A great apology

Monday’s Gmail outage scared the crap out of me.

I just moved my entire company over to Google Apps — away from Microsoft Exchange — about 6 weeks ago. One of the scariest parts is the fact that you have no control over the server or services that actually make your e-mail and calendars and everything else “go.” So when e-mail goes down, I’m pretty much as helpless as a basic user, and that stings a bit.

Plus, as a free (“education”) customer, all I can do is send e-mail to support (duh — can’t do that when Gmail is down!) or post messages on their support forum. Sure, there’s a support phone number, but when millions of accounts go offline worldwide, your call won’t get through. Keep that in mind if you evaluate Google Apps. With the exception of today, the experience has been great. But now I’m on edge.

A little good news, though… Google has apologized. Sincerely. Openly. Without dodging the issue or blamestorming. There aren’t many companies that could do this.

Kudos to Google for this kind of clear, honest and authentic apology.

I already feel a little better.

4 thoughts on “A great apology

  1. I am a Google apps user too and I felt the pain, but you know what, don’t worry to much about it because Google is a company that WILL do something about it and make sure that it does not happen again. If you ask me the many years they been running GMail I have had limited problems, hell I continue to get more space and more features. I love GMail.

  2. Thanks Sam. I’m trying to keep perspective on things. But it’s hard when 40 people you serve are suddenly cut off from a service they use every day and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    On the whole, Google Apps, especially for nonprofits, is a raging good deal and I’ve had a good experience so far.

    One advantage to running your own mail server, however, is that you can choose down times, scheduling them in low-usage periods. This Gmail outage hit right in a high-usage period, which exacerbates the feeling of helplessness.

    Anyway, I’m not abandoning Google Apps just yet!

  3. Exactly!

    I used to work for web hosting companies and when hundreds or thousands of sites go down, people feel helpless. Techs hear it all in those times of stress… I can’t imagine having switching my whole company over to Google Apps. BRAVE!

    Call me a control freak, paranoid, or cautious.. but as much as I’ve wanted to – I’ve not been able to depend on a company like Google to manage my Apps, Mail, etc.! I’ve always equated it to hosting a website and all it’s data with some 3rd party hosting company.

    I’ve been honestly thinking about making the switch, and as a Mac user .Mac/MobileMe has been a great experience. Apple and Google have protection in place and the loss of data is very slim to none… This outage you experienced validates the type of responsibility I’m looking for from a company.

    Knowing Google, they’ve probably not brushed this glitch off lightly and working on making sure something like this does not have a repeat.


  4. Scott, I’m still a little on edge about this Google thing, but I have to say that in the months I’ve been using it and the weeks all my coworkers have been using it, this was the only notable glitch. But if this kind of things becomes part of the service, I’m headed for a Mac OS X Server.

Comments are closed.