Somos is a leading provider of registry management, handling more than 800 million local and wireless telephone numbers in North America. Somos serves as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator and operates the SMS/800 TFN Registry for more than 42 million toll-free numbers as well as the TSS Registry. Somos worked with Catchpoint to:
- Deploy a global active observability environment.
- Expand use across the company.
The following is based on an interview with Gary McKay, director of agile service delivery at Somos. It has been edited for clarity.
My name is Gary McKay, and I'm the director of agile service delivery at Somos. Somos is probably the most used but little-known company in North America. We are the net-neutral administrators of the toll-free number registry. We make sure that Joe's pizza doesn't steal, or doesn't sit on, say, 1-800-FLOWERS.
Within my organization, I am the steward of all the DevOps guys and cloud engineers. The prime directive is, how do we get our applications to our customers as fast as possible, as safe as possible? The number one thing is customer satisfaction - that is, making sure that our applications are up and running. And if customers are having problems, I want to make sure that they phone home as early as possible.
What drove our requirements was - how do I get a monitoring system in place that I can use across my whole enterprise? And that's where Catchpoint comes in.
What Catchpoint allows us to do is simulate, or actually do those test cases from various points in the US and also overseas. That means that If someone's not having a problem in the middle of the country, but then again we have a problem in Atlanta or Los Angeles we can test that. It gives us a a global active observability environment that allows us to look at all of the things that are going on and whether or not we're having problems in certain segments of the country, or if we’re having problems with certain segments of the application.
Catchpoint usually finds an issue first before all the rest of the alerting stack does - before the backend stuff starts phoning home. Usually, Catchpoint says, “Hey, I have a problem here. It may not be a big deal, but I can't log in from these places.” And then we look at that and say, “Hey, okay, maybe it's that segment.” Then when we start seeing alerts from all over, now we can alert and we can take that alert and do something about it.
Catchpoint is the first line of defense. And it's usually the last confirmation when we fix something. If somebody from the help desk is calling, Catchpoint gives us the extra level of comfort to know that, hey, everything’s ok. That’s from having the Catchpoint synthetic use – synthetic users going in and making sure everything is good.
Catchpoint has been so effective for us that we have expanded its use across the whole enterprise. It’s that trust that Catchpoint has enabled me to put into the tool to be able to evangelize it to the rest of the organization. All our applications, from our biggest applications to our smallest ones, both on-prem and in the cloud, are monitored by Catchpoint. Where Catchpoint really works for us is the back-office support: the engineering support. If I have a problem or one of my engineers has a problem, they usually respond to us within the SLA and sometimes within an hour or so.
Having not only a great tool like Catchpoint, but having the support mechanism and the support team to back up that tool, is tremendous for us.