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RIM outage not only hitting consumers!

In April 2010, Mimecast released a report entitled “Keeping the Enterprise Agile and Mobile” in which we examined the growing pressure to keep BlackBerry services up and running at all times.

At the time, we thought the results were pretty interesting and events over the past few days have played them out pretty well.

Our report found that the expectations of BlackBerry users are extremely high – 66% of respondents claimed that as much as one hour of downtime per month is not acceptable and a further 22% saying NO downtime is acceptable at all! I can only imagine how these users feel about the last three days’ worth of interruptions…

With the reported impact on support desks and the board level fall out that BlackBerry outages seem to cause, we were, at the time, surprised by the high percentages of organizations that had no provisions for high availability (41%) in place at all. A further 59% said they couldn’t provide continuity for their users and 61% don’t have an internal BlackBerry availability SLA.

So with these numbers, the corporate world breathed a collective sigh of relief when RIM announced that the outages that they have been having are only affecting their BIS and BBM users… Well, they sighed until their corporate users started complaining about service unavailability.

While the reports we see out there still point to only BIS and BBM failures(and a scattering of app problems) and that organizations running their own BES should not be having the same issues, we at Mimecast have already seen a very different picture painted by our customers and services in use.

Interestingly, when I was first contacted about this I immediately thought “this is not going to have major impact on my business customers, I am not sure how I can help” which very quickly moved over to major concern as we started getting feedback that our service was in use by a growing number of devices.

For example, we had a number of customers report in to our support desk reporting BlackBerry issues with email delivery and enquiring about our Mimecast BlackBerry Continuity add-on. We have been in a unique position to help several customers who were prepared and were already users of our Mimecast BlackBerry Continuity add-on.

The Mimecast BlackBerry Continuity add-on is an app that runs on the BlackBerry device that allows emails to be delivered directly to the device, handling failure of BES, Exchange and the RIM NOC – we are the only continuity service that can do this! Users can then read and respond to these messages as they would any normal message.

That said, the percentage of Mimecast BlackBerry Continuity customers that activated the service is very low, but when reports say you shouldn’t be affected yet you are, it is a very real problem for you.

Image courtesy of PixelPlacebo