Taking Back IT

Oct 13 2011   9:24AM GMT

BlackBerry outage brings global disruption: News in brief

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

A massive BlackBerry outage has left users with limited email and messaging services for much of this week.

The BlackBerry outage began Monday for users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it spread to North America on Wednesday. Research in Motion (RIM) has blamed the BlackBerry outage on the failure of one of its core networking switches — and the subsequent failure of its backup system.

The BlackBerry outage comes at a terrible time for RIM. Once the only game in town for mobile email, its market share is eroding as consumer devices running Apple iOS and Google Android take hold. RIM still offers the strongest enterprise management capabilities, but that matters less and less, thanks to the consumerization of IT. And its enterprise reputation will definitely take a hit with this extended BlackBerry outage.

Late Wednesday night, RIM said service levels were improving. And today, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis posted this message on YouTube:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zQ1esvGae_s” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Apple iOS 5 released

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 5, hit iTunes on Thursday. The release brings more than 200 new features to the iPhone and iPad, including a drop-down notifications menu, better camera options and Twitter integration that’s laid on real thick.

With iOS 5, Apple is also moving beyond mobile devices into another consumerization area: cloud storage. The new iCloud service stores music, videos, photos and documents and makes them available across your iOS devices, Macs and even PCs. Hey, speaking of cloud storage…

Box.net targets businesses

Cloud storage and collaboration service Box.net has raised $81 million in its latest round of funding, designed to help boost its enterprise offerings.

Box.net and similar services, such as Dropbox, have grown in popularity among people who want to store and access their data and documents — both personal and business — from any device. But this Wild West approach has businesses concerned about security, and now the major IT vendors are swooping in.

Microsoft (Windows Live SkyDrive), Apple (iCloud) and VMware (Project Octopus) are all entering the cloud storage market to address enterprise needs. Box.net, for one, is not backing down.

“Businesses of all sizes are moving their information and collaboration to the cloud, and with this new capital we’ll support their transition by continuing to aggressively out-innovate legacy players like Microsoft,” co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said in a press release.

Box.net also turned down a $600 million acquisition offer from Citrix Systems earlier this year, according to Forbes. And to combat this week’s debut of iCloud, the company is giving away 50 GB of storage to all iOS users.

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