November marks a couple of important milestones at Office365mon. The biggest news is that we have finally reached the size and strength in our customer base to make the transition out of our launch pricing model. That model allowed anyone to get an Office365Mon subscription and use all of the basic features free for life – monitor up to 10 sites and mailboxes, get email and text notifications, and use our basic reports. Getting the service running, customers engaged, and improving our features based on their feedback has been instrumental in establishing the Office365Mon service.
For customers that were willing to be an early adopter of our service, they will continue to benefit from their loyalty. Their subscriptions and basic monitoring services for those subscriptions will always be free for life. If we add more features to the basic monitoring feature over time, they will continue to reap the benefit of those changes as well.
Going forward, our launch pricing is going to conclude on November 30th. After that day, all Office365Mon subscriptions will be created as 90-day trials, the same as you get on all the features at Office365Mon. Getting signed up will be exactly as quick and easy as it is today. There won’t be any credit card info required up front – just go to the site, set up your subscription, and start monitoring. At the end of 90 days if you want to continue then you can sign up for whatever service level you prefer – Basic Monitoring, Enterprise features, or Enterprise Premium features. A complete list of what’s included in each of these packages can be found on our web site here. Monitoring services for subscriptions created after November 30th will start at $19 / month.
Meanwhile we are continuing to work on new features. In October we released one of the most innovative outage monitoring solutions yet – our Office 365 Help Desk feature. It’s described in more detail in this post: https://samlman.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/a-new-way-to-manage-outages-at-office365mon/. In short, it allows you to use your end users to learn about outages in a way that’s both very simple and nicely interactive for them. We set you up with phone numbers that users can send text messages to when they are having an outage. You can get multiple phone numbers for them to use, and you can get them in multiple geographies. Users don’t need to remember any special commands or anything at all – just add the phone numbers to their contact list, and send a text message to it when they are down. They don’t need to call a help desk number and work their way through the typical menu-heavy system, they don’t need to go to an internal portal, find the right page to report a problem, and fill out a form. Just a simple text message.
Meanwhile, you can configure your Office365Mon subscription to say how many messages you need to receive and in what time period before notifying you about the outage. For example, don’t notify me until I get at least 5 text messages in 3 minutes. You can also configure text messages that are returned to users that text in these outage notifications – that’s the interactive part. So they can get a message back that says “thanks, we’re looking into it”. Or after you reach that notification threshold you can send a different message back that says “thanks, we’re aware of the problem and we’re working on it”. Finally – it’s something that’s super quick, super easy, and both parties are getting some real time feedback. There’s a lot more to it – I recommend reading the post I linked to above and then giving it a try in your own Office365Mon subscription.
Speaking of subscriptions, we’ve also made it MUCH easier to create new subscriptions. This again comes from feedback from our users who were looking for an easier way to get monitoring set up for multiple sites and mailboxes. There are reasons why we do this though, but if you still want to set them up in the browser now it’s much easier to accomplish. The reasons around why we do this and how you can set them up more easily are covered in this blog post: https://samlman.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/how-to-monitor-multiple-mailboxes-and-sites-with-office365mon/. Of course, you can also continue to do this lickety-split quick using our Subscription Management API. For more details on that please visit our site and look at our SDK and sample C# and PowerShell code: https://www.office365mon.com/Reports/subapi.
Overall it’s been a great month and there are a lot more exciting things ahead. As always if you have feedback feel free to send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From sunny Phoenix,