By Oleg Ganopolskiy, VP of Product Operations
Uptime for any system is important and when that system is mission critical, it is essential. Now, I know mission critical is different for every company, but I bet everyone would agree that their billing and payment systems are mission critical. Minutes of downtime can be disastrous, especially if those minutes result in missed payments, lost sales or untracked usage of a product or service (which basically equals lost revenue). The truth is, downtime or degraded performance is simply unacceptable – and unplanned downtime or degraded performance is even worse.
If your company is one of the few that still runs on premise systems, then any downtime is on you to avoid and manage. However, if your company is leveraging cloud technologies to run systems, then downtime isn’t your problem…or is it? When businesses use SaaS or cloud-based solutions, they’ve chosen lower cost of ownership, quick implementations and no maintenance hassles. Basically, this means your provider owes you uptime.
Gartner Research estimates that one hour of downtime on average costs a company $42,000. This could be a lot higher, depending on your company’s situation. And your company pays the price, not your provider. This is why it is essential for companies evaluating solutions to look beyond a pretty UI or a specific feature, and evaluate the production operations. After all, it is your company at risk.
At Aria Systems, we think downtime or any type of degraded performance is unacceptable. We have invested heavily in ensuring our customers – and their customers – do not experience either. In a market where other vendors regularly experience “brownouts” or performance degradation due to volume spikes or long-running queries or database connection exhaustion (or something similar), the Aria Subscription Billing Platform has run at three to four 9’s or better for more than 12 months. And we use “live release” capabilities so that we release new code without scheduled maintenance downtime.
It hasn’t come easily and it has been a focus of ours for a long time. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. Our strategic commitments to our infrastructure ensure we have the capacity to handle spikes (we experienced a 10x spike over the holidays with no impact on performance!) and a backend built for uptime success. We owe it to our customers. And when companies that are looking for a SaaS billing solution go through the vendor selection process, they owe it to themselves to take a deep look into production operations and understand if they really can count on their vendor.
Truth be told, a slick UI or cool feature isn’t worth much if it is down.