How Murphy screws a new client

  • Bit of background: I work for a company that provides helpdesks, primarily to the field sales reps of pharma companies. I'm the technical supervisor for one of these helpdesks, primarily being a report monkey for the client as well as the knowledge interface between my helpdesk and the client (whenever they deign to actually let us know things). The call center I work for probably has 20 clients' helpdesks crammed into it, and my company has 4 other call centers (most of them overseas).

    For the last few months, we've been ramping up to onboard a new part of our client, which is really just another company that my client bought a few years ago and is finally starting to integrate. Bizarrely, they decided to start integration at the Helpdesk level and then work on the systems and everything else later. Whatever, more stress, yay.

    So the go-live date for the phone cutover was this Monday. At 6:30 AM (an hour before we open the Helpdesk) we did a test call and made sure the sub-client's support number was routing to us OK. Everything worked.

    At 9:30 AM, we get our first call from one of the new sub-client's sales reps about a connectivity issue...and our phones die. All of them. All across the call center. Hell, all across ALL my company's call centers. Every client, every helpdesk, every phone, dead. They stayed that way for 3 1/2 hours. I'm mentally alternating between laughing my ass off and wondering how badly someone high up is gonna get chewed out for this.

    So far as I've seen, we still haven't gotten the root cause of what actually killed the phones from the vendor, but I'm just banking on it being the Universe showing an extreme application of Murphy's Law for this launch.


    Do update if you find out what it was. My interest is piqued, from both "watching a trainwreck" and professional standpoints.

  • I know it has something to do with our Avaya phone systems falling over and not getting back up. I've heard a few rumors that it might not have been limited to our company either, and may have been something on Avaya's end, but I'm not sure.

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