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Sky's Botched Google Migration In the UK 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."
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Sky's Botched Google Migration In the UK

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  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:01AM (#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.

  • by Stu101 ( 1031686 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:29AM (#21470103) Homepage
    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.
  • by blowdart ( 31458 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:36AM (#21470125) Homepage
    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.
  • I can't complain... (Score:3, Informative)

    by paj1234 ( 234750 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:48AM (#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.
  • Ownership of Sky (Score:2, Informative)

    by OAB ( 136061 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @08:10AM (#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.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.