Another outage

The ‘blogosphere’ has been blasting, which suffered another service outage earlier this week (read, for example, Customers Grouse About Outages, Crashes Again and Almost the last word on’s outage).

There has been much talk about service level agreements (SLAs) – which doesnt’ offer while several of its competitors (eg: Netsuite, Salesnet and Rightnow) do. Critics of the ASP approach (adopted, of course, by most of the main construction collaboration technology – or ‘extranet’ – providers) argue that an SLA has limited value (can a one-month refund adequately compensate for the loss of business a loss of service can cause?), but at least the existence of an SLA can be a reassuring demonstration of the ASP’s good intentions.

Less laudible have been’s communications with its user base and industry watchers about the outages, argues Philip Wainewright in Reputation, trust and Salesforce outages.

There are still those who wonder if’s travails will impact on the whole SaaS sector (eg: Are Salesforce’s outages sullying the reputation of the SaaS model?). It was perhaps only logical, therefore that some of’s competitors showed some solidarity. For instance, here Rightnow’s CEO Greg Gianforte talks up the advantages of on-demand solutions:

"I am confident that on-demand can deliver more reliability than traditional on-premise can deliver. When an IT organization buys hardware from one vendor, database from a second vendor, firewall from a third vendor, and applications for the fourth vendor, making on-premise reliable is difficult at best. It is easy for an on-demand vendor who has done it thousands of times to deliver high reliability.”

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