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A scheduled maintenance at caused a disruption of service to some of the company’s partners earlier this week, preventing them from delivering their software as a service (SaaS) products to end-users.

The outage, reported by, affected partners who sell add-ons to the company’s main customer relationship management (CRM) product through its AppExchange. reported that one anonymous partner complained about the disruption.

Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy at, confirmed that the company had temporarily disabled one feature, new to its Winter ’07 release, earlier in the week. Only a small number of partners — fewer than 10% — were affected, Francis said, and tried to notify them in advance. could not reach any partners to confirm whether they had experienced difficulty with service. As of the time of this writing,, the company’s real-time services reporting site, showed all its systems operating with a green light.

“We thought we’d talked to all the partners,” Francis said. “Looks like someone didn’t get the message.”

Francis said the company hopes to have the feature working again by Monday and that the disruption should not be compared to the outages suffered in late 2005.

“We turned off one feature. I don’t think that can be defined as an outage,” he said.

Barney Beal, news director for‘s sister site, contributed to this report.

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