Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sky's Botched Google Migration In the UK

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the flip-the-switch-now-no-wait-i-meant-now dept.

The Internet 101

An anonymous reader writes "Rupert Murdoch-owned British ISP Sky is migrating their customers to the Google Apps platform, and the customer experience is terrible. Their 1 million customers were told that they need to change their client settings to enable SMTP Authentication and other settings on a certain date — but not to do it before then or their e-mail would break; but if you don't do it on the date your e-mail will also break. Oh, and if you're a POP user you also need to enable that manually in the 'Skoogle' interface, as seemingly they chose not to run a system-wide command to allow it for all users. In addition, if you want help then you're pretty much on your own. One user has made 7 support calls and still not been able to access his e-mail since the migration. Hardly surprising that the story has made the papers with their help-desk in meltdown. It does make you wonder why they simply didn't put proxy servers in place to proxy the new service by modifying the old settings in the network and give their customers time to switch over without their e-mail breaking in the meantime. Or even a simple ActiveX tool to help out the less technical users."

cancel ×

101 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

ActiveX??? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21469839)

Are you mad?

Re:ActiveX??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470205)

Why, might work?

Re:ActiveX??? (1)

paj1234 (234750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470235)

Would it work with Mozilla SeaMonkey Mail?

Re:ActiveX??? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470239)

Why not they are already mostly running windows. Thats enough of a security violation.

What about those who are less technical on a mac ? Are they just stuck as well ?

Re:ActiveX??? (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470297)

Actually, it's mostly the _less_ technical friends of mine who have moved to Ubuntu/Fedora. The fact that they don't need to learn (or worry) about virus/malware (at least for the time being I am always careful to remind) is what draws them to it. And I don't that an ActiveX control will work very well on any Linux distro.

Therefore, simple instructions are a must. These people set up their POP3 once, they can do it again. The lack of a proxy server, however, is rather surprising and disappointing.

Re:ActiveX??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470289)

Are you mad?

This. is. SPARTAAAAAAA

mad? No, practical. (1)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470457)

The people who don't understand the details are almost all Windows users using IE, so an ActiveX is the logical choice.

People running Linux, FF on Windows or even reading /. are very much the exception rather than the rule.

Re:ActiveX??? (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21474295)

Precisely my thoughts.

The article summary seems to be overblowing the problems to me. Having email "broken" isn't even an accurate way to put things; it just means your email temporarily doesn't work.

Actually, it's worse than that. (4, Interesting)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21474337)

In fact, come to think of it, the entire article summary is built in a certain way:

1. Mention of Google Apps, a product that competes with Microsoft.

2. Mention of something being "broken."

A couple of important notes about that:

2.1. The thing with a potential issue, E-mail sending, has nothing to do with Google Apps, however it's mentioned to create a negative association with them.

2.2. The potential issue is exaggeration to the point of idiocy. Nothing actually gets broken; you just have to change a certain setting on a certain date, and if you don't, it's not like your house catches fire or anything. OR MAYBE IT DOES?!?!?! WHO CAN BE SURE?

And then, the coup de grace:

3. Mention of a Microsoft proprietary technology as a solution.

And of course, can't let that go by without adding:

3.1. A technology that forces everyone into vendor lock-in with the Microsoft Way Of Doing Things, and
3.2. A cure that is far worse than a disease, a technology that opens your system up to all kinds of hacks and attacks for the sake of preventing something that Grandma can easily be walked through fixing. (If you don't believe me, look at all the Grandmas who are walked through setting up their Email by Apple tech help and Evolution e-mail wizards every day.)

In other words, ladies and gentlemen, the summary above has all the hallmarks of a professionally-written Microsoft FUD-job.

Someone was paid to write this article and submit it to Slashdot so that all of our geeky eyes can see it and wonder, "Oh, the horrors of Google Apps! They should have gone with Microsoft," when not only do Google Apps have nothing to do with the problem, the problem itself would have been made worse by the proposed solution.

And they would have gotten away with it if it hadn't 've been for you kids!

Re:Actually, it's worse than that. (1)

MagicBox (576175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21479901)

3.2. A cure that is far worse than a disease, a technology that opens your system up to all kinds of hacks and attacks for the sake of preventing something that Grandma can easily be walked through fixing. (If you don't believe me, look at all the Grandmas who are walked through setting up their Email by Apple tech help and Evolution e-mail wizards every day.)

- Yeah Chief, take it easy. All the guy was suggesting was to create a custom ActiveX to help them out. You make it sound as if that suggestion means he's asking for the 7 pleagues to hit a user's PC. That's FUD on your part actually, bu avoiding the issue of the article, and concentreating on one word: ActiveX.

WTF are you talking about? If they are running windows, an internally built ActiveX just for the transition, that will then get uninstalled through a GP afterwards cannot make things worst that they are. They are alreaddy running windows remember?

Bottom line is, companies have loser CTOs and IT directors that get paid a $hit load of money to screw up these big projects and make everybody's job hell. They should fucking get fired.

"Oh, it's really not that complicated" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21469889)

said the Linux user to the Windows newbie.

"You can dual boot your computer with Linux, but if you don't defrag and partition the HDD, you'll lose all your data."

People of the nerd variety think everything is easy to the layman only because they've been insulated in a thick layer of their own technobabble for so many years; it's enough to make me want to throw a chair.

Re:"Oh, it's really not that complicated" (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470003)

OK, Steve, but you've got plenty of minions to fix it for you.

What has Linux to do with this? (2, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470019)

said the Linux user to the Windows newbie.

"You can dual boot your computer with Linux, but if you don't defrag and partition the HDD, you'll lose all your data."


Hi there, Mr. Ballmer!


To begin with, your post is wildly off-topic, and that's generally disliked by the moderators here, I suppose that's why you posted AC.


Second, 1997 called and they want your "defrag and partition" statement back. Oh wait, is that still needed with a Microsoft Windows install? Certainly not with Linux. Unless you want to specify manually your partition scheme, it's done automagically for you without disturbing your existing data.


