RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

Summary: The timing of RIM's outages couldn't be worse with the launch of Apple's iPhone 4S and a new BlackBerry 7 cycle.

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Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis apologized to customers for its outage and for the company's communications. Lazaridis said he couldn't give a timeline for a fix.

"It has been my goal to provide reliable real time communications. We did not deliver on that goal this week," he said. "You expect better from us."

In a video posted on a BlackBerry status update page, Lazaridis said that RIM service is almost back to normal in India, the Middle East and Africa and the company is seeing progress, but it may come in fits and starts. Lazaridis said he couldn't give a timeline for full resolution. Update: RIM said that service is now restored.

Also: BlackBerry breaks wall of silence; describes current status in lay terms |   RIM's BlackBerry outages come at worst possible time

On Wednesday, RIM's CIO also outlined the issues and apologized. What's unclear is whether these apologies will go very far with customers. The timing of RIM's outages couldn't be worse with the launch of Apple's iPhone 4S and a new BlackBerry 7 cycle.

Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland said:

While the issues are known and addressable and the company appears to be putting in its best efforts, we believe that this puts a crimp on RIM’s core messaging strengths. According to RIM, the current disruption commenced in Europe with the failure of a core switch likely at RIM’s Slough NOC. Messages to Europe then started to backlog in the Americas and lead to service outages in several regions. We believe that while these issues will be fixed, bigger questions loom over the likely damage to RIM’s hitherto strong messaging brand perception. We still believe that most of RIM’s value is in the network and messaging business and this could crimp that value.

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility, Outage, Security

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16 comments
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  • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

    Well I guess the RIM leadership does make occasional visits to the world of reality.
    jamboy34
  • What is the plan?

    Larry / others

    I'm sure you all rush down to your electric company, cable company etc each time there is an outage and yes I have had both that lasted an extended period of time.

    What exactly would you like RIM to provide to you? Larry your not even a Blackberry users anymore!?!. Is a credit sufficent? A free bumper? Should they brow beat and grovel for the next month to appease all these angry people?

    They fixed the issue, service is being restore, no messages were lost and they will likely have tighter controls / redunancy.

    For all the negative press RIM gets having 70 million users unable to use their mobile device speaks to the power of mobile productivity and there is no company that is providing 100% uptime.
    MobileAdmin
    • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

      @MobileAdmin
      I agree completely. No one or no entity can provide 100 % uptime. The best of the best come close to "5 nines". Yes, I was inconvenienced by the outage. Am I angry, or ready to jump ship? NO WAY. Everyone else can have their Androids, their iPhones,etc, but for me, RIM and BB is the only secure solution for me.
      mike.motes@...
    • Poor comparison...

      @MobileAdmin
      Want to know the difference between my electric company and my phone? I've got plenty of other options for phone service. I'm stuck with my power company. If my cable company had as many outages as RIM, I'd have ditched them years ago. After dozens of outages over the last decade, the time has passed to hold RIMs feet to the fire for their pathetic service record.

      I know, you think we should all just hold hands, sing kumbaya and all will be well in the world again. No, RIM will deservedly lose customers over yet another service interruption. By the 10th outage, they should have had tighter controls and redundancy. It has become clear that the company geniunely doesn't care as long as they remain profitable. The only way to combat that attitude is to see that they are no longer profitable for a while. If they are hit in the pocketbook where it actually hurts, maybe they'll shake things up and actually implement tighter controls and redundancy. I'm betting that the next time it happens...and it will happen again...the number of users unable to use their mobile device will be less than 70 million.
      jasonp@...
      • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

        @jasonp@...

        I'm not sure RIM has had 10 major outages. I've used a Blackberry over 10+ years and this is maybe the 3rd of this scale. The last one was Christmas week 2008.

        RIM is still putting up close to four 9's yearly.

        I'm not giving them a pass as the root cause has not been produced nor have any compensation plans discussed.
        MobileAdmin
    • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

      @MobileAdmin .... I'm sorry... No Company? I've not had a cell phone outages in my areas (Northern half of Virginia, Eastern Edge of WV, MD from Hagerstown to Baltimore and down to DC) in 9 years across 3 companies Nextel, Verizon, Sprint (yes nextel *b4* Sprint). Can we say its 100% uptime to all areas? no.. but NOT ONE OF THOSE have had an outage that effected 3 of the lower 48. ... nor even an area the size of an average US state, let alone what Blackberry had.. COUNTRIES of outages.<br><br>It really is hard to grasp how wide spread the outage is, and how ridiculous the single point of failure seems to be. More than likely the switch wasn't properly backed up, and so the replacement switch didn't come on line with the network properly... but then again ... why weren't they running a pair of switches in tandom, each taking part of the load so that when one failed completely, the other would take up the slack?<br><br>Something smells rotten there... and for a company of their size, its a company that didn't properly plan and implement a robust system ... something many people have known .... and is finally going to be seen through the smoke and mirrors.
      TG2
      • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

        @TG2

        You might want to check www.dataoutages.com so you can see how often carries have issues. It happens.

        I think people are confusing the issues. The main issue is a core switch went down and the backup never picked up. Considering this was a main NOC for europe you can imagine the volume of data that was backlogging. When the switch was brought online they had to throttle this load and yes it impacted other NOC's with this volume.

        I'd love to see some volume #'s from RIM so people understand the amount of traffic that flows through their NOC's. Our Exchange email system would blow up.
        MobileAdmin
      • dataoutages - yup - however how many effect 75% or more of the earth?

