What Stuck Salesforce Marketing Cloud Services and Why It Blocked Pardot?

While fans of Game of Thrones were preparing for the finale of the series, Salesforce was fighting a different dragon over the weekend with Pardot. (The Benioffs are related and share a common great grandfather). Well, it was a very busy weekend for Salesforce as it was forced to temporarily shut down access to its Marketing Cloud services. It took a full working day for the company to confirm that normalcy was restored.

The Salesforce outage comes barely days after the MarTech leader announced the launch of Pardot Business Units. Pardot Business Units by Pardot provide regional teams and sub-brands the tools they need to reach their own segmented audiences. Sub-brands or regional teams often lack insight into their how customers interact with overall marketing experience. This is especially tough if it’s a multi-brand company.

Is it possible that Pardot Business Units may have impacted the normal workflow of the B2B marketing platform? We don’t think so.

What was the problem with Pardot?

On 17 May 2019, Salesforce prevented access to Pardot related access that contained their Pardot Marketing Cloud customers. These customers were affected by a common database script deployment which let out broader data access than actually thought. While it was affecting only Pardot users, Salesforce confirmed about blocking “access to all instances that contain affected orgs.”

As on Monday, 20 May 2019, as many as 900+ user cases have been reported. According to an online source, customers from the US and Europe were the most impacted from the incident. The tweets are trending with ‘Permissiongeddon”!

This tweet posted by Mitchell Johnson shows Salesforce’s outage on May 17*.


Parker Harris, CTO at Salesforce, took to Twitter to confirm the technical shutdown. He also apologized. He tweeted, “We apologize for the impact we are having on our customers and are resolving as quickly as possible.”

Peter didn’t tweet on 18-19 May to present the next steps on how Salesforce plans to help customers affected from the incident. However, Salesforce has officially set up a blog to help customers manage their workflow here.

How to modify Pardot permissions or profiles that are otherwise un-editable?

– Admins of affected orgs are able to modify Custom Profiles and Permission Sets only.

Currently, Salesforce is working on restoring edit capabilities for Standard Profiles and Permission Sets.

At the time of going to press, we could not get any quotes from Salesforce. We hope to see Salesforce mitigating the issue and future-proof such instances.

(*We don’t validate the accuracy or relevance of this data.)

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