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Larry Radtke - PeerSpot reviewer
Intermediate Infrastructure Software Administrator at Gordon Food Service
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Event alerting and retention are important for us, and we have definitely saved money with improved time to react and minimized downtime
Pros and Cons
  • "For us, their biggest feature is event alerting and the retention of those events. This way, if something goes wrong, we can provide a report of everything that was sent out and everything that was captured."
  • "In terms of intuitiveness and flexibility of xMatters when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations, for me, as an IT professional, setting it up isn't that big of a deal, but I understand that some people struggle with it because when you get wrapped up into it. You can get lost. It's not super complex, but it's complicated enough to the point where you can say that you should have done it another way. The shift part can be confusing for some people. In that respect, one of the shortcomings my team has found is when we have to add another person, such as a new hire, to xMatters, we can't add them to a group within xMatters without having to put them on a shift. If we put them in a group, they have to be on-call. We can create their account, and then they're just out there in limbo until their team says, "You have to be on this shift." One piece of feedback for xMatters is to figure out how to have manageable groups so that they're contactable from xMatters. They do not necessarily have to be on a shift right from the start or at all for that matter."

What is our primary use case?

My team manages the xMatters platform for our company. We're not just end-users of the platform. We configure and manage the platform for our company.
So, I'm probably a superuser.

I wasn't around when they started the implementation process, but I know what they basically needed was real-time alerts. So, if somebody were to create a high-priority incident and we had something that was production-down, we needed to alert the appropriate people in order to get that resolved. If I remember correctly, they didn't have anything before xMatters, or the solution they did have was very flaky and didn't process as xMatters would. So, the use case for it was to get less downtime.

There is also the business continuity side, such as knowing what locations people are in, where xMatters is used a lot more than the IT side. For example, if there is an active shooter in a single location, you can use the business continuity side of xMatters to send out an alert to all of the employees asking them to take cover, get out, and do something, or if a building blows up or is on fire, you can send out a message through the business continuity to say that nobody comes to work.

How has it helped my organization?

We definitely saved money because of time to react and minimized downtime. Efficiencies have gone up because less downtime makes for better efficiencies. Auditing, reporting, and logging are helpful when an event kicks off. If everything is configured properly, when an event kicks off, we have a record. For example, we can say, "This was supposed to be sent out at this time on this date. Here you go." We also have a record of whether somebody reacted to it or not.  xMatters not only sends out an event alert; it also tells you, "I'm trying to message this person after however many minutes, and their shift is set up. This person did not respond. We're going to go to the next one." So, the escalation process for this is on point.

We have a couple of integrations. ServiceNow is one. Its integration isn't seamless, but it is as close as you could probably get in the IT world. We also use a Lenel integration, which is like a hard access deal. It is home-built though, and it is almost like it shouldn't be there.

When I first started on the team, we had an ITSM tool called EasyVista. The integration that we used from EasyVista to xMatters was a completely customized integration. We customized the xMatters side of it and the EasyVista side of it to super tailor everything down to a T, and then, a few years ago, we moved over to ServiceNow, and we decided we didn't want to do so much customization within either tool. So, we went more out-of-the-box, which produced some issues and problems. They were not necessarily from xMatters themselves. They were more or less related to the process change where we had to tell the users that this is how it's going to be going forward. It won't be the same, and we understand it won't be the same, but to enable better upgrades and less vigorous testing, we want to use more of an out-of-the-box integration. It was great that xMatters already had a pre-built integration to ServiceNow. They're a ServiceNow partner. So, basically, you install the plugin and set up the plugin for your instances, URLs, endpoints, and other things, and then you're good to go. You don't have to change form data. You don't have to change values and variables. It was a big positive.

I personally don't use its logs. Our company uses the log part. So, if we have an auditable incident or issue, or something comes up that needs to be traced and audited, they use the logs, and they use the reports and everything else that xMatters gathers during an event alert. We'll use all that information even for legal purposes. I'm sure that's happened in the past.

We use xMatters’ REST API. It is excellent for customizing processes and information.

It has 100% helped us to automate our incident notification process. Before this, we didn't have any escalation process other than a manual call to the next person.

The incident notification process has definitely affected our business in a positive way. We can now set up escalations, and we can set an alert to contact xMatters and trigger certain form data. So, when there is a high-priority event, xMatters takes over the notifications and then escalations.

What is most valuable?

For us, their biggest feature is event alerting and the retention of those events. This way, if something goes wrong, we can provide a report of everything that was sent out and everything that was captured.

What needs improvement?

In terms of intuitiveness and flexibility of xMatters when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations, for me, as an IT professional, setting it up isn't that big of a deal, but I understand that some people struggle with it because when you get wrapped up into it. You can get lost. It's not super complex, but it's complicated enough to the point where you can say that you should have done it another way. The shift part can be confusing for some people. In that respect, one of the shortcomings my team has found is when we have to add another person, such as a new hire, to xMatters, we can't add them to a group within xMatters without having to put them on a shift. If we put them in a group, they have to be on-call. We can create their account, and then they're just out there in limbo until their team says, "You have to be on this shift." One piece of feedback for xMatters is to figure out how to have manageable groups so that they're contactable from xMatters. They do not necessarily have to be on a shift right from the start or at all for that matter. That would be the number one thing. Our boss says all the time, "Well, you got to create them and add them to the group," but we can't exactly add them to a group because we're not on that team. We don't know if they should be on-call, and if they should, whether the shift they have installed is during the business day, after-hours, or a weekend. Everybody has got their own shift created, and we would not know what shift to put them in. We could start asking that on new user creations, but when we're doing new hires, it's more or less just common practice to create all their accounts. We can't create an X manager's account for a few things. That's not how we have it set up. We could change all of that, but that's where there is a gap. 

One of the shortcomings or room for improvement is that their mobile application seems subpar. They could really revamp it and make it function a lot better. There have been too many times when it timed out, and you don't even get to know it. You could go a month or two months without getting an on-call alert, and then, you get one, but it is never alerted in the application. So, if you don't have your cellphone number set up, you'll never get notified, and then you go back to the app to find out that it has automatically logged you out, and you can't get back in. The mobile applications, for both iOS and Android, should definitely be revamped.

Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
634,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We've only ever had two issues with xMatters as a vendor, and when we did have those issues, they were on top of it and fixed those issues immediately.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is excellent. It is very scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Their support has been fantastic. We have regular meetings with account managers and even tech managers on that side. We might be one of their larger clients. So, every time they have a major release, they set up meetings with us, and we can go through the new features they want to introduce and the stuff that has been maturing lately. It is a very good relationship. I would rate their support a nine out of ten. There is nothing against them, but there is always room for improvement somewhere.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have not used any similar solution. This would be the first one for me. I know ServiceNow offers one, but I don't know how good that is. I have heard of a couple of other solutions such as PagerDuty, but I don't know anything about them.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't around when they started the implementation process. In terms of maintenance, they handle most of their upgrades. I like that if they have a major release, we're getting put on that major release. We aren't 10 releases behind because they manage all of the instances themselves, which is great, and that's one thing off my team's back.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I know roughly what we pay per year. For what we use it for and what its purpose is, it is very valuable.

