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The ability to have a microscopic view of each and every moving component via the New Relic dashboards and instrumentation is something which is very, very useful.
Piyush Goel, SVP of Engineering, Capillary Technologies

Capillary Technologies is a leading omnichannel loyalty management and customer engagement platform used by 400+ enterprises comprising leading apparel & fashion retailers, F&B and QSR chains, supermarkets & hypermarkets, fuel retailers and merchants across 30+ countries in India, Middle East, SEA, China and the US. Capillary’s platform powers 120K+ stores, 450+ million consumers, and 100+ loyalty programs. Capillary provides solutions that enable brands to run their Loyalty Programs, get a 360-degree view using a Consumer Data Platform and use the insights to drive AI-powered personalized engagement across channels. It provides solutions to 400+ marquee brands. Pizza Hut, PUMA, Bata, VF Brands, ABFRL, Valiram, Al Futtaim Group, Tata Group, Asics, HP, Abbott and KFC, trust Capillary to enable easy and seamless consumer experiences. Over 500 Capillary associates across 10 global offices are continually innovating to find new ways for brands to make their consumers’ lives easier, and experiences memorable.
 

The challenge of rapid expansion

In this day and age, customer experience is everything. As technology evolves rapidly, instant gratification is expected. Thus the need for omnichannel loyalty management and customer engagement platform arises so that companies can reward their customers and continue to build robust marketing strategies.

That’s where Capillary Technologies delivers. It’s a company driven by innovation with its AI-powered loyalty and customer engagement platform enabling brands to get a 360° single view of customer and inventory across all channels. This enables brands to stitch together previously siloed customer journeys with data and build unified, cross-channel strategies that deliver a consistent, omnichannel experience.

It’s no wonder that Capillary has won several awards, most recently "Best use of technology in a loyalty program" at the Customer Fest Awards 2020. But this success comes hand-in-hand with rising demand and rapid global expansion. For any company, such rapid scaling puts a strain on existing systems and infrastructure. As Piyush Goel, VP of Engineering explains when Capillary’s infrastructure was growing year on year as new global deployments were added.

"By 2018, we had already launched four global deployments, representing around 800 servers running across our different regions, as well as more than 120 microservices. We were anticipating expanding into two more regions."

This expansion was great progress for Capillary, but it meant that its existing tools were starting to struggle. Back in 2018, the team was using several older tools and logging frameworks to monitor their systems in an attempt to gain visibility across the stack resulting in a lot of back-and-forth and inefficient workflows.

"We were apprehensive of how far we would be able to go with our existing tools in terms of troubleshooting and debugging and giving a high uptime and availability to our customers. We needed a more professional platform … like New Relic," Piyush says.

The power of full observability

Deploying and onboarding New Relic One was swift and easy. Rohit Raveendran, Principal Architect at Capillary Technologies, says it was "an easy transition to get a grasp of how to use the tool itself." New Relic’s query language, NRQL, was also easy to adopt because Capillary already used SQL extensively in its products. Devs soon started using the SDK to add custom attributes and enhance the application.

New Relic One has enabled Capillary to consolidate its alerting infrastructure. The team can receive proactive alerts and notifications in the event of service degradation, and teams can respond and react much faster. Capillary Architect Saurabh Kumar says that troubleshooting is now much easier since deploying New Relic, with less "back and forth."

"Previously, we used to go to multiple tools and then check the logs. After the addition of New Relic One, all these things became very simple for us because everything was consolidated under a single umbrella. Basically, we could identify the pattern first with the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) metrics through the transactions. If we want to dig into details, we can just go to the distributor tracing," Saurabh says. Some of its advantages from developer’s side are:

  • There have been many occasions when Capillary collaborated with New Relic to swiftly identify issues before the business and its customers are impacted.
  • “New Relic One has saved the day on multiple instances. Using the thread profiler, for instance, we were able to identify the exact object that was causing issues,” Rohit says.
  • One of the tools that works brilliantly is New Relic One’s thread profiler which is a low-impact profiling tool used in production to identify bottlenecks in an application.

Saurabh recalls another incident more than a year ago where New Relic One saved the day. “We had incurred higher load balancing costs of about 40 percent (more) than usual, and it was due to a bug that was never caught.

“New Relic One helped with identifying that particular traffic pattern and the particular end-point causing the anomaly. That saved the day in terms of incurring more costs,” Saurabh says.

In another situation, one of their servers was continuously going down for a few hours. “We were trying to figure out what was happening … We checked the logs, micro services, and others, but New Relic One had the answer – we checked the New Relic One dashboard and saw where the bottleneck was coming from.

“From there, we identified that there’s a pattern to the problem – traffic had increased due to one particular merchant who had just gone live on our platform. We were able to determine that the merchant had launched a very lucrative promotion, but because of a bad integration, they ended up bombarding our systems heavily,” Rohit says.

The dev team at Capillary has also enhanced communication and awareness across the organisation by creating and configuring custom dashboards for product managers. During these times, New Relic One’s dashboards have been key to the improvements that Capillary has seen.

"They also log in from time to time and see how their products are faring across global regions. At the leadership level, we don't want to look into every operational or service level item; we are more interested in the overall SLO (service level objective) and product health. We have created and configured dashboards accordingly - within a matter of five to ten minutes, we get all the information we need. And we can work with the teams to prioritise the work and help them make decisions and plan better," Piyush explains.

Instant visibility, instant troubleshooting

Capillary has helped to positively impact millions of dollars in revenue for its customers who require deep insight into their digital customer journeys after deploying New Relic One. In one particular instance, New Relic One was instrumental in helping Capillary quickly identify issues that heavily impacted a key customer’s campaign performance. As a result, this client not only renewed a lucrative contract with Capillary but saw a growth in their key business KPI by five times its original value.

One of the criticalities for Capillary’s customers is when it comes to sale events as these frequently see a five to ten times spike in traffic and activity. With New Relic One, Capillary can prepare for events by adding more capacity, tightening alerts and monitoring, and ensuring that customers have a successful event.

Overall, New Relic One has delivered a 75-80% improvement on troubleshooting times. What previously took around an hour has now been cut to just ten minutes. New Relic One’s ability to correlate across services and systems is powering this efficiency, saving considerable time and money.

Uptime and platform stability have also improved significantly, from 99.5% uptime to consistently hitting 99.9%. This is what many large enterprise customers demand now, so it’s vital that Capillary can deliver it.

"Apart from that, if you have a stable product and your system is performing well, it gives a lot of confidence to our customers that we are able to generate more revenue by upselling more products to them over time," Piyush says.

This confidence is evident in Capillary’s quarterly NPS score, which has continually improved since deploying New Relic One.

"The key benefit is (having) the ability to zoom in into any particular point in time … the ability to have a microscopic view of each and every moving component via a New Relic One dashboard and instrumentation is something which is very, very useful," Piyush says.