FreedomPay is a data-driven Next Level Commerce™ platform that transforms existing payment systems and processes from legacy to leading edge. As the premier choice for many of the largest companies across the globe, FreedomPay’s technology is built to deliver rock solid performance in the highly complex environment of global commerce.
As the FreedomPay business scaled, Chris Randall, Director, Platform Operations, and DJ DeBrakeleer, Site Reliability Engineer, found that the volume of operations and maintenance tasks was increasing to the point where it was straining their team. In addition to project work, Chris and his team found themselves frequently executing repetitive tasks like configuration and setup for new customers, validating and maintaining data feeds with customers, investigating and recycling app pools, database maintenance, and more.
Adding to the burden was the push to have the Platform Operations team provide 24×7 coverage. Burnout was looming and it was clear that a new approach would have to be taken.
Knowing that throwing more headcount at the problem was not the right solution, Chris and DJ decided to look for an automation solution.
Chris connected with a performance engineer colleague who had been using PagerDuty Process Automation for a variety of test infrastructure automation use cases.
Chris and DJ’s first experiment using Process Automation was to automate running SSIS jobs outside of SQL agent using PowerShell. During this proof-of-concept, the ease of use and general utility of Process Automation became clear. The team started an internal wiki page to keep track of all the ideas they had for where PagerDuty’s capabilities could be applied.
PagerDuty would also help FreedomPay improve their security posture. Considering the importance and sensitivity of FreedomPay’s customers’ data, maintaining strict privileges around production infrastructure PCI compliance is paramount. Using PagerDuty to put appropriate permissions around processes made this easier.
After their proof-of-concept, DJ and team jumped at the opportunity to create further operational efficiencies using PagerDuty with the onboarding of a large, complex client.
Previously, onboarding this type of account would require a great deal of file processing and manual tasks that typically would have fallen on DJ’s team to fulfill. Instead, they automated the workflows by having PagerDuty invoke the various tools and scripts needed to onboard the new client.
With this success under their belt, the Platform Operations team continued to automate more procedures with PagerDuty. “By automating tasks with PagerDuty Process Automation, we have saved the equivalent of three or four dedicated people’s worth of time. And by removing the risk of human error, we have solidified the reliability of our critical processes,” shared DJ.
DJ and his colleagues are looking to use PagerDuty Process Automation to automate incident response and spread Process Automation usage to other teams who participate in production operations work.