Achieving 100% availability in 17 countries
WriteUpp is a cloud-based practice management solution created for small healthcare providers. In just five years the small team of five have grown WriteUpp to 700 clinics in 17 countries - and have no intention of slowing down. Primarily based in the UK, WriteUpp has their sights set on the US market, where they see vast potential for growth.
As WriteUpp entered its third year, CEO Bob Bond recognized it was time to ramp up their infrastructure. After a move to Microsoft Azure, their second port of call was to ensure that they are always up and available across multiple time zones.
However, customers weren’t reporting problems, and if they did, the lack of technical detail left the small development team blind to errors and “working on the assumption that something wasn’t quite right.”
They needed something to help identify errors when they happen so they could proactively solve problems, rather than reactively responding to support requests. Senior Developer Richard Kimber discovered Raygun as a solution, and immediately got the visibility into issues he needed.
We dipped our toe in the water with Raygun and realized just how beneficial it was. It’s fair to say that now, we couldn’t do without it.
“People-led and jargon-free support” is at the core of WriteUpp’s success
Bob wants their excellent support reputation leading their brand. He says, “Support is a big factor for people wanting a cloud-based practice management software.” He adds, however, the challenge remains that “Very few of our customers are IT savvy. They are busy and don’t always want to describe the problem, or they get frustrated when you don’t understand where the error is.”
In a traditional small team setting, this typical developer to customer miscommunication can leave a large backlog of unresolved errors, and confused and frustrated clients.
However, WriteUpp has an impressive technical support reputation. Their response rate is 90% in the first hour and is rated 4.9 / 5 on Facebook Reviews, 80% of which are support related.
So, how do they do this, with just a team of five?
Richard now has all the intelligence he needs to gauge the success of a deployment
Richard uses Raygun to keep a close eye on recent version and feature deployments. He is looking for problems that may affect the application's functionality, just in case they need to roll back a release.
Richard says, “Raygun is our first port of call after a release. Before, we had no visibility into what was going on. Now, we’re always looking for an error spike, asking what we missed.”
Unique and outdated customer environments are no longer a challenge when replicating errors
The healthcare industry often uses outdated technology, browsers, and software which can cause unique environments when replicating errors.
Luckily, Raygun catches all the diagnostic details of errors, including the environment in which they occurred. Even if their customer has encountered an error on an outdated browser after a unique set of actions, the team can fix it quickly with minimum fuss.
The different ways people use the software always makes me chuckle. We all have different ways to navigate to setting pages. Typically, the bugs we find are because they are using our system in a way we didn’t anticipate
Raygun helps WriteUpp achieve their goal of 100% uptime across 17 countries
Middle-of-the-day maintenance is off the cards for WriteUpp, who strive for 100% availability. Their customers work around the clock, and if the system goes down, customers can’t access vital patient information needed to do business as usual.
So, when an error caused a major outage in the middle of the business day, Richard was anxious to investigate.
He recalls, “Our application crashed and logged people out for 10 - 15 minutes at a time. It was pretty horrific. We got no sense from our hosting provider at the time.”
Richard quickly tracked the error through the Raygun dashboard and into the error details page, where he could immediately see the problem. “It turns out the Redis cache we were using for our session state was running out of memory. It was such a simple solution. But at the time, we hadn't the foggiest idea what was going on, because you can’t recreate that locally.”
Raygun is helping WriteUpp understand how website performance affects their customers
WriteUpp is soon implementing Raygun’s Real User Monitoring (RUM) to their software. Richard says “I’m hooked on the advantages of knowing about user-specific instances. We want RUM to get context around what’s going on with the user.”
Soon, Richard will be able to track performance metrics and attribute them directly to errors. He’ll be able to see exactly who experienced errors and the actions that led them to the error with the Session Trace feature.
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