In the world of digital transformation, where every company is a software company, the moviegoing experience now begins online. The small cinema sector is no exception, and the pressure is on for boutique cinemas to keep up with large multiplexes and meet online expectations.
“It’s not just about when you turn up to the cinema anymore. It’s about the entire booking process,” says Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi. “Buying your ticket online needs to be as easy and simple as possible.”
To help independent cinemas provide the unique and frictionless experience that moviegoers crave, Veezi’s development team needs to deliver updates and features that are error-free.
“It’s incredibly important for Veezi to deliver a reliable experience.” Sean says.
Vista Cinema software runs in 40% of the world's cinemas in 100-plus countries worldwide. If our customers aren't getting a reliable experience from us, that means their customers aren't getting a reliable experience from them.
As a manager, it’s Sean’s job to maintain development velocity by optimizing the time developers spend writing code. As part of that task, Sean is always looking for inefficiencies in processes and tooling. During a routine evaluation, he noticed that managing errors was consuming too much of his team’s time. Sean recognized that instead of testing every configuration and looking through error logs to diagnose errors, an error monitoring solution would alert them to errors and their cause.
Sean says that when they implemented Raygun Crash Reporting, he was able to introduce more efficient error management workflows. The results were excellent—his team saved hours every week—enabling them to optimize time spent writing features and delivering quality code to customers.
Modern multiplexes have set the bar high for independent cinema. Moviegoers want a boutique experience, but still expect state-of-the-art screens, luxury seating, and flawless booking experiences.
Monitoring thousands of applications for software problems is challenging, but Veezi has built robust workflows that ensure—even with increased load from blockbuster movie releases—there is no downtime for their customers.
Sean explains: “For movie releases like the Avengers or a new Star Wars movie, we'll see up to 20 times our usual load coming through our ticketing systems.”
Even during these high-load windows, Raygun Crash Reporting gives the team confidence to deploy changes and bug fixes faster. “When we deploy a feature into our test system, being able to find any errors before we push it up to production and before our customers notice is absolutely critical. Raygun is absolutely an integral part of our workflow to enable deployment of better software faster.”
With Raygun’s Dashboard, Sean’s team can investigate and resolve errors before customers notice, allowing them to deliver their product more reliably and more quickly.
I think now we have one of the best workflows you would find anywhere. We're able to power through writing new features more of the time and that means better outcomes for our customers and their customers.
Online ticket sales for cinemas are increasing every year, and we know that moviegoers that purchase online are more likely to attend in groups, buy concession items and upgrade to premium seating. Therefore, more independent cinemas are turning to Veezi to help increase their online reputation and their bottom line.
As Veezi’s team grows and scales up to meet that demand, Sean wants to ensure the development team is always delivering new value and maintaining an error-free product.
"It's important for us to be able to have a lot of confidence in our own product. Because everyone here is really passionate about the movies, we are essentially customers of our customers. That motivates us to innovate faster and deliver our product as soon as achievable as well.”
To create an effective method of detecting errors in production, Eric looked to Raygun Crash Reporting. One of the first steps Eric’s team took was to set up production alerts so that the development team is made aware of any issues in real-time.
“Raygun’s had a positive impact on our team; that ties back to the developer’s ability to spend most of their time writing features with confidence and reducing the lead time of feature delivery."
“Everyone is proud to be part of this unique business where we are supporting the independent cinema industry with a mission-critical product and in doing so, increasing both the standard of their moviegoer experience and the economic success of their cinemas.”
Veezi, engineered by Vista, is the leading independent cinema management software solution in the world. Running in the cloud, in more cinemas, in more countries than any other provider, you couldn't have better credentials to develop Veezi. A bunch of movie zealots working alongside Vista Cinema across 100+ countries (and counting), they understand the moviegoing experience and constantly strive to enhance it for all.
In the past ten years, Praeses has matured into a services company that delivers software to Fortune 500 companies. An impressive portfolio includes the US Navy, law enforcement, and startups in the oil and gas industry.
Providing excellent customer service for these customers is Praeses’ top priority. Senior Project Manager, Jeb Baugh, knows bugs and downtime can cost clients millions of dollars, so he wants to ensure incidents are few and far between. He says, “Our customers pay a premium for our services. If we push something out that prevents them from making money, we’ll hear about it quickly.”
Since implementing Raygun, we haven't had a work stoppage for years, because it allows us to be so proactive. Bad code won't even make it to testing, because issues have already been flagged by Raygun during development.
To create a successful error monitoring and alerting workflow, Praeses implemented Raygun Crash Reporting and Real User Monitoring alongside Jira Software and Slack.
Jeb says, “We’ll see an error come through Raygun, and know why it’s broken so we can fix it.” He continues, “This allows us to be proactive, and picks up a lot of things before our users even see them.”
Because Praeses is a service company, the benefits of proactive error resolution are passed on to the customer. Jeb explains that even if something does slip into production, his team can spot the issue and have a fix in place before the customer notices and has to call in for development support.
Jeb says, “I would get calls when our customers encountered a work stoppage. Depending on how customers maintain their code, I would get one to several calls per week per customer. And, for our non-technical customers, they knew there was a problem but couldn't articulate it.”
Although customers get the downstream benefits of proactive error monitoring, Jeb has also seen benefits when prioritizing his team’s time. By receiving detailed error reports from Raygun, Jeb can now prioritize his resources by categorizing issues as critical or noncritical, and aggregating them as he sees fit using Raygun’s Error Grouping feature.
He explained, “We get a lot of Raygun errors in some of our production apps, but they are non-critical. They’re not a real error or a bug. It's maybe something to do with the jQuery library not loading something correctly but doesn't break anything.” He continued, “This helps us concentrate our resources where we can provide the customer with the most value.”
Using this system, Praeses now have just a two-hour resolution time from error detection to a fix. Praeses passes the time saved in the development phase to their customers.
The faster we can get new software into the field, the more quickly our customers realize a return on their investment. A significant portion of our business comes from repeat customers. Keeping them happy and in business keeps us happy and in business.
Praeses relies on a wealth of development information to help them understand their client's needs better. Raygun Real User Monitoring (RUM) allows Praeses to gain a deep understanding of the code-level performance metrics of their customer’s applications. Praeses uses Real User Monitoring to securely surface metrics like device-specific median load time for Jeb and his team, who can then pass this information onto his clients as extra value.
By monitoring performance trends like page load time with Raygun’s performance dashboards, Jeb can spot trends in his client’s data quickly. He explained, “Real User Monitoring allows my teams to perform at a high-level by quickly addressing errors that occur during software development. It also allows me to proactively focus our resources on addressing issues, often before the customer is aware that an issue even exists.” He added, “I can't live without the Real User Monitoring. It’s very helpful.”
“I'd tell them Raygun’s an excellent tool. It's cost-effective for finding errors and avoiding them before they get to production.” He continued, “It's only going to help your software teams get better, especially RUM, which I can’t live without. We see Raygun as an extension of our team and our company.”