For several days, complaints from the IBM workforce that the company’s e-mail system would no longer work have been increasing. According to reports from tech magazine The Register, it is a long-planned migration of the e-mail service, which has now gone wrong after eighteen months of planning.
Across from iX confirmed IBM that some employees are experiencing “delays in e-mail service”. Furthermore, IBM is working to “restore full service as soon as possible.” On the other hand, IBM did not go into the reason for the failure of the system, but did not deny a connection with the migration either.
No access for days
Already complained two days ago Users on Reddit about the failure – but in an unofficial forum for IBM employees. According to this, entire teams would not have access to their e-mails, contacts and the calendar. Furthermore, the synchronization is inconsistent even with functioning access: Different mail clients would display different content.
On the social network Fishbowl IBM employees also complained: Two days ago, a user complained that the service had already been down for five days – and that this was proof that she was [IBM] would not belong to the elite. There were similar voices on Reddit: “How is this company going to get the hang of it and become relevant again if it doesn’t listen to its employees?”
Outlook, Notes and Verse do not work
There are no official technical details about the migration. Some employees reference an alleged responsibility of HCL; The Indian IT group has owned several traditional IBM applications since mid-2019 – including Notes, which is used as usual. But also verses touted as the reinvention of email and battered by negative voices, faces the same problems.
Allegedly 150,000 to 200,000 out of a total of 400,000 e-mail accounts are affected, said an anonymous source to the register. Furthermore, the problems are presented as “delays”, but those affected have no access. IBM also had to close the associated Slack support chat due to too many inquiries.
In another report quotes the register on the other hand, an IBM employee who sees the blame on CFO James Kavanaugh: He wanted to cut costs and did not hire the right people. He has been responsible for Big Blue’s finances since January 2018 and previously headed the “Transformation & Operations” division.
Slack and phone step into the breach
In the opinion opposite iX pointed out to IBM that they were using “a number of alternative means of communication”. These are designed to “minimize disruption to our customers and our business […] guarantee “. At this point, the register refers to Slack, the chat application runs as SaaS, and a statement from IBM dictated by telephone. The statement from DACH-IBM reached the iX on the other hand by e-mail – with HCL Notes as a mailer.
Meanwhile, two other employees claim that the problems would also affect the business figures. IBM had just completed the second fiscal quarter and gave its sales department special instructions on how it could still conclude contracts on time. Instead of receiving electronic signatures by e-mail as before, customers are supposed to send the relevant documents in a special Slack channel.
However, there are also increasing voices that the failure has something good: On Hacker News One user says that he has not received any meeting invitations for three days, so he is actually quite happy with the migration. An employee at Fishbowl is also looking forward to the break.
Recruiters also seem to see an opportunity in the situation – one employee quotes from his conversation: “Why are you still at IBM? They don’t even get email right.”