The holidays are coming


The holidays are coming and you want to spend time with your friends and family but infrastructure incidents can happen at anytime of the year and the last thing you want is to receive that dreaded call on Christmas Day; "Mike, our systems are down and we need you to fix them"



So why not use StillAlive to help StillAlive continuously monitors and test all aspects of your application acting just like one of your customers would. Helping you to avoid any costly issues if the shit hits the fan this Christmas. If StillAlive finds a problem it can text or email you with the details.

Giving you the time to fix the issue long before your customer's notice there ever was an issue in the first place. However not all problems can be fixed by waving a magic wand. When this happens you want to let your customers know you are experiencing some issues.



Thanks to Statushub you can do just that. StillAlive and Statushub are the original dream team help you to find problems, fix them and let your customers know if they are going to be a pain in their ass and for how long.

Introduction to Statushub


Sign to a free trial of StillAlive today and you can also gain a trial of Statushub using the same login details thanks to the beauty of SSO. Purchase our Start-up Plan on StillAlive or our Basic plan on StatusHub before the end of the year and get 10% off your first month with the discount code; SPOCK10.


The real cost of communication failure


How you say something as well as when is crucial. In today's landscape, there is a push towards sending people to do as much as possible online, which will creating a better opportunity cost for your customers to perform various functions relating to the service you provide them with, also now means how you treat that service has been escalated in importance.

#NEW2COGNETO








Hi my name is David and I recently joined the Cogneto team as the Customer Care Team Lead.

Having held similar past roles in the online media development space, I worked alongside and in some great teams making big impacts on both a national and global scale. We’re building a team here with exceptional people to deliver exceptional levels of service for the customers of Cogneto.


Since joining, we’ve have set out a roadmap for the future which you may have heard our founder Ian talk about in our last blog post. As part of this, we’ve set out plans for all our products following the acquisition of PointDNS, StatusHub and StillAlive from Copper Cloud. We never believe in just evolving what’s there, but revolution. In the midst of this, we’ve some cool new services in the works which we’ll be launching soon.

The first of which will be Smasher.io, which we think is incredibly cool and when you get to know it, you’ll wonder why no-one’s done this sooner. I’m dying to tell you more about this, but it’s a service we’re putting together for a launch very soon which we believe will be a proper revolution for website testing.

To sign up for updates on Smasher, and announcements on the launch head off to Smasher.io and pop in your email address. As we’ve sneak peaks to show you, we’ll put them on that mailing list. Who knows – you might even get beta access?

As a result of our first all-hands meeting after migrating PointDNS, StillAlive and StatusHub into our frameworks, discussion around the future of each of our products internally has been exciting. As part of this excitement, we want to inject more value into these services, and what supports them.

As the guy charged with managing how we interact with our customers, I’m going to be alot more visible in your support and interactions with us. To kick this off, I’ve been reaching out to some of our less active customers through in-app discussions with the amazing Intercom.io tool we integrate with, as well as helping out the team with your support requests to us.

During these interactions, I’ve been privileged to hear some amazing feedback from you and some of your issues with the services we now own. When you take the time to provide us with feedback; good, bad and ugly, we’re extremely grateful, as you’re not only helping us to grow as your service provider who’s taken over some fantastic services, but to help us set a thermometer against how you feel about them to ensure we not only better deliver the services, but also raise the bar on the customer service level you should be getting with them.

As such, I’ve made it my mission to have your Customer Care team engage with you regularly. If you’ve a suggestion, or a gripe? I want the team to hear it, because they’re tasked with contributing to our internal forum where we run through customer feedback; dissecting it, discussing it and measuring it against our own data (which we’ve been busy adding new systems in the background to the services) to help us quantify and qualify the best way to make these great services even better.

We understand you’ve had a level of service in the past, and have certain feelings around that, but as part of my mission to drive our mission around customer experience, I’m working with the team to establish SLA’s so we can bring you a great support service. The first step of this has been for the first time with these services, building up a knowledge base for each of the services, so you have an actual self-help system to save time. As part of this, we’ll not only have easy-to-follow articles, but videos too.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, this all takes time, but we’re close to getting the starting point for these ready to go live – and using our in-app messaging system, we’ll be sure to let you know about it as well as adding it to the top navigation bars on each of the tools.

We are super excited here at Cogneto about getting to know all of you better, working closer with you on the cool things you’re using our services for, and where they’re making what you do for your own customer’s experience better. We’ve been working with some of you on developing case studies around what you do using our services, and what they do for your business – so we can’t wait to share those with all of our great customers, which we hope will help you get the most out of what these services can really do.

So, if you’ve any questions, want to share some feedback, or showcase what you’re doing by taking part in one of our upcoming case studies, drop us an email at hello[at]cogneto.io, or tweet us, @CognetoApps.

cogneto_david

David Farrell
Customer Care Team Lead

Cogneto & Customers – change is coming.





