So Zendesk (more on them here) had a bad day. Their Worst Day Ever. CEO Mikkel Svane’s face paints a picture:

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To quote from his post:

…a planned hardware maintenance with our service provider exceeded the one hour service window with a whopping three hours. Monday morning we experienced unusual high email traffic, which tipped over as a client decided to push a backlog of emails to our system. More than 10,000 emails hit our servers within a few minutes. We should have been resilient to that, but weren’t…

So yes – in an ideal world problems like this wouldn’t happen. But we don’t live in an ideal world Sometimes things come unstuck.

Compare the Zendesk response with another couple of situations I’ve experienced of late, poor mail order service and terrible web hosting service. There’s an iconic chain of electronic retail stores here in New Zealand and the founder, the late Alan Martin, used to go on national television with his advertisements which were always closed off with his saying:

It’s the putting right that counts.

And indeed it is – the world is (broadly speaking) accepting of problems providing an organization:

  1. Communicates the existence, cause and estimated duration of a problem as early and as frequently as possible and,
  2. Communicates exactly what is being done to stop the problem recurring

In my two examples above that did not occur, in Zendesk’s case it did.

So well done Mikkel, oh and go home and have a gammel dansk.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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