Air NZ slates IBM

Computerworld has an e-mail from Air NZ CEO Rob Fyfe to his staff:

chief executive Rob Fyfe has lashed out at in an internal email about yesterday’s mainframe crash that crippled services and disrupted thousands of passengers.

“In my 30-year working career, I am struggling to recall a time where I have seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure such as this and so unwilling to accept responsibility and apologise to its client and its client’s customers,” he says.

“We were left high and dry and this is simply unacceptable. My expectations of IBM were far higher than the amateur results that were delivered yesterday, and I have been left with no option but to ask the IT team to review the full range of options available to us to ensure we have an IT supplier whom we have confidence in and one who understands and is fully committed to our business and the needs of our customers”. …

Air New Zealand outsourced its mainframe to IBM in 1997. Four years later, it also outsourced its mid-range systems to IBM.

The outage was caused by a back-up generator suffering a power failure during a scheduled maintenance check at IBM’s Newton datacentre in Auckland on Sunday morning.

The systems were out for between four and six hours and that is a very long period for an outage.

An IT company I am on the board of has a contractual target of keeping total monthly outages to under 0.1%, or less than 43 minutes per month.

It will be interesting to see what emerges from the meeting between Air NZ and IBM.

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