Customers are absolutely the lifeblood of any business. They are the reason a business gets to exist & grow in the first place. Everything a business is able to achieve while having a great team inside is largely made possible because of equally great customers who continue to give their support. When customers give feedback; doesn’t matter if it’s one customer or ten, you should listen. And we have been.


Since acquiring PointDNS, StatusHub, StillAlive & Twist.io, we’ve had some great engagements with many of you, our customers. It has been hugely humbling for me as Founder of Cogneto that so many took some of their valuable time to contact us, share their thoughts on the services they use; the good, the bad & the ugly.

We’re in the early days of the transition of things from Copper Cloud Inc to ourselves. Our team is growing, and we’re getting down to working on roadmaps for each of these products as we look at the feedback, feature requests, suggestions & in some cases headaches the services are causing our customers.

Last month we had a company all-hands where we reviewed everything around these services. How they’re priced, what value they give to customers, & even the user experience. We understand you love using these services. We know in the past price hikes under their previous stewardship were put on them, & people weren’t happy. There won’t be price increases. If anything, we plan on adding increased value to the services in their existing service plans, with simplification of the plans on PointDNS to bring it into line with StillAlive & StatusHub. Now, this is not a good-news/bad-news scenario. This is all good news.

We’re planning to add some new functionality to the services, making them a little more intuitive, simplifying some of that functionality, and the biggest change will be the mobile-first approach we will be bringing to the control panel interfaces. Right now for a mobile experience, the services aren’t great on a smartphone. On a tablet, they’re decent. But this level of user experience just isn’t good enough for us at Cogneto.

We’ve alot of work ahead of us to make the user experience a better base level experience to keep building upon, & this will take up the remainder of 2015. In 2016, we’ll be adding some very cool new features which we’ll disclose closer to the time of release. We’ve taken on board all the great feedback from users of the services.

Thanks for your patience, your continued use of the services – keep feeding back to us as you have; we’ll hear it & listen to it more importantly.

Ian Signature



Ian Bergin
Founder & GM
Cogneto.io

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads (ok, we do!)





Doc Brown might not need roads, but when you’ve incredible tools like PointDNS, StatusHub, StillAlive & Twist they do need a product road-map. Since we finalised the acquisition from Copper Cloud Inc, there’s been a massive buzz of excitement here at Cogneto HQ as we look to see what’s missing in the arsenal of each.

You, our amazing customers have been very gracious with your patience during the transition (and we know some of it wasn’t smooth), but your pro-activeness in letting us know what’s up has been terrific.

As a user of one of our tools, did you know:

  • PointDNS has users in 138 different countries around the world & is used to manage over 220,000 domains globally
  • West Coast USA is the most popular place in the world for users of StatusHub, especially in San Francisco
  • Australia loves StillAlive. Alot. So.So much so, it has almost the same amount of users there as the UK. However, in 57 countries that use StillAlive around the world, just 10% of our global user-base is in the U.S..

We are in the closing stages of finalising our product road-maps for these tools, and we’re struggling to contain our excitement around some of the updates we’ll be releasing for them. We’ve waded through a ton of feedback, read your feature request e-mails from the last 6 months, & we’ve an all-hands this month at Cogneto HQ where our team from around the globe will be joining us for a think-in to bring to bear our experience in re-shaping these services to be closer to the best user experience & user value they can be.

Ian Signature



Ian Bergin
Founder & GM
Cogneto.io

New Status Site for Cogneto Services






As part of our commitment to driving better levels of services for users of PointDNS, StillAlive, Twist & StatusHub, we’ve commissioned a new status site for our customers to track what’s going on with their services with us, which will issue any updates via e-mail/sms & allow a real-time view of what’s going on.

What’s the 4-1-1?


While right now this is a basic view of things, we will be over the coming weeks be adding more details to this to drill down into things. As a further point to this, following any service interruptions or issues that occur, we will send details of any issues to customers via their service control panels as in our experience, given the general e-mail loads that the average person receives, very often these e-mail notifications go unseen, end up in a spam folder, or in another folder of choice due to an e-mail client mail rule. Logging into your service control panel displays any updates in a clearer manner & keeps the experience joined up. Any resolutions will be issued to those on the subscriber lists as part of that process.

This resource is available at:

http://status.cogneto.io

Why do this?

There is nothing worse than not knowing what is going on with services you depend on as part of your mission critical management suite. it’s up to us to communicate any issues with those services you get from us using all the tools at our disposal in a pro-active manner. While most cloud services are delivered on an ‘As-Is-As-Available’ basis, it’s not good enough to take that approach with the basic courtesy of communicating when there’s an issue, & when services are returned to normal. It’s accepted generally that services can have interruptions to availability, communications interruptions are not acceptable.

