IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

xMatters IT Management Valuable Features

ES
Senior Manager of Technology Operations at a retailer with 10,001+ employees

There are a lot of tools that can do standard notifications. However, the one feature that separates xMatters from others is the ability for it to integrate with any system that has REST API or SOAP API capabilities.

The intuitiveness and flexibility of xMatters is very good, when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations. It allows our entire technology organization to be configured and have accounts in xMatters. We don't really use it too much outside of technology, but the ability to manage that schedule, kind of setting it and forgetting it. 

It allows us to have rotations. Folks can decide if some teams rotate Monday morning, some Friday afternoon, have different shifts, etc. The temporary absence feature is pretty widely used, so they don't have to go in and rearrange the permanent schedule, but make those changes ad hoc, saying, "Hey, I'm going away three months from now. Just plan it." No matter where they are in the rotation, it will substitute a member of their choosing. That has been very helpful.

The mobile app is now almost ahead of the game. There are some features that the mobile has that the desktop version doesn't have, such as getting a notification reminder when you will be on-call. You can set that timeframe to let you know, "Hey, you start on-call tomorrow or next week," or whatever the predetermined time frame is. You really can't do that with any desktop feature. You have to do that from the mobile app.

We use the ability to send notifications from our service desk, e.g., a lot of our operational teams notify stakeholders of outages and other things like that. Its templates eliminate or minimize any type of typos, grammatical mistakes, etc. This has brought a level of consistency to our organization as we communicate to larger management teams, stakeholders, and teammates.

Right now, the breadth of features provided by xMatters are good. I work with John a lot. We just had a call with him on Monday to talk about the next release that is coming out. We are going to set up some time next week to look at some of the feature sets that will be included in that release. Every few months, it seems like we are getting a new release. That adds something. It shows the level of commitment that the developers have to making additional improvements.

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MB
Infrastructure Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

The ability to have the rota and then configure notifications that you can directly fire them into the group is most valuable. The India shift is from 2:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and then it is the UK shift from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM UK time, and then there is also a defined US shift and on-call hours. It allows us to make sure that everyone is going to get notified when they need to be about an issue. We can target specific locations or users with notifications. One of the main improvements I've seen since the AlarmPoint days is that the rotas are now much easier to configure and use, as opposed to the old days. So, you can configure a rota and set recurring shifts so that you don't have to do much manual work. In an ideal world, you don't have to log in every week and configure the rota of who-is-on-call and whatnot. If I'm on-call every four weeks, you can just set that up, and it should recur for you. It saves a lot of time to do the actual tech work, as opposed to on-call rotas work.

It is integrated with IBM Netcool, which is our alert aggregator, and ServiceNow. We have a Spectrum integration in development, which is a network monitoring tool, but we're reviewing whether that's going to be feasible due to the amount of data that Spectrum wants to send in. We try to control the number of integrations we have. Ideally, we want to send everything through IBM Netcool, and then IBM Netcool passes that to xMatters. That's the behavior we are trying to encourage, but if someone comes to us with a use case, we always do consider it. Overall, in terms of the range of integration possibilities, it is pretty good. When I go and have a look at their integration site to see what they have available, I see more and more out-of-the-box applications for me to try and install and test. They've got all the big ones covered. Back in the old days, it wasn't like that. So, I'm pretty impressed with it.

It has allowed us to send out communication. With the integration that we've got with ServiceNow at the minute, which we've built ourselves, we pull out major incident data and then forward that to some of the senior-level execs in the company. Most of them are not going to be reading emails as much, but they probably will if they get an xMatters notification through their iPhone app or text. If it informs of a major incident, they will obviously look at that. It allows us to make sure that they are kept in the loop. The feedback on the product has been pretty good so far for the people who do use it.

