Salesforce says a ‘major issue’ with its cloud service results in outage for some customers

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff, left, and the company’s chief technology officer, Parker Harris, look on during a keynote address at Salesforce’s 2013 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco on Nov. 19, 2013.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Salesforce said on Friday that a technical snafu resulted in customers losing access to some of the company’s most popular online services.

Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, the two largest products for Salesforce by revenue, are both affected by the downtime, the company said on a status page. Parker Harris, Salesforce’s chief technology officer and a co-founder, acknowledged the issue at 12:40 p.m. Eastern time, making it clear that that employees were working on the problem.

Salesforce’s cloud-based software is used by salespeople, marketers and customer service staffers across the globe, and the company has picked up so many customers that CEO Marc Benioff routinely calls it the fastest-growing software business in history.

For Salesforce and other companies that provide online services, outages can have financial consequences, like having to provide credits to customers or pay out penalties. Interruptions could “cause customers to make warranty or other claims against us or to terminate their subscriptions and adversely affect our attrition rates and our ability to attract new customers, all of which would reduce our revenue,” Salesforce said in its most recent annual report.

Salesforce’s status page suggested the service disruption began at 12:56 p.m. Eastern time. At 1:33 p.m. Eastern time Salesforce provided an update on the issues:

“The Salesforce Technology team is investigating an issue impacting Salesforce customers who use Pardot, or have used Pardot in the past. The deployment of a database script resulted in granting users broader data access than intended. To protect our customers, we have blocked access to all instances that contain affected customers until we can complete the removal of the inadvertent permissions in the affected customer orgs. As a result, customers who were not impacted may experience service disruption. In parallel, we are working to restore the original permissions as quickly as possible. Customers should continue to check Trust for updates.”

Several people posted about losing access to Salesforce tools on Twitter.

The company had an outage affecting access for some customers in 2016. Salesforce shares were down as much as 3% on Friday.

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