TL:DR

We want to clearly let you know the who/what/when/why for your services in a transparent way that’s easily digest-able at a glance without having to read a novel to know what’s going on.

Website Woes and Launch Failures




HSE's free GP care Registration site crashes on launch
HSE’s free GP care Registration site crashes on launch


This is every web project manager’s worst nightmare. It making front page news of one of the country’s biggest online news portals is even worse. On Monday, the HSE launched a new site for Free GP Care Registration in Ireland, and due to overwhelming demand, the website could not handle the initial ‘rush through the door’.

Spill in Aisle 4


Leaving the ‘who’ aside here for a moment to look at the issue, this is not an uncommon event. A new website or online resource is launched whose aim is to engage people in a self-service/online manner to shift them away from footfall into offices and administration staff resources will always be faced with this issue. Anyone whose ever tried to buy a ticket for the hottest show coming soon in Ticketmaster knows exactly what this is like; the website becoming unresponsive, grinding to a halt or ‘falling over’.
In my time in the Cloud Services space, I’ve dealt with everything from online store launches to Dragon’s Den contestants appearing on the show, utility companies relaunching their customer management portals to financial institutions launching new portal sites. And often, the results are the same despite best advice. The website takes a pasting like a Conor McGregor opponent.

Why does this happen and do people allow it to happen?


Let’s be clear here. No-one deliberately wakes up to the launch of a new online resource where a significant financial investment has been made  and consciously says “Hey, who cares if it falls over as the boss looks on.” It is utterly naive to also assume there’s a level of carelessness about these kind of failures. It is similarly over-simplified to parlay it into online speak like ‘EPICFAIL’ or ‘n00b-move’.What in actuality has happened is down to usually one of two thing;
  1. Poor planning
  2. A lack of tools

The Million Dollar Question: ‘How to you stop it happening?’


he-who-fails-to-plan
Planning is key. It’s not enough to meticulously plan the content and functionality of your online resource. Nor is it enough to make sure you’ve enough compute, disk IO and network traffic availability. Most of the failure stems from the omission to include a plan to test these resources under load. This form of testing will demonstrate several things:
  1. The performance of your infrastructure design to handle the incoming flood/waves of requests for pages
  2. Whether your network can handle what could inadvertently become a by-product unwitting DoS attack on your network and compute resources due to the nature of the content being served
  3. How interactive portions of the site that process input (i.e. forms) perform while a mass of simple webpage requests are going on
  4. Where optimization under load is needed for the content being served.
  5. How your scaling technology or ability to scale on the fly works (if it works at all)
The second key is understanding that in today’s landscape of commodity compute services, there are tools available for this and services using these tools available.
Won’t somebody please think of the Children?
At Cogneto, we’ve been involved with large scale website launches where using our CTS product (a boutique part of our StillAlive Enterprise Services), we’ve handled the performance and load testing of interactive and passive parts of sites testing at various user loads; simultaneous waves of registrations, ramped page request loads across ‘hot’, ‘tepid’ and ‘cold’ content on the site (‘hot’ being the most likely hit content, with ‘cold’ being the most infrequently hit content), all of which was able to kick back great performance metrics and alerts on what was going on with resource requests from the application layer, and even allow the coordination of incident response alerts using our Twist.io platform to the affected parties managing the various levels in the stack, i.e. IaaS, Network, Content Platform – with them all being able to co-ordinate their responses through the socialised experience Twist offers).

If you’ve an upcoming web project launch or an existing one you’ve concerns about, please get in contact with our Still Alive CTS Experience team today, and we can help you avoid the front-page woes.

Hello Cogneto-verse. We are here.


We are Cogneto. 

As a valued customer, I wanted to share some exciting news with you and to take this time to introduce ourselves. We are Cogneto.io. We have acquired Point DNSStillAliveStatusHub and Twist.io from Copper Cloud Inc.. We are a team who understands developers and the online space, with the last decade spent working in the Cloud services space with everyone from start-ups to large multinationals and Government agencies across the globe.

This acquisition will have a positive impact for you, our customer as we bring our experience to shape, guide and make the services you use better. As part of this acquisition, your billing will now be paid to Cogneto and appear same on your payment methods with us. You will see this billing change during your next billing cycle.

All existing methods of support will remain valid, and we will be working to improve support services in the coming months to make these great services you’ve come to depend on even better.
If you use Twitter, please follow us @CognetoApps where we look forward to engaging with you, our customers more.

Thank you for your on-going support and we look forward to continuing to provide you with the best services, user experience and with an exciting line of new developments in the future for the services you love to use.


Ian Bergin Founder & General Manager Cogneto.io