Spotlight Reporting

Saving thousands of dollars in operational costs with Raygun

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.

Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi
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.
Sean Jackson - Software Development Manager

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.

Collection of images showing Veezi by Vista using Raygun Crash Reporting to increase reliability

The confidence to deploy, even during times of increased load

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.

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

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.”

Linbis uses Raygun Crash Reporting and Slack for proactive error monitoring

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.”

About Veezi and Vista Cinema

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.

Visit www.veezi.com and follow Veezi on Facebook and Vista Cinema on LinkedIn and Twitter

Accountants and small businesses all around the world rely on Spotlight Reporting to make informed business decisions every day. That’s why data accuracy is a top priority for Sean Chapman, a Technical Lead at Spotlight Reporting.

“Shipping slow and error-prone code portrays to our customers that we aren't reliable and we aren't accurate, so that's why code performance is top of our mind in everything that we do.”

This customer-focused outlook is what fuels Spotlight Reporting’s growth. Since 2011, they continue to scale into the USD$13 billion business intelligence (BI) industry and are the first choice for the Big Four accounting firms. As the engineering team scaled their infrastructure to meet demand, the cost of running their previous monitoring tool across multiple EC2 hosts became unbearable. 

After hearing about Raygun through the Wellington tech scene, Sean switched their application performance monitoring to Raygun, which met their cloud scaling needs and could help them continue to deliver accurate, reliable, and fast customer experiences to support their growth. 

In doing so, Spotlight Reporting not only reduced operational costs, but they also prioritize the user experience while reducing the total errors and issues by 90%. This enables the development team to focus on delivering value to customers and the business in the form of new features. 

Helping to reduce operational costs by scaling more efficiently in the Cloud

Sean and the team are driven to reduce operational costs while scaling their Cloud infrastructure horizontally. Sean explains that “The first part of our growth was vertical scale. You get to a point where you get diminishing returns from that. For example, you may have one server that you ramp up ten times, but it’s much more efficient to run five servers side-by-side. We found that it’s more sustainable and scalable to build better solutions designed for the Cloud and designed for performance.” 

Raygun’s usage-based pricing fits well with this scalable, Cloud-based approach. Instead of paying for monitoring per server, Spotlight Reporting now pays per event, meaning that even though their user base is increasing, Sean can keep the code both performant and cost-effective. 

Raygun and Spotlight Reporting work together to reduce operational costs

Reducing noise and prioritizing the end-user experience

The end-user experience is critical when it comes to delivering accurate and reliable data to accountants. If they can’t access data or reports are slow to load, trust in the app could erode and cause users to move to a competitor. 

Now, Sean doesn’t have to worry.

“Since we implemented Raygun, our application exceptions have reduced by 90%. That’s a huge reduction in general noise and things that developers don’t care about. Now, we are clearer on what actually matters to our customers.”

Before Raygun, Sean would have had to wait for a user to contact them through support channels if they ran into a problem. The team would then continue down their line of investigation, which could take days or even weeks. With their improved workflow, issues are now resolved in just a few hours. 

Recalling one interaction, Sean says, “We saw an issue and we were able to get in contact with the user because we could see the link between the crash report, the RUM experience, and the actual user session. We knew the steps that they went through and we were able to replicate it. We marked the issue as resolved in Raygun, and tracked any regressions so the issue was resolved for a lot of our users. It has freed up a lot of our time.”

This proactive approach to errors and performance problems empowers Sean to make more informed decisions that prioritize the end-user experience, all while spending less time resolving issues.

More time to deliver features with better error process

Fixing performance issues faster means that the team can focus on what matters most to the business — building and delivering features for customers. Sean says, “The more stable our software is, the fewer bugs we introduce. Finding and reacting to bugs earlier enables us to deliver features that actually matter.”

“We've had a great experience with Raygun. Implementation was easy. It made our timelines to the response of any issues that we're running into really, really good.”

“We’ve been able to reduce noise by 90%, and the warnings and exceptions that didn't provide any value have now been filtered out and resolved. We know the ones that we do see are actually affecting our customers, and when we fix them, they provide real value.”

“It’s a huge relief to the team to be able to focus on things that actually matter.”

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