Breakpoint Apogee

apogee

Apogee gives your organisation the assurance that your services are performing well and are available to all your users. Make Apogee part of every service you bring to market to ensure successful launch, and keep your existing services performing for improved user experience and customer retention.

Automated Mobile User Experience Testing and Monitoring

Your customers’ primary connection to your business is often their mobile phone. Apogee is a monitoring platform that reflects the real-world experience of your users. Apogee lets your organisation run repeated, automated testing on your services over USSD, SMS, STK, web and IP channels, directly over the GSM network using any Mobile Network Operator.

apogee-screenshot

Real World Measurement

The true status of your mobile service can only be determined by picking up a handset and trying a transaction. One cannot deduce from systems monitoring or status reports that everything is fine. If a user cannot complete a transaction, there is a problem with the service – something is wrong, even if the application is healthy. Apogee uses GSM devices and the cellular infrastructure to communicate with your service, just as a real user would. This means we analyse real-world performance and responses, exactly as your users are experiencing them.

Constant Performance Analysis

Apogee can detect very small changes in the response times for each step of a defined test process, long before your users will notice a difference. This allows thresholds to be defined so that you can take action to ensure the performance of the system does not decrease over time.

Intuitive Dashboards

  • Real time dashboards, customisable for specific roles, provide instantly actionable metrics.
  • Network Operations Center (NOC) personnel need traffic lights representing service availability
  • Product teams need metrics that detail the user experience (response times, etc.)
  • Vendor relationship managers need metrics for service availability over time, for SLA measurement.
  • Service owners have a real time view of service performance compared to KPIs.

Independent Partner Accountability

Careful monitoring produces real-time and historical graphs of service quality that are instrumental in negotiations and SLA management with partners (Mobile Network Operators, Value Added Service Providers, Vendors etc.). Apogee is independent and uncompromising.

apogee screen shot

Multiple Regions, Multiple Networks

Running Apogee in multiple regions and on multiple networks allows for quick identifi- cation of regional outages or MNO peering or service issues. This is especially useful where a service disruption might take a long time to be detected, then hours to be reported due to long escalation paths. It has proven very valuable in hub deploy- ments, where a shared service is hosted for many regions.

Multi-Protocol Testing

Apogee runs tests on a variety of GSM and non-GSM protocols (USSD, SMS, STK and IP) which allows for the identification of issues that might otherwise go undetected, while affecting your users’ experience.

Automation of Human Testing

It is not unusual to see a control room full of support staff running manual tests on handsets to verify product availability and service readiness. This is slow, costly and prone to error. Apogee never sleeps and never gets distracted, and produces auditable logs.

Faster and More Definitive Root Cause Analysis

Apogee can be integrated into every layer of your platform stack including devices such as service gateways, SSL appliances, load balancers, and application interfaces, in order to isolate the elements respon- sible for any issues.

This gives your organisation the tools to quickly escalate any problems to the correct team. It also provides objective evidence of where exactly issues may lie, and to which team it must be escalated.

Real World Examples

  • On a USSD Service, users who select “Option 3” followed by “Option 2” are receiving an unknown error. The order of an application menu item was changed overnight, but not synchronised to the USSD prompt server.
  • The time taken to execute the “Enter PIN” step for mobile wallet balance enquiries have deteriorated by 2 seconds over the past few months. Adding an index to a specific database table improved performance.
  • One Time PIN SMSes are suddenly taking a lot longer to be delivered to users on a certain GSM network. On enquiring, the partner network confirmed high load on their SMSC.
  • Some users experience increased website latency for requests from a specific GSM network over a data connection. The issue was traced to a faulty peering link.
  • At the same time every day, USSD and mobile app transaction failures increased. On escalating to the application vendor, the problem was found to be due to database load, caused by a scheduled query.
  • The HTTP API used by the Android app is unavailable to users in Region 5. A new misconfigured node was introduced to a load balancer pool which affected users in Region 5.
  • STK (SIM Application Toolkit) requests are timing out for all users, while other channels remain operational. The STK gateway was quickly isolated and found to be out of disk space.
  • SMSes to foreign networks are no longer being delivered.