, you may also tell us:


  • What impact did it have for your company
  • How many people were impacted
  • How long did the difficulties last
  • How did it affect your operations/productivity/etc.?"




Based on the responses received, and our discussions with several Beltug members, we believe that the impact of the situation that occurred in January 2019 was limited in scope, in terms of the number of companies that were impacted. Most of the Beltug members who responded to the Consultation confirmed that they did not themselves experience any problems.


But, for the organisations that did experience problems, the impact was serious. For most of them the effect was felt for one day. For a few, the issue lasted a few hours longer. When considering that several thousand people were not able to use email for 1 or 2 days - including sending, receiving and consulting – it is clear that this poses a significant problem for their work.


Also, the companies knew that emails were bouncing, but had no way to confirm how many, so “the impact cannot be estimated completely…the system was working at some time and emails arrived, but there was no certainty that everything was ok and all email of the past 2 days were delivered correctly”, as one member commented.


Furthermore, the impacted organisations were unhappy with the feedback from Microsoft.



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