What other advice do I have?

Our workflows are built in ServiceNow for incident pieces. In xMatters, they are built for just the form data. So, we have built workflows, but that's just our particular instance. We primarily use workflows on xMatters for form data. On the workflows on our ServiceNow side, we interject the REST or an email integration to xMatters. During the workflow of ServiceNow, based on the type of event, we trigger xMatters and move on to the next piece of that workflow.

xMatters' on-call schedules and streamlined escalations must have helped to reduce SEV 1 incidents in our organization, but I can't give the numbers. Now, people are getting notified, and we have records of all the high-priority and critical-priority things. So, they've done a little tech debt resurgence there and tried to minimize all of that. Nobody gets woken up at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, or 5:00 in the morning.

Our incorporation of xMatters into our application delivery workflows is minimal. We do use Dynatrace alerts to message xMatters. Other than that, it is basically for when you have configured databases that go down or things like that. It is all reactive. We don't have to set up anything proactive.

It hasn't helped to increase the application release rate. It is probably at a stagnant level. It is a resource constraint thing for most of the teams around here, and it has nothing to do with the tool's shortcomings. It is all resource-based.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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PeerSpot user
Ana Cotes - PeerSpot reviewer
Incident and Major Incident Manager at Brinks Incorporated
Real User
Top 20
Improves the mean time to resolve incidents and allows us to customize text messages and send them from a specific phone number
Pros and Cons
  • "The on-call schedule that they have for groups is amazing in terms of how it works and how it triggers. You don't need to do anything. You just upload the users, and you have the calendar of the schedules. It is amazing how it works and how easy it is to work with this feature."
  • "When you are not using the conference bridge from xMatters and you are using an external one, it is a little bit hard to get the person whom xMatters calls to jump directly to the external bridge. They need to hang up the phone and then get to the email to get the URL so that they can jump on the bridge. There is no direct connection from xMatters to that external bridge, but I understand that part of the business."

What is our primary use case?

We use it mostly for major incidents. To contact, we use the group on-call schedule feature. We use it to communicate and notify our IT stakeholders and executives.

We are about to use it for incident alerting on applications. We will first start using it for one application, and then we will see how it goes.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we used to do everything manually. We used to call our on-call resources manually. If we wanted to inform someone, we used to use Outlook email. Now, it is much easier because we're using the subscriptions based on location and affected services, which is amazing.

We have the Inform with xMatters feature and the Engage with xMatters feature. We are also using the major incident feature where it sends SMS and text messages. We use it only to communicate with the IT leadership, and it is great. Previously, we used to send text messages manually using our cell phones. I'm not in the US. I live in Panama. So, when I send a message, it normally gets a different number. So, no one knew how to add my number or whatever number they get from my cell phone to their safe contact list. Now, we have a specific phone number that doesn't change. So, they know who is calling, why they are calling, or why they are getting messages. That's very good. The customization of those text messages from the web service is also great.

It has helped us to build workflows that meet our needs. The ServiceNow workflow is very good. The Major Incident Best Practices workflow is another one. For our next application, there would be a new workflow that I need to create. We are also using the Emergency Change Management workflow, but the most important thing for us is major incident management. We use it for all Sev-1 and Sev-2 incidents and almost everything related to major incidents.

xMatters workflows helped us to address issues proactively. From the Major Incident Best Practices workflow, I created a workflow directly to Teams to post a notification on our Teams channel so that everyone who isn't subscribed on xMatters can see the notification that we're sending out. It helps a lot as well. I did it myself, and it was pretty easy.

xMatters provides targeted, content-rich notifications to reduce response times in our organizations. It has reduced the response time by at least 50%. Previously, we used to call people manually. 

xMatters on-call schedules and streamlined escalations have helped us to reduce Sev-1 incidents in our organization. We can contact any person. There is a 20% to 25% improvement because Sev-1 incidents are more related to the vendor. They are not internal issues.

What is most valuable?

The on-call schedule that they have for groups is amazing in terms of how it works and how it triggers. You don't need to do anything. You just upload the users, and you have the calendar of the schedules. It is amazing how it works and how easy it is to work with this feature.

It is very intuitive for someone who is not technical. Some of the groups that we have are not technical, and as soon as they get on the mobile app, if they want to change on-call with someone else, they just quickly change. It is very intuitive, which helps a lot. 

We have integrated it with Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx Teams. We have also integrated it with ServiceNow. It is not at all hard to integrate it with other tools. It is very easy to integrate. You just need to follow the steps that they have on the screen, and that's it. I believe xMatters can integrate with a lot of tools. The problem that I'm seeing on our side is that we don't use most of the tools. Our main ITSM tool is ServiceNow, and I have already integrated it. I'm trying to figure out how to integrate custom applications that are only used at Brinks.

We use xMatters REST API for ServiceNow. It is very good. I haven't had any problems so far with that.

What needs improvement?

The integration with Inform with xMatters is too customized. It should be a little bit more friendly.

When you are not using the conference bridge from xMatters and you are using an external one, it is a little bit hard to get the person whom xMatters calls to jump directly to the external bridge. They need to hang up the phone and then get to the email to get the URL so that they can jump on the bridge. There is no direct connection from xMatters to that external bridge, but I understand that part of the business.

On the web version, the on-call schedule is a little bit more technical. When you're creating the on-call schedule, you need someone who actually knows the product to create those. The problem is that we have not been using on-calls. Before xMatters, we used to use Excel Sheets. So, it is very complicated to do an on-call and figure out who's on-call. I know that I'm trying not to override one with the other one. So, I don't know if that can get better, but if they can, I know they will go there. They are the ones who are going to figure it out. They're very good at that.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for almost a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is great. It is almost 99%. Everything works as expected, and I haven't had any issues with them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is great. I haven't had any issues. We have 76 technical users using xMatters, and we have around 250 to 300 basic users who are only getting notified by email.

We are using less than 10% features that xMatters has right now. We have plans to enable the incident management feature. As soon as we do that, I believe that the user or technical teams would have more visibility. They are reluctant to use ServiceNow, and this way, they can see that they have an incident, and it will probably give a better experience to our end-users.

In terms of integration with the rest of the applications, we're going to start with this new application. We have a lot of monitoring tools, and if we do everything right, as soon as ServiceNow gets an incident, we can trigger an event instead of waiting for an end-user to advise that something is happening. Currently, our monitoring tools are using actual people to monitor the queue, alerts, and other things. It is not as automatic as it should be. So, we are using less than 10% from xMatters.

How are customer service and technical support?

