Panasonic Electric Works Laboratory of America (PEWLA), part of the Panasonic Group in North America, provides global platforms and services for Panasonic. These platforms power Panasonic products that are used to manage energy, collect data, and enhance customer experience. Whether internal or external, providing customer satisfaction is key to their organization.
Early Panasonic Challenges
PEWLA is committed to providing the best service and products for their customers. They needed to ensure their systems were always up and have people on-call to fix any issue when it occurred. PEWLA’s IT infrastructure is spread across multiple countries and time zones which made on-call scheduling difficult. When someone went on vacation or traveled, it was a big hassle to update the schedule. They would rather spend their time on projects to improve customer happiness than maintain an on-call schedule.
Customer support is essential to guaranteeing customer satisfaction. For customers with priority support, Panasonic dedicated one support representative per customer. Unfortunately, the support representative had to sit up all night waiting for issues to come in. This was not a productive use of their time. Panasonic wanted to continue to deliver a high quality service, while increasing employee productivity.
Given their diverse IT infrastructure, Panasonic uses multiple monitoring tools to watch over their systems. Nagios monitors their local systems, while Amazon CloudWatch monitors their cloud applications. In addition to Nagios and CloudWatch, they created a custom check application for fine-grained monitoring of an internal application. Once an error is found, a log is created in Amazon CloudWatch. They were receiving email alerts from all of these systems when an issue occurred. But email alerts weren’t enough to wake someone up when they were asleep. Incidents would go on for hours throughout the night before someone acknowledged them in the morning.
“Sending emails, that’s easy. Getting people up at night, that’s the hard part.” – Bryant Eastham, Chief Architect
How did PagerDuty help?
On-call schedules are programmed and updated in PagerDuty with a few clicks. Switching a shift with a teammate is low hassle. PEWLA’s IT team can create one-time overrides to maintain on-call consistency and the on-call team can go on business as usual. PagerDuty is used to schedule on-call for both the IT and customer support teams. Instead of waiting around to be needed, the customer support representative can go home and be alerted as issues arise. PagerDuty helps connect the Panasonic team so they can service their customers more efficiently.
“With PagerDuty, we spend less time worrying about on-call schedules, and more time creating great products that impact lives.“
The time to respond to an incident has dramatically decreased with PagerDuty. Panasonic takes advantage of the wide variety of ways to acknowledge an incident – SMS, push notifications, phone call – to let their teammates know they will handle the incident. By having alerts come through their phone, they are able to customize ring tones to ensure they always wake up when their systems are down. They never have to worry about missing an alert again.
“It’s always embarrassing when you don’t respond to an incident. PagerDuty helped us fix that.”
Panasonic is powering some of the most innovative products today. PagerDuty is a key component of PEWLA’s IT infrastructure and is contributing to creating a better world.
“We have peace of mind with PagerDuty.”