Introducing Private Status Pages
We started StatusPage with one goal in mind - increasing transparency between software providers and their customers. The early adopters mainly consisted of dev tool companies, which makes sense. Any developers building in mission-critical functionality to their applications with API as a service products, like Mailgun or Twilio, needed to know immediately if API response times are spiking or if calls are failing. Furthermore, those developers also needed to know why and when a resolution could be expected. That’s where we came in.
Since then, we’ve grown from 20 customers to 2,000 customers within 2.5 years and have seen pretty much every type of company imaginable come on board. Dev tools, SaaS companies, internet infrastructure, higher education, government, consumer apps, game shops, and many others. Turns out, being transparent isn’t just a good thing for developers, it’s a good thing for everyone. With this uptick in transparency, one of our main use cases has become one that I can’t say we expected - internal IT communication across entire organizations. Employees depend on internal IT services just as developers depend on Twilio and Mailgun.
Over the past year, we’ve built features such as Access Control and SSO to address this need, but never packaged up these features into internal specific plans that made sense for companies. Until now. We’re officially announcing Private Status Pages to help companies demolish the overhead that comes with back-and-forth incident communication.
"During outages, we used to get bombarded with teammates asking "Is the site down?" Today, the first thing the Incident Commander does is update our StatusPage. No more questions. Our in office internet connections have outages, too. After seeing our StatusPage, our IT Manager asked if he could have an account. Today, instead of the whole company running to his desk, he sends updates company wide with a few clicks. He literally bought me lunch."
— Douglas Jarquin, Technology Operations Manager, Zumba Fitness
Minimizing Internal Support Costs
If you’re the one who wakes up when the pager goes off, you understand the pain. Not only do you have to fix the problem at hand (e.g. an internal networking issue or the site is overloaded), but you also have to respond back to every ‘What’s the latest?’ chat, email, or call that comes in from managers and employees across your organization. It’s overwhelming and extremely costly to the business when every minute counts.
Downtime has a funny way of showing up at the least convenient time. Maybe you’re an account executive about to provide a demo to a prospect, or a customer support manager replying to a ticket when you no longer can access the application. You also know the pain. Your credibility is on the line during downtime. You need the right information to let your external stakeholders know what’s going on. “Our site’s down, here’s exactly what’s happening” works a lot better than “Our site’s down, not sure why."
So you send emails — your manager, your boss, engineers — whomever you think will get you the information the fastest. And it’s not just you, a lot of other people in the company start sending the same emails. And all those emails trigger more emails, and more emails. On and on it goes. The chain continues for hours even after the incident subsides. By then, the information is a scattered, inconsistent, and fragmented mess.
Multiply all that time wasted by the number of employees, and multiply that figure by the number of incidents per month. The wasted time and cost skyrockets. Companies like Atlassian, Dyn, HBO, and Bleacher Report are avoiding this whole problem by using private, internal status pages.
An internal status page gives employees a single source of truth to look for real-time status information, while also allowing them to opt-into the Email or SMS notifications specifically relevant to their team, office, or product. It’s one of the fastest efficiency gains you can implement across your company with minimal effort.
Locking Down Your Page With Single Sign-On
The most important part of a private status page is simply keeping the information private. Only employees should be able to access the information or receive notifications and that access needs to be auto-revoked if the employee leaves the company.
Thankfully, over the past few years, SSO via SAML 2.0 managed through identity providers (IdPs) like Okta, OneLogin, and Ping Identity have taken over the identity management world. Today, everyone from brand-new startups to global enterprises are using SSO across all of their SaaS applications. I’m extremely happy to announce that StatusPage now integrates with major IdPs and any identity solution that speaks SAML 2.0, allowing both admins and employee viewers of the page to authenticate via SSO before receiving access.
Connecting With PagerDuty and VictorOps
We do status communication really well. What we don’t do is aggregate and escalate alerts from your monitoring providers. We leave that to the pros in the incident alerting and on-call space, PagerDuty and VictorOps. Within these tools, subsets of incidents typically impact more than just the engineers on call. More often than not, there’s some information that needs to be communicated to either the entire organization or specific teams within the org. That’s where we come in. Without ever having to leave your incident alerting tools, you can trigger updates right to your status page and to the specific people in your company that need to know about an incident.
We launched our integration with PagerDuty over a year ago and since then it’s become one of our top integrations for private pages. Using the two tools together, StatusPage pulls in all of your PagerDuty services and lets you create automatic triggers to update your status page and send notifications based off of PagerDuty incidents. In the example below, you’ll see a Pingdom service that automatically switches the StatusPage ‘API’ Component to Major Outage and also opens an incident with a pre-formatted template. Learn more about the integration here.
If you want control over exactly when a component status changes or an incident is created without leaving your incident escalation tool, the VictorOps integration is for you. One first-party integration with VictorOps pulls in all of your StatusPage Incident Templates and lets you create StatusPage incidents without ever leaving VictorOps. At the same time, the integration is a two-way street, allowing you to see activity from your status page being piped into your VictorOps timeline, keeping the engineering teams on the same page with how the incident is progressing. Read the full announcement here.
Surfacing Real-Time Updates Within ChatOps
The best way to keep all of your employees updated during an incident outage is to make information accessible. The baseline for this is having a private status page at a dedicated URL like status-internal.company.com, but with the prevalence of company chat, you really should be sending any status update directly into Slack or HipChat as well. While integrating with chat products has been baked into the product for a while now, we just released our newest integration with HipChat, allowing HipChat users to see current top level status and full incident history right within chat. Enable the integration within the HipChat Marketplace.
Hooking Into The Services You Already Use
From AWS, to Salesforce, to Google Apps, and everything in between, corporate IT is now responsible for maintaining and reporting on all of the SaaS services companies use. Since every single employee’s daily work is now dependent upon a whole host of SaaS providers, this isn’t an easy task. As a Director of IT, you’re the one employees come to when they can’t login to their file sharing service or can’t boot up a video conference. Using Third Party Components on an internal status page lets you automatically hook into the statuses of the services your company uses, giving your employees one place to check before emailing you when their respective applications may be down. Additionally, StatusPage is constantly growing this network as SaaS providers buy into transparency and launch status pages of their own.
New Private Page Tiers
Using Public And Private Pages Together
With the launch of SSO, we’re now offering private-specific pricing tiers. SSO viewership comes with all of the plans along with the key integrations described above and the core feature set you’re already familiar with. If you’re wondering if you can add a private page to your existing public page setup, the answer is most definitely yes. We’ll let you manage both pages without ever having to log in or out, while incidents, components, metrics, and subscribers will be completely separated out per page.
We’re super excited to officially roll out private pages and help IT teams save time and money when it comes to internal status communication. If you’re interested in getting a page setup or adding a page to your existing account, the best way to get started is to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a two week trial. We’ll schedule a quick call to go over best practices, integrate the page with your current toolset, and enable SSO to keep the page secure. Look forward to hearing from you!