They have been wonderful. They are great, and they helped me with everything. They are very knowledgeable about my environment. Their response time and everything is very good. I would rate them a 10 out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Excel, and we literally used to type the name of the week, month, and the name. So, it wasn't like a solution. It was just uploading data. It wasn't that good.

How was the initial setup?

It is a cloud version, so they do all the updates and maintenance. We didn't have to do any preparation to start using it.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it with xMatters.

What was our ROI?

I would say we have got an ROI, but I need to do the document report.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're currently per license. We're paying around $44,000 per year for 80 full users and 300 standard users. For a new implementation, we also need to pay for an expert.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Evergreen. I know that xMatters merged with another company, and we tried that one as well. I don't remember its name. We settled on xMatters because of the text message feature. We wanted to see everything in a single box on the incidence, but the other applications were divided into boxes. The text was too long, and we didn't like that. 

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to ask for a PoC to understand the product to make sure that's what they're looking for. They should also check if they're going to use the text message feature and the calls. They should know how much they are going to use and if it is covered with their contract. That's applicable to most of the companies because that's an expensive service. 

I would also advise others to pick all xMatters trainings. There are three to four minutes ones. They help you to understand what you can accomplish from the application.

We have been using xMatters mostly to communicate and engage. We are going to use xMatters logs as a part of our operations. We're going to implement it for new applications. The implementation would start next week, and it is pretty simple. We're going to use email-based alerting. So, we only need to add the xMatters email there. The rest of the workflow needs to be added in xMatters directly. It is pretty easy because that application doesn't have API connections.

We haven't automated our ticket incident notification process because we have some challenges on our side, and we're still trying to get better at incident management. We're trying to change the culture before we enable that feature.

We haven't made use of coding to expand the flexibility or functionality of xMatters workflows. I haven't gone that far. We're mostly in the workflows and the flow designer.

It has not increased the application release rate, but everything has gone as expected.

The biggest solution that I have learned from using this solution is how to automatize the communication and engagement with the IT team to improve the mean time to resolve incidents.

I would rate xMatters IT Management a 10 out of 10. It is awesome considering the breadth of features it provides and the cost of the solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
634,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.
John Paul Pammit - PeerSpot reviewer
ITSM Lead at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reduces the mean time to restore a service
Pros and Cons
  • "It reduces the mean time to restore a service. Before, it would probably take an hour to get everybody settled down. With the integrations right now, if somebody flags a major incident, then everyone is on a call in the next 15 minutes."
  • "It took me awhile to get used to whatever was available in the interface. The interface from two years ago was a bit more confusing when looking at where you should go"

What is our primary use case?

The use case is mostly getting people on a call as fast as possible, especially since we heavily use ServiceNow. In one account, it has really been more to reduce the time to resolve issues. This has usually been very difficult since they don't have a paging system. They would start asking the command center to call this person or that person, then multiple people were being called, joining a bridge, sending emails to a distribution list, and searching names in the directory. 

When I came to this account, they had already been using it. It was really more about protecting the workflows when I came in. 

How has it helped my organization?

It reduces the mean time to restore a service. Before, it would probably take an hour to get everybody settled down. With the integrations right now, if somebody flags a major incident, then everyone is on a call in the next 15 minutes.

We usually only use xMatters for major incidents and when multiple teams are needed. We don't really use them for anything else. When there is a major incident, you need probably three to five teams on a bridge to resolve an issue. If you are looking for the right person and finding out who is on shift, then you have already wasted an hour, at least, trying to bring in people. So, if our service level agreement for priority one is two hours, then imagine wasting an hour trying to bring everybody because that means you have one hour remaining to fix an issue. So, it definitely did help. Our time did go down for priority one cases. Our average went from more than four to six hours down to about two to three hours.

xMatters has helped to automate our incident notification process. Because, if there is an integration where they flag a ticket, that is a major incident. It will then be automatically assigned to our incident managers. When ServiceNow assigns a ticket to us, the integration will automatically page our incident managers, and say, "Somebody said that there is a major incident." That has definitely helped because we are also not running 24/7 operations. So, it kind of helped ensure that somebody was looking at it at any given point of time. However, other teams don't really use it for notifications on their day-to day-operations. The only notification that they get from xMatters is when it pages them to ask them about joining a bridge for a major incident.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to page people and get them on a call as fast as possible. 

The integrations with other tools, such as ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams, really help a lot to reduce the steps needed by incident managers to do their job.

On-call schedules are very easy and user-friendly; they are not difficult to use. I have taught a couple of people how to do them, and they were able to follow quickly. Its on-call schedule and interface are probably a lot friendlier than ServiceNow. We don't really use on-call schedules a lot, except for incident managers. Everybody else is 24/7. 

When I integrated xMatters and ServiceNow, I now know which messages were sent just by looking at the logs in a ticket. I know who accepted or declined the messages. So, these logs are really helpful.

What needs improvement?

It took me awhile to get used to whatever was available in the interface. The interface from two years ago was a bit more confusing when looking at where you should go. Once I got the hang of it and found where I needed to go, it was easier than I thought. The only limitations have been when I was looking for a specific integration that would allow me to integrate with ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams without going through multiple channels, e.g., just click a button in ServiceNow and the rest will be done. That is the part where I really needed help. However, everything else is easy and straightforward, such as configuring what the alarms would look like and configuring how to send a message without coding.

I haven't had the chance to play around with the new workflows. So, when I attended their roadshows and a couple of meetings about it, I didn't really pick it up that quickly. It sounded a bit more complicated my level of skill, since I am not a developer. Therefore, I still needed to sit down and understand how it works. Right now, we really don't have a business case to use it yet. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using xMatters somewhere around 2017 or 2018 with my previous account. I am a consultant for this company, and we are a third-party managed service. The company outsources their services to us. Before my current project, I was with another account where we also implemented xMatters.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any complaints since we have been using this. I haven't heard any really bad feedback. If we did receive bad feedback, it is really more about people complaining that xMatters keeps calling them, but that is the way I configured it. If there is a major incident, until you pick up, then it will keep calling you. So, if they are annoyed with the amount of time it calls them, then that is not xMatters' problem. 

I have only heard a couple of complaints about not receiving alarms. That was once or twice in the two years that I have been using it. They didn't get a notification once or twice. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get in touch with xMatters at that time, but it wasn't really a big deal so I just let it slip away.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The most maintenance, which I have been doing, has been adding and removing users. This could be solved if they had enough licenses, so when we add them to ServiceNow, they would automatically be assigned an xMatters license.

Adding users is five minutes per user, but we don't really have a lot of users in the environment. We have 200-something from time to time. We only give licenses to team leads, managers, directors, vice presidents, and C-level executives. It is not like we have a lot of users who come in and go all the time. Once in a while, they tell me somebody has left and ask me to remove their license. That does not take a lot of time.

How are customer service and support?

