by CIO Staff Outages Raise IT Concerns

Feb 10, 20062 mins
CRM SystemsWeb Development

Past CIO news coverage:

Outages Put in the Doghouse

After recent outages at prompted a spate of customer complaints, the on-demand CRM leader is seeking to reassure its users as it works to prevent further down time of its hosted software.’s co-founder Parker Harris sent an email to customers this week blaming recent outages on a problem in its database cluster. “Salesforce is taking this very seriously,” said AMR analyst Rob Bois. “They are dropping everything they are doing to fix this problem.” customers experienced a major outage lasting for several hours on Dec. 20 and another interruption on Jan. 5. Most recently, servers were down on Jan. 30 and some customers complained that they couldn’t access the system for hours. In the company’s email, which was posted on the blog SalesForceWatch on Wednesday, Harris said that “has gone through a lot of change recently,” with new data centers coming on line and the introduction of new software. 

Harris also said Salesforce is putting in place plans for changes in the service to “significantly improve availability.” The changes will include upgrades to software components and the installation of additional hardware. This week alone, he added, has increased its database processing capacity by 50 percent. Harris said he believes this additional capacity will help under extreme conditions when one of Salesforce’s hosted databases goes down. did not return calls seeking comment.

Analysts say that likely won’t suffer if it quickly resolves the problems that led to the outages. “Customers will excuse this once or twice,” said Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research. However, “it all depends on whether this is a blip or a trend,” Bois said.

However, all eyes will remain on the on-demand CRM vendor because it is seen as a leader in the software as service arena.  “ is an ambassador for this space because it reached critical mass first,” Bois says. “So when has a problem, people start questioning the whole delivery model.”

For information on SAP’s recent on-demand CRM announcement, read SAP Launches CRM On-Demand.

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-Susannah Patton