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NickYoung - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Enterprise Reporting, Visualization & Analytics at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees

In terms of its flexibility, we've been using it for close to two years, and we have yet to encounter a situation where somebody hasn't been enabled to configure it to work the way we want. We can configure groups to be members of other groups, enabling us to nest sequences of rosters, and that has been super-helpful in a number of scenarios. We provided a little bit of training and a little bit of documentation for the managers who had to manage their rosters and the sequence of calls, and since then, we really haven't had to do a lot, other than some reminders. But we just tell them the URL and that they should log in. They can figure it out from there. The UI is understandable. It's fairly straightforward to understand how you add a user or add a member to the roster or add a device. It doesn't take a lot of administrative overhead and that's important for us. We don't have a lot of people to manage every little thing, so people being able to do it themselves is pretty important.

And because we use it primarily for our major incident response and automated on-call processes, the automatic logging that's built into xMatters, especially the timeline of events, is very helpful because we can figure out why a particular person got a call. We can see, for instance, that it was because an incident showed up in that person's group and it went to the first person on-call and that person hit skip or ignore. It then went to the next person, called all of their devices, but they never acknowledged anything. Then it went to the next person and that's who actually picked up. Having that level of detail built-in makes it really easy for me or the managers to prove that's what happened, and we can self-serve that information. It gives people the autonomy to know why they got a call. Just click here and you'll see exactly why the fourth person in the roster got the call instead of the first.

The integration of xMatters with ServiceNow worked pretty easily. There was a little bit of configuration and coordination with our ServiceNow, but once it was set up it just worked. It does the right thing for us. We don't want every single instance that ServiceNow handles to generate an on-call notification. We only want priority-one and priority-two to result in notifications, for certain groups, via xMatters. It does that really well. That integration part was super-easy. I have also done some work with the xMatters API to pull out information about users and groups and rosters into a Google sheet. I used a Google Apps Script to interact with xMatters and pull information out for reporting purposes. That was also really easy. We use that information to see how many people are in xMatters, who's licensed, and if people have left the university we can make sure we kill off their accounts.

xMatters has also helped us build workflows that meet our needs. In comparison to all of the organizations that use xMatters, our workflows are not complex, but it does what it does well and easily. Our simple workflows consist of an incident coming in and the right group being contacted. Within that group it goes through the sequence of people in the roster, in the right order. That was super-easy to set up. It was also very easy to set up another simple workflow where we use Zoom and Google Meet for our bridge process. If somebody isn't sure about something that is going on they can send out a "Please jump on the bridge line real quick" message. We can use either the xMatters bridge or the Zoom or Google Meet bridges that we have set up. That helps us control access and costs because we're already using Zoom and Google.

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Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,229 professionals have used our research since 2012.
LM
Manager - Situational Awareness Engineering at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees

We love the Forms. That is my favorite part of xMatters.

Next in line is the workflow builder, which is great. It has simplified a lot of the integrations for us and it has made it easy to make changes and add new functionality. Before we had to write more complicated code. The built-in integrations, such as for Slack, make things very easy. Also, it's flexible enough that if I want to integrate with something else, I can, even if xMatters doesn't have a built-in integration for it. We can write our own scripts and query APIs and create our own web-plugs and ingest. It's very flexible.

The intuitiveness of xMatters for customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations makes doing so very easy. My customers are the rest of IT within our company, and they find it very easy to navigate. There's really no need to even do much training. When we onboard someone to xMatters, we send them a welcome email with some links to do and most of it is very intuitive.

Also, its logging capabilities have improved. A few years ago, there was a shorter character limit on logs, and very little retention, but now it's great. I can go back in time and I don't have any issues with the logging limits.

We also use xMatters' REST API quite extensively, and it's very easy. We use it to keep xMatters clean. We query xMatters every week. We're trying to create more workflows using the API to automate things. For example, if we find that a team is not configured properly, that can be handled automatically using the xMatters API.

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NC
Service Delivery Coordinator at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

The automated callouts, without a doubt, are valuable. They have been a huge gain for our company. Previous to xMatters, there was no real management of the on-call resources or rotas. So, having that centralized and automated has been a huge gain. 

The support groups themselves are the most useful part.

It is incredible in terms of intuitiveness and flexibility of customization. It is an excellent product. It is very usable. We are the local administration within our organization, and with the tool itself being incredibly intuitive and the support being possibly the best I've ever encountered, it is a joy to work on. It is very intuitive and very easy to work on.