Third, the mess TFA mentions would not exist if all users had Linux installed. In a system that has a proper command scripting language, it's a very simple matter to perform an automatic migration. The problem starts when you need a "simple ActiveX tool" to do the job.

Re:What has Linux to do with this? (2, Funny)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470451)

Amen to that.

PS nutcase AC, your statement makes no sense. Defragging a drive to be partitioned will not ensure data integrity. Like me trying to explain this to you, it's a futile effort with no measurable gains.

i'll bite (1)

slittle (4150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470635)

In the stated context of dual booting, partition == make one (or room for one) for Linux instead of overwriting your Windows one, thereby losing your data since you're a newbie with no backups. Defragging is/was necessary for primitive/free/cheap partition resizing tools because they either couldn't or couldn't reliably relocate blocks by themselves. Defrag > resize > install linux on vacated space. Follow?

And fuck knows what the hell they need that horrible ActiveX shit for (and they probably don't, they're just twits), but the average *nix scripting language isn't a client-side browser scripting language at all so it's hardly a comparison. Outside of the browser, there are in fact scripting options on Windows beyond batch files and there's always plain ol' binary executables.

Now, aren't you late for class or something? 14 year old angsty tards were still required to attend regularly last I checked.

Re:i'll bite (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471253)

Defrag > resize > install linux on vacated space. Follow?


Any modern Linux distro does it like this: Insert CD > turn computer on > click on "install" > type your name > type your password > click "next" a few times for the defaults, or click on the other options if you do not want the defaults. Follow? Resizing and repartitioning is entirely automatic if you are satisfied with the defaults, or either you can choose your own partition set if you know what you are doing.


the average *nix scripting language isn't a client-side browser scripting language at all


Who's talking about browser scripting? Put an executable in a link and anyone will be able to run it by clicking.


Now, aren't you late for class or something? 14 year old angsty tards were still required to attend regularly last I checked.


Relax, it's sunday, you don't need to hurry.

Re:i'll bite (1)

slittle (4150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21475301)

Any modern Linux distro does it like this: Insert CD > turn computer on > click on "install" > type your name > type your password > click "next" a few times for the defaults, or click on the other options if you do not want the defaults. Follow?
Irrelevant. You're talking about installing Linux on a blank machine. I'll requote what you yourself quoted, since you obviously forgot 2 seconds afterwards: "You can dual boot your computer with Linux, but if you don't defrag and partition the HDD, you'll lose all your data."

Which Linux distros can automatically and safely resize the existing NTFS partition, thereby satisfying both the dual boot and not losing your data requirements?

Who's talking about browser scripting? Put an executable in a link and anyone will be able to run it by clicking.
That's what ActiveX is, so assuming they're using it for legitimate purposes that's what they need. If they just need any sort of scripting, there are still proper scripting options available on Windows so your whine about proper command line scripting is also irrelevant (you're not wrong that Windows has sucky command line scripting, but that's not a requirement).

Relax, it's sunday, you don't need to hurry.
Monday here.

Re:i'll bite (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471799)

For some systems, the OS backup disk installs a pre-fragmented image of Windows XP - at least according to the Microsoft disk defragmenter. For some bizare reason, data would always be stored at the far end of the partition (and both the middle and in-between).

Re:i'll bite (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21477983)

Defragging is/was necessary for primitive/free/cheap partition resizing tools because they either couldn't or couldn't reliably relocate blocks by themselves.
Maybe true in the days when 9x ruled the roost. Nowadays the windows defragmenter is useless for this sort of thing anyway and the writers of partitioning tools have had to deal with the issue of moving data out of the way themselves.

Re:What has Linux to do with this? (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471123)

To be fair, Windows has proper scripting languages available too. It's just that nobody would ever be able to distribute a script because antivirus/firewall/malware kits for Windows automatically assume that such scripts are malware. Oops.

general result of change for the sake of progress (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21469895)

is confusion among the less experienced. I was just looking at the instructions they provide and I will certainly admit it's less than just a few mouse clicks. Any user guide that is like 12 pages of interaction is probably a bit much to ask of the average user. Looks more like a user manual than a quick set of instructions for a "simple change".

I would not thoroughly enjoy following those instructions, and I'm quite certain it terrifies at least 15% of their customer base.

And to the previous comment of "active x - are you mad?" I would add a "me too", for reasons too numerous to get into here.

This is the kind of thing I'd expect to find on an install CD from an ISP, that configures your computer for their service when you insert the CD. Setups like that are either provided on disc or are a "deliver and setup" option for ISPs when they have this level of setup required. Expecting Joe User to do this is just plain crazy.

I bet their phone support is buried for quite some time to come.

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (3, Insightful)

sommere (105088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470121)

I'm sure it isn't "change for sake of progress," it is almost certainly because it is MUCH cheaper.

Running a responsive e-mail server has always been expensive. Now that google has set people's expectations at 2+GB quotas, it is just ridiculous.

Google used their massive infrastructure to make scalability affordable, and ISPs can't compete. Most of their customers probably already use gmail, so why continue offering the service?

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (2, Interesting)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470315)

Most of their customers probably already use gmail, so why continue offering the service?

At least among the technically inexperienced, Gmail usage isn't all that high in the UK. Even looking at my college IT class, most of whom were geeks of some description, it was mostly Hotmail or Yahoo.

Of course this is anecdotal evidence, but still...

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (1)

watchingeyes (1097855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472713)

My experience is the same. I found that when Gmail was new, many people switched relatively quickly. (About 10% of my address book). After the initial influx, I only see the occasional person switch to Gmail. In-fact, in the last year, the only people in my address book that have switched have done so on my recommendation so I could get out of doing unpaid tech support for them fixing their ISP accounts :-P

As an aside, Google should begin advertising their new IMAP service more, as it allows people to use their same client but take it anywhere with them and switch isp services at ease. If they do that though, they should make their imap service faster than molasses before doing so.

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (2, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470125)

In fact there's no need for ActiveX; Microsoft provide the INS/ISP file format [microsoft.com] for this very purpose, configuring ISP details. Of course it's really laziness to a) turn off the old servers whilst people are still migrating and b) not setup cname records to migrate after a certain time.

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472123)

Microsoft provide the INS/ISP file format for this very purpose
Yeah, that really helps people using Firefox or Safari.

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472519)

I see no reason why other browsers should not ask the OS for proxy settings, it can be set from Control panel (internet options) without having to invoke Internet Explorer or Outlook.

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (2, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470325)

Looks more like a user manual than a quick set of instructions for a "simple change".

I had a quick look at the PDF, and I'll agree that while it's not pretty on-screen, reading a printed copy wouldn't be too bad. At least no more onerous than browsing the brochure-type instructions you get with many consumer products (Linksys routers, for example).

For comparison's sake, the similar changeover by ATT for their customers was handled by a Yahoo-bot (I'm not making that up) email advisory:

Dear AT&T Yahoo! Customer:

We noticed that you are accessing email using non-secure settings in your
email software.

We would like to ensure that your AT&T Yahoo! Member ID, password, and
email messages are transmitted securely between your mail software (such
as Outlook or Outlook Express) and the AT&T Yahoo! Mail servers. In order
to meet this need, please enable [1]SSL via the [2]instructions that are
available on the Help site. Since multiple email notifications have
already been sent out about this, we request that you please make the
necessary changes immediately. Remember, you need to make these changes if
you want to continue to send/receive email using a mail client. Thank you
for your cooperation, AT&T Yahoo! Customer Support

References
      1. http://helpme.att.net/glossary.php#147 [att.net]
      2. http://helpme.att.net/article.php?item=10918 [att.net]
      3. http://privacy.yahoo.com/privacy/us/beacons/details.html [yahoo.com]
      4. http://att.yahoo.com/privacy [yahoo.com]

A bit simpler, I guess.

Then again, the notice makes no mention of or otherwise provide a link to download their Equifax certificate. And where the hell are the OpenSSL instructions, like using c_rehash, or verifying things with s_client!!??? You'd think they could at least have included a quick howto on configuring fetchmail to use SSL certs, but nooooo!

I guess whatever your knowlege level is, you can always find a reason to bitch and moan about things being too complicated. ;-)

Re:general result of change for the sake of progre (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470373)

I cannot see why they wouldnt just proxy everything (either by actual proxies or by changing dns accordingly) so the old settings still work.

this is missing the point (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21477175)

...it's not that they migrated their customers to a branded version of gmail, it's that they *botched* the migration. as they botch everything technical.

We were hit with this: first an email advising that we needed to change the settings on a certain day. Did this, didn't work. Phoned sky on a non-free number, was on hold for an hour, was eventually advised that their entire mail infrastructure was out of action for the week: try later. This wasn't communicated to anyone - Sky support are appalling.
They don't know what's going on in their own network, they employ people who don't know what a POP mailbox is to work tech support, and they routinely palm off customers.
Fancy waiting 3 days for a password reset to get into your email, when it's not a password reset that's needed - instead they have broken synchronisation between your sky tv account and sky email account. Two separate accounts, but if you don't have the same password on both, it'll break email. 3 days of waiting - and the password reset doesn't work as that wasn't the bloody problem in the first place. Arggggh.

It's worth noting that Sky's broadband is "free" in that if you subscribe to their digital TV service, you can get limited broadband for free, not-so-limited broadband for 5UKP a month, and almost-unlimited broadband for a tenner. This probably explains why they're so poorly supported. Oh, and the sky-branded, custom-firmware version netgear router they supply falls over regularly and requires a reboot if you dare to turn on UPnP.

FOURTH POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21469901)

n/t

antichrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21469919)

this is what happens when you do a deal with the anti-christ... now watching 1 million more peoples every move thanks to the idiots a sky.

Re:antichrist (1)

watchingeyes (1097855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472747)

While I can certainly see why there would be concerned about privacy, saying that this is what happens when they do a deal with Google makes you look like a moron. Sky is the one who botched the migration, and it was solely Sky's responsibility to insure that something like this didn't happen with THEIR customers. There is no way Google could've prevented this.

Software development is just a bunch of guesswork. (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21469995)

Thats all it is, guesswork because nobody really knows what effects their changes will have on a system. Usually the response is it "should" work when asked a simple question of a developer.

Re:Software development is just a bunch of guesswo (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470225)

That's because no one puts in the time to do any research into if their systems will cope. I just watched this Google video [blogspot.com] the other day on how they make sure Gtalk would cope with all the data they needed to give out.

Re:Software development is just a bunch of guesswo (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470513)

Summary of that video..

"um", "ahm", "uh", "am", "eh"

BTInternet (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470011)

Had a similar problem when BTInternet moved to Yahoo!. Took a month to get it fixed.

Re:BTInternet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470071)

It is normal as far as Sky is concerned.

Their current platform is an overgrown variant of the Easynet platform.

Easynet had a transmission PHB straight out of Dilbert interviewing people for the positions on the "overgrowth". The man had no idea whatsoever what is a service, how it can scale, what are the key factors in large service design, you name it. To add insult to injury he could not be bothered to read the CVs of the applicants and screamed at them when caught in the act. After that he told the agents after that the applicant "was aggressive". I got shanhayed for that interview by a friend (I initially refused on the sole reason that it was Easynet).

Further to this, as far as the original platform before "growing it" they had an even more original method of hiring. Interview external candidates, ask them to produce example designs on how they can improve the services and after that promote/move the internal people who did the interview so that they can deliver the designs and ideas of the external person.

Out of all UK ISPs it is the lowest of the low and frankly its marriage to Faux News is not a marriage of convenience. They are very much alike as far as morals and principles are concerned.

So I am not surprised in the slightest that (Sl)easynet is incapable of making its platform look like Google in advance or being remotely compatible. They had 2+ years to do that as they have selected their future platform that far back and they still have failed. Total wankers...

ActiveX to migrate Google? (0, Redundant)

mikeage (119105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470013)

<troll>

Wow... now I've seen everything. I mean, granted it was a kdawson post, but still... someone suggesting using ActiveX to help a Google migration... talk about crazy.

</troll>

Risk Trifecta (3, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470033)

1. Crash transition with no fallback. Risky.
2. Having less technical users handle the changes without ramping up the help desk. Risky.
3. Breaking peoples' email. You're a bloody idiot. I used to be able to break almost anything and people could deal with it, but break the phones or the email and things get very bad, very fast.

Re:Risk Trifecta (1)

lev400 (1193967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471337)

Very bad indeed. Sky have realy messed up here. They should of sorted this out before it happened!

Re:Risk Trifecta (1)

azrider (918631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471525)

They should of sorted this out before it happened!
Hasn't anybody over there heard of:
Test on Development System (while you are at it, bring some of the worker bees over to try it.
Sort out the problems (there will *always* be some).
Rinse and Repeat as necessary.
Final QA on Development System.
Back up Production System.
Install on Production System.

Re:Risk Trifecta (2, Interesting)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472139)

Hasn't anybody over there heard of:[snip]
Yes, most of us have, especially those of us in IT. The problem is we have Murdoch's crap (Sky) with their don't give a shit attitude, Beardy Branson's Virgin Media (the name says it all) and Tiscali (Italian for crap) to choose from, along with the monopoly telco BT's offerings which, although they were haemorrhaging customers right, left and centre a few years ago, seem to have come out as the best of a bad bunch. The UK is very cost conscious (we're tight bastards) so we'll quite happily trade reliability for getting broadband for a tenner and what most people fail to realise is that the broadband packages are simply loss leaders for other products such as Virgin's cable TV or Sky's satellite.

The real ISPs, such as Eclipse, Zen, Bogons et al probably do follow accepted procedure. I know for sure that Zen do.

Re:Risk Trifecta (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21473233)

Well I'm with Eclipse and I'm not aware of any major changes to my ADSL service, but perhaps that's the point as there have definitely been changes - eg it went from 512Kbps fixed to user-variable up to 2Mbps to 8Mbps, all without any issues that affected me.

Near the start of the year my ex moved out, and so one of the many things that had to be changed was the BT phone line - it was in her name, so I needed to change it to mine. BT couldn't just change the name on the account; oh no, they had to close the old account and open a new one for me. Ok, fine - what they didn't tell me was that that would involve cancelling my ADSL provision. Luckily Eclipse were notified by BT and emailed me to check. One quick reply to say no I most certainly did not want to cancel and everything was sorted.

So while I can't say categorically that Eclipse follow standard procedures for technical roll-outs, I haven't been affected by anything that has happened and their customer service is excellent. I just wish my BT phone line could actually handle anything like the 8Mbps it's supposed to be able to take - I'm lucky to get more than about 2.5Mbps and rarely get download speeds to match even that. I'm seriously considering cable broadband from Virgin, but I'm otherwise perfectly happy with Eclipse.

Re:Risk Trifecta (1)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21473583)

Well I'm with Eclipse and I'm not aware of any major changes to my ADSL service, but perhaps that's the point as there have definitely been changes - eg it went from 512Kbps fixed to user-variable up to 2Mbps to 8Mbps, all without any issues that affected me.
Yes, Eclipse here as well. I only stated I know categorically that Zen follow procedure because I know someone who works in the NOC. With Eclipse I've had three periods of downtime in the last three years, two of which were BT issues with the local MUX. The other was a RADIUS server failure. Migration from the old 512 to Flex to ADSLMax went smoothly, too.

Near the start of the year my ex moved out, and so one of the many things that had to be changed was the BT phone line - it was in her name, so I needed to change it to mine. BT couldn't just change the name on the account; oh no, they had to close the old account and open a new one for me. Ok, fine - what they didn't tell me was that that would involve cancelling my ADSL provision. Luckily Eclipse were notified by BT and emailed me to check. One quick reply to say no I most certainly did not want to cancel and everything was sorted.
Here is where we get into Tiscali territory. A friend of mine was on Tiscali 'phone service which, of course, meant when the time to drag himself into C21 came he got his broadband from them as well. Now, last year his BT 'phone cable developed a fault and they had to re-jumper at the exchange and the DP to a new pair. Yes, you guessed it, they didn't re-jumper the DSLAM.

We had, I kid you not, three weeks of being bounced between the Adastral Park runaround and Tiscali's tech "support" to try to get this fixed. Neither would admit there was a problem, even though I'd deduced exactly what the fault was before we even touched the dial. Eventually, we got a MAC from Tiscali (after threatening OfCom intervention) and migrated him to Eclipse.

The jumpers still hadn't been moved come activation day, so I rang the lads in Exeter and went through the whole story again, stating that I knew the engineer at the exchange hadn't re-jumpered the DSLAM to the replacement pair. The helldesk guy (probably relieved to hear that the OS was FreeBSD, the microfilters were in and we had three different brands of known working order routers and an Alcatel Frog to try) agreed it was the most likely scenario and got on to BT. Two days later BT had moved the jumpers and he had subcarrier and ATM frames, along with a follow up courtesy call from Exeter to ensure that things were working. Quick reconfig of the router and he's been online ever since.

Try getting service like that for a tenner.

Here is a simple answer (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470051)

It does make you wonder why they simply didn't put proxy servers in place to proxy the new service by modifying the old settings in the network and give their customers time to switch over without their e-mail breaking in the meantime. Or even a simple ActiveX tool to help out the less technical users."

Its because they are incompetent or they want the whole project to fail. I'd put more faith in the first reason. You see, I have seen more incompetent "computer gurus" in the past few years than one can imagine.

It's a support problem, not a Google Docs issue (2, Insightful)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470083)

This was obviously caused by stupid, useless instructions from Sky's tech support people, and not a Google Docs issue. All the same, I smell a big fat troll here... ActiveX? Are you out of your mind?

It's a migration problem (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470311)

I strongly disagree.

As a systems manager, in my experience any set of instructions which is longer than one page including screenshots is too complicated and liable to all sorts of breakage. If your process requires much more than that, it needs simplifying if you are to have a hope of it being followed properly.

There are a few exceptions to this, but most of them concern systems which do something of a specialist nature, and you're describing it to an audience which will understand what the system is trying to do. Neither of which really applies here.

This procedure is 12 pages long.

Re:It's a support problem, not a Google Docs issue (1)

Adm.Wiggin (759767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21477385)

All I can say is: Feed the trolls, tuppence a bag, Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.

Re:It's a support problem, not a Google Docs issue (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21481915)

Admiral Wiggin, sir! From your use of the expression "tuppence a bag" I take it you must be an old Brit?

Re:It's a support problem, not a Google Docs issue (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21481953)

Oh yeah... a bit of Googling revealed that it is indeed from a "Mary Poppins" song. How delightful!

Re:It's a support problem, not a Google Docs issue (1)

Adm.Wiggin (759767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21482259)

Yeah, I can only wish I wasn't some kind of sad Geek reading Slashdot to pass the time, and were instead an "Old Brit". Great movie about taking sugar to get the drugs down, though! :)

This explains a few things (2, Informative)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470103)

Being an IT bod, people ask you about their home computers, and why has Sky BB email suddenly stopped with some bizare msgs.

I told him, if you haven't changed anything and its been going on for a day or two give em a ring. So he did. Got through all the usual stuff. Only on the fourth call did they inform him he needed to change his settings. The guy didn't elaborate, but I wasn't that interesting.

What a mess.

Re:This explains a few things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470429)

Well, I'm willing to wager that since it took four calls he probably didn't handle it right when calling in about the problem. I've worked in tech support and sometimes when something changed (new SMTP server that requires authentication would be a great example and something we actually went through) and we informed all users of the change beforehand (letter and email) yet we still got swamped with calls about the change for at least two weeks. And most people would call in and say "My email stopped working yesterday! It was working fine the day before that!" a week after the migration, at that point you figure they changed the settings as per the instructions and begin looking for other problems (Norton Antivirus etc..) and since you're always working against the clock in tech support there's generally no time to ask questions like "Did you change the settings like you were asked to?" because that could easily turn into a twenty minute call if the caller answers "What instructions?"...

Re:This explains a few things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21472735)

The instructions we sent you in an email last week...

Re:This explains a few things (1)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21474043)

But there's a hole in my e-mail, dear Murdoch, dear Murdoch...

Re:This explains a few things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21473405)

I wasn't that interesting

No, you weren't.

good ol sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470139)

LOL, anybody who expected anything better from sky is a fool...as ex 'techincal support' sky broadband, the real reason for the switch over is that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of users who will "never be able to access their email" due to some screw up with SAM or something that sky cant get its big fat head around. Just a warning to anyone actually thinking about calling them up about your sky email...dont bother. you are better off asking your dog. email training for 'technical support' is more like 'how to send email' training. they are also told not to support anything to do with outlook, most of the operators dont even know what a POP is, let alone what its address is...and heaven help you if you are luck enough to get through to one of the overseas call centers, they are using photocopied sheets of paper to troubleshoot your problem.

ahh, well, at least we know where all the money is going...

Re:good ol sky (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470267)

Posts like these that remind me why I should "never" get a job in tech support.

What could the technical problem be? (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470141)

The guide or howto for the migration appears to be fool proof. But I wonder whether there could be any technical problem with the migration. Is it possible that Google servers have been overwhelmed by the change that appears to be abrupt?

Re:What could the technical problem be? (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470687)

I have to disagree with your comment that the guide is foolproof. While your average /. user would have no problems, the guide is just way too long for a typical non-technical user who's already going to be in a state of trepidation. One little step missed and reality diverges from the guide, and with that many steps it's not going to be hard for my grandmother to miss one of them.

They're also committing the cardinal sin of giving users options that they're not going to understand:

Choose what you would like to do with your emails after you download them i.e.
- Keep Sky Email's copy in the Inbox
- Archive Sky Email's copy
- Delete Sky Email's copy


What does that mean? Which option do I want? What happens if I get it wrong? Yeah, you won't have any problems and you also know that it doesn't really matter, but my grandmother is now panicking and in the optimal mind-set for fucking up the later steps.

Re:What could the technical problem be? (1)

rasherbuyer (225625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471185)

In order to read email or change POP settings you had to log into your account, jump through some hoops etc. etc.The servers went into melt down.

As everybody got home from work to find that to even read their email, let alone change settings to allow POP, they had to login via Skys site - which just couldn't take it.

I wasn't able to change my settings until about 6 hours after I got home. It wasn't a snappy experience, each page took ages to load and often timed out...

Programmers Lament (1)

azrider (918631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471665)

The guide or howto for the migration appears to be fool proof.
Every I make this fool proof, they build a better fool

What does this have to do with google docs? (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470161)

I see where Sky mentions Google docs in their instructions, however the instructions they gave their users only pertained to changing a few email settings. What does this have to do with Google docs? I use Google docs; is this something different Sky has set up with Google to make their customers think they are getting something special? You know, like AOL use to do with their "free" virus "protection", and their super "fast" dial up, and all their "crappy" adware.

Furthermore, unless Sky is a strange ISP, their customers should still have access to web based email, so why all the hoopla?

It was a very bonehead thing to do, however, to depend on customers to change email settings when a small setup app could have done the job without any fuss.

but not to do it before then or their e-mail would break; but if you don't do it on the date your e-mail will also break.

Well of course. If you change before, you have the wrong settings. If you don't change afterward, you have the wrong settings.

Re:What does this have to do with google docs? (1)

MagicAlex84 (991508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470703)

ISPs have a wide range of customers. Asking an elderly customer or computer illiterate person to switch to webmail is like asking them to convert religions. Is Sky changing their customers' addresses too?

