Beamly (formerly zeebox) aims to make TV better by bringing the power of the web to every second of live TV – making it immersive and social. Beamly’s free second screen app is a companion for your TV that allows you to engage with your favorite shows. To date, Beamly has been downloaded over 6.5 million times.
One distinguishing feature of Beamly is their SpotSynch technology, which instantly provides their users with clickable TV commercials from their mobile device. SpotSynch allows advertisers to provide ads within the Beamly app at the same time as their spot appears on TV. According to Beamly, this technology is the instant call to action following a viewer’s exposure to a brand on TV.
Beamly partners with NBC Universal, Comcast, Viacom, BSkyB and other notable television heavy hitters. They have been recognized as App Store Best in 2012 by Apple and as one of the Top 25 Free iPad Apps by Mashable.
Delivering a live, reliable and seamless experience to their users is essential for Beamly. Not only do millions of TV enthusiasts expect to use Beamly during their favorite shows, Beamly must be able to sync the commercials of their advertisers within the app precisely when they air.
For live events, such as Sunday Night Football, there may be several advertising partners with SpotSynch ads. Beamly required a mechanism for quickly reaching the appropriate engineer in the event of a SpotSynch issue.
Beamly’s exponential growth of users, employees, supported programing and advertising partners, could have led to scheduling chaos for their 24-hour on-call support teams based in New York and London. Foreseeing this issue, Beamly took proactive measures to ensure that incidents would be handled quickly and cause minimal interruption for their viewers and advertising partners.
Beamly immediately saw the benefit of PagerDuty and began utilizing PagerDuty’s on-call schedule and effective alerting in conjunction with their internal monitoring tools.
Beamly utilizes webhooks to route incidents to a specific email address so that the right person from the right team is notified whenever an incident occurs. Beamly currently operates with multiple
cross-functional on-call teams.
“Our support systems were unstructured before PagerDuty. PagerDuty provides the quickest possible route to get issues fixed.” – Chris Williams, Head of Production Services
Not all of Beamly’s on-call staff that receive PagerDuty alerts are technically savvy. For low severity issues that may occur with a SpotSynch, content producers or editors have the chance to fix non-technical issues that are unrelated to Beamly’s infrastructure. Otherwise, they the incident is escalated through the quickest possible route.
“PagerDuty allows us to fix issues without our partners or end-users realizing anything is wrong. It’s lightning quick.” – Matthew Engler, Producer
PagerDuty helps keep the relationship between Beamly and their advertising partners strong. Beamly will routinely let their partners know who is on-call for TV shows and events to provide them with an exemplary level of service. In addition, their on-call team can use PagerDuty to immediately notify their partners if an ad did not sync properly or action is required on the end of their third party partners.
“PagerDuty is a great help in ensuring we meet the high operational standards expected by our broadcast partners.” – Chris Williams, Head of Production Services
For on-call staff at Beamly, they note that PagerDuty helps give them peace of mind. Without a tool like PagerDuty standard operating procedures would be difficult, but with their current set up they always know who they can rely on if an incident occurs.
“It’s nice to know I’m not alone. There is an entire escalation policy behind me.” – Stephen Seidel, Sr. Content Producer
Being an international company, Beamly also utilizes PagerDuty’s Follow the Sun schedule with a 12-hour split across their teams in New York and London, which makes sure that every show is monitored and someone is responsible to keep everything running smoothly.