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Case Studies

Twilio delivers proactive account-level performance management for premium clients with Lightstep

Kristin Brennan

by Kristin Brennan

Twilio delivers proactive account-level performance management for premium clients with Lightstep

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Lightstep cuts through the scale and complexity in today’s software systems to help organizations, like Twilio, tie system performance to business objectives. Lightstep has allowed Twilio teams to track individual customers and transactions, so they can deliver premium service and remediate problems proactively.

Challenge: measuring performance and mitigating issues for specific, strategic customers

The Twilio team’s vision was to deliver a flawless experience to the 1.6 million developers registered on the Twilio platform, as well as provide additional service and insights for premium clients. They realized that quickly detecting and mitigating performance issues affecting their premium customers wasn’t going to work with traditional practices. Setting up Service Level Agreement (SLA) alerts on a customer-by-customer basis, using approaches like log data alerting, was cost-prohibitive due to the dramatic increase in logging data volumes associated with Twilio’s transition to microservices. “We’re in the business of selling trust, and the ability to identify and resolve system issues quickly and efficiently is a huge priority for us,” said Jason Hudak, Vice President of Platform Engineering at Twilio.

Keeping top customers happy with Lightstep

Twilio integrated Lightstep into existing workflows and set up dashboards and alerts which allowed the teams to track individual customers and their transactions. “Lightstep enables us to look at data at the account level and deliver alerts to account managers and customer success managers in real time when potential latency issues arise. We can proactively work with customers to deliver premium service and remediate problems before they impact business operations,” said Hudak.

Measure performance where it matters most

Lightstep enables enterprises to pursue any business objective that depends on fast, reliable software. Just like Twilio, companies can accurately monitor latency, operation rates, and errors, and also view detailed trace information for every transaction throughout their applications, all broken down by individual customers and in real time. Lightstep also provides the flexibility to create account-specific alerts for these metrics, so key team members are notified when acceptable thresholds are exceeded. The evaluation window for these alerts is customizable from minutes to even weeks, so users can both detect immediate issues before they escalate and also monitor app performance for sustained customer trends that may have serious business consequences.

Monitor Account-Specific Performance Metrics and Create Custom AlertsMonitor account-specific performance metrics and create custom alerts for them

[x]PM helped Twilio redefine personalized customer support by introducing SLA alerting for individual accounts. Hudak said, “We initially started with one of our enterprise accounts. The test proved successful when our support engineer received an alert and proactively reached out to remediate the issue with the customer. Had we not done so, the problem could have escalated into a service-impacting event.”

Twilio uses Lightstep to monitor and manage the transaction performance data for each individual customer and to set up alerts for the appropriate member of the account team. Lower latency and downtime translates into quantified business metrics. However, maintaining and improving customer confidence, especially for premium clients, is an even bigger win. “Operational excellence builds customer confidence. If our systems go down, we lose trust. Lightstep helps us to reduce latency and build trust by delivering on our mission to provide the features customers want and the quality they deserve,” said Hudak.

Read the full case study, Twilio Improves Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR) by 92% with Lightstep, to get all of the details about Twilio’s success.

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