Good Thing RIM Doesn't Have A Campy Slogan About Reliability. Otherwise I'd Be Skewering It Right Now - InformationWeek

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2/20/2008
01:58 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Good Thing RIM Doesn't Have A Campy Slogan About Reliability. Otherwise I'd Be Skewering It Right Now

Is anyone else getting tired of BlackBerry e-mail slowdowns and outages? I am, and I don't even use a BlackBerry any more. IT admins fielding cranky phone calls from e-mail-deprived workers must really be getting tired of it. Reports were flooding user forums this morning of yet another

Is anyone else getting tired of BlackBerry e-mail slowdowns and outages? I am, and I don't even use a BlackBerry any more. IT admins fielding cranky phone calls from e-mail-deprived workers must really be getting tired of it. Reports were flooding user forums this morning of yet another failure in RIM's e-mail service. If your enterprise BlackBerrys are kaput, what's your back-up plan?I remember the first time my BlackBerry stopped receiving e-mail about 2 years ago. I reset the device, performed an enterprise activation, and then bagged it and called IT. When I got through, my then-IT admin told me that he'd already received other calls. His exact words were, "It's bigger than just you, Z." It was the better part of a day before e-mail was restored. Was it a big deal at the time? Nope.

Last April, when e-mail went down across much of the company, it was a much bigger deal. I was on deadline for several stories and needed to communicate with a couple of editors. It bungled things up. Not the end of the universe, but I am not a salesperson. Or an executive. Nor did I have only 45 minutes between flights to catch up on office communications, as some likely did.

When enterprises put trust in technology, they are obviously taking risks that the technology might one day fail them. Every company experiences downed servers, or electrical outages, or whatever. It's going to happen.

But communication -- especially via e-mail -- is vital for many organizations. When companies put the success or failure of their business in the hands of a company such as RIM, they need to trust that service. In the grand scheme of things, the loss of mobile e-mail for, what, a total of maybe 24 hours so far this year, shouldn't kill any business. But one day an outage might. You just never know. What is your enterprise's back-up plan?

Consider this. Most of you probably know that I use Google apps and services for the bulk of my productivity tools. Gmail is chief among them. So far, uptime has been 100%. I have never not been able to retrieve my Gmail from the Internet or a mobile device of any type. Mobile Gmail always works. And it's free. So is the client on my device.

So far, I haven't seen anything beat it. Does it support all the crazy enterprise functions that many businesses need? Well, not all of them, but it's getting better.

RIM hasn't publicly acknowledged this outage, and hasn't quelled any fears that e-mail addicts have about the reliability of its service. RIM, time to come forward and offer more than "it was a system upgrade" type statements. Your faithful have been shaken. How do you plan to hold on to your enterprise e-mail empire if you can't keep your services running consistently?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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