What is Brink’s primary xMatters use case?
We use xMatters mostly for major incidents. To contact, we use the group on-call schedule feature. We use it to communicate and notify our IT stakeholders and executives. We are about to use it for incident alerting on applications. We will first start using it for one application, and then we will see how it goes.
How has xMatters helped Brink’s?
Previously, we used to do everything manually. We used to call our on-call resources manually. If we wanted to inform someone, we used to use Outlook email. Now, it is much easier because we’re using the subscriptions based on location and affected services, which is amazing.
We have the Inform with xMatters feature and the Engage with xMatters feature. We are also using the major incident feature where it sends SMS and text messages. We use it only to communicate with the IT leadership, and it is great. Previously, we used to send text messages manually using our cell phones. I’m not in the US, I live in Panama, so when I send a message, it appears as a different number. No one knew how to add my number or whatever number they get from my cell phone to their safe contact list. Now, we have a specific phone number that doesn’t change. So, recipients know who is calling, why they are calling, or why they are getting messages.
The customization of those text messages from the web service is also great. xMatters has helped us to build workflows that meet our needs. The ServiceNow workflow is very good, and we have an emergency change management workflow as well. The most important thing for us is our major incident management workflow. We use it for all Sev-1 and Sev-2 incidents and almost everything related to major Incidents.
With xMatters workflows, we’ve also been able to address issues proactively. I created a workflow that integrates with Microsoft Teams to post a notification on our Teams channel so everyone who isn’t subscribed in xMatters can see the notification that we’re sending out. I set up the entire workflow myself, and the process was pretty easy.
xMatters also provides targeted, content-rich notifications to reduce response times in our organizations. It has reduced the response time by at least 50%. Previously, we used to call people manually.
Using xMatters on-call schedules and streamlined escalations have helped us to reduce Sev-1 incidents in our organization too. We can contact any person. There is a 20% to 25% improvement because Sev-1 incidents are more related to the vendor.
What’s most valuable about xMatters?
The on-call schedule that xMatters has for groups is amazing in terms of how it works and how it triggers. You don’t need to do anything. You just upload the users, and you have the calendar of the schedules. It is amazing how it works and how easy it is to work with this feature.
It is very intuitive for someone who is not technical. Some of the groups that we have are not technical, and as soon as they get on the mobile app, if they want to change on-call with someone else, they can quickly do so. It is very intuitive, which helps a lot.
We have integrated xMatters with Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx Teams. We have also integrated it with ServiceNow. It is not hard at all to integrate with other tools. You just need to follow the steps that they have on the screen, and that’s it. I believe xMatters can integrate with a lot of tools. The problem that I’m seeing on our side is that we don’t use most of the tools. Our main ITSM tool is ServiceNow, and I have already integrated it. I’m trying to figure out how to integrate custom applications that are only used at Brinks. We use xMatters REST API for ServiceNow. It is very good. I haven’t had any problems so far with that.
For how long has Brink’s used xMatters?
We have been using this solution for almost a year.
What do you think about the stability of xMatters?
Its stability is great. It is almost 99%. Everything works as expected, and I haven’t had any issues.
What do you think about the scalability of xMatters?
Its scalability is great. I haven’t had any issues. We have 76 technical users using xMatters, and we have around 250 to 300 basic users who are only getting notified by email.
We are using less than 10% features that xMatters has right now. We have plans to enable the incident management feature. As soon as we do that, I believe that the user or technical teams would have more visibility. They are reluctant to use ServiceNow, and this way, they can see that they have an incident, and it will probably give a better experience to our end users. We have a lot of monitoring tools, and if we do everything right, as soon as ServiceNow gets an incident, we can trigger an event instead of waiting for an end-user to advise that something is happening. Currently, our monitoring tools are using actual people to monitor the queue, alerts, and other things. It is not as automatic as it should be. So, we are using less than 10% from xMatters.
How are customer service and technical support?
They have been wonderful. They are great, and they helped me with everything. They are very knowledgeable about my environment. Their response time and everything is very good. I would rate them a 10 out of 10.
Which solution did Brink’s use previously and why the switch?
We used Excel, and we literally used to type the name of the week, month, and the name. So, it wasn’t like a solution, it was just uploading data. It wasn’t that good.
How was the initial setup?
It is a cloud version, so they do all the updates and maintenance. We didn’t have to do any preparation to start using it.
Which other solutions did you evaluate?
We looked at a few other solutions. We settled on xMatters because of the text message feature. We wanted to see everything in a single box on the incidence, but the other applications were divided into boxes. The text was too long, and we didn’t like that.
What other advice do you have?
I would advise others to ask for a PoC to understand the product to make sure that’s what they’re looking for. They should also check if they’re going to use the text message feature and the calls. They should know how much they are going to use and if it is covered with their contract. That’s applicable to most of the companies because that’s an expensive service.
I would also advise others to take all xMatters trainings. There are three-to-four minutes ones. They help you to understand what you can accomplish from the application.
We have been using xMatters mostly to communicate and engage. We are going to use xMatters logs as a part of our operations. We’re going to implement it for new applications. The implementation would start next week, and it is simple. We’re going to use email-based alerting. So, we only need to add the xMatters email there. The rest of the workflow needs to be added in xMatters directly. It’s easy because that application doesn’t have API connections.
We haven’t automated our ticket incident notification process because we have some challenges on our side, and we’re still trying to get better at incident management. We’re trying to change the culture before we enable that feature.
We haven’t made use of coding to expand the flexibility or functionality of xMatters workflows. I haven’t gone that far. We’re mostly in the workflows and Flow Designer. It has not increased the application release rate, but everything has gone as expected. The biggest solution that I have learned from using this solution is how to automatize the communication and engagement with the IT team to improve the mean time to resolve Incidents.
I would rate xMatters a 10 out of 10. It is awesome considering the breadth of features it provides and the cost of the solution.