• PagerDuty
  • Blog
  • AIOps
  • AEO Transforms Its Incident Management With PagerDuty Customer Success


AEO Transforms Its Incident Management With PagerDuty Customer Success

by Gabriella Freda July 11, 2018 | 5 min read

What runs through your head when shopping for jeans online? If you’re anything like me, you’re likely contemplating how they’ll fit, whether your phone will fit in the pockets, and whether that particular style (skinny, boyfriend, jegging) is something you want to add to your wardrobe.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), a clothing and accessories retailer giant with over 1,000 stores, offers jeans in a variety of fits and washes, which can help when trying to find that perfect pair of jeans. The brand is particularly popular among college students—the company’s midflight eagle is easily identifiable and unmistakable. In addition to its strong brick-and-mortar presence, the retailer also has a powerful online presence and a mobile app, which are both instrumental in helping it continue to grow its business.

On the AEO website, shoppers can find apparel in all sizes and styles, as well as clear support and partnership for projects like It Gets Better. But while shopping, how often do you think about what runs in the background so you can easily browse, add your items to your shopping cart, and check out?

Digital Transformation at AEO

Unless your background is in IT, you likely don’t think twice about the up-to-date online presence and payment processing systems that is Matt Kundrat and his team. Matt joined AEO in November 2012 and, in his six years with the company, has played an instrumental role in its digital transformation.

I have the pleasure of being AEO’s Customer Success Manager and working with Matt in his current position as Senior Manager of Production Support. After AEO first purchased PagerDuty, Matt and I discussed some key challenges his team and AEO faced.

  • Every alert went out to his team’s distribution list—which meant all 25 people on his team were contacted. Each person was always on call and had no easy visibility into whether someone else had taken ownership or could assist. Additionally, if people could not solve the issue, his team had no way to escalate it or loop in other teams.
  • SLAs were essential to ensure issues were solved very quickly, especially if they were customer-impacting. Matt recognized that his team was not meeting their SLAs and needed a way to measure their time to acknowledge and resolve.
  • The team was dispersed around the world and Matt needed a way to have a 24/7 schedule where each person was on call only during their working hours. He also needed an easy way they could quickly contact each other.
  • The last large pain was the challenge of alerting business stakeholders when customer-impacting issues did occur.

In addition to these pain points, AEO’s business sectors were highly segmented and had challenges with cross communication. AEO realized that, in order to maintain its strong online presence, the right people needed to be informed when issues arose. At the same time, responders needed to be able to focus on resolving said issues. The company concluded that it needed to update its incident management process.

This was when Kundrat started searching for a solution that could improve his team’s and companywide communication and continue to scale with AEO while also reducing alert noise and burnout. PagerDuty was an easy choice as it allowed his teams to communicate through one centralized platform while still integrating with all the tools they were familiar with and used.

Improved Work-Life Balance

I helped Matt set up his account according to our best practices, train and onboard his initial customer service teams, and share PagerDuty’s growing suite of capabilities. Together, Matt and I have been able to solve each of his pain points. For example, instead of people being bombarded with alerts for each incident and then waiting for someone to take ownership, Matt put his team on a scheduled rotation, solving the issue of being on call 24/7 and bringing work-life balance back to his team, both locally and globally. They can now also escalate the issue to the right people in real time with the click of a button.

His team quickly saw their lives improve as their manual processes and number of clicks decreased. Other teams, such as the Corporate IT and Security teams noticed too, and I worked with Matt to onboard them as well. As Matt mentioned on a recent call, teams across the organization went from being afraid to use PagerDuty to not being able to imagine their lives without it.

Additionally, Matt is fully utilizing all the capabilities PagerDuty has to offer as a digital operations platform, encompassing the full lifecycle of an incident. By using response plays, similar incidents, and our event intelligence capabilities, he is now seeing improved response times, more effective business communication, and better work-life balance within his team and the organization.

Through PagerDuty, AEO has created a unified front during customer-impacting events to make sure everything is up and running. We look forward to continue partnering with AEO and seeing the success and growth of their company with PagerDuty.

Check out the entire case study: American Eagle Outfitters Taps PagerDuty to Transform Incident Management.