Imagine my surprise when I checked my trusty Blackberry for email yesterday morning at 8AM, and noticed that my regular, “start-of-the-day” emails were mysteriously missing from my Blackberry inbox. According to the Blackberry enthusiast site “Crackberry“, Research In Motion (or RIM, the company who actually makes the Blackberry phones and operates the Blackberry Internet Service or BIS) confirmed that BIS users were experiencing “delayed” email, but other Blackberry services such as Blackberry messenger and SMS were unaffected. I don’t know about you, but my BB messenger texts were also delayed. Fortunately, sometime after 3PM ET, services began to return to normal. But there were still scattered delays.
So, what happened? Well, if history is any indicator, we will never know. RIM has traditionally not believed in “full disclosure” when it comes to outages. In the past, they have always been very vague about why outages occur, and even more vague about what steps they are taking to try to prevent or minimize future outages. So many people I know rely heavily on their Blackberrys for instant communications with their colleagues and customers. Outages such as this are very frustrating. In a time when the Blackberry’s competition is increasing with the release of the Google Droid handset and upcoming Google Nexus, RIM had better be careful. There is so much buzz about the new Google phones, but it remains to be seen if business professionals will abandon their trusty Blackberrys and jump onboard a brand new phone platform. The difference with the Google devices is that most people “trust” Google’s reliability and reputation for things that “just work”. Would you switch?