January 13, 2010
VoIP Provider 8x8 Back to Normal after Service Outage
By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor
It was business as usual today for 8x8, Inc., a Voice over Internet Protocol provider, following a service outage on Tuesday for some of the company’s customers.
According to Joan Citelli director, corporate communications of 8x8 (News - Alert), Inc., service was fully restored to the company’s VoIP service called Packet8, as well as the firm’s Web sites www.packet8.net and www.8x8.com by 4:30 p.m. PT. The outage, which Citelli said was caused by “an Internet element beyond our control,” lasted up to four hours for some customers.
“While we are 100 percent confident in our core software, infrastructure and service elements, we believe that our services should be isolating our valued customers from Internet elements beyond our control, and are diligently pursuing a course of action to correct these dependencies in our services,” Citelli said in a statement to TMCnet.
8x8 sent an e-mail to its customers from company President Dan Weirich (News - Alert) saying that the “outage appears to have been caused by a data failure with one of our underlying carriers. He continued, “We are working on identifying the root cause and why our backup services did not failover as they are designed to do.”
Citelli said today 8x8 is still investigating the root cause of the problem.
During the outage, some customers turned to Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, to alert others about the problem, as well as offer updates. Others used the outage and Twitter to promote their own VoIP services.
Troy Walling, an agent of England Logistics, a company that provides transportation solutions, has been an 8x8 customer for the last eight months. Walling, an authorized agent for the company’s truckload sourcing division, said the company had experienced good service until Tuesday’s outage. Officials even recommended 8x8’s service to their corporate office.
“My business is very, very phone intensive, and if we go down, even for a short while, there is an incredible impact to what we do,” Walling said. “It was very frustrating that a simple message wasn't posted on the automated phone system and/or Web site. I realize things happen but to not have a plan in place to be able to communicate with your customers was not good.”
Citelli said that 8x8 posted a recorded message on its technical support line about heavy call volume because of the service issues, but because the Web site was down with the outage, the company couldn't offer timely updates. She said 8x8 employees throughout all departments also handled calls from customers using cell phones, since the firm’s internal corporate phone system, 8x8 Virtual Office service, went down with the outage.
“We are taking significant measures to ensure this never happens again,” Citelli said.
Tuesday’s outage comes nearly a year after 8X8's VoIP service experienced a significant outage because of DNS issues. Citelli said the similar outage was also caused by an element beyond the company’s control.
Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Amy Tierney