Being in touch with your customers is key to any business. We at Derdack pride ourselves in being customer first when it comes to not only product enhancements and features but also support and building that customer/vendor relationship that lasts for years. We recently took a trip to Texas to visit several customers and the feedback was invaluable! We received a lot more information with a face-to-face meeting that just would not be the same if it were done virtually, like over Teams. Having our technical folks on the ground to review their system was a big help because we were able to offer suggestions on how to optimize their setup and make Enterprise Alert work even better for them. We thank everyone who welcomed us.
One takeaway from the trip was that not everyone was using EA’s mobile app. I would like to address the benefits of the app in this post in hopes to spark up the conversation about putting this in place in your environment.
The power of a push notification is sometimes underrated. Many people have 1 single ringtone for all SMS messages that come to their phone. This is often a single ding that can often be missed and when we talk about critical failures in your infrastructure, this will not do. The mobile app comes with various ringtones that can be selected for the push notifications. These range in intensity and have a better chance of waking you up in the middle of the night compared to the single ding from an iPhone. The cost saving comes in when we talk about the amount of cost that is generated from the text messaging service. Whether you have a monthly rate or pay per text, the mobile push notification is free and far superior in terms of alerting. We have heard from one customer that changing over to push vs text has saved them thousands of dollars a month.
We were a bit surprised on the number of alerts that were set as Overdue. This means the notifications have been delivered and the alert policy rules have timed out without an acknowledgment. Doing a deep dive into the reason for this, we discovered that customers were using email-to-SMS. Certain carriers have an invisible image or alternate text that is sent with a SMS response and that was preventing the end-user from acknowledging the alerts. If the mobile app was in place, the recipient could not only have a quick and easy way to acknowledge an alert, but also be able to put in annotations. This method not only provides the transparency on who is working on an issue but also supplies valuable feedback that is either communicated to the rest of the team or even written back to the originating event source.
On-call scheduling was in place in just about every environment that we looked at. This was great to see! But the question was raised on how Enterprise Alert can help engineers who are on-call communicate to their team members quickly. Just because they are on-call, does not mean that they are the subject matter experts and, in this case, the mobile app can connect those individuals instantly. Starting a bridge call with several members will not only help to resolve the issue quickly but also save downtime and money down the line.
One of the unsung heroes of the mobile app is being able to trigger remote actions to resolve an issue from anywhere. Being alerted that a critical server is down is one thing. Being able to resolve it from in the middle of a football stadium is another. It is 4th and goal with 6 seconds left on the clock. It all comes down to this play when your phone goes off alerting you that the main sever in your environment just failed. Do you miss the play to scramble on your phone to VPN and restart this machine? NO. With Enterprise Alert’s mobile app, you have the “Restart Node” remote action that with a single press will resolve the issue just in time for you to see your favorite team run in the winning touchdown. Remote actions can be used for anything. Whether it be triggering a workflow to maintain a system, executing scripts to identify and resolve issues or even creating service tickets in systems such as BMC or ServiceNow. The possibilities are endless.
We hope that these points will start up conversations for you and your team about implementing Enterprise Alerts Mobile App. It is free and available for both Android and iOS through their respective stores. Are you already using the mobile app? If so, we would love to hear your feedback on how it is benefiting you. Your story may help others and be the decisive push over the edge to start using it.
For a video detailing some of the benefits and power of the Enterprise Alert Mobile App go here: https://youtu.be/2fsIKroIU6k