Overview

Photobox Delivers Frictionless E-Commerce Experiences with Dynatrace

Photobox Cover
"With such a diverse technology stack, not many solutions were able to meet all of our needs, but Dynatrace was the exception."

Alex Hibbitt - Director of Site Reliability Engineering, albelli-Photobox Group

Building an application for sharing life’s important memories

Photobox prides itself on delivering an exceptional customer experience with its market-leading photo printing and gifting service. Its consumer-facing operations are powered by a custom-built technology stack and home-grown e-commerce application, tailored to Photobox’s requirements. Photobox’s application stack is written in Perl, Node.js, and Java, with an architecture composed of traditional AWS EC2 and microservices, running on Kubernetes and AWS Lambda. In addition to its e-commerce service, Photobox operates multiple factories across Europe, which also run in their own custom technology environment.

Monitoring such a diverse technology stack became a significant challenge for Photobox. The company came to rely on ten different monitoring solutions across its stack, and teams had to check each of them manually to understand the end-to-end customer journey. Overseeing so many disparate solutions had become humanly impossible to manage and costly to maintain, delivering little value. Photobox wanted an all-in-one monitoring solution that could provide precise, actionable answers in one place, to help teams make faster, more data-driven decisions to optimize customer experiences.

Optimizing performance across a complex stack

Photobox sought an intelligent observability platform that could consolidate all monitoring data into a single pane of glass across the company’s end-to-end technology stack. After evaluating the market, Photobox identified Dynatrace as the clear choice, due to its flexibility, comprehensive capabilities, and its ability to quickly identify and solve performance issues. Dynatrace’s availability on AWS Marketplace was a further advantage, enabling Photobox to obtain Dynatrace through its Enterprise Agreement with AWS, which simplified the procurement process and optimized its spend with Amazon.

“In the monitoring space, everyone craves having one place they can look for clear, actionable data, and we just didn’t have that,” said Alex Hibbitt, Director of Site Reliability Engineering at albelli-Photobox Group. “With such a diverse technology stack, not many solutions were able to meet all of our needs, but Dynatrace was the exception. Its flexibility and extensibility enables us to monitor our custom applications with minimal manual effort. Dynatrace’s automatic discovery and instrumentation for AWS Lambda and Kubernetes have also been invaluable, and fulfilled all of our most essential requirements.”

"With such a diverse technology stack, not many solutions were able to meet all of our needs, but Dynatrace was the exception."

Alex Hibbitt - Director of Site Reliability Engineering, albelli-Photobox Group

Life with Dynatrace

  • Enhanced customer experience – Before Dynatrace, Photobox’s team would spend hours understanding a problem before they were able to resolve it. Now, with Dynatrace’s automation and AIOps capabilities, teams can identify the root cause instantly, so they can focus on resolution. This has enabled the team to resolve issues up to 80% faster, helping to deliver more seamless customer journeys.
  • Improved mobile services – Dynatrace provides Photobox with data and analytics on its mobile application that the company didn’t have before. Teams are now able to instrument services in new ways, better understand the mobile user experience, and identify areas for improvement, such as how to make the process of uploading images through different devices smoother.
  • Drive decisions based on real-time data – While Photobox could already access insights into customer behaviour, the reports would often be out of date by the time they reached the teams that needed to act on them. Dynatrace provides real-time, actionable data on how customers are interacting with Photobox’s services and how the performance of its applications impacts the sales funnel. These business insights help teams to maximize revenue, by making data-driven decisions on where to prioritize engineering effort to drive the greatest impact on sales.
  • Resolve real user-impacting issues Dynatrace’s Digital Experience Monitoring capabilities provide Photobox with invaluable insights into the relationship between what the user sees on the front-end and the performance of its back-end systems. This helps its engineering teams better understand user behaviour and error data, so they can resolve problems faster and more effectively. Dynatrace’s Session Replay capabilities also enable engineers to look more closely at specific bugs that are difficult to identify from the back-end, by seeing exactly what users see.

“Dynatrace has been revolutionary for Photobox, as our teams are now able to do work that previously would have taken hours in just minutes,” Hibbitt continued. “The precise answers from Dynatrace show us where we can improve our platform and enhance the customer experience in a fast, intelligent, and actionable way. Observability isn’t just a tool, it’s a mindset, and it has been fantastic to work with a company that shares that understanding and philosophy. In future, we’re looking to extend Dynatrace to more areas of our business, making it the core observability and automation platform for our estate.”

"Dynatrace has been revolutionary for Photobox, as our teams are now able to do work that previously would have taken hours in just minutes."

Alex Hibbitt - Director of Site Reliability Engineering, albelli-Photobox Group

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