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Desire2Learn Outage Follow Up

February 13, 2013

Dear Valued Client,

On February 12, 2013, I joined with other members of the Desire2Learn executive team to host a conference call with the clients who had been affected by the recent service outage. On the call, we provided details on the events leading to the outage and the subsequent recovery. We also reported on our plans moving forward. Most important, the call also gave you the opportunity to comment and ask questions, and I appreciate your candor. We heard your frustrations and concerns very clearly.

I want to re-iterate our apologies for the difficulties the outage caused you and your learners. We understand fully the magnitude of the impact this service interruption had on your organization. We are dedicated and passionate about learning, and we want to help you achieve your goals by providing you with the most reliable and effective learning solutions available.

During the call, I said I would follow up with an outline of our plans moving forward. There are seven key elements, and here is an overview:

1. Continue to make significant investments in infrastructure

  • Invest in SaaS year over year as we implement the best equipment and infrastructure possible
  • Increase number of lab environments for testing migrations and system upgrades ensuring the highest degree of confidence

2. Expand system monitoring and reporting capabilities

  • Deeper monitoring of application performance and better line of sight into root issues
  • Develop client dashboards as part of a larger performance management monitoring system, which will include SLA reports and specific performance reports

3. Improve change management and communication practices

  • Invest in a single corporate-wide platform to handle change control
  • Utilize standards-based approaches including ITIL
  • Improve timing and content of communications to include advance notice and scope of upcoming work
  • Plan data migration efforts more closely with clients

4. Enhance Network Operations Center (NOC) incident response and coordination

  • Ongoing expansion of team to provide improved 7x24x365 response
  • Identify faster paths to resolution and improve vendor coordination

5. Develop stronger relationship with SaaS vendors

  • Relentlessly push for complete root cause in a timely manner
  • Enhance support relationships with vendors for dedicated and faster response time

6. Improve employee training and process development

  • Ensure staff are providing informed and expedited guidance
  • Continue to invest in employee technical training

7. Implement specific lessons learned from this incident

  • Action plan to improve systems and services through this incident

We are on the path forward to emerge a stronger, better partner for your organization. In recent months, we have made significant improvements to our infrastructure, including:

  • Expansion of data center space and power footprint
  • Replaced and expanded the number of firewalls, core networks, and management networks
  • New NAS storage and block storage platforms
  • New server platform fully deployed

I understand that you chose Desire2Learn as your partner, because you want to provide the best possible learning experience and environment for your learners and other stakeholders. We will continue to help you do exactly that. I know that as a company we have to work to rebuild your confidence in our systems, and I pledge that we will do this.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We are focused on continually earning your confidence and seeing your organization and learners succeed.


John Baker
President & CEO,
Desire2Learn Incorporated

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