RIM’s troubles extend beyond image

Possibly due to the unfortunate timing, after some run-ins with stockholders and Blackberry’s main competitor launching yet another successful handheld, everyone and their grandma piped up theorizing exactly what it’s doing wrong, what RIM can do to fix it and what exactly caused the disruption of service.

Blogger for ZDNet’s Between the Lines, Larry Dignan, said the outages are particularly damaging because of the lack of confidence problem RIM already faces. “For another company, these outages would be taken in stride. In fact, RIM has had outages before and came out just fine. However, the stakes are much higher now,” he said. “Add it up and RIM’s only real option at the moment is to execute well and bolster momentum for the BlackBerry. The outages aren’t helping that cause.”

Jesse Bauer, writing for Technorati, doesn’t pull as many punches, calling the death of RIM imminent. “The questions remains now, how is BlackBerry going to make their loyal customers feel good about continuing on as BlackBerry customers after seeing their iPhone friends rejoice for all the new features they just got with the iOS 5 update (and stable services)?,” he said. “Windows Phone 7.5 has been rolling out for a couple of weeks now with great reviews, and Android users haven’t experienced any huge service outages for their OS either. It certainly makes RIM look foolish when compared to their competition. We may be seeing the end of the BlackBerry era sooner than we think.”

Martin Cej, anchor and blogger at the Business News Network, said there have been many different reactions to RIM’s service outage, but the lack of transparency as to what caused it could cause problems. “Some BlackBerry owners are using the disruption as an excuse to change services while others remain steadfast, pointing out that RIM is not the first major technology company to suffer a glitch of some sort or another,” he said. “This latter fact is one that we’re going to need to take a closer look at. Intel, for example, suffered a company-ending glitch in one of its early Pentium chips some years ago, a nail-in-the-coffin type problem that would bring about the end of this once-mighty tech giant. Except it didn’t. Apple, HP, IBM… you name it, they’ve had their troubles and have been written off. There’s a great opportunity here to provide sorely-lacking context to an ongoing tech and investment story.”

Preston de Guise, who writes for The NetWorker Blog, chided RIM using diagrams to explain a fundamental lack of redundancy vision may have led to the outage. “You see, most companies implement what we call redundant infrastructure. In systems that require high availability, this is often accomplished with something as simple as clustered (either LAN or WAN) hardware and communications,” he said. “Unfortunately, RIM seemed more focused on having failover capabilities for upper level management, so it instead clustered its’ CEOs. The supposed theory behind this is that the two CEOs, working in an active/active arrangement, could handle load better and get the job done better than a single CEO – and provide resiliency!”

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