The HP Upline system launched last week was yet another in the plethora of online (SaaS) backup solutions – I blogged about some others a few days ago.

Only a week into the service however, Upline was down, with users receiving the following email;

Dear HP Upline Service subscriber,

On Thursday, April 17th, HP suspended operation of the HP Upline Service.
We fully anticipate that suspension of the Upline Service will be temporary
and short in duration, and will notify you when the Upline Service is
operational again.

Please accept our sincere apology for this unanticipated interruption of
your access to the Upline Service. We appreciate your patience as we launch
this new service, and are working hard to minimize inconvenience caused by
this service interruption.

If you are a resident of the United States, your subscription will remain in
effect and you will be able to continue using the Upline Service for the
duration of your subscription period once the Upline Service is operational
again. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to providing you
with the HP Upline Service.

If you are not a resident of the United States, we regretfully must inform
you that the initial launch of the HP Upline Service was intended for United
States residents only. Unfortunately, our filtering tools did not
adequately screen for subscribers residing outside of the United States. We
thank you for your early adoption of the Upline Service, and look forward to
being able to provide the HP Upline Service to you when we launch it in your
country of residence. Since the HP Upline Service is presently offered for
use within the United States only, we will be discontinuing your current
subscription. After we notify you that the Upline Service is operational
again, you will have a limited period of time to access and download files
that you have uploaded onto the HP Upline Service servers. After that time
period, you will no longer have access to your present HP Upline Service
account. If you would like to be contacted by us when the HP Upline Service
is made available in your country of residence, please send us an email at
[email protected] We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,
The HP Upline Team

Three things here;

1) What sort of amateur operation fails to get their filtering sorted so that they inadvertently miss sort geographical subscribers, for that matter what does geographical boundaries have to do with a vanilla type service like backup?

2) As I’ve said before – key for SaaS vendors is trust – customers need to have firm belief in the security and integrity of the offering and in the robust protection of their most valuable asset, their data. Debacles such as this one do nothing to further the business case for organisations to switch from installed to SaaS apps

3) In this era of ubiquitous PaaS offerings, what sort of problem necessitates pulling a service such as this one

All in all a very bad look for HP. (Thanks for the info MF).

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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