Re:What does this have to do with google docs? (1)

mo^ (150717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471073)

Reminds me of the time i created a Firefox shortcut to open up a webmail page and gave it an Outlook Express in order to get my dad to click it.

New interface, no problem - getting it into his head that he no longer clicked the little envelope icon... impossible.

Similar experience with my own domain (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470165)

I had a similar experience when i migrated my personal domain to google apps personal (no fee) from dotmac.
I had a set of family groups for my dotmac domain and email IDs.
When i moved it to Google Apps i ended up trouble shooting homepage and pages issues so much that i stopped with mail, docs and pages.
The homepage is still hosted by my dotmac.
Secondly google apps personal does not allow you to upload a custom-made homepage.
I use a PDF as a homepage for my family newsletter as it is easier for all browsers (yeah, some nerds in my family do use Windows 98 SE and some use Nokia N95 internet tablet.).

The main issues i saw were the issues with domain rerouting, pages and some issues with docs.

I can't complain... (2, Informative)

paj1234 (234750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470173)

...this problem has so far earned me GBP 70. I am a freelance computer repairer for home users. I have been to two homes to enable POP and alter the mail client settings. I charged them GBP 35 each. Enabling POP was a struggle because the Sky website didn't seem to want to work properly. After half an hour of trying in both cases I finally managed to reach the necessary check box on the webmail settings page and click Apply.

Both the householders were completely baffled by this change that they never asked for. I told them both that Sky's helpline must be inundated by people literally crying on the phone, unable to understand what has happened and why their mail client doesn't work any more.

Re:I can't complain... (1)

117 (1013655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472633)

It earned me a bottle of Jamesons this morning for doing the same thing for a friend of mine - I too had the same problems with some of the Sky pages - no 404 or any other error, just a blank page which took several refreshes before it turned into an actual page. My friend had phoned Sky several times, one of which they were told that mail wasn't anything to do with them any more and to phone Google instead!

The whole this is clearly a botch ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470191)

it looks like they just signed up to Google Apps, just like I did, and then changed their DNS records.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this - SMTP auth, username format, password and sub-mailbox management etc. etc.

Proxying as suggested by another isn't as simple as it sounds (Googlemail usernames have the domain name appended to them), and customers with their own mail servers are going to spend days digging manuals to get SMTP auth working, or switch to direct delivery.

However it's clear that Sky customer service has gone down the toilet.

I think it's summed up by the fact that once you login, the URL changes to:
          http://mail.google.com/a/sky.com [google.com]
Which is going to confuse a lot of customers, unaware of the fact that Google now 'sort of' do their email on behalf on Sky :-( ...maybe Sky are using the 'Free for personal use' version of Google Apps ! :-)

Dom

How many users are really affected? (2, Interesting)

The_reformant (777653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470197)

This is one of many reasons most people I know don't use their ISP email. Apart from the obvious one that it doesnt usually follow you across ISPs.

I have my work email for business / high priority stuff and web mail for my personal life, I thought this kind of setup was actually the norm.

Re:How many users are really affected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470533)

"I have my work email for business / high priority stuff and web mail for my personal life, I thought this kind of setup was actually the norm."

Only for techies, at least in the UK. I just checked a random sample of about 80 from a club mailing list: over 70 were clearly ISP mail accounts, 2 webmail, rest work/domain forwarding.

Hardly surprising the story has made the papers (2, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470227)

Might have surprised Mr Murdoch - he thought he owned all the papers.

Ownership of Sky (2, Informative)

OAB (136061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470249)

It's a bit misleading to say the Rupert Murdoch owns Sky, New International holds about 40% of Sky, and the Murdoch family hold just over 30% of News International. It's really an object lesson in how to maintain control with large but minority shareholdings.

Re:Ownership of Sky (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470331)

But it's true to form to only point out he's got some level of ownership when there's negative publicity. In the same way every negative story about Microsoft is going to include Bill Gates or Steve Ballmers name...regardless of whether they had anything to do with it. Positive stories (there are bound to be some, right?) don't include their names unless there's a direct quote from them. You can't continue to paint someone as evil unless you continually bring up their name in negative articles.

Re:Ownership of Sky (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470471)

Yeah, but then it seem like Murdoch owns about 95% of TheEarth plc and so it's all his anyway.

Murdoch is a Jew Neo-Con (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470819)

Yes, but Murdoch is a Jew Neo-Con
Therefore, we much blame him for anything that goes wrong.

Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:Ownership of Sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21471111)

It's a bit misleading to say the Rupert Murdoch owns Sky, New International holds about 40% of Sky, and the Murdoch family hold just over 30% of News International. It's really an object lesson in how to maintain control with large but minority shareholdings.

Hmm, and the boss of Sky is one James Murdoch. Might it be that the family control is a bit more hands on than 12% shareholding would indicate? As the saying goes in Sky: no-one makes a career [in Sky] by arguing with anyone whose last name is Murdoch.

(posting as AC as I'm currently working on a not-unrelated project to this one)

corepirate nazis botch climate/population control, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470313)

& pretty much everything they get their greed/fear/ego based claws on.

of course,the elite gadgeteers angst is about faulty spelling/punctuation. http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=369679&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&mode= [slashdot.org]
thread&pid=21463559#21463659

that's a plenty 'safe' head up your .asp assessment/position. as we all ?know? there aren't any real conspiracies being committed anywhere on this planet?

never mind second guessing/denying the creators, consider more the blood, guts & dead people, as well as innocent children being blown to pieces. takes some of the excitement of the techno babble out of it. yOUR 'mainstream' media has failed us whoreabully in this aspect.

the lights are coming up all over now. pay attention. it's cost effective, & could help make the future brighter for all of us. don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, so you'll be alert when witnessing the big flash.

there's lots to be done. the planet/population remains in crisis mode.

we're intending (do not underestimate intentions) for the philistine nazi execrable to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

micro management has never worked. it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of 'angels'(light bringers, for those who are afraid of/confused by heavenly stuff), coming yOUR way

do not be dismayed, it is the way it was meant to be.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way), there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash occurs.

beware the illusionary smoke&mirrors.con

all is not lost or forgotten.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or, it could be (literally) ground hog day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

we still haven't read (here) about the 2/3'rds of you kids who are investigating/pursuing a spiritual/conscience/concious re-awakening, in amongst the 'stuff that matters'? another big surprise?

