My Take on the Latest RIM Outage

By Adam Zeis on 13 Feb 2008 06:00 pm EST

Another RIM OutageOutage, failure, interruption, chaos, near death experience - call it what you will, but its all we've heard about all week.  For Blackberry users, Monday left us feeling like a toddler with no Spongebob.  Thought of "Why! Why?" and "What in the world is going on!" flowed through our heads.  We cried to each other, and to those who could have cared less, and waited it out (as we had no other choice) and hoped for the best.  RIM took an unscheduled day off and we felt like the world was coming to an end.  Local news agencies were all over the story (I live near NYC, so it was fairly big news) and even my mother (who doesn't even own a contract phone) called me to ask if my precious 8830 was working. 

No one has yet discovered the real reason for the outage, but many have speculated in their own ways.  The most important revelation that most of us could have ignored before Monday is that at some point in their travel through cyberspace, all emails coming or going from any Blackberry device have to take a detour through RIM's network operations center in Canada.  The problem isn't with Canada, its the fact that everything needs to cycle through one specific location at one point in its travels.

Frank Gilman, the chief technology officer for Los Angeles law firm Allen Matkins, was forced to deal with the outage Monday afternoon. "What surprised me was the apparent lack of a solid business continuity plan on RIM's part to ensure reasonable connectivity," he said "A company that is marketing devices that increase the mobility of professionals should have systems and contingencies in effect to avoid an outage of that size and duration."

RIM will have to fess up at some point as to just what happened - be it "upgrades" as some say, or just plain overload.  The company is blaming "a problem with an internal data routing system within the BlackBerry service infrastructure that had been recently upgraded," according to the statement.  Obviously as the Blackberry nation grows, upgrades are a necessity, but someone must have flipped the wrong switch this time. 

For anyone wanting more of an explanation, this is the best RIM can offer: "Once again, RIM apologizes to its customers for any inconvenience."

Topics: Editorial

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

My Take on the Latest RIM Outage


Hopefully RIM will get their house in order before more outfits like Emoze eats their lunch. I have been considering an upgrade from the Pearl to the 8320 but due to the seeming increasing outages, I have thought about other smartphones. Emoze or others like it could change the landscape for RIM and us.

If you want to see deep concern on RIMs part for single point of failure or that you less than mission critical email is down, guess again - here's an expressions of deep concern:

"It was an intermittent delay, a couple of hours," he said. "It's old news. It happened days ago."

Balsillie's comments were in response to a question about Monday's outage and how it might impact the company's relationship with corporate customers

Being somewhat new to the wonderful world that is BlackBerry, it was great to troll the Web for blogs and watch stories as some in the media tried to portray that the world was crumbling apart for those bestowed with the power to do virtually anything with what's in our pockets or clipped onto our belts.

While there were people who complained about the plight that they had to endure without e-mail or the Web, there were many that accepted what was going on and were able to deal with it, as any adult should. And that should be attributed to the fact that we all know how well our BlackBerry's serve us on a regular basis.

Like all of you, I had to read the immature rantings of the haughty iPhone hipsters (it's called Opera Mini idiots-we get the 'real' internet too)and the delusional treo users who's postings emitted more smugness than a convention of Prius's owners.

I love my curve and while I have only been a user for a few months, I reaffirm the notion on a consistent basis that I want to never own anything but a berry.

But that being said, RIM should be a little less arrogant to its many loyal customers and the public. The statements issued were akin to a Bill Belichick after game press conference.

And while they are on top right now, RIM is going to be consistently targeted harder and harder by companies like apple that want a fatter chunk of the smart phone market share.They need to create additional network operation centers and recognize the fact that they have grown beyond their limits.

So when something like this happens, they should chug enough maple syrup to get the courage to give a sincere apology like any half-wit person in the public relations industry would tell you is the smart thing to do.

But the real story is that while many of us had to detox off our crackberry addiction for a day-the majority got along fine and will still be able to laugh at the person next to us in the starbucks line fumbling for the stylus on their treo

I'm on Verizon near Ann Arbor Michigan and did not experience any outage that I was aware of.
All my email and calls came through like normal