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Summary:

A new feature on the IT-monitoring service Panorama9 lets clients receive alert notifications on the phone from real human beings.

Allan Thorvaldsen
photo: Rebecca Reeve

One company with a feature-rich online dashboard for IT administrators is distinguishing itself further by offering to have its employees call its clients’ IT people when issues arise, rather than just send emails or texts, and thereby show devops people some much-needed respect.

Panorama9 on Wednesday made public its Perfect Pager feature, which is available for customers who pay for the highest level of service. Under the Perfect Pager program, if the initial contact doesn’t answer the phone call — about a network-adapter error, a security breach or some other problem — the Panorama9 employee calls second or third back-up contacts. If they don’t answer, the Panorama9 employee goes back to the top of the list.

Panorama9 is betting that the combination of its human-powered alerting system and its existing dashboard — which includes traffic monitoring, availability management, asset management and compliance management features — will appeal to customers. Other companies, such as PagerDutyrun automated systems for informing IT people about outages and other concerns, with voice-to-text options, text messages or emails but no phone calls from human beings.

For now, Panorama9 is relying on three or so of its current employees to make calls as well as respond to other customer inquiries, Co-Founder and CEO Allan Thorvaldsen told me. Should the feature become a hit, it would hire more people to exclusively make calls.

Could the emergence of Perfect Pager be a sign of more respect being paid to the devops community? Maybe so, Thorvaldsen said. Later this year he wants to add a simple button that would let a client’s executive give the company’s IT administrator a virtual pat on the shoulder, or maybe just send over a smiley face. If complimenting someone were as simple as the push of a button, Thorvaldsen said, “then you would probably do it.”

The shift toward respecting IT staffers coincides with other trends, he said, such as decentralization in companies’ IT policies and the willingness to try implementing a bring-your-own-device policy and cloud computing, along with the ability for devops employees to act quickly in any place with an Internet connection.

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  1. Seems like a gimmick – what’s the advantage of having a real person call you over an automated alert? The goal is to be notified about the problem so you can start looking into it. Giving detailed information over the phone (other that basic alert info) seems like the wrong way to do this because you want that via a recordable method e.g. via e-mail or into a ticket system.

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    1. Hi David,

      Well With Panorama9 you do get alerts on emails and SMS (textmessage) either or both as your like. The emails could be turned into tickets to ie Zendesk with whom we already made a great integration with. Some people however would like to be notified if for instance the server is down in the middle of the night and getting an email or SMS is not enough then a Physical phone call does the trick and is that extra assurance that your IT is always up and running.
      So in Perfect Pager is for those IT Admins or MSP’s who want the extra assurance and help.

      Best
      Allan Thorvaldsen (Panorama9)

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