Research in Motion has been busy trying to let customers know it will be working hard to earn back their trust after days of outages affecting users in several countries around the world.
Thursday morning RIM posted a YouTube video in which president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis apologized to users for the service outages on the Blackberry network that had been a problem since Monday. Then a few hours later the company held a press conference during which Lazaridis, co-CEO Jim Balsillie and CTO for Software David Yach fielded questions from media representatives.
During the press conference Lazaridis said the company has restored full services to customers and again apologized to customers. “You expect better of us. I expect better of us. Our inability to quickly fix this has been frustrating,” he said.
When asked what took so long for an apology to surface, Lazaridis said, “I was very much involved in the management of the procedures to bring these up and I decided to make that video at the time I did because we had made a lot of progress and I could afford the time to actually produce the video and let our customers know what was happening.”
During the press conference the executives kept hammering the point that the company has seen 99.97 percent uptime in the last 18 months. They also said that while they will now start to look at Service Level Agreements with customers, the cellular carriers have not brought up being compensated by RIM for all the trouble. Balsillie, who said he has spoken with CEOs from several cellular carriers, said, “This has not been about pointing fingers. This has been about serving customers.”
The executives said the outages weren’t preceded by any changes to the network and that recent layoffs the company made were not an issue.
While RIM wouldn’t say which vendors may have been involved in what they believe was the failure of a dual-redundant high-capacity core switch, the company will be conducting a root cause analysis. “I can’t comment on how long that will take,” said Lazaridis. “Systems like this don’t fail this way. They’re designed not to fail this way, so it’s going to take some time. I’m sure of that.”
To watch the YouTube apology by Lazaridis or listen to the press conference, go to RIM’s newsroom.