Reliability of our service is the topmost priority for us at Exotel. And telephony infrastructure in India is unreliable, to say the least. Most probably, as you are reading this, someone somewhere while digging up some road, has accidentally cut a telephone cable.
To achieve high reliability inspite of an unreliable telephony backbone, we have built technology that does some smart things. However, one of the things that we realized time and again was that no amount of cool technology is enough on its own. When things actually go down, proper communication with customers is essential. When I say “proper” communication, I mean it has to be
- Transparent: ie, don’t hide anything from the customer. More the information, the better
- Helpful: Suggest something that can get the customer unblocked immediately;
And most importantly,
- Timely: There is no point sending an email 4 hours after a downtime, is there?
So far, whenever there was an unexpected downtime, we used to send out emails to our affected customers. The monitoring was automated, but notification process was not – someone would manually verify the downtime, construct the email and send it. Clearly inefficient; and that is not how we roll. So what if our uptimes (and downtimes) are public
- Any existing or potential customer can take a look and get a sense of how reliable Exotel lines are
- And it pushes us to make sure everything is green. Trust us – seeing anything in red annoys us as much as it would annoy a customer
And thus was born status.exotel.in – one place where you, our customer (and anyone else, really) can view the health of different Exotel services. Live! And you can also view historical data of service health.
How is the Exotel Status Board useful to you?
- It will give you real-time status information of all the different Exotel services
- It will help you understand the reasons of a downtime, and what we are doing to fix it
- This will give the history of the service interrupts
- You can see the service status region wise
- You can see any planned maintenance that is taking place
Calls are our bread and butter, so we started out with calls. Currently status.exotel.in displays the health of incoming and outgoing calling split by different regions. Very soon, we will have more services whose health will also show up here.
We overhauled our call monitoring infrastructure Eksix , with a new one – Erix. Erix is essentially a smarter and more performant system. How smart, you ask? Say for example, calls are not connecting only between Bangalore Tata numbers to Delhi Airtel numbers because of non-payment of fees by Tata to Airtel (and trust me, such things actually happen!); Well, Erix can find this out. More on the tech behind Erix in a different post soon.