The support has been excellent. They are very knowledgeable and approachable. I work with a person who was kind enough to help me write the code for the requirements that we were looking for. That really helped us a lot and took our xMatters integration to the next level.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is the first solution of this type that we have used.

How was the initial setup?

I had the privilege of at least playing around with the tool before I joined this account. With my previous account, when they started using it, I knew the very basics of what it was and what it was for. However, being the admin and configuring everything, that was a first. For a while, I had to really dig deep into using the dev environment and looking at the fields, e.g., what they are. 

I have a knack for figuring things out myself, though It took awhile, but I attended a couple of training courses and sessions also with xMatters last year. That really helped a lot. There were things that I didn't realize were there, and those were the things that helped make it what it is today.

What about the implementation team?

Integrating it with ServiceNow was a bit more difficult than I thought since I personally don't have a developer background. So, I relied on mostly common sense to figure it out, but my common sense could only take me up to a certain point. I then had to reach out to somebody from xMatters to help me, and he did all the coding for us. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not really privy to how much my client is paying for this service. They just tell me the number of licenses that they have. Every time that I say, "I need extra licenses to make sure that all Level 1 and 2s have their own xMatters account," they keep telling me that it is too expensive. If the only purpose is to call people, it doesn't justify the cost of paying more than the number of licenses that they already have. 

This limits my ability to implement other things that I had hoped could have been implemented, like the notifications. For example, I could have used notifications to inform people that there is a P1 or P2 assigned to them. However, because of the limitations and licenses, we could not. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We explored the ability of ServiceNow to page people. Though, we didn't really have an opportunity to deep dive into that because somebody decided to use xMatters instead.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is excellent. I would rate xMatters as nine (out of 10). The workflow configuration is not really friendly for people, like me, who are not developers. Everything else is great.

If you really want to reduce your mean time for restoring a service during a major incident, xMatters would definitely be the right tool. I haven't encountered another tool, not even ServiceNow, that starts calling people during a major incident. For this purpose, it is definitely very helpful. 

At the end of the day, our goal is to keep environments 99.9% available to customers. The only way to achieve that is to reduce the mean time to restore a service whenever there is a major incident. 

Definitely give xMatters a shot and some time. It can look a bit complicated, but you can attend their roadshows and free training, offered during the pandemic. That helped us a lot, because there are things in the tool that you will find out were there that you never thought were there in the first place.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Rajvir Bhambra - PeerSpot reviewer
Major Incident Support Manager at Telefónica
Real User
Top 20
Good logging capability, integrates well, supported on multiple platforms, and is always available
Pros and Cons
  • "The Flow Designer is quite valuable, as you can set up integrations and flows without necessarily needing to know about code."
  • "The user interface could be more intuitive. Once you know what you're doing, you're fine. However, if you don't know where to start then it can be a bit difficult to figure out how to make it work and how it will function together with different tools in the Flow Designer."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for xMatters is instant communications and stakeholder engagement. We send out instant communications whenever we have a major incident within the company. In addition to situations like this, we use xMatters when we have other high-priority matters and we need to engage the right people as quickly as possible.

How has it helped my organization?

We have integrated xMatters with other tools such as Workplace, Power Automate, and Microsoft Teams. It can be used to interact with other webhook endpoint URLs, as well. The Flow Designer is what we have built most of our integrations from, and once you know how to use it, creating integrations is very clear and obvious. When you are getting started, however, it can be a bit daunting and is not as clear as it could be.

There are plenty of tools that xMatters integrates with and they are always adding to that list. Also, if there isn't a pre-made integration available for a tool then you can customize and create your own. This is something that is very helpful.

xMatters has helped to automate our incident notification process, and they have provided us support with doing so. One example had to do with a major incident process that we have set up. Previously, it was a two-step process where our major incident management team would engage stakeholders to bring them onto a conference bridge. It was a two-step process to ensure that the major incident manager was available for the bridge and there wasn't an issue that the major incident manager was facing. With the help of our customer success manager at xMatters, that process was streamlined in such a way that the same level of customer security and two-step verification could still take place, but it was done with less effort needed on the major incident manager side. It still has the same output and meets the same criteria, but with less effort needed from the major incident managers to do it.

The workflows in xMatters have helped us to address issues proactively from the perspective of stakeholder management. It ensures that the right people are aware and advised of issues in the company. It also helps with managing our licenses, which has been very helpful.

Another benefit to using xMatters is the fact that it's always available, regardless of device. If we were to have an issue that meant I could not use my laptop, I can then go and use the app on my phone, or another approved device to be able to access xMatters. That's really helpful for me. It's not just the availability but also that it's usable on so many different platforms. I'm not restricted. This has come in handy in the past when I haven't been able to use my laptop to send out communication and I've had to use an iPad or a tablet.

What is most valuable?

The Flow Designer is quite valuable, as you can set up integrations and flows without necessarily needing to know about code.

The messaging solutions that are in place give us the ability to send out messages and communicate to stakeholders from the tool.

One of the main features that we use is the on-call escalations. The escalations feature works well for us if we are trying to engage the stakeholder and they are unavailable for whatever reason. It allows us to contact an appropriate representative from the area that we're trying to contact and bring them on to engage them. The escalations are flexible and customizable as well.

I use xMatters logs and I find that its logging capability is very accurate and useful. From my experience, it's been very helpful in diagnosing and troubleshooting issues and helping to identify whether the fault of an issue is something that I've set up in xMatters, or it's an external system that it's connected to. By looking at the logs, I can tell whether xMatters has fulfilled its operations properly and whether it's an issue within the tool or outside. Overall, I'm quite happy with the logging functionality.

We use the xMatters REST API for inbound integration, and it has been useful. From the API URL, we are able to trigger events from xMatters and streamline our processes for engaging stakeholders. It works well for us.

We have the ability to extend the functionality of the workflows using code, and this is something that I have done for some processes. For example, we post our instant communications onto a third-party platform, and xMatters will retrieve the details of those communications. It will then get a list of all of the users that we're trying to contact in the target audience and send them each a personalized message on that third-party platform, directly to them, of the communications that are sent out using the bot on that platform. That was all done through coding and it works in the background without anybody having to worry about it.

The fact that xMatters provides targeted content-rich notifications has helped to reduce response times because stakeholders are given details of what the incident is once they are contacted. Potentially, there are 20 to 30 people that can be contacted, and by having this process in place, we're able to contact vast numbers of people very quickly. The process very succinctly gives them the details of what the incident is, and it will call out the individual and bring them onto a conference bridge. This has worked well for us and it really helps us with engaging stakeholders.

What needs improvement?

The user interface could be more intuitive. Once you know what you're doing, you're fine. However, if you don't know where to start then it can be a bit difficult to figure out how to make it work and how it will function together with different tools in the Flow Designer.

When you are not familiar with integrations and you're starting fresh, looking for where to begin, it is a bit daunting and not as clear as it could be.

