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.
Vidar Sømme is the Chief Development Officer at Vetserve and is responsible for day-to-day development operations. Vidar prioritizes his developer’s time knowing that providing excellent customer experiences is the most significant selling point for their appointment software solution.
Fast-loading pages and an easy-to-use UI are non-negotiables for Vetserve’s customers, who are busy veterinary professionals relying on the software for the day-to-day running of their practices. Therefore, the responsibility to provide a seamless software experience falls to Vidar and his development team—a task they take seriously.
Our most effective sales channel to date is word-of-mouth referrals from networking events. This makes me very interested in how customers use our application and how it performs.
The challenge came when attempting to pinpoint issues impacting performance and availability. Historically, Vetserve’s development team relied on looking through text files paired with user information to solve errors, both of which were often incomplete. Vidar saw an opportunity to provide a higher standard of customer experience by surfacing better quality data, and in doing so, increase company revenue.
Vidar explains: “I had a problem where users would call to tell us our software couldn’t find certain entries. At the time, we had a log-based table system to discover errors, so it took a long time to diagnose and fix issues.”
With Vetserve’s dedication to customer service, Vidar knew he needed to expand his development capacity with specialized tools. After evaluating several leading options, Vidar chose Raygun as Vetserve’s performance monitoring solution.
“Even though I’ve tried a couple of other products in the past, Raygun clicked with me because of how we work at Vetserve and how we support and interact with our customers,” Vidar says. “Being able to keep the connection to the humans at the other end of the system is a unique touch, and helps us provide a more memorable and personable experience.”
Vetserve’s website is full of glowing reviews from customers highlighting how easy their software is to use, how little errors they experience on a daily basis, and how friendly the support staff is.
These positive reviews are the result of continuous work behind the scenes to understand their customers and their daily lives. Vidar knows, for example, that his customers expect to speak to a support person quickly and have their issue resolved promptly.
Raygun’s User Tracking feature has been imperative to meeting these expectations, and Vidar can confidently say that customers don’t wait long for solutions, partly due to the level of detail provided by Raygun.
“With Raygun, we don’t just get an ID or some generalized data about users and the crashes they’ve experienced,” Vidar explains. “Raygun makes crashes tangible by connecting them back to an affected user and their details. We can say: “John, at this clinic, experienced this particular crash at this particular time.”
The Raygun Platform also helps Vidar to manage performance problems before they reach the end user using Deployment Tracking.
Vidar elaborates, “Whenever we deploy a new version, we track it in Raygun, where it’s very easy to see if we’ve introduced any defects. It’s the easiest part of troubleshooting,”
Vidar recalls a particular time where he called a customer to fix an issue without it needing to be reported.
I saw that someone had trouble logging in, and knew from Raygun that it was because they didn’t declare their cache info. I made some changes to the application, refreshed the cookie and told the customer that I would send him an email with some instructions to try again. As a result, the customer was able to log into the application again with no issue.
Throughout the whole organization, Vidar has created a culture where every developer feels ownership for their code, from deployment to the hands of the end user. Making sure the quality is high and to make sure defects are handled quickly are both on the priority list.
Vidar explains, “Previously, only the system admins had access to the inner workings of the operating system. Troubleshooting was time-consuming because only a handful of people had access to the servers to fix the problem.”
With Raygun’s easy to use interface and daily notifications, Vidar is able to empower his development team to maintain consistent quality. Vidar explains, “Now, even the most junior developer can surface a software bug.”
Vidar explains integrating Raygun with Slack has been an essential contribution to the mentality shift. “The Slack notifications bring errors to the front of everyone’s mind in their daily workflow. It reminds us that we are affecting people’s lives with our software.”
The Slack integration also helps Vidar’s team save time resolving problems. “When you have an exception appear in Slack, and you can click through to the stack trace, it saves time that we would have otherwise spent troubleshooting. You can see exactly where the problem happened in the code, and it’s usually obvious what caused the problem.”
As Vetserve continue to expand their development team, Raygun will be a valuable part in helping to create great experiences.
Vetserve offers a complete IT Solution for small-scale animal clinics and animal hospitals. Over 80 veterinary clinics around Norway rely on Vetserve for planning, documentation, and invoicing so they can spend more time on income-generating activities, like looking after cats and dogs.