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VMblog Expert Interviews: SolarWinds Helps Traxo Achieve a 24/7 Customer Experience

 

Business leaders and tech pros alike will tell you: customer experience is key to overall business success. For IT professionals, knowing when an application or infrastructure isn't performing is key; lack of visibility into the cause of issues such as downtime or slow performance can cost a business in more ways than one.

I recently spoke with Chris Stevens, CTO of Traxo, a data aggregation service for the travel industry that works with suppliers, corporate travel managers, and corporations across the world. The company is fragmented across a broad ecosystem, creating gaps in visibility and the need for extensive monitoring. Traxo needed a solution to help increase customer experience and turned to the SolarWinds application performance monitoring (APM) suite.

Here's what Chris Stevens had to say during our conversation about how Traxo overcame significant pain points by implementing these APM tools.

VMblog:  What was the state of your original monitoring solution?

Chris Stevens:  For several years, visibility into our applications started with a homegrown tool. This became increasingly difficult to manage as we began implementing more complex services and technologies into our tech environment, and as the company grew. When Traxo moved to AWS, we wanted to offload anything not needed to run the core business. The lack of visibility combined with manual, laborious troubleshooting made us recognize the need for a more robust tool that surpassed the capabilities of the solution we were currently using. We needed tools that could mitigate issues hindering the customer experience.

VMblog:  What made you decide to implement the SolarWinds APM suite?

Stevens:  SolarWinds was a natural choice for us. We came to the SolarWinds products organically-we started with a need for metrics and evolved from Librato to AppOptics. When we realized the need for log management, we implemented Loggly. To achieve outside verification and availability, we found Pingdom, which rounded out our implementation of the full product suite.

VMblog:  How did the portfolio of tools help address your biggest problems?

Stevens:  We use each of the APM tools for different use cases. We adopted AppOptics for deeper insight into metrics, Loggly to create offsite, searchable, archived logs; and Pingdom for outside verification and availability. Specifically, AppOptics helps us ensure KPIs are being met by proactively monitoring applications to determine host status, capacity in clusters, and what applications are doing. Pingdom provides metrics into a customer-facing status page with a view of what the systems are doing at any given moment, giving users the power to see the current status of all systems and incidents. Our engineering and operations teams primarily use Loggly to set up alerts and to access a record of all hosts in the system in one place. They also rely on the search functionality to dial down to a particular region or host and look at the stream of logs from the various applications.

We've also recognized the benefits of leveraging the full SolarWinds APM suite. The integrated APM products enable interoperability between systems, enabling us to identify the root of problems faster, ultimately achieving a 24/7 customer experience. Increased visibility into applications and systems means our team spends less time troubleshooting and more time on our customers.

VMblog:  What have the results been on your business overall?

Stevens:  Since implementing the SolarWinds APM tools, Traxo has achieved more visibility into its applications and systems and cut operations cost for support significantly. Ultimately, this has enabled Traxo to better serve our customers. With these tools we're able to hone-in faster on the core problem, trace into it, follow a user request, and more easily isolate hosts or regions that are experiencing a particular problem. The ability to sign on across different products within the SolarWinds suite cuts down on another login step. In particular, Loggly has exceeded our objectives-our logs are there within just a few seconds and we know that they're offsite, searchable, and archived for compliance reasons.

VMblog:  What are some benefits of multi-prong, multi-service engagement through a single vendor?

Stevens:  Leveraging all the SolarWinds APM products has helped us serve our customers by lowering support cost and enabling better visibility to us running the system and our customers consuming it. This has helped us close the feedback loop between Traxo providing the service and a customer consuming it.

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About Chris Stevens

Chris is the chief technology officer at Traxo. He has 20 years of experience fulfilling engineering, operations, product management, and leadership roles within consumer web products, aerospace, and defense industries. Prior to joining Traxo as one of the original team members, he introduced a real-time flight reservations and e-commerce platform for the private air travel industry.

Chris holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Management of Technology from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Published Friday, June 28, 2019 9:00 AM by David Marshall
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