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Analyst: Cut RIM Some Slack Over BlackBerry Outage!

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 12 comments

BlackBerry users are pretty upset with Research in Motion (RIM), after the service failed for three consecutive days earlier this week.

As BlackBerrys come online, we are hearing that the outage may cost RIM up to $120 million, but the real damage may yet to be come in the form of users abandoning the company. Investors who have called for the sale for the company may get more visibility as well.

However, there is at least one analyst who says that RIM deserves mercy, as it could not have anticipated this outage. Jack Gold from J. Gold Associates said that such failures cannot be prevented due to the complexity of the systems behind them. "No doubt people will criticize RIM. But we need to look at this rationally, and understand that all of these systems are so complex, it’s highly likely there will be failures."

Gold wrote in a research note sent to clients that "it’s surprising there are as few failures in these massively complex systems as there are. So while I too lost service, I am inclined to cut RIM a bit of slack here, as it seems they were not the ones at fault (sounds like they have some real work to do with their infrastructure vendors who sold them a redundant switch that apparently wasn’t)."

Gold, noted that it was surprising that it required an extended period of time for RIM to solve its problem and criticized that the company did not talk to the public sooner about the issue, but noted that the nature of the problem made it hard to identify.

All of those possible excuses, however do not help RIM. In a time of declining market share, Gold said that "everyone [is] looking at them with a magnifying glass" and the outage receives much more attention than it would have been exposed a few years ago. " That’s not to say a failure of this magnitude wouldn’t have been noticed. But RIM’s current challenges mean increased scrutiny," Gold wrote.

Related:

RIM's BlackBerry Service Out for Third Day Running

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  • 0 Hide
    tramit , October 15, 2011 3:17 AM
    Don't like the path this company is heading. Seems like support could be severely degraded in the next decade. I currently have a BB9900 for its amazing keyboard, but this will probably be my last BB for a while since I will re-explore other options again.
  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , October 15, 2011 3:22 AM
    Last outage was in 2009...people need to stop whining. I tried a Droid 3...mistake...3 pages of uninstallable bloatware and 6 hour battery life..not to mention it weighed like half a pound, no thanks. Even thought about the iPhone until I read the 40 page EULA. Never leaving RIM again.
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , October 15, 2011 4:06 AM
    The problem is not in RIM having an outage, the problem is in the outage lasting so long. I work in a SaaS company myself and we also have outages, but not ones that take days to fix. It's a matter of over-engineering and over-provisioning, as RIM state they have done, but it's also a matter of periodically testing these defenses...
  • 2 Hide
    antilycus , October 15, 2011 4:14 AM
    it's not surprising regarding the outage time. Most people who think they understand networking infrastructure (or I.T. Support in general) rarely have any actual idea what they are doing. There is a reason those certifications are hard and it still doesn't prove you have any idea what you are talking about.
  • 1 Hide
    otacon72 , October 15, 2011 4:40 AM
    agnickolovThe problem is not in RIM having an outage, the problem is in the outage lasting so long. I work in a SaaS company myself and we also have outages, but not ones that take days to fix. It's a matter of over-engineering and over-provisioning, as RIM state they have done, but it's also a matter of periodically testing these defenses...


    There needed to be another road block in place to keep the failure localized. After the primary and backup system failed there was no stopping it from cascading around the globe. Either test the backup systems that are at such critical junctions in the network or put in another backup. I live in Boston and was only out for about 12 hours. My friends in the UK were out the full 3 days.
  • -3 Hide
    mrmez , October 15, 2011 4:57 AM
    RIM started going downhill when they folded to pressure and gave governments their super secret data encryption codes.
  • 1 Hide
    scrumworks , October 15, 2011 7:11 AM
    You didn't give any slack to AMD with their Phenom TLB bug. I think you pretty much bashed bulldozer too. Why should we give RIM some slack?
  • 0 Hide
    bmouring , October 15, 2011 9:49 AM
    I'm sorry, but when a company banks on services that they alone control on their servers that is seen as a major reason to consider the platform (speaking of BBM and other BB-only services), they should know very well that they need to keep their ducks in a row or the service (and therefore the brand) gets a bad reputation (which will translate to lost sales)

    But the point/argument really is moot at this point: I think it's pretty obvious that RIM is on the way out, but it's likely to be a long, slow decent into insolvency
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2011 3:01 PM
    Even if it may not be RIM's fault necessarily, it's hard getting that across to the public. The market's a harsh place and whatever happens happens.

    At a time of declining share and overall struggle, RIM can't afford to slip up like this.
  • -1 Hide
    Kami3k , October 15, 2011 8:25 PM
    otacon72Last outage was in 2009...people need to stop whining. I tried a Droid 3...mistake...3 pages of uninstallable bloatware and 6 hour battery life..not to mention it weighed like half a pound, no thanks. Even thought about the iPhone until I read the 40 page EULA. Never leaving RIM again.


    Lol, 3 "pages" of uninstallable bloatware? Root.

    6 hour battery life? Of non-stop heavy use maybe. In which case it's not uncommon.
  • 0 Hide
    wingartz , October 17, 2011 4:22 PM
    bmouringI'm sorry, but when a company banks on services that they alone control on their servers that is seen as a major reason to consider the platform (speaking of BBM and other BB-only services), they should know very well that they need to keep their ducks in a row or the service (and therefore the brand) gets a bad reputation (which will translate to lost sales)


    Too true.. they say BIS, BBM are a premium feature, over their servers, not the cellular server, so rim servers die, and poof no more 'premium' services, but my wife has a motorla android in the same celluar company and was working flalessly so rim see you next time (i'll bet is never)
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 18, 2011 4:48 AM
    I'm going to make no attempt to defend RIM for not implementing a backup system properly, but I agree with the analyst. The media is generally too harsh on RIM for whatever reason.
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