February 26, 2021

How MSPs Can Support Clients During a Microsoft or Google Outage

By Courtney Heinbach

With more and more small and medium businesses (SMBs) relying on Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) to run their daily operations, it has become important for managed service providers (MSPs) to educate clients on how to deal with app outages. From there, MSPs can make the case for and support SMBs with more advanced data protection than what Microsoft and Google provide.

The tricky thing about an outage is that it can happen at any time and last for an undetermined amount of time. While it’s frustrating for MSPs and their clients, the impact an outage has on productivity and business processes is a far more serious concern, especially as the frequency of outages increases (e.g., Microsoft went down four times in a six-week period last fall). Over time, these outages can have an impact on the economic growth of a business.

A cloud provider’s outage is completely out of an MSP’s control, but there are things that can be done to prevent data loss and be there for clients even if MSPs can’t “fix it.” It starts with clear, concise communication and having a proven and effective solution to protect data.

Here are some recommendations on what to do when an outage occurs.

Be out in front of it

Outages increase a client’s stress levels, MSPs need to be proactive in communicating the situation right away. As soon as possible, reach out to clients and make them aware of what’s going on. MSPs want to be the ones that clients hear this news from – not social media.

Be clear

Give clients an overview of what services are impacted and what the provider (Microsoft or Google) is doing to address the situation as soon as you can. A simple email with the details in a list format is a good idea.

Be patient

MSPs will get a lot of questions from their client base. Putting together an FAQ template that can be populated quickly with facts about the outage and recommendations of how to proceed is extremely helpful. Send it as an email, post it to communication channels—your website, social media—and update it frequently as new information becomes available.

Be reassuring

It’s not enough to just inform them of the situation. MSPs also need to communicate to clients that while they are unable to restore the cloud services, they have the necessary tools in place to prevent data loss and the ability to help them quickly pivot to offline work while the outage is underway.

Taking a proactive approach helps make MSPs a more valuable partner and eases clients’ minds. Outages have a way of creating chaos quickly so the more that can be done to help clients coordinate through the chaos the better the outcome will be.

Back up your clients’ cloud data

Planning for the unexpected is key to recovering quickly when an app outage occurs. With cloud outages, it’s never guaranteed that data won’t be lost, and the only way to ensure clients’ data isn’t permanently deleted is with a reliable, third-party backup solution. With recurring backups of clients’ data with tools like Datto SaaS Protection, MSPs can provide clients with access to any business-critical data they need in the event of an outage or a data-loss scenario.

SaaS Protection doesn’t just back up data, it enables quick restores (in minutes, not days), easily, and effectively. MSPs can make a reliable copy of clients’ data readily accessible. For example, since email drives much of a business’ day-to-day operations, being able to easily export all email conversations to ensure clients can continue remote collaboration offline without disruption is invaluable during an outage.

SaaS Protection recovers:

  • OneDrive
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Mail
  • Microsoft Teams
  • SharePoint
  • Sharing permissions
  • Original file formats

Need help developing an outage communication plan for clients? Interested in learning more about Datto SaaS Data Protection? Contact us for a free demo of SaaS Protection today. 


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