Recovering After Sandy

On Friday I got an email from a provider that I use for chat software for my website. You know the type of software I mean? It’s the sort of tool that allows a visitor to a company’s website to choose to chat with the company directly through the website. Mine is from a company called Zopim.


Anyway – back to the email I got.  Zopim, like any reputable provider of a cloud service, had a backup generator at their data centre (in New York). And they had servers at an additional site (Singapore) ready to handle things if the primary centre failed. However, due to the extreme conditions of Hurricane Sandy, their two data centres in NY lost not just their regular power but also their backup power. And in their own words, Sandy also “caused their server management system to fail. As a result, we were unable to launch additional servers in Singapore’s data center as part of our failover process.”


I was actually feeling sorry for them as I read this – and was thankful for their update. Sandy is a once in a lifetime event. And I was thinking they deserved some slack. But then they went further…


They described how they immediately sought to mitigate the effect of Sandy – how they “started replicating parts of our service onto Amazon Web Services. This will reduce our reliance on a single hosting provider, and allows us to maintain availability in events like these.” Impressive eh?


Then they apologised, said they should have been better prepared for such a catastrophic failure and credited my account with a few dollars.


We all make mistakes in how we treat our customers. (If you think you don’t that’s only because you’re not seeing things from your customers’ perspective!) But how do you measure up in terms of recovery? And have you a clear view of how your actions or inactions impact on your customers? If you want to take some steps forward in this area then get in touch – –  and let me help you see your company with a different pair of eyes – those of your customer!


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