Thanks Microsoft: We Got Publishing Features Enabled

Those of you who know me realize that I can be a grouchy, cantankerous old cuss.:)

It seemed wrong to use a picture of myself, so I stole this from http://www.jeffminick.com/learning-as-i-go/you-might-be-a-grumpy-old-man-if

It seemed wrong to use a picture of myself, so I stole this from http://www.jeffminick.com/learning-as-i-go/you-might-be-a-grumpy-old-man-if

But every once in a while, I have a good experience that I really should share so that people don’t think I can only be grumpy.

Today is one of those days. But it’s a bit plus and minus.

I’ve had a support ticket open with Microsoft for exactly a month today about an Office 365 tenant where we couldn’t activate the Site Feature for SharePoint Server Publishing.

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It was originally activated (we can’t track down the history), but wasn’t fully “there”. Some of the capabilities weren’t working. So I deactivated it and tried to reactivate. Every time, the dreaded “An unexpected error has occurred.” But a correlation ID!

I’ll admit it, I’m not enamored of Microsoft support. My experience over the years has been spotty at best and this case was not a good showing. We bounced back and forth to various people “out there”. (It’s the cloud, so it doesn’t matter where they are, right?)

When we hit a month to the day today, I decided I would highlight the – erm – challenges here to Adam Harmetz (@AdamHarmetz ) at Microsoft. I’m very careful how I use my connections at Microsoft, as I don’t want to be “that guy”. Sometimes I’m “that guy”, but I try not to be. Really, I do. Truly. Most of the time.

Well, within two hours, we had the problem solved. (Adam wasn’t awake when I sent the email.) I worked with two stellar guys at Premiere Support who *really* knew their stuff.

In the words from the follow up email from the engineer I worked with:

We found that the publishing feature was failing to create the PageNotFoundError page in the Pages library, so after validating that the page layout and content types were in good shape we grabbed a healthy page from a new publishing site, moved it over to the target site, and verified that the publishing web feature was able to be activated without a hitch.

Note that I’m not giving out the two stellar guys’ names. I don’t want them to be inundated with requests! But I know who they are.

So why does all this matter? Frankly, it doesn’t matter that much that I pulled some strings and got my problem solved. We had been working around it and would have solved it eventually through normal channels.

What really matters is the fact that Adam and Stellar Guy No. 1 are going to take this case and try to make things better with it. The way it all played out is a bad user experience. Yes, UX isn’t just something on a computer screen. Every aspect of our interactions with Microsoft affects our perception of the company and its products.

These days, Microsoft can take something like this and make changes to ensure they don’t happen again. A few years ago, I would have openly complained about the fact that they weren’t a learning organization; today they are, and a fast-learning one at that.

That doesn’t mean that my next support experience – or yours – is going to be perfect. But it does mean that it might be a bit better. I long for the day when there will be no need at all to pull strings to reach a good conclusion, and I want to help Microsoft get there.

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