Mobile & Wireless Slideshow: RIM's BlackBerry Outage: Nine Ways to Restore Enterprise Goodwill

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 10-25-2011

RIM's BlackBerry Outage: Nine Ways to Restore Enterprise Goodwill

Extended Free Tech Support RIM's decision to offer free technical support was a good one. However, the company's decision to only offer it for a single month was a mistake. RIM would do well to offer free technical support to affected enterprises for a period of at least six months as a show of good faith.

RIM's BlackBerry Outage: Nine Ways to Restore Enterprise Goodwill

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Reduced Fees On BlackBerry Enterprise ServerBlackBerry Enterprise Server is an important solution for RIM's business customers. The company could have cut prices on the solution for a short period of time, or offered affected customers discounts on license renewals. Sure, it would cut into revenue, but so will losing a boatload of customers because of this outage.

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Effective CommunicationsAs news spread about the BlackBerry service outage, RIM slowly spooled out updates on the issues to users around the world. Going forward, RIM would do well to improve how it communicates about any service issues that might arise.

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Commit to Infrastructure ImprovementRIM explained that the BlackBerry outage was caused by a core switch failure within its infrastructure. RIM further said that although the system is designed to failover to a backup switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. We suggest that users need to hear the company promise the kinds of infrastructure improvements that will ensure such a long downtime doesn't happen again.

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The Ability to Choose Your Own AppsRIM's make-good offer to give users $100 worth of apps came with caveats: RIM made only a select number of apps available as part of this offer, and then dictated when customers could access them. Why not give customers the option to download $100 worth of any apps they want whenever they want?

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Discounted BlackBerry Pricing The potential for customer churn is the biggest fallout from the outage, and something RIM hardly needs right now. Why not offer existing customers a rebate on their next BlackBerry purchase? Cash-strapped CIOs would especially like that, and it might help put the company's very latest devices into the hands of corporate users.

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How About a Hotline for Enterprise Users?In the future, a service hotline for enterprise customers would enable them to make the company quickly and easily aware of a problem. To the best of our knowledge, RIM hasn't set up such a hotline in the wake of these outages.

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"Denial" is a River in EgyptRIM seems to be hoping that enterprise discontent over the BlackBerry outage will simply go away. But market share stats from multiple sources -- including ComScore and Nielsen -- show the company was already losing users even before the outages. We suggest the company would do well to face this reality head on.

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A Credit For the Outage PeriodIf RIM doesn't want to invest all the money it would take to implement what we're suggesting in this slideshow, a simple solution would be to give a credit to customers for those days in which the service was out. It's a small gesture to make things right with customers.

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