On February 3, 2020, Microsoft Teams experienced a three-hour outage, starting at 09:00 (ET). The outage was caused by Microsoft failing to renew its authentication certificate.
Microsoft noted at 10:19 (ET) that: “We've determined that an authentication certificate has expired causing, [SIC] users to have issues using the service. We're developing a fix to apply a new certificate to the service which will remediate impact.”
Remediation was completed at 16:40 (ET).
Source: SoftwareReviews Microsoft Teams scorecard. Accessed February 3, 2020
There are two key takeaways from Microsoft Team’s outage. First, it is embarrassing that Microsoft should forget to renew a crucial certificate for its flagship team collaboration software. This is especially true when Microsoft has developed software that checks for key events such as certificate expiration – System Center Operations Manager, for instance.
Second, this outage reveals once more the importance of ensuring your organization has a business continuity plan if your main telephony solutions fail. Even though Microsoft’s outage was only for three hours, organizations that are beginning to unify their telephony solutions through Teams would have been at a financial loss for being unable to run this software.
Unifying telephony solutions under Teams is certainly Microsoft’s game plan – hence why Skype for Business is being phased out in favor of Teams and why Teams covers a broad range of communications capabilities. However, it is important not to put all of your trust into one single solution. It is certainly beneficial to pursue a rationalized, unified communications platform, but this does not have to mean that all of your solutions lie with one vendor. Solutions from different vendors that integrate well together into a unified platform is the best basis for a back-up telephony solution.