"I'm betting that many of them are feverishly downloading data in order to have access to it during the outage," said Olds. "Some of these customers are probably using the Verizon service as their own customer-facing portal. These folks are going to have to either quickly come up with an alternative mechanism to keep their business online, or they're going to have to figure out how to explain why they're taking a 48-hour vacation. Neither of these options are particularly appealing."
A two-day service shut down is going to make it a tough sell for Verizon to convince business and IT executives that it is an enterprise cloud player, capable of competing with Amazon, IBM or Microsoft.
When it comes to judging a cloud vendor, reliability and uptime are two critical factors. Being offline for two days does not bode well for either.
"A planned outage of this length and magnitude is much more than just a black eye for Verizon," said Olds. "It shows that they don't understand the importance of their service to their customers, and, worse yet, are oblivious to the impact on them. This outage is something that Verizon's competitors — including Amazon, Google and Microsoft — will use as a competitive weapon against Verizon, and pretty successfully, I'd think."
Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said if Verizon's downtime this weekend does last the full 48 hours, it could be enough for customers to trade them in for a competitor.
"Enterprise services typically measure downtime in seconds or less," he said. "Hours of downtime is often considered a high-severity problem. Days of downtime is a primary reason to discontinue using the service. This would be intolerable to most businesses of any size and absolutely unacceptable to enterprises.... A planned outage of several days in today's world is largely unheard of and should serve as a massive red flag for this service."
Verizon simply should have made this outage invisible to their users, shifting customers to redundant resources during a slow time.
Said Enderle: "Cutting them off is insanely stupid."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.