Monthly Archives: February 2011

“The Google Factor”

I’ve noticed a phenomenon. I call it “The Google Factor.”

Domino administrators know that their users have no patience when it comes to a Lotus Notes/Domino issue. In fact Lotus Notes is generally (and 99% of the time) wrongfully blamed for all woes related to the desktop.

However, when Google is unavailable – either when the account is suspended, or email is not accessible — nothing happens. The users are quiet. What has happened?  Have the users suddenly become sedate and hypotized? Perhaps because you’re a person they can reach on the phone – you’ve put a face on any work related issue during the day?  

If email and/or access to docs or chat are so essential, why don’t they fuss about Google outages? Is it because Google is in “the cloud”? And everyone seems to be mesmerized by all that is cloud like? Or have the expectations shifted because it is Google – the company they are primarily familiar with as a search provider?

It is maddening because you know you work to address an issue as quickly as possible. And you may even resolve a user or server issue in a matter of minutes.  In comparison – Google provides a status page with no interaction or time frame for resolution.  And the reason for the outage is never given.  How many times in your Domino environment have you had to provide long involved technical explanations of outages for your users?  Plenty! Do they understand them? No! But will the users ask about Google outages? No!

“The Google Factor” does make it very tempting to shift all users to the cloud.  Perhaps the strategy should be —  follow-up a cloud move with a relocation of your own offices to  in a nice comfy vacation spot with your voice mail set to “Gone to the Cloud.”

Google Account Issue: A little cloudy!

There was some recent news items about Google accounts – losing mail or chats from this past weekend.

We’ve had users report that they cannot access their account.  Upon further examination of their account info in the Google cpanel, the following is displayed: “The user has been suspended for abuse.”

Now given that we also had a round of phishing attacks this weekend, we thought perhaps these accounts had been compromised and given the exact text of the of the error message – you might think that was the case.

But after contacting Google support, we received the following:

Thanks for your message. We are currently experiencing an issue with account access for some users. I have researched the accounts <xxx.yourgoogledomain> and verified that they are currently affected by this issue. I will update to verify with you once this issue has been corrected, but for now you can stay updated through our ‘Apps Status Dashboard’ available here Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need any additional assistance.

We run a Google Apps for Education domain.  It seems this latest issue has reached into not only personal Gmail accounts, but Apps domains as well. Stay tuned!

It’s not too late! IBM Tuesday!

Be sure to drop by Packt Publishing today for IBM Tuesday!  Four IBM books are due for release today – February 22, 2011!  And they’re offering a 20% discount all month.  So if you haven’t purchased a copy of IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User’s Guide for yourself, your staff, your help desk, your cat, your dog and your mother-in-law, be sure to visit the site this month!