It’s getting a little tiring, these days, to hear yet one more large company social media disaster. First it was Netflix who could not even secure a Twitter account before they launched a new service and now it’s Blackberry whose services suffered a widespread outage in Europe. Twitter apparently got flooded by unhappy Blackberry business users making #Blackberry a trending topic on the social network site.
Yet over three hours later their tech team @BlackBerryHelp, oblivious to the social media disaster they were facing, were adding fuel to the pyre by cheerfully chirping from their account: "Hey #teamblackberry happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend we are back to answer your questions stay tuned for answers."
The full story for those who are interested was reported here. What is important to note is that RIM, the Canadian company which markets Blackberry phones and which used to be spoken with awe amongst business users has become the third party in a two-party race between Google’s Android smartphones and the iPhone. With the stakes so high that the entire company’s survival is on the line, let alone its reputation, mistakes like this are unlikely to win it any further market share or create the impression that it is in control of its own products.
Arguably, tech disasters and outages can happen to anyone. From Amazon’s failure of its cloud computing servers to Google’s Gmail outage and Microsoft’s Hotmail blackouts the history of tech is littered with companies whose services, vital to users lives and businesses, have failed at one time or another. That is why how you handle it is crucial to your company’s continued well being. Google and Microsoft have the tech might and processes to rectify issues quickly. Blackberry should too, so keeping to a strictly Canadian time zone when it has a global clientele makes no sense, especially when the company is fighting for its life.