        @MobileAdmin -- I'm not saying other carriers don't have outages.. but in comparison.. across three companies spanning 10 years... sorry.. make that 4 companies I just remembered the one data outage I have had outside sprint or verizon data-modem services which were resolved in less than a day... my Sidekick ... there was a week where TMobile's push for sidekicks was slow and off the normal 15 minute mark... backed out to 20 and 30 minutes.. but at no time was this effecting every state in the US, nor did it effect any more than a few towers.. as I drove through virginia (again with the exception of the sidekick) the data would come back up ... so we're not even talking outages in my area that would be any bigger than the size of mumbai

        The keypoint is the failure of ONE NODE or so thats what they say, effected what seems to be, the entire world. I've never heard it said that a data outage in virginia caused data outages to spread across the country and effect users in California, or Washington State... etc.. and yet ONE data center in Europe kills half the world for BB.. and then as the bring things back up, it kills the other half the world or at least slows it down to a crawl.

        Its not a testament to their popularity .. but to the fact that they didn't build out properly to have redundancy that couldn't be effected in this way. And to not see the single points of failure like this, is near mind blowingly incompetent.
        TG2
    • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

      @MobileAdmin I know you were a huge RIM apologist but really?

      [b]I'm sure you all rush down to your electric company, cable company etc each time there is an outage and yes I have had both that lasted an extended period of time.[/b]

      Usually with an electrical or cable outage there is an issue with a huge storm (like Hurricane Irene for a recent example that would have affected me had I not had a whole house generator installed), a transformer blowing up, tree falling down on the lines... that sort of thing. In the case of this outage by RIM it was a node that failed... while there is no backup for cable and a user installed one for electrical there was a backup that RIM provided that failed.[b]

      What exactly would you like RIM to provide to you? Larry your not even a Blackberry users anymore!?!. Is a credit sufficent? A free bumper? Should they brow beat and grovel for the next month to appease all these angry people?[/b]

      I get it - let's just give RIM a free pass... after all it's not like they are [i]Apple[/i]... Personally I was affected by the RIM outage and I honestly do not want anything from them as far as a credit, free bumper, or anything other than for them to ruthlessly inspect each of these nodes and if needed repair them - for their sake.[b]

      They fixed the issue, service is being restore, no messages were lost and they will likely have tighter controls / redunancy. [/b]

      One can only hope that they will have tighter controls/ redundancies on their critical equipment.[b]

      For all the negative press RIM gets having 70 million users unable to use their mobile device speaks to the power of mobile productivity and there is no company that is providing 100% uptime.[/b]

      No and RIM has done a fairly decent job as far as keeping their services online... but with all the other options out there RIM really needs to step up their game before they get even further behind.
      athynz
  • RIM Outage

    What would be nice is a a product that works from a company that has clear leadership and a bankable future. When Blackberries work, they are great, fantastic, when they break, its major and everyone is down, there is no in between. In my opinion, if RIM doesn't get their act together and bring some 'game changing' products to market in the next six months, or fails to release their QNX OS, they will be out of the game, permanently. And QNX better be game changing too.
    Ashman70
  • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

    Dear Mr. Lazaridis and fellow BlackBerry Guys,

    It happens. I understand sometimes things are out of your hands. BB has been providing services continuously and without such glitches for years now, (before iOS and Android were born), and one faliure is not enough for me to jump loyalties.

    I could not install iOS 5 today due to the errors, it took me 8 hours to restore to my old OS, but does that mean that the iPod is a piece of crap? or Apple makes bad software? No. We are giving them a chance and we should give BB too one.

    Mr. Lazaridis, we are with you. We were disappointed yes, but we understand. BB has given us a lot, and in this bad time, we will not desert you. But please don't disappoint again. I have been using a BB for over 4 years now, and promise to use one for the times to come (your sets are so solid they last for years).
    siddhartha.chaturvedi
  • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

    The power goes out, the cable goes out my useless satellite goes out. So what? My isp which is my phone company went offline for an hour this morning. Tell me what service have you had that never goes down? The only thing I can think of with close to a perfect uptime is the phone company and they are a long way from perfect. Seriously get a life, downtime is not a big deal or a company killer or we'd have no cable, tv, radio, internet or power companies. More losers on the pile on RIM band wagon...sad sad people with no life
    Home Grown IT
  • Get Rid of RIM Execs

    Balsillie and Lazaridis must go. Enough already! These two are completely incompetent.
    ryork272
  • Soooo ironic!

    The whole idea of fail-over is to provide more reliability. However, when the protection is not a full redundancy, you just propagate the problem from one region to another, and eventually the whole network. They should start thinking more about problem isolation now than just fail-over
    pieceofcake
  • The point everyone is missing

    This is a very good argument for why RIM as a middle man to all of your device's Internet/Mesaging needs is pointless in this day and age. All they provide is another point of failure. I was a Blackberry user for years because it *was* the best option, but then phones came along that connected to the 'net like general-purpose PC's, so they only rely on the Internet connection of the Telecom provider. Either way, you're reliant on the Telecom provider, but by choosing Blackberry you have a massive system between you and your data.

    In the age of ubiquitous ActiveSync for Exchange (the majority of companies using Blackberry/RIM use it for syncing Exchange mail), RIM is redundant. Even if you need to provide specialized, secure applications that require Intranet access, you can use Good, which has Apps for Android, iOS, WinMo, etc and are the best of both worlds.

    Why is anyone still using RIM?
    ryanjwh
  • RE: RIM ramps apology parade for outage: Lazaridis up to bat

    Blackberry Products had their run.
    Technology has advanced and the Blackberry is done.
    No need for a BBES for corporate email.... Smartphones like the iphone have made Blackberry yesterdays news.
    freethinkerinfl