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RIM CEO's Mea Culpa Over-Reaches

Didn't anyone teach Research in Motion co-chairman Jim Balsillie to never say never? Apparently not. In a recent interview about last month's BlackBerry email service outage, Balsillie said, "It shouldn't have happened, and it won't happen
Didn't anyone teach Research in Motion co-chairman Jim Balsillie to never say never? Apparently not. In a recent interview about last month's BlackBerry email service outage, Balsillie said, "It shouldn't have happened, and it won't happen again." Jim might have to eat those words eventually.Honestly. Jim's handlers must have cringed when they heard him utter that comment when he was speaking with eWeek. While I applaud his intent - to reassure BlackBerry users that the source of their email addiction won't leave them without a quick electronic fix - you simply can't promise the un-promisable. Nothing is absolute. Business leaders should know better than to make such claims. Especially when the business and tech press will hold them accountable for it. Do you hear that, Jim? Man-oh-man are you gonna get it if the BlackBerry wireless email service ever does go out again.

What's worse, Balsillie goes on to say that the blackout was completely avoidable. "It was a process error that we had that's been fixed. It wasn't a corruption of any form of the infrastructure, and that's very important. We're clearly putting a lot more fault tolerance into the system, a lot more capacity. We're having domain failover architectures; we're having business continuity solutions experts, so from that component piece of the infrastructure, that's not going to happen again."

Balsillie chooses his words a little bit more carefully here. The end message is that RIM knows it screwed up, fixed the problem, and is confident it will not experience a similar problem in the future. Great. Does anyone really believe this?

I can't.

What cracks me up most, is that Balsillie mentions that enterprises are responsible for their own contingency plans in the event of any communication failures. While I don't disagree, does this mean that we shouldn't count on RIM?

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