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Cisco Webex Still Down

The Cisco Webex outage widely reported on yesterday, including here, stretches into its third day, frustrating customers and putting Cisco in reputation repair mode.

The outage, as we wrote yesterday, began on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 9:22 p.m. ET, leaving users unable to access meetings, messaging, and video conferencing services.

While Cisco has restored a majority of services, engineers continue working to make Webex fully operational. As of this morning, newly restored are: all Control Hub services, Webex Calling Voicemail services, and most Care services, including Context Service and Agent Desktop. Today at 8:36 a.m. ET, Cisco reported that engineers began a multi-step process to enable Calendar Connect for all sites.

Complaints and Apologies

In a late evening post Wednesday, Sept. 26, Cisco apologized to customers, thanking them for their patience, and promising to learn from its mistakes. But with the outage stretching into its third day, customers' patience and trust may be waning.

As someone by the name of Steve Sfartz commented on Cisco's blog post, optimal planned communication around the outage should be a top priority for Cisco. Sfartz pointed to how Amazon Web Services (AWS) handled external communication around a 2012 outage, saying that as he was running his startup on AWS at the time, "I want to emphasize that such a communication was definitely the right answer in maintaining trust among Amazon customers."

That comment seems to get at the crux of what a lot of Cisco customers are expressing frustration about on Twitter: the fact that Cisco has still not publicly explained what the problem is. And customers, understandably, feel they have a right to know.

While Cisco's social media team has been providing regular updates via the Webex Twitter account, technical details have been sparse.

While the ongoing outage has given rise to a flood of negative Twitter activity, it's also brought some attention from Cisco loyalists. Some commented about how the situation has made them realize how much they rely on their Webex tools and how they can't wait until everything is restored. Others went as far as shaming Cisco competitors attempting to use the outage to their advantage to promote their own solutions and wishing Cisco engineers the best as they continue to work at a full resolution.

We've reached out to Cisco about the outage, but have not yet received official comment.

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