A case of mistaken identity downed the website and telephones of Target Components, but it was the reaction of some parts of the channel which jarred the firm's managing director.
The outage happened as BT terminated the wrong circuit while Target was upgrading its fibre connection to double the bandwidth. This affected the websites and phone systems for both Target and its enterprise division Servers Plus.
"BT have managed to mix us up with a car dealership and terminated the circuit," Target's managing director, Paul Cubbage, told CRN.
"They told us it was terminated by the name of someone who has never worked here, while the email address was the car dealership.
"It was a bit like going into the hospital to have your appendix out and coming out with both legs amputated!"
Cubbage said the first reaction from some other distributors was to assume the firm had ceased trading.
"We have had other distributors get in touch on personal mobile phone numbers to ask if we have gone bust because the website is down. The irony here is that when companies go bust the website is usually the last thing to go," he said.
"It was amusing the first couple of times, but the more I hear it the more depressing a picture it paints of the level of pessimism there must be in the channel," said Cubbage.
"I could understand if we were a struggling business, but we're far from that. We're profitable, and have been every year for over a decade. We're debt free and, with our broad base of both customers and brands, extremely low risk. I can only think it reflects a feeling of doom and gloom in the wider market."
Cubbage also apologised to Target customers for the inconvenience, stating he understood how frustrating it is for them.
"I can only apologise and promise we've done everything in our power to get things back up and running and catch up on requirements. The main sales line is temporarily diverted and we're still able to ship orders, so I would ask customers to persevere trying to get through," he said.
At the time of writing, Target was reconfiguring its systems to work with the new upgraded line - not initially intended for use until March - and expected systems to be back up and running by early afternoon. The distributor also promised a full review of its failover systems.
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