I would like to see more information available in the reporting, including additional metrics.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using xMatters IT Management for nearly four years. I began using it when I joined my current company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable and reliable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has not been an issue for us. If we target a small audience, it works, and if we target a large audience, it works. if we need it to interact with multiple different endpoints, it will do that as well. Overall, the scalability is quite good.

We have approximately 1,500 licenses.

How are customer service and support?

The customer success managers have helped us to solve problems.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have not used another similar solution.

What about the implementation team?

There is no system maintenance to do, although we perform user maintenance. This is a case of developing and introducing opportunities for improvement internally, either to work with the flows and processes we've got set up, just to streamline them, or improve and better the output. This is something that we spend perhaps a few days a week on. I do the majority of work on the maintenance. Other people may give it a light touch but don't work with it to the extent that I do.

As the major Incident Support Manager, I deal with major incidents when they arise. In addition to that, I work on and develop different opportunities for improvement within MIM processes and tools.

What was our ROI?

As a company, we have seen a return on investment, but that was before I joined.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing and licensing are okay. I wish that the user licenses were cheaper but the stakeholder licenses are at a reasonable cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Since implementing xMatters, we have evaluated other solutions. However, it does the job for us very well and there wasn't a need to move away from it. The main one that we looked at was PagerDuty.

Both of these are very similar tools and they both do a good job. From our perspective, we have stayed with xMatters because it already works.

What other advice do I have?

We do not use xMatters to send incident notifications, such as an alert when there is a major incident. Our primary uses are stakeholder communications and the engagement of stakeholders. We don't use the feature that allows it to act as a middleman that will receive information from monitoring tools, then pass it on to us.

My advice for anybody who is looking at xMatters is that if you're looking to send out targeted communications to end-users, whether it's a few or many, and you're trying to be very specific in your workflows, consider xMatters. It's capable of communicating on multiple platforms and in multiple ways. Also, if there is anything that you're stuck on then you can look through the forums or reach out to xMatters for help and see if they can provide you with assistance to get things working.

Overall, it's a very capable tool and if you keep working at it, it will do what you need it to do.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Nicola Ayonoadu - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Service Delivery Manager at Telegraph Media Group
Real User
Provides an efficient way of delivering communication to a large number of users across different applications
Pros and Cons
  • "Workflows and messaging are most valuable. Workflows are very useful. They are important for consolidating information or stopping duplication from happening. We put all the information into xMatters and then the workflow will push the same information in the correct format directly through to other applications that our end users frequently use, such as Slack, email, and Workplace."
  • "One of the main reasons why we don't use xMatters for monitoring and alerting is that it doesn't use the rota to call the person who's on-call. It doesn't look up the rota to find out who's on-call and then contacts that person directly. I am not sure if this has changed now, but the last time we checked, this functionality wasn't there. This is one of the main improvements. We're happy with the rest of it."

What is our primary use case?

We're not using it for the rota aspect. We specifically use it to send communication out to the business and also to arrange calls at the bridge where people can join the bridge. We have integrated it with other applications that we use heavily, such as Workplace by Facebook and Slack. Once we've sent out our communications via xMatters, it sends an email and text message to users or the intended people who are supposed to receive the message. That message is also posted on Slack and Workplace.

How has it helped my organization?

It is an efficient way to deliver communication to a large number of users across a number of different applications. It has helped in getting the right information out to the right people on time. We are able to ensure that they all received the information in a timely manner. 

It is helpful for us in getting the communication out to multiple users on different platforms in a timely manner. It brings ease of use in terms of us inputting information only into one system, as opposed to three or four different locations, and that includes being able to contact people. If we need to have everyone on a call, it is easy to open a bridge, and the relevant people would receive a phone call who can join automatically through the bridge.

What is most valuable?

Workflows and messaging are most valuable. Workflows are very useful. They are important for consolidating information or stopping duplication from happening. We put all the information into xMatters and then the workflow will push the same information in the correct format directly through to other applications that our end users frequently use, such as Slack, email, and Workplace. 

The other main part that we use is messaging. We use it for our major incident communications and our change freeze communications. We also run our testing through there. So, when we're doing test incident communications, we run those as well through xMatters.

We have integrated it with other tools such as Slack and Workplace. It is straightforward to integrate, but the first couple of times, you do need a level of understanding in terms of what you're doing. However, it is not difficult to get that information. There is lots of information held on xMatters knowledge base itself, which is very useful. There is always someone else who has implemented the solution that you are looking for. You can pretty much find anything you need within xMatters. There have only been a couple of instances where we haven't been able to find a solution. In such cases, we contact our account manager, who is very helpful. They help us with any particular difficulty that we're having, but once you are familiar with the workflow builder and how it works, it is very easy and straightforward to create new workflows and integrations.

What needs improvement?

One of the main reasons why we don't use xMatters for monitoring and alerting is that it doesn't use the rota to call the person who's on-call. It doesn't look up the rota to find out who's on-call and then contacts that person directly. I am not sure if this has changed now, but the last time we checked, this functionality wasn't there. This is one of the main improvements. We're happy with the rest of it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been here for three years now, and it has been used for longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is excellent. I've never had a situation where xMatters has gone down at all. I never look at it as a tool about which I'm concerned that it may not work. I'm always able to get access to it. Whenever we needed it, we were always able to get the communication out. It is very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely scalable. We have our incident communication that goes out, and we also use it for our business continuity, which is specifically set up for emergency purposes where we are able to send text messages out to the entire company. In terms of scalability, it is highly scalable. It is nice because you can tailor it to your own specific requirements even as they change. The one main thing for us would be the scheduling part of it so that if there was an incident, it contacts the right on-call person. However, our technical teams use PagerDuty for that. In our team specifically, which is the service delivery department, we use xMatters to notify of major incidents.

On our side, it is my team, which is the service delivery team. There are four of us, and then there is the services team as well. So, the services team uses xMatters for business continuity, which is to notify people. For example, in a fire emergency, everyone has to leave the building. So, there are two specific teams that use xMatters: the services team and the service delivery team.

How are customer service and support?

I've never had a problem with xMatters, per se. The only thing for which we contact xMatters is if we're trying to set something up specifically that we cannot find through a knowledge base article. The response is great, and we always get to where we need to be. We always end up implementing the solution that we set out, so we always achieve what we wanted to. So, they provide great support. On a scale of one to 10, I would definitely rate them a 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

PagerDuty is probably the only other solution that I have used. xMatters tops PagerDuty in terms of ease of use for sending out communication to the business. I like the workflows and the layout of xMatters. It is very easy to use. PagerDuty isn't so user-friendly. The only thing that is better in PagerDuty than xMatters is the scheduling.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved with setting it up from scratch. I've set up new workflows for which you obviously need your users and groups and then you create your workflow with whoever you want to send it to. It's relatively easy. As long as you follow the initial user guide and you have a clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve, you can set up some of the basic functionality easily in order to get going by yourself. The rest is all available in xMatters' knowledge base.

It doesn't require any maintenance. There isn't any maintenance on our side. It's all cloud-based, and we just log in and carry on using it. xMatters does regular updates, and they notify us when there is an update, which is often quite useful. That's it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't make the decisions on the cost aspect. We haven't had any complaints. I think it has a reasonable price. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to have an idea in mind of what exactly you are looking for. You should look at the different ways that other businesses use incident communications because a lot of companies may not think of certain solutions that others are using. So, rather than evaluating the product based on what it can do, it's always useful to see how other businesses are already using it. That's most helpful in my opinion.

Its logging capability is very straightforward to use. It is not difficult, and it is very informative. From the information contained within the logs, it is not difficult to find out where the failure occurred. We don't use xMatters logs as part of our operations. We only use logs to find out if we've implemented something that doesn't work, or when something breaks and we're trying to figure out where exactly it has gone wrong. They come in handy when we are trying to figure out where something has gone wrong, or when specific people have run certain tests, they are used to see which messages were sent and when. So, mainly, we use logs when there is an issue in xMatters, and we need to figure out where it failed.

We don't use call scheduling and rota aspects of xMatters. We also don't use coding to expand the flexibility or functionality of xMatters workflows. We used to have to do some coding, but once there was the introduction of the workflows, it kind of eliminated that side of it, so we didn't need that any longer.

xMatters workflows haven't helped us to address issues proactively. That's because we don't use it in that way. We don't use it for monitoring. It is only for alerting but not in terms of incident management or our teams being alerted of an incident. It is only in terms of alerting staff members of an issue or an incident. So, within our setup, we don't use xMatters for monitoring.

I would rate xMatters IT Management an eight out of 10.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Platform Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Integrates easily, reduces response times, and helps in delivering the right communication to the right people in the format they want
Pros and Cons
  • "For our major incident management, it has expanded what we can do in terms of the format of the communication. People can subscribe, and they can receive delivery on multiple platforms, whether it's a voice message, email, or mobile app message. It enables us to deliver the right communication to the right people in the format they want."
  • "A lot of the issues that we've had have already been addressed. However, they could be clearer with the actual throughput and the costs. The throughput that we signed up for was a lot lower than what we needed, and we had to pay a lot more to get the throughput that we needed."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for IT alerting. It is used to alert our monitoring solutions to call out on-call support. That's the primary use case for which we've had it here for a number of years. We also use it for major incident communication to subscribers.

It used to be on-premises, but we migrated to their SaaS product five years ago.

How has it helped my organization?

For our major incident management, it has expanded what we can do in terms of the format of the communication. People can subscribe, and they can receive delivery on multiple platforms, whether it's a voice message, email, or mobile app message. It enables us to deliver the right communication to the right people in the format they want.

We've integrated it with the Interlink software event management solution. Just recently, we have integrated it with Microsoft Teams, and we've also integrated it with a number of internal IT operations systems. 

They have made massive improvements over the last few years in terms of integration. Previously, we would've had to engage xMatters formally to get an integration built, but now, they just appear out of the box. The integration possibilities that xMatters offers are very good. There are a lot of integrations that are built within the applications and are just plug and play, which is massively beneficial for us. xMatters can easily integrate with the main IT operations solutions provided by the key vendors in the IT operations world, such as Splunk, Slack, and Microsoft solutions. It has got out-of-the-box integrations to all of those.

xMatters is very good at quickly rolling out out-of-the-box integrations for new software, which has enabled us to onboard applications quicker than before. Every six months, a new application comes out that trumps the previous one. They have been very good at being proactive themselves and making sure that they are on top of the market. They're very good at understanding what the key applications are and making sure that they have integrations built for those.

We use xMatters’ REST API. It is very easy to use. Utilizing xMatters' REST API makes things a lot slicker and a lot simpler.

It has helped us to automate our incident notification process via subscription. We've been able to integrate it with our incident reports. From those incident reports, we can ping a request into xMatters to create a notification that can then be automatically sent out to subscribers.

It quickly gets the communication out to a targeted set of users. So, we're not spamming people. By getting the messages out, people can engage with us if needed. They can read valid updates, and if they need to engage with us, they can engage quickly.

It has helped us to build workflows that meet our needs. I've taken a step away for a few months to understand exactly how any of that works, but we've been able to build workflows for our organization with minimal help from xMatters' technical services.

It requires minimal coding. The benefit of xMatters is that you don't need to do so much coding. A lot of their integrations are out of the box. We have made use of coding, but the amount of coding we need to do to build successful integrations and workflows has reduced significantly, which is a positive thing.

We made use of coding when we needed major-incident management communication, specifically for our cloud providers. We had to build workflows specifically to notify people about issues with cloud services. So, we had to do some custom coding to alert our internal cloud consumers.

The expanded flexibility or functionality due to coding workflows has affected our operations in a positive way. It has enabled us to create different communications for different communities and expand our portfolio for not just internal communication but also external communication.

The targeted, content-rich notifications have helped to reduce response times in our organization. We're now able to deliver the content on different platforms. Previously, we were able to send or receive voice and SMS communication, and we've always been able to receive notifications via email, but with the mobile app, we're able to send better information within our alerts. We're not restricted to so many characters within the notifications, and the format has improved. People can respond with different responses to different types of alerts. So, they're not just acknowledging an alert; they can now acknowledge alerts and send them to another person or send them to another group. It has enabled us to get notifications out with more information. We can enrich our notifications with better information and better response options. If they need to be escalated, we can escalate things quicker.

What is most valuable?

The IT alerting and call-out features are most valuable. 

It is very intuitive when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations. It is head and shoulders above other products when it comes to configuring on-call schedules and managing your rotas, devices, etc. Massive improvements have been made during the lifespan of the product in that area.

What needs improvement?

A lot of the issues that we've had have already been addressed. However, they could be clearer with the actual throughput and the costs. The throughput that we signed up for was a lot lower than what we needed, and we had to pay a lot more to get the throughput that we needed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using xMatters for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. We very rarely had issues. They could have also been of our own making because we occasionally do flood the system with alerts because we get event storms that end up spawning thousands of alerts, but generally, the product is very stable. It very rarely lets us down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable, but because we are such a large organization, when we originally signed up for the current contract that we're on now, the throughput that we signed up for was a lot lower than what we needed. To get the throughput that we needed, we had to pay a lot more than what we originally costed for, but you get what you pay for. We handicapped ourselves by not buying the advanced product earlier.

At the moment, we have about 30,000 users. These users are mainly IT operations users, but there is a group of senior execs who also receive notifications. So, we've got senior execs on the business and IT side and the IT support community who use the system on a regular basis or on a daily basis.

How are customer service and support?