We've got some webhook-type integrations with standalone systems that we have from our various clients. These integrations were very easy to do. A lot of applications that you'd like to integrate with already exist as modules in xMatters. So, a lot of the work is done for you, or it certainly leads you through it very clearly. These integrations are very easy and very intuitive to set up.

We have used the REST API as well, and it was very good. We found it to be very powerful and very well supported in terms of the API endpoints. If we needed an endpoint that was missing or wasn't available, we were able to get that added easily. It has been very good.

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Philip Colmer - PeerSpot reviewer
Director, Information Services at LINARO LTD

One of the things that really attracted me is in workflows, you can write your own custom steps in JavaScript. You are not restricted to the steps that they provide. If you can write it in JavaScript, you can pretty much do anything. It gives me flexibility in ways that other platforms don't. For example, the online dashboard system we use is not a widely used one, but they have an API. So, I'm able to write the JavaScript steps to do things like check if a system's in the maintenance window or create an instant on the dashboard or change the status of an instant. I'm not dependent on the dashboard provider or xMatters creating steps for me.

It's very flexible. The intuitiveness of it is not great. It can be a little bit challenging to achieve all of the combinations and permutations you might want. I've had to build it out a little bit. It's not simple, but it's powerful enough that I can do it.

We have integrated xMatters with CloudWatch and the dashboard. We've actually got two different dashboards depending on which platform we're monitoring. I've integrated with that, I've integrated with Slack, I've integrated it with Google Chat. It's really easy to integrate it with third-party products.

They have a very strong selection of third-party integrations that they support. Out-of-the-box, Slack's there, Teams is there, Zoom is there if you want to set up a video call for an incident. You've got third-party platforms for data management, but even if they don't have something out-of-the-box, so long as the product you're trying to integrate with has an API and you are fairly conversant in JavaScript, you can do it yourself. It's that good.

We also use REST API. It's really strong at helping to customize processes and information. The only shortcoming I would identify is that when they're rolling out new features, the REST API can take a release or two to catch up, and that's because they'll be firming up on what the functionality is of the feature before allowing you to then start accessing it via the API. Initially, it's only handled by built-in steps. The Rest API is really powerful.

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AA
Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

The most valuable features are the ability to have groups and then have an on-call rotation in the groups. Outlook lacks both these features. Outlook gives you the ability to contact an individual or groups, but you can't contact them based on an on-call rotation, and you can't have built-in timing escalations inside of that. xMatters gives you the ability to do that, which is important when you have 50 or so people in a team, but you only want to contact the person who is on-call. You don't want to create unnecessary noise with your large support teams. xMatters allows you to page the right person who is on-call versus just creating excessive noise for a group. If you send an email via Outlook to 50 people, all 50 of them have to get it when maybe only two people are responsible for actually working on that problem. The other 48 people would consider that noise. xMatters has the ability to deliver it to a targeted audience within that group.

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Rohan Samudre - PeerSpot reviewer
Staff Platform System Admin at BMC Software, Inc.

xMatters is helpful for getting the right on-call resources. That is a key factor. It is also very user-friendly, and just a little documentation helps you to understand things such as how on-calls are configured, how groups are configured, and how users update their on-call devices.

We're also able to specify messages for the different channels, such as text messages, voicemail, or email. That is quite helpful for us.

In addition, xMatters' reporting capabilities help managers to identify the peers and escalation that we have configured. It helps them see how many times an on-call either did not receive an alert or escalated it.

Another key feature set that xMatters offers is the API calls through which you can trigger xMatters. Because every application has its API, we just have to set up small workflows.

We also use xMatters logs on a daily basis. All incidents are created in ITSM and the logging capabilities are easy to use. We have integrated our xMatters with Okta. As a result, the authentication process takes care of the username and password. We haven't provided our users a bypass link so that they can directly log in to xMatters. Users have to log in using their Okta authentications.

