Spot Money, one of South Africa’s top-ranking open banking platforms, was launched in January 2021. As a banking platform that’s not aligned to any specific bank, Spot Money offers consumers financial flexibility — products from a range of financial service providers using various payment platforms.
Spot Money’s biggest challenge: everyone gets jumpy if they can’t see their funds. This is even truer if they can’t make payments when they need to. When it comes to people’s money and how they spend and save it, reliable access to accounts is critical. That’s why Spot Money’s business depends on systems being up 24/7/365. It’s also where IT monitoring comes in — making sure those systems remain up and running.
Too onerous to do on your own
According to Spot Money’s chief technology officer, Phil Benoit, the company had implemented some small-scale monitoring of its own in the months after it launched. But given its status as a start-up, the company quickly realised that the effort of building a monitoring solution while also in the process of developing its own platform with a small team was unrealistic. Spot Money needed to focus on its core.
“We were put in touch with Sourcing by Ignition, who said that if we were struggling to deploy our own monitoring solutions, it might be worth exploring what Sourcing had to offer. The suggestion has definitely proven very valuable to us,” says Benoit. “It’s reduced a lot of the burden on me as part of a small start-up where time is very limited. It’s also reduced the burden on our development team, who know that as long as they deploy our services in a consistent way, the team at Sourcing can do the monitoring necessary to ensure our services remain reliable to customers.”
Benoit says Spot Money has set the monitoring parameters with Sourcing’s suggestions and guidance, and Spot Money had to do minimal input to get everything up and running. Now he simply gets calls from Sourcing if there’s a problem, and often only when a third-party system has gone down, affecting Spot Money’s services. This means that the notification has to go to the third party so that Benoit himself can go back to sleep when the notification call happens at 2am.
Keeping Spot Money’s customers satisfied
Spot Money’s sense of security in the reliability of its systems has been significantly improved. “We know there’s someone who’s got our back 24/7, and when we deploy new services, we wake up in the morning with the confidence that, unless we hear otherwise, everything in the architecture is up and running,” says Benoit. Effective monitoring gives Spot Money a competitive advantage, but the main concern (and benefit) of effective monitoring remains keeping customers happy.
When there’s a problem, Spot Money is able to communicate effectively with customers to assure them that their money is safe, what the specific problem is, steps being taken to resolve it, and what the time to resolution will be. Software outages are a normal part of business, and letting customers know what’s going on is vital.
A partner, rather than a supplier
When first scouting for IT monitoring systems, Spot Money looked around at the plug-in solutions available in the market and the work that would be required to integrate them into its platform. According to Benoit, they tend to use standardised approaches that aren’t necessarily tailored to Spot Money’s needs. He says some major players tend to give you a lot of documentation — and then place the burden of plugging all their code into your application and getting it working for you.
“We went through that with one of the providers and quickly realised that it was going to be a massive task for our small team to get through all that. Then we had a chat with Russell Stather, Ignition’s chief digital transformation officer, who said that they were working with Sourcing, were really comfortable with the solution and had enjoyed the way that Sourcing focused on understanding their business and tailoring the IT monitoring solution to their needs.”
Sourcing’s strength seems to be understanding that every technology stack is unique…
He says Sourcing’s approach has always been to ask themselves what Spot Money’s particular problem is and trying to create a solution, as opposed to simply delivering a product in a cookie-cutter fashion. “Sourcing’s strength seems to be understanding that every technology stack is unique, and really digging into the nuances of the challenges you face and how you need any potential outages reported and resolved.
According to Benoit, interaction with Sourcing has always been friendly and collegial. He says the cost of a good IT monitoring partner is lower than the cost of doing it yourself, since you get access to a small slice of a broad range of monitoring expert specialists, rather than having to build all the capability yourself. On top of that, the human aspect of the relationship with Sourcing is key for Benoit, who says he has appreciated both the apologetic approach when a monitoring team member has to call him at 2am, as well as the persistence they’ve shown in getting hold of him in order to address an IT outage.
Sourcing, The Monitoring Company is a global monitoring service provider that can help you tackle and solve your IT infrastructure monitoring problems today, using a single technology platform covering hundreds of technology integrations — wrapped in class-leading service methodology.
- This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned