PagerDuty Blog

Bridging the Way to Faster Incident Resolution

Has anyone else noticed how much web conferencing has improved over the past couple of years? Video streams are crisp and clear, you can hear every word (most of the time), and there are now a ton of great features like embedded chat, one-click file sharing, and screen sharing. Some really exciting things have happened in the web conferencing world, and I think pretty much everyone has benefited in some way. Here at PagerDuty, we have co-located as well as geographically distributed teams. Yet looking at their output and velocity, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between the two. With the web conferencing solutions of today, our teams can spin up a conference bridge in seconds and immediately begin conversing, thinking, and working together. It’s almost as if they were sitting right next to each other. Our office in Toronto never felt so close.

Web conferencing is also a crucial tool in the context of incident response, as collaborating with subject matter experts is essential for quick and effective resolution. But what about that 3am incident? You get paged and you need help. The Slack channel is a ghost town, and email and SMS feel about as effective as smoke signals.

Luckily, the new Response Bridge feature is here to help. With this new feature, PagerDuty does the heavy lifting of getting the right responders on an incident. PagerDuty disseminates conference bridge information to them, eliminating the confusion and the headaches involved with manually spinning up a bridge outside of an incident and orchestrating individuals across teams and geographies. These responders are notified the PagerDuty way, so when the 3am incident comes around, they will wake up. You will also be able to customize messages to each responder, and see which individuals have accepted, declined, or have not yet responded to your request. Conference bridge information appears directly on the incident, so there is no confusion around which bridge to use. The fact that bridge information is part of the incident also provides a huge advantage in that responders now have full incident context before they jump on the bridge, and don’t need to waste precious time (when time can = downtime) getting oriented on what’s happening. Responders can join the bridge with the click of a button via the PagerDuty mobile app, email, and even Slack.

In developing Response Bridge, we did not want to shoehorn our users into a specific web conferencing solution or force them to use one we created. Everyone has strong opinions about tooling, web conferencing allegiances can run deep, and the worst time to try and learn a new tool is during the heat of a critical incident. With Response Bridge, we support all web conferencing tools. So whether you use Cisco Webex, Citrix GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, a homegrown solution, or even a mish mash of everything, we can support it.

We launched Response Bridge today at Cisco Live in Las Vegas. While this conference promises big acts like Maroon 5 and a keynote from Kevin Spacey, it is the opportunity to interact with our users that truly excites us here at PagerDuty. The path to incident resolution can be a hairy one. Unexpected things happen and people get weighed down by logistics or siloed tools. At PagerDuty, we will continue to equip our users with a platform that connects all the people, process, and tools they need to focus on incident resolution.

Learn more about Response Bridge and how to get started here. This feature is available on the Standard and Enterprise plans.