With xMatters we have the flexibility to grant permissions to managers so that they can update their on-call schedules. They can change who is available in the next week, who is on the roster, et cetera. Managers can decide which person will be working on which shift. Some of our teams work 24/7, some work 24/5, and a few of our teams work 18/5. Managing all of them is a tough job and we addressed it by having the managers update their own on-call lists.

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Larry Radtke - PeerSpot reviewer
Intermediate Infrastructure Software Administrator at Gordon Food Service

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.

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Ana Cotes - PeerSpot reviewer
Incident and Major Incident Manager at Brinks Incorporated

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.

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John Paul Pammit - PeerSpot reviewer
ITSM Lead at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees

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.

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Rajvir Bhambra - PeerSpot reviewer
Major Incident Support Manager at Telefónica

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.

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Nicola Ayonoadu - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Service Delivery Manager at Telegraph Media Group

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.

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HF
Principal Program Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

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. 

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Joseph Yin - PeerSpot reviewer
Business Applications Analyst at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees

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.

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SK
User with 201-500 employees

It has been useful for IT alerting and business continuation.

When it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations, it is very flexible. There is only one thing that we've not been able to do, but if a capability is not there, you can always enter an enhancement request. They're very interested in what we're doing as a customer and what we're looking for. It is very easy to use and intuitive as compared to other similar solutions.

We have integrated it primarily with Jira. We use Jira for our help desk system, and then we can escalate a help desk ticket to a specific group of people for our IT instance. For example, if there was an issue with the server and a ticket was created, we could escalate that to our server team. The integrations that we have done were good and easy to set up.

We use xMatters’ REST API, and it is easy to use. 

We use xMatters logs as part of our operations. If needed, we do review the logs.

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Sam M Cohen - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Consultant, Owner and Founder at a tech consulting company with self employed

The most valuable feature is the automation because it reduces the demand on resources. It automates the escalation of a ticket if the person doesn't answer within a certain amount of it, and it passes it on to the next person. People are required to respond, for example, by pressing the one key on the phone to acknowledge the call. If it was an email then it would require a reply or similar type of acknowledgment.

Having this level of automation is a great benefit to being able to more quickly contact people. It reduces the amount of oversight required, and consequently, the amount of time to assign and get a response on a ticket.

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Nikita Chandapur - PeerSpot reviewer
Software QA Analyst at ViaSat

Being able to split the week however we want is definitely most valuable. We can create shifts and also see other teams' schedules. It is a very easy search to do these things.

Its intuitiveness and flexibility when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations are pretty good. It is pretty easy to use. It doesn't take that long to onboard people on this.

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GL
Senior Systems Analyst at a government with 10,001+ employees

The most valuable feature is getting alerts out to my user base. xMatters is the only solution that I know that has robust scheduling, calendaring for groups, and that provides very good delineation of who gets alerted and on which devices they receive their alerts.

It provides very robust and flexible means for scheduling and escalation. We use it quite extensively for making sure that we can schedule groups and the individual who is on call within them. We can make sure that, during office hours, everyone on a team receives alerts, but only the on-call person receives them after-hours via an SMS message. We use the calendaring quite extensively to make sure that we can schedule our shifts. Most of our groups include some form of escalation so that if somebody doesn't respond to an alert within prescribed timeframes, it will then send an alert to someone else.

The xMatters REST API is also very good when it comes to process and information customization.

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Rohan Samudre - PeerSpot reviewer
Staff Platform System Admin at BMC Software, Inc.

There are multiple features within this product that help, including:

1- Integration between multiple products (makes it easy to notify the alert)

2- Seamless process of on-boarding resources on the XM platform

3- Groups creation and resource mapping to the appropriate groups

4- Easy steps to set up the on-call schedule

5- The on-call list includes an auto-rotation feature which helps us to avoid visiting the app to change the on-call list week by week

6- Simple features create flow sets and build APIs for integrations

7- Reporting that helps to get the right volume of alerts

8- Dashboards that help to view the status of the alerts

9- Logs in the alert also help to identify the details and root cause

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Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,229 professionals have used our research since 2012.