I would definitely rate them a nine out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

A lot of data needs to be fed into xMatters to make it work. For it to be successful, there is a lot of reference data that needs to be configured within the platform to enable it to communicate with the right people. We've used xMatters for a number of years, and there is a lot of reference data, such as users' contact details, groups, and systems, that xMatters needs for integration with to receive alerts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at the Everbridge solution a few years ago, and it was no way near as intuitive as the xMatters solution. Now, Everbridge has bought xMatters.

What other advice do I have?

xMatters workflows haven't helped us to address issues proactively. We have use cases for which we build workflows, but they're not addressing issues proactively. It's normally in a response to an issue that we've seen or an enhancement that someone suggested that we should follow up on. Most of the enhancements that we do nowadays come from our user community. They are requested by our user community, and we can then use the xMatters workflow managers to build the solution.

I am not sure if xMatters' on-call schedules and streamlined escalations have helped to reduce SEV-1 incidents in our organization, but it has definitely enabled us to get messages to the right people sooner. The fact that we can send some of the lower-level alerts to the right people and they have improved response options means that they may have prevented further SEV-1s up the chain by fixing issues before they've become major problems.

We have not yet incorporated xMatters into our application delivery workflows, but we are looking into utilizing it. We're currently onboarding ServiceNow, and we will be looking at how we can improve the escalation and visibility of instances by using the integration capabilities between ServiceNow and xMatters.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Principal Program Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides the notification workflow and ensures you're notifying the right person at the right time
Pros and Cons
  • "That automation is the critical aspect of xMatters. Without those workflows, then we would have a system that maintains an on-call schedule in Excel. So xMatters provides the notification workflow and ensures you're notifying the right person at the right time."
  • "I would like to see some more user templates. There are roles — administrator, user, etc. — but it would be nice to create a user template that restricted what people assigned that role could do."

What is our primary use case?

We use xMatters for critical incident management. It's used when there's a true IT emergency, and we keep on-call schedules in the tool for various support teams. When the xMatters service reports a P1 critical incident, a workflow goes to an on-call team to evaluate the request. If the incident management team determines this is a critical incident, they will use xMatters. We have a template that notifies the necessary teams of an issue with the system and tells them to join a bridge call.

We only use xMatters' bridge capabilities for a disaster recovery option when Microsoft Teams is not available. Then, we send out a notification to the appropriate teams, asking them to join a troubleshooting bridge. Those teams are responsible for creating and managing on-call schedules in xMatters, so we're sending notifications to people who are up and working, not getting people out of bed.

How has it helped my organization?

We can instantly escalate a critical incident. Before we implemented xMatters, escalation for an urgent issue could take over an hour, but now we can evaluate the incident in less than five minutes. We can have a critical incident bridge spun up within 10 minutes, and all of the necessary teams join within 15 minutes, so it's cut our response time by 75%.

With xMatters, we can immediately notify the correct teams of a critical incident and ask them to join the bridge. Previously, it was like a telephone chain to get the appropriate people involved, but xMatters has automated that, drastically improving the response time. 

That automation is the critical aspect of xMatters. Without those workflows, then we would just have a system that maintains an on-call schedule in Excel. xMatters provides the notification workflow and ensures you're notifying the right person at the right time. That's mainly how we're using xMatters right now. We haven't felt the need to use coding to expand the functionality of the workflows. They're pretty robust.

Using xMatters' workflows reduces false positives. A high-level team evaluates an incident and determines if it's critical or not. That has reduced the number of false positives by about 60%. We didn't have that workflow so that anyone could call a critical incident. Then once we got people on the bridge, we would realize that it wasn't a critical incident. We couldn't vet the request. With xMatters, we have fewer false positives, so instead of having 25 P1s a month, we're now down to seven. But xMatters itself won't prevent our network from going down or an application from failing. That's not what xMatters does.

What is most valuable?

xMatters is easy and flexible. It gets complex when you have to go in and set up specific time zones and countries for the follow-the-sun-model to work. That takes some maintenance to ensure that we have all of the appropriate time zones for our users reflected in the model. But that's an administrative function for a team leader to set up. It's easy for them to create schedules or add people to different schedules. You can set the escalation path so that if one person doesn't respond, it will wait a certain amount of time and go to the next person. Or even go to more than one person at a time. There's a great amount of flexibility to customize, but it's also effortless to set up.

The on-call schedules and the escalation paths are straightforward to set up and maintain. The logs provide a level of detail that allows us to recreate exactly what happened in the communications. That's come in handy a couple of times. For example, sometimes people will say that they never received a notification, so we'll look at the logs and see whether it was delivered to their device or not. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see some user templates. There are roles like administrator and user, but it would be nice if an administrator could create a user template that restricts what people assigned to that role can do. For example, in a standard user role, each user has a profile where they can update their mobile number or their name. It also allows them to choose whether or not they participate in specific workflows or want to receive phone calls versus SMS messages. We need the option to restrict that. 

When xMatters sends off a workflow, they should receive an email, phone call, and text, but they'll only get the email if they've opted out of the text and phone on their profile. Then we end up waiting on a bridge for someone from that team to join and realize that they haven't received the alert. They just got an email. We're using xMatters as our emergency alert system. If we just wanted to send out an email and wait for people to join, we would use Outlook. Unfortunately, we have no way to prevent people from choosing not to receive that level of notification. We would really like to be able to do that.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company acquired the license for xMatters about five years ago. I only joined the company a year and a half ago, but the solution was purchased a while back. They purchased the license but didn't start implementing it until roughly two years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had an issue with xMatters. It's never gone down or been unavailable. We've never had something fail. It's highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe that xMatters is highly scalable. Senior management sees the value of this tool, and we are looking to expand our user base. We have about 200 users right now, and we're getting requests every day to add more teams to it. There is an executive group, which includes our CIO and all of her direct subordinates, and we have a workflow if we need to notify executive leadership down to first-level technicians. Those are the people you want to get on a call with first to evaluate an issue. It's used at all levels of the organization.

How are customer service and support?

I rate xMatters support 10 out of 10. I've never contacted xMatters support, but I think it's good. I've had regular calls with our account manager, and we have a support engineer assigned to us. We've sent them email questions, and they answer quickly. And then they also do live webinars for new features. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

Before implementing xMatters, the administrators and supervisors went through training on the company site. We watched some training tutorials and followed along. After that, it was simple to start creating groups and workflows around that. The setup itself was intuitive and straightforward, but the training documents and the videos are excellent. They're much better than what you would typically find, I think.

What was our ROI?

We've seen a considerable return from xMatters, particularly its ability to evaluate critical incidents before everybody gets on a bridge. That's a significant dollar savings because we're not asking people to stop what they're doing and join a bridge, then it turns out to be a false alarm. I think there are quite a few features available, but we're not using a majority of them.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There's a significant difference between a full license, which allows people to respond to messages or acknowledge a message, versus a more scaled-down license, which only allows people to see the notification. The full license is significantly more expensive, so we need to evaluate whether new users need it when onboarding them into the system. It does require some active license management to make sure that people have the correct licenses, and we're not handing out full licenses to somebody who will never need to respond to messages or participate in an active workflow where they have a step they need to complete.

