MPB

Full-stack out-of-hours support for a specialist e-commerce platform

The client

MPB is a specialist e-commerce platform where users can purchase, sell or trade used camera equipment. They recirculate more than 350,000 items of used kit every year, extending the life and creative potential of photo and video equipment for creators around the world. The company has attracted around 500,000 customers across Europe and North America since it was established in 2011.

The MPB website is transactional – users can buy, sell and trade on the platform – meaning it’s the key source of revenue for the business. The custom-built platform is hosted with Google Cloud.

The challenge

The MPB team wanted to outsource their support capability, to allow their developers to focus on driving improvements across the platform. They required a specialist support solution for two key reasons:

  • The website was a brand new build, and the technical documentation was still being developed. This meant handing over support to a separate team would prove challenging. The outsourced support team needed to be flexible and able to scale up support as the understanding and documentation of the platform grew.
  • Site failures, or bringing the site down would have a huge impact on the client’s revenue. MPB needed a team that could make carefully informed decisions based on a set of SLOs, rather than a generalised approach to incident management.

The outsourced team also needed to be able to support the site out of hours, in order to keep the site accessible for any customer across any region or time zone. They needed to be able to triage, incident manage and support the full-stack: from the GCP infrastructure all the way up to the application and third-party integrations.

The solution

MPB approached Just After Midnight when considering their options for around-the-clock management of the platform. They trusted our expert team was specialised enough to handle the management of the brand new build with care, whilst also being global enough to tackle the issue of out-of-hours support with ease.

Our solution for the client was our signature out-of-hours full-stack support. We began by onboarding the documentation that was available, creating an initial support solution that was light touch and would not disrupt the client’s own support setup. As more detail about the platform was exchanged between JAM and the client, we scaled up our support solution to our full capability.

MPB implemented alerting thresholds based on SLOs. These have been set to alert on thresholds which represent a failure level, but in hours of lower website traffic, they can trigger alerts from just a few errors in a small sample size. Our incident management team uses Prometheus as a second level of triage, to track the failure rate as a percentage over an agreed period of time. This enables us to make a more informed decision on the severity of the impact before taking action.

Results

Our support has been scaled up to full capacity and the engineering team have consistently kept to the SLO agreement, carefully tracking performance through Prometheus. MPB are happy with the specialist service and flexibility of our team. 

500,000 customers
across Europe and North America
1 minute
average response time to incidents
SHARE