Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gmail - When SaaS fails

I've mentioned before that we use Google Apps for my work and recently one of my colleagues ran into this problem:
Searching around on the net showed that many others have hit this problem and there doesn't appear to be any fix. There are some rumors that Apple's Snow Leopard is causing it to crop up more, and the conspiracy theories that Google is doing this to hurt Apple, but either way its an issue.

What made this problem worse is that once the lockout period expired, what ever triggered the problem re-triggered the problem. The result? He was locked out for 6 days. He is no longer using Gmail except for routing.

If your SaaS vendor can decide on some arbitrary undocumented rule that will cause them to lock you out of their product for 24 hours then there's a problem. Combine that the inability to get any real support from Google other than posting in the littered groups or paying for their "premium" support to get a support answer within 48 hours and you have a disaster. Businesses can't live with vendors that behave this way.

I mentioned previously how I use Google Voice for routing my home phone calls, and it seems that Gmail may only be suited for routing too unless Google wakes up and fixes things like this.

The problem didn't hit me, but I fear the day it does and I have no idea what triggers it. I have at least as much mail as he does, but something about his usage pattern set them off. Who will they hit next?
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