True Digital Group are one of the core businesses of True Group, Thailand’s fully integrated telecommunications and digital service provider. Aiming to become the ultimate digital enabler in Southeast Asia, True Digital Group continuously expand their ecosystem to deliver a portfolio of high-quality digital services to customers. True Digital Group’s key businesses include digital media, O2O and privilege, data analytics, IoT and digital solutions, as well as True Digital Academy. 

In the consumer market, True Digital Group aim to enable digital lifestyle through their flagship application TrueID, which develops on top of an innovative digital media platform. TrueID offers consumers a wide variety of content including live TV, sports, movies, music, news, and other lifestyle-related content. TrueID also offers chat, voice, and video communication services within the application.

Scoring a winning goal: New Relic help TrueID with lightning-fast setup

Pakavat Nonkunakorn, Head of Operations Engineering at True Digital Group, could finally breathe a sigh of relief as he watched Hugo Lloris lead his team to the winners’ podium. 

Playing under thunderous skies in Moscow, Lloris led France to World Cup victory with a 4–2 win against Croatia. 

Looking back at that historic day in mid-July 2018, Pakavat recalls the mad dash his organisation had to make to accommodate the decision to stream the FIFA Men’s World Cup.

‘There are so many stages of content preparation before you can start streaming to customers’, says Pakavat. ‘We had to set up everything from the initial streaming of the satellite to us, all the way through to the final playout to viewers.’

The World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events around the globe. 

Almost 1.6 billion individuals in Asia enjoyed World Cup coverage either by in-home linear TV, digital platforms, or out-of-home, accounting for almost 44% of global reach, according to FIFA.

Going granular

As an added pressure, TrueID were the only content platform in Thailand that obtained a streaming license. This meant they were the only screen that football fans could rely on, making it all the more critical to provide a flawless service.

If capacity and the tight time frame weren’t challenging enough, the World Cup also took place just as TrueID were moving to multi-cloud architecture, specifically True IDC and Google Cloud. That journey that is now in its home stretch. 

‘We were in the middle of the transition amid high customer demand, with a very short period to develop and deploy. It was very much a sprint rather than a marathon’, Pakavat says.

True Digital Group found New Relic to be a significantly valuable tool throughout the process. It was most important when it came to monitoring and alerting, because it enabled a much more proactive approach.

True Digital Group also wanted to go much further than traditional monitoring through a system perspective—looking at issues such as broken code or a server being down. They wanted insight into the customer experience and how issues were actually impacting customers. To do this, they set up a command centre that was able to provide complete observability across all device types, including different mobile devices and web browsers.

‘Many times when you’re troubleshooting you need a very transparent system so all the teams can see the same information. With New Relic we could actually solve the transparency issue between our dev teams and other teams... New Relic shows the details and blocks between backend and frontend’

Pakavat Nonkunakorn, Head of Operations Engineering, True Digital Group

Using New Relic, they were able to map any issues to the user experience and get better perspectives on the business or customer impact, Pakavat says. This enabled True Digital Group to fix problems more quickly as well as reduce the level of escalation.

‘Many times when you’re troubleshooting, you need a very transparent system so all the technicians can see the same information. With New Relic, we could actually solve the transparency issue between our dev teams and other teams, for example, the frontend and backend team. New Relic shows the details and blocks between backend and frontend’, Pakavat explains. 

‘New Relic helped us a lot with transparency and troubleshooting. We had the whole company working on the World Cup—everyone needed to be involved.’

An alliance built on trust

True Digital Group view New Relic very much as a strategic partner. As the group continues to grow and aims to keep their services at least one step ahead of the market standards, New Relic will help to ensure that TrueID is performing at its best.

In the first quarter of 2020, TrueID were the top downloaded application in the entertainment category for both Android and iOS in Thailand, with monthly video views of 4.2 billion views and has reached its highest video on demand (VOD) views at 36.9 million.  

‘We're not just looking at New Relic for tools and software … having them support our business goals is a major aspect of our partnership. How can New Relic actually solve our problems? We're going back to the root of why we want to monitor and alert: that we need to know the issue before our customers and users. And when we know it, how can we solve it faster?’ Pakavat explains.

‘Throughout our journey, New Relic has been a partner we’ve always been able to rely on. We look forward to a long-lasting alliance with many World Cups to follow’, Pakavat says.