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

SRV Records? Why POP and not IMAP? (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470351)

Why POP? Why not IMAP? and secondly, why are there not Mail SRV Records in their DNS Tables to automatically redirect the E-mail clients transparently?

Re:SRV Records? Why POP and not IMAP? (1)

Carlos Laviola (127699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470727)

Your post doesn't make a lot of sense. MX and SRV are entirely different records. Could you give a real world example of how you'd configure DNS so that the clients were migrated transparently without causing chaos? Moreover, how can any of this impact things like Outlook?

Re:SRV Records? Why POP and not IMAP? (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470835)

Outlook may not support this, but some mail clients can use a SRV Record to determine Where its SMTP and POP or IMAP are. It can't affect authentication, but, it can affect redirection.

$ORIGIN _tcp.domain.
_imap SRV 0 0 143 mail.domain.
_pop3 SRV 0 0 110 mail.domain.
_smtp SRV 0 0 25 mail.domain.

Like that.

Re:SRV Records? Why POP and not IMAP? (1)

jcuervo (715139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471301)

I believe you can do the same thing with DHCP.

option pop-server ip-address [, ip-address... ];

The POP3 server option specifies a list of POP3 servers available to
the client. Servers should be listed in order of preference.


and

option smtp-server ip-address [, ip-address... ];

The SMTP server option specifies a list of SMTP servers available to
the client. Servers should be listed in order of preference.


I don't know how well Windows clients would support these, and I had to write scripts to get my Ubuntu box to care, but they're there.

How did this make it to execution? (1)

orsocio (955882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470363)


How on Earth did this "plan" make it through to the execution phase? I'm sorry Sky techs, but when I read this, sitting as I am on a Sunday with nothing in particular taking up my sweet time, all I could think was "Ha ha...ha ha haa haaaaaaaa you poor bastards!"



All I can imagine is that nobody who was anywhere near reality was behind this...i.e. consultants. Anyone with a passing regard for humans using computers would have come up with something better.

Easynet Superbly Managed Networks and Hosting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470379)

The Sky ISP is actually Easynet UK - who were bought some time ago by Sky since this was more cost effective than buying service from Easynet.

They're almost certainly doing this as a cost saving - Big arrays, risk of customer data loss, expense of backups are all factors.. it is easier to porn this off to google since their solution and peering to them is that much more resilient (everyone thinks.. and probably rightly so) than running your own.

There has been a drive to get rid of 'application' hosting in ISPs and change the model to that of pure access to keep the costs and skillsets involved for management to a minimum.

For instance Easynet's (failed residential LLU) competitor Bulldog barely provided an smtp relay for customers, the rest was outsourced.

I can understand why they'd want to leave their customer mail with Google when new items like these pop up: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/20/easynet_brick_lane_robbery/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Easynet Superbly Managed Networks and Hosting (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470581)

For a 'free' ISP like Sky (i.e. it's part of your TV subscription), it makes sense to outsource services such as email which cost a lot of time and effort into managing to someone like Google who has already committed resources to the problem. The customers will get a better experience, the sysadmins will have fewer headaches and the ISP will save a lot of money on hardware.

Gmail + POP3 + mailing lists = Broken (3, Interesting)

phoxix (161744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470391)

In Google there exists a paradigm that states email is all about the "conversation". Because email is all about the conversation the result is for people to not receive their own posts to a mailing list. (Instead they simply have a copy of it from their sent mail folder in the "stack".) This might work great for the web interface, but not at all for POP3.

POP3 clients (simple or advanced) do not following this "conversation" paradigm, and by not getting a copy of their own post two things happen: A) You have no confirmation the post made it to the list and B) you break threading on the email client because now people are responding to a message that never made it on my list.

The sad part is attempting to send yourself a copy of the message via CC: or BCC: does not work! Its like Gmail went out of its way to ensure you do not get a copy of your own post. Additionally while Google searching suggests there is an option to get yourself a copy of your own post, I was unable to find it anywhere.

I feel sorry for any of these people who are being switched over to Gmail's POP3 and are on mailing lists.

Others have written about the situation as well: Gmail + POP + mailing lists = broken [playbacktime.com]

Gmail = Broken (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21471503)

That means Gmail is broken, period. If it /dev/nulls any message at all without your consent, it's broken. So, as usual, you get what you pay for.

Re:Gmail + POP3 + mailing lists = Broken (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21471869)

My experience with gmail has been that it ALWAYS gives you your sent mail when you access it on POP3. In fact, it's really annoying. It would be even more annoying if the mailing lists returned it too, since then you'd get it twice. That post you linked to is pretty old, so maybe it used to work the way you describe in January, but not now.

Re:Gmail + POP3 + mailing lists = Broken (1)

kcwhitta (232438) | more than 6 years ago | (#21473343)

There is a solution: https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=47948 [google.com] . Just prefix your POP client's POP server login information with recent: e.g. billg@gmail.com would become recent:billg@gmail.com.

However, there are a couple of caveats:

1) It'll re-download all your mail for the past 30 days, so you'll end up with a bunch of duplicate mail in your POP client which you'll have to delete. This only happens when you change the setting, so you'll only have to deal with it the once.

2) You'll start getting all the mail you send out to other people as well, even if you weren't on the 'to', 'cc', or 'bcc' line. This can be a bit of an annoyance, but with a sufficiently advanced POP client, you should be able to filter this mail from your mailing list posts.

Re:Gmail + POP3 + mailing lists = Broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21474205)

True. Not just a problem wrt mailing lists. Try downloading via pop3 your inbox, and hey-presto everything except Sent Messages/Outbox, and without this you have zero context of any of your messages pretty much whatsoever.

