Public Status Page
For DOTComm, the linchpin of IT services for both the City of Omaha and Douglas County, managing and communicating system statuses across a myriad of services became an increasingly arduous task. Their legacy, in-house system had started to falter under the demands of modern communication needs and the growing array of services they supported. The exigencies of ensuring timely, transparent updates to over 6,000 IT users, coupled with the diverse landscape of platforms and applications, made it paramount for DOTComm to transition to a state-of-the-art solution, suited for the digital age.
The Douglass Omaha Technology Commission (DOTComm) manages the IT services for the City of Omaha and Douglass County. Founded in 2001 the Organization brought together the services previously delivered by two separate providers through a merger. This initiative was designed to deliver economies of scale, reduce costs and improve service provision by increasing the capacity of the organization. DOTComm undertakes both maintenance services and project management for these two authorities. With a team of almost 90 staff, the organization manages over a hundred websites and supports 6,000 IT users. Many of the websites are available to the general public, with the most popular, the Omaha Metro site dealing with around a million customers each year.
Public Status Page
A decade ago DOTComm developed an in-house dashboard system to monitor websites and IT systems. While it had served its purpose it was increasingly time-consuming to maintain, which was a distraction for the engineering team who wanted to focus on resolving client issues. The old system also required new code to be written every time a new service or product was added to the system in order to ensure it could be measured and monitored.
Web App Developer
"Our communication tool that we use for outages was very labor-intensive and difficult to use. As a result, we tended not to use it, which created problems for our service desk staff responding to requests for updates.
StatusCast is everything a Status Page should be. It enables us to take charge during incidents and convert disasters into customer service achievements."
The service desk handled all the calls about IT related issues, however they didn’t have any visibility of the dashboard monitoring systems used in the business. Even if they did have access the system was designed by engineers for tech staff to use, so it did not provide a user-friendly interface for frontline staff. To resolve this, DOTComm needed to find a system which would provide an accessible dashboard with clear reporting features and the ability to communicate effectively with end users to simplify processes and keep all stakeholders updated.
The fact that StatusCast operates on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis means that there is no need for any investment in hardware or software, and no need to maintain or update any systems in-house. This makes the platform easy to use and extremely cost effective as staff are not distracted maintaining an additional platform.
During the initial meetings and trial period it was clear that StatusCast is quick to setup and easy to use. The dashboard provides fast access to information and a reporting system which presents information in real time. During the trial period DOTComm found that StatusCast easily integrated into their existing systems and processes. The system was tested out with a real problem which occurred, and the service desk and engineering teams were delighted with the way the system worked to enhance communication and aid problem solving.
Customization of the dashboard was a further selling point that the team at DOTComm really liked, together with the easy navigation through the site which means that it is possible to get an overview of the entire suite of websites and systems managed by the firm with a minimal number of click-throughs.
Integration with other product vendors who DOTComm worked with is a further benefit of adopting StatusCast, with the system allowing external first tier alerting systems to send alerts out to StatusCast.
StatusCast then feeds that data to on-call technicians. When things go wrong in the middle of the night, solutions are already being worked on before the calls to the helpdesk start to come through when people get to work.
Web App Developer
"With StatusCast we can communicate application status and uptime to our stakeholders and we can proactively notify customers of scheduled maintenance. StatusCast has become a central hub for DOTComm. The proactive nature of the platform has reduced help desk costs and improved end user satisfaction."
Previously there was not much communication outside of the engineering team, and end-users never really know when new systems would be deployed, when improvements would be made or when there were system problems. This meant that the service desk was inundated with calls for updates about problems. Now the StatusCast status page provides all the information that the helpdesk and our end-users need to know. The team publish all their maintenance activities on StatusCast, and the email integration feature enables them to also notify users about the third-party vendor’s maintenance activities.
The dashboard and the alerting system has enabled our client to meet their KPIs which are an important part of their Service Level Agreement. Stakeholders are all very positive about the new dashboard, in particular the maintenance updates. Internally, the alerting process is really valuable for getting on top of problems quickly, whilst the service desk is much quieter now that stakeholders can see progress updates online.