Friday, July 15, 2011

Sony Exec Describes PlayStation Network Outage as "A Great Experience"

On Wednesday, July 13 Tim Schaaff, the president of Sony Network Entertainment, was discussing the PlayStation Network outage that lasted four weeks. During the chat, he proceeded to describe the outage as a “great experience.” Sound crazy to you? Well, here is his justification for the comment.

On Wednesday Schaaff sat down with the executive editor of VentureBeat Dylan Tweney for a chat at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco. They discussed a variety of things, but Tweney received surprising answers to his questions concerning how Sony has been able to recover from the outage of its Network.

"We're back online, everything's live again around the world, and the amazing thing through all of this is that the customers have all come back, and network performance is better than ever, sales are better than ever, and we've been very, very pleasantly surprised by the experience," Schaaff said. "And we're in a place where we're really looking forward again to what's next, what's new, and how we can keep growing the network. It's a pretty crazy event that we went through but we survived, and we're back strong, and ready to go."

During the discussion, Schaaff confirmed that more than 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were without service for a total of six weeks. He also said that the outage cost Sony close to $171 million plus the complete frustration of millions of Playstation Network customers.

"It's dramatic but the lesson we learned from this process is that there are some crazy things going on in the world right now, and in the beginning we were very concerned that we were the focal point for this attack, and it was all about Sony, and what was Sony doing," Schaaff said. “But over time, the company learned that a wide variety of sites had been hit, including government institutions and other companies.”

He went on to say that he believes that Sony has learned some valuable lessons from the outage.

"I think for people running network businesses, it's not just about improving your security, because I've never talked to a security expert who said, 'As long you do the following three things you'll be fine, because hackers won't get you…', the question is how do you build your life so you're able to cope with those things," Schaaff said.

He concluded saying, "It's been a great experience.”

Tweney seemed to be as confused as you and I most likely are about this statement. "A great experience?" he asked. "A great experience," Schaaff answered. "I would not like to do it again. One time was enough. Great learning experience."

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