I don't get it (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470403)

I really don't get what all the fuss is about. For over a year now I've used gmail with an MUA (sylpheed) for all email. It was no harder than setting up ISP email. There are no magic tricks or anything, just enter settings and use email! I have to wonder, what would these people do in case of a real problem? And who set up their email the first time?

Easynet and Sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470521)

I used to work for Easynet [easynet.net] , the ISP who Sky bought in 2006 in order to use their LLU network for Sky Broadband. Easynet was split into two parts, Enterprise - to deal with Easynet's traditional customers and Sky Network Services (SNS) to provide ISP services to Sky as well as telephony services in the future.

SNS has a culture of incompetence and from what I seen with my brief exposure to Sky, their IT department was no better. The mail platform was originally launched in house, developed separately from the existing Easynet platform, the mail platform had to authenticate against SAM, which is Sky's internal authentication system, often problems would arise with SAM, SNS staff had no access to the system and upon calling Sky they'd claim there's no problem with their system and only after hours of checking every possibility at our end they'd then check SAM which would turn out to be the problem 90% of the time.

The developers on the SNS side are nothing short of useless, they would frequently deliver highly unreliable software which showed a lack of testing at even the basic level, a part of this seemed to be related to the agile methodology they believed in so much. They seem to spend more time holding meetings standing around a wall and rearranging post-it notes with various tasks that need to be done. To be fair, Sky do set tight deadlines, but SNS needs to change their development methodology to get things done.

I was gone before the Google migration, but I've had experience with Google apps and I know Google provides a reasonable set of migration tools, Sky is a larger than usual migration, they're one of the UK's largest ISPs despite starting just over a year ago so they couldn't just migrate the accounts all at once, however, a proxying solution probably would have worked fine. I think the problem was that Sky only officially supported webmail and left POP and IMAP as an exercise for the customer to discover. However, the Sky webmail platform was written by a 3rd party and hosted on Sky servers that were not under the control of SNS/Easynet, the Sky Webmail platform was so bad that it only supported plain text and if you were sent an email that only had an HTML part it would display the source in the window, it got a lot of confused customers! They probably thought only a few people used POP and so not much reconfiguration needed as everyone would be using webmail.
 

Re:Easynet and Sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21470593)

The developers on the SNS side are nothing short of useless, they would frequently deliver highly unreliable software which showed a lack of testing at even the basic level, a part of this seemed to be related to the agile methodology they believed in so much. They seem to spend more time holding meetings standing around a wall and rearranging post-it notes with various tasks that need to be done. To be fair, Sky do set tight deadlines, but SNS needs to change their development methodology to get things done.
tercüme [nettetercume.com]

Mod parent troll (1)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472547)

Please mod-down the parent. It simply copies a paragraph from the grandparent post and adds a spam link at the end. I accidentally modded it informative and thanks to Slasdot's wonderful new auto-apply feature the only way I can undo it is to post this fucking reply.

Bad Migration != Bad Google Service (1)

superflit (1193931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470855)

Let s be serious... Any Senior Sysadmin will have a better plan to migrate all this account. Currently in my University we have 4000 accounts and going to 44000 on December. We cant plan everything but the first batch was a success. What make the first migration batch a success: 1- More staff on Help Desk; 2- No choices ( the more choices the user has, more expensive it gets). 3- Communication, Personal Letters, Banners, Kiosks. 4- Feedback and control. What what is going wrong and fix it fast. Google apps is a great service. Until now we only have 20 trouble tickets from people who lost the communication letter or lost the password.. And it is way better than Microsoft Live-Suck-Miis-Pay-License..

1 million users???? (1)

pi8you (710993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21472153)

Good Lord. I thought we had it rough when the local ISP I work for migrated mail servers internally for 20000+ users this summer. Even shifting people over in small batches and providing instructions for multiple e-mail clients(unlike Sky), we still ended up with about half our userbase calling in over a 2-3 month period as we rolled it out. Regular staff was putting in overtime and some temps* were brought on to help out, but it was still quite the nonstop parade of callers. And of course, they're running anything and everything from OS 8/Win95 onwards, along with just about any version of any mail client that will run on those systems. Oh, and on top of changing serverse, we also switched to requiring SMTP authentication in the process, so yeah, fun times trying to convince people to upgrade to something that supported it or coerce clients to properly use it :coughOE5Mac:

Scale that to a userbase a million strong and try to do it all at once? Even the lowly support monkey that I am could tell you that's a very dumb idea.

*I was one of those oh-so-lucky temps, and managed to earn full time employment out of it, huzzah.

Erm, is this worse? (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21473891)

I am a sky ISP subscriber and I hadn't even heard about this!!!

Shocking service.

Karem

BBC blames the users (1)

gedsta (1194427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21479553)

Well according to a doughnut at the BBC he seems to think it is the users and not Sky at fault But I am starting to think that anyone who can't follow the step-by-step guide to updating their Outlook account settings really shouldn't be using e-mail at all - they clearly have so little understanding of the technology in their hands that it's like letting a small child play with an unlicensed nuclear reactor. http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/sky-news-announcements/18145-sky-customers-clearly-have-so-little-understanding.html [skyuser.co.uk]

Apps migrations are sometimes tricky, but worth it (1)

edltech (1194541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21482963)

My company does Google Apps migrations as a service to ISPs and other companies. Yes, it is sometimes tricky. However, it looks like Sky did the right thing here in providing a service window for people to be able to access their old email, and use the new Google Apps (Gmail Client). There are some shortcomings to the Google Apps API that make some bulk management tasks cumbersome, but they are improving it all the time and for the most part the advantages to the ISP (low cost, reliable service) and the user (user experience and storage) are well worth it.
I blogged about this today over here: http://blog.ltech.com/2007/11/19/understanding-google-apps-migration-issues-sky-moves-1-million-users-to-apps/ [ltech.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>