Kari's Corner October 13, 2011

Blackberry Global Outage Impacts Saskatoon Real Estate

As a Saskatoon real estate agent I am dependent on the technology I use for my day to day business. Today however my technology failed me which has created quite a few headaches although I wasn’t alone. For the past 4 years I have used a Blackberry smart phone which I have become reliant on as a valuable business tool. Globally Research In Motion (RIM) the maker of Blackberry has had network outages. The issues originally started in Europe but spread over to Canada today resulting in most Blackberry users not being able to send/receive email which is the primary function of my smart phone as a Saskatoon REALTOR®. The reason that RIM network outages impacted Blackberry users worldwide is that all Blackberry traffic runs through their global network which is different than other smart phone providers such as Apple or Android devices. There are over 70 million Blackberry users globally and because all Blackberry traffic goes through the RIM network is the reason many middle eastern and Asian countries have not allowed Blackberries to be permitted in their countries. The failure was due to “a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure”.

My Blackberry is a business tool for me but I am also still a bit cautious about putting all of my technology in one device. As a Saskatoon real estate agent we have a lockbox system that allows us as licensed REALTORS® to gain entry in Saskatoon and surrounding area listed homes. A lot of agents use pin pad devices which are stand-alone devices to gain access however some agents utilize an application that turns your smart phone into this device. For those real estate agents that use Blackberries, this function would not work for them yesterday. Luckily I was still able to be show home to real estate buyers I was working with today. I will be honest, not having the ability to send and receive email on the fly was not enjoyable. It makes me realize how dependent I have become on technology and the real estate market as a whole in Saskatoon has become and how much efficiency I gain from using technology when working with Saskatoon real estate clients.

For those people that have Blackberries service was restored late last night but it will take the next day or two for everything to get back to normal due to the huge backlog of data on the RIM network. It’s unfortunate to see RIM which is a Canadian company have so many issues over the past year. Their market share has been decreasing and their stock value has been going down. As much as I love my Blackberry and it has been a great tool I may need to start looking at other options. I recently purchased an iPad so I may need to consider an iPhone or perhaps even an Android device. Unfortunately though SaskTel is currently experiencing major issues with 4G capacity so no matter what smart phone or 4G device you have, you will experience issues with which you can read more at my blog here.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion