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IBM Smarter Workforce previously known as Kenexa, was acquired by IBM in 2012 with approximately 2,800 employees in 21 countries. The company provides recruitment and talent management solutions, a unique combination of Cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions. Peter Kosmalski, manager of hosting operations support, leads a team who is the first line of support for their SaaS offerings. “As issues arise, my team takes the first pass at troubleshooting and fixing the issue at hand. Then, when needed, we escalate those alerts to other groups like the network and storage engineering teams,” said Kosmalski. This process is imperative so that the team can streamline the incidents to the right contact when those escalations do occur.
Tackling the unscalable, manual processes of managing incident escalation
Before implementing PagerDuty, IBM Smarter Workforce, dealt with the constant battle of having to maintain and follow a manual process when handling IT incidents. The manual process around managing on-call schedules and incident escalation was not scalable as they grew. The manual spreadsheet process they had in place listed the team members on call, and preferred way of getting ahold of each individual. Following this manual process would waste precious time, when the focus should have been on detecting and fixing the incident. Not only was wasted time a critical factor, but identifying the team member to escalate the alert to was delayed or never happened. In addition to wasted time, contextual information about the incident was another critical miss that delayed incident resolution. Teams did not have the information they needed at their fingertips when an escalation did eventually get to them, and when information did get routed, there was no way of reducing the alert noise and triaging the core alert information. “Filtering out the noise from our monitoring tools and finding just the actionable alerts is crucial for us,” stated Kosmalski. Teams weren’t able to gain visibility into incidents which made it difficult to do their jobs efficiently.
Providing teams with flexibility around scheduling and escalations while reducing alert noise
IBM Smarter Workforce needed the right solution in place in order to increase the team’s productivity and tackle incident management at scale. With PagerDuty’s advanced scheduling, escalation policies, services groups and custom API integration, IBM Smarter Workforce has visibility into incidents that arise and the ability to schedule on call rotations and escalate incidents when needed. “Having PagerDuty in place is a huge win for our IT operations teams. The solution filled our incident management void allowing us to be even more efficient,” said Kosmalski. The team’s cloud operations relay their largest number of incidents through PagerDuty which falls directly under Kosmalski’s front line support group. PagerDuty enables them to streamline their incident management lifecycle by reducing the noise and noting the actionable alerts which also results in decreasing the resolution times.
Assuring reliability at any scale
PagerDuty gives IT Ops managers at IBM Smarter Workforce the ability to maintain their schedules and escalation policies. “We don’t even have to think about it. We no longer wonder who is on call or whether or not they will pick up, we just hit the button,” said Kosmalski. The effortless, custom on-call scheduling gives them the flexibility they need while ensuring alerts are always addressed. They also leverage PagerDuty’s integrations with Nagios, SolarWinds, and NetApp. These tools are extremely important to the teams IT stack and their integrations as each layer of the stack gives unique visibility into operational issues. Having seamless integrations in place allows the different teams to directly send alerts to those on call, monitor incidents, as well as trigger and resolve those incidents in PagerDuty. PagerDuty helps IBM Smarter Workforce streamline their incident management lifecycle within minutes. “For us, PagerDuty ensures that we are able to get the right people connected and committed when incidents occur. PagerDuty has helped our teams manage purposeful escalations during incidents, which has resulted in smoother operations and overall team efficiency” stated Kosmalski. IBM Smarter Workforce has received many benefits from implementing PagerDuty, from ensuring reliability at any scale, alerting the right people at all times, and integrating with their existing applications.
“For us, PagerDuty ensures that we are able to get the right people connected and committed when incidents occur. PagerDuty has helped our teams manage purposeful escalations during incidents, which has resulted in smoother operations and overall team efficiency.”