What other advice do I have?

I rate xMatters 10 out of 10. We learned that we have to restrict who can use it when we're setting it up. This is another example where it would be nice to create a user template type. We found that when we're creating workflows, a user will believe that they can call a critical incident if they can see it. They'll do that without going through the necessary steps or evaluation. We had to do some work restricting who can see what workflow.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Joseph Yin - PeerSpot reviewer
Business Applications Analyst at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It is always a pleasure to work with the support team because they get stuff done
Pros and Cons
  • "The feature that I have found to be most valuable is the entire alert notification configuration, having an external system to trigger events that will process the alert to the supporting team. If a system is down, then you need to get it attention. Sometimes, it cannot wait until the next day. Therefore, how xMatters provides this type of integration is critical."
  • "I would like some minor UI changes. I believe I filed some enhancement requests with xMatters. For example, in one area, they have some way for you to look at a particular functionality with different sets of reporting UI. However, that same reporting UI is not yet available with some other functionalities. Essentially, in their existing functionality, the xMatters application does an excellent job, but in other functionalities within their UI, they don't have that. On the back-end, they are related. Instead of one click where you can see everything, right now you need to go to different areas to access similar information. It would be nice to have everything in one place. While they have an excellent element A, I am hoping that they could just simply make that feature also available in their element B."

What is our primary use case?

We use xMatters to handle system alerts. Generally, we use xMatters as an automated process in particular systems. For example, if the source detected an issue, it will use xMatters to alert the team member to resolve that issue.

xMatters is utilized as part of our system monitoring and alerting.

From the support team side, my focus is more account management, which is my primary task.

How has it helped my organization?

The end user accesses xMatters logs. As the support team of xMatters, we use their logs for troubleshooting, e.g., to see when an event is triggered, the process of that event, who was notified, and whether the delivery of the message was successful or not. If we cannot resolve a user's inquiry, then we will always work with xMatters' support engineering team to conduct further analysis.

Based on my support experience, it seems like our end users can integrate xMatters into event notifications and other applications successfully. Occasionally, we get support inquiries, essentially trying to understand how a particular functionality will work. If the functionality failed to work as expected, then we have always been able to get solutions from xMatters' support engineering team.

Here and there, we have made use of coding to expand the flexibility or functionality of xMatters workflows. I have created some custom workflow setups. For example, as part of account management, we do a scheduled process that will notify all the inactive users by sending out a notification via xMatters. It will ask them if they still need their account or not. Overall, the workflow is very simple, and the one that I built is not complex.

xMatters supports our usage and what our end users are trying to accomplish. As long as all our end users are supported on their operations, then as a support team, we are good with the product. 

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found to be most valuable is the entire alert notification configuration, having an external system to trigger events that will process the alert to the supporting team. If a system is down, then you need to get it attention. Sometimes, it cannot wait until the next day. Therefore, how xMatters provides this type of integration is critical.

It is well-rounded. An individual will have to learn the UI. The UI and controls are easy to set up. 

The end user team has quite an extensive customized integration with other applications. Thus, I can only assume that our end users are heavily using xMatters.

What needs improvement?

I would like some minor UI changes. I believe I filed some enhancement requests with xMatters. For example, in one area, they have some way for you to look at a particular functionality with different sets of reporting UI. However, that same reporting UI is not yet available with some other functionalities. Essentially, in their existing functionality, the xMatters application does an excellent job, but in other functionalities within their UI, they don't have that. On the back-end, they are related. Instead of one click where you can see everything, right now you need to go to different areas to access similar information. It would be nice to have everything in one place. While they have an excellent element A, I am hoping that they could just simply make that feature also available in their element B.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about a year and a half. 

I believe my company has been using xMatters for quite a while. About a year and a half ago, the global infrastructure application support team took over the ownership, supporting the product usage. So, I have been doing functional support for this particular application for about a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The xMatters application is very stable. They also always keep the customer up to date with advanced notifications, e.g., if there is any scheduled system downtime. Usually, those downtimes are minutes. However, they will notify their clients when those things happen and are always able to provide the root cause, such as what took place and why the system was impacted. So, as a customer of xMatters, we never get left in the dark, trying to see what is going on.

All the maintenance is done from their end. They also proactively reach out when there is something causing some type of configuration abnormality in xMatters, which would be caused by perhaps one of our configurations. They will proactively reach out, and say, "Hey, you probably want to get in touch with your end user and help them fix it accordingly." However, that is really rare. In the past year and a half, this happened just one time. There is one team who has a workflow that contained an element that is no longer supported, and that was resolved very quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

xMatters is extremely scalable and extensible. The design gives you a lot of freedom on the applications that you want to integrate with xMatters. Therefore, they already have a large inventory of different application templates that you can utilize. 

There has never been an interruption because the traffic and the volume are high. This means that our external system can properly be integrated with xMatters, which will handle an alert without delay nor compromising the quality or timeliness of our delivery.

Our end user can be a group supervisor, meaning that they are the people who manage the group and on-call rosters. There are also developer roles. Those are the users who are doing workflow with development and integration setup. Lastly, there are just general users who are part of the on-call roster. They will get notifications when something happens that they need to take action against. 

How are customer service and support?

xMatters doesn't own our content. They provide support activity, assisting our users in configuration, but xMatters itself is very intuitive. 

I would rate the support as nine or above (out of 10). xMatters' support engineering team is bar none with the service that they provide. It is always a pleasure working with them because they get stuff done. Other vendors need to use xMatters' support model as the model to follow.

They are very detail-oriented. They are always clear and concise. I can share their findings with my end user because they provide them in layman's terms, even non-technical end users can understand them.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our team inherited this product. Therefore, we were not involved in the decision-making or evaluation of the product.

How was the initial setup?

We went through the training material. It is like learning any other application. For example, if you are going to be doing workflow development, then you need to understand the workflow design and UI. Same as if you are going to set up a group, you need to know how to set up on-call scheduling and learn how to manage your team's roster for the group. 

Overall, it is very intuitive and straightforward. xMatters is one of the applications that does provide a lot of online documentation, in which they do an excellent job.

What was our ROI?

xMatters on-call schedules have helped to reduce Sev-1 incidents in our organization. This is based on users using the latest incident alert functionality to get their activities done.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You should perhaps arrange an evaluation or trial to just test it out. Get your feet wet. That is so important. If you don't try it, then you won't know. 

What other advice do I have?

In regards to all the functionality xMatters provides, I learn every day while working with end users. I like to say that I would never consider myself as an expert of tools, instead I am a jack-of-all-trades. That is why my learning will never stop.

I would rate them as 8.5 out of 10 since no application is perfect.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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