Supporting our customers at peak periods
Seasonal peaks are getting steeper and closer together. Customers often ask me about PXP’s capacity planning and what support we provide at peak trading times, so here goes…
The first thing to note is that our capacity planning is continual. It never formally starts or stops. We are constantly using our application and infrastructure data to assess the performance and efficiency of our platforms.
Our customers expect us to process whatever they send us. We expect this of ourselves. So, we monitor the draw on our capacity and resources daily to meet and exceed this.
When it comes to Black Friday, we begin planning a year ahead. As soon as one Black Friday ends, we review the data from this new peak and start planning how we can improve performance throughout the year.
We put new functionality, features and fixes into our development and release schedules. This means we can implement and prove them ahead of time, so we’re ready for the next Black Friday peak.
The last release we do in mid-October is our ‘stability release’. This is where we focus on system optimisation, performance and bug fixes, rather than any new features.
Our first change freeze usually starts at the beginning of November. We can implement fixes before the Christmas peaks, before our second change freeze from mid-December to mid-January.
FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED
Given what I’ve said above, it probably won’t surprise you to know that PXP believes that forewarned is forearmed. We aim to spot potential issues before they become problems. That’s the case throughout the year as well as for peak periods.
We’ve made heavy investments in our monitoring and telemetry capabilities over the last 4-5 years. This means we can retrospectively review what has happened for individual customers, and why.
We have a daily report that we review every morning for volume, performance, comms areas and everything that is happening in the environment. If there are any issues or anomalies that could potentially be problematical, we raise them with customers, often before they’ve noticed themselves.
We believe — and our customers agree with us on this — that pre-emptive action is better, simpler, cheaper and less painful than when the problem has manifested itself. So, if you’re interested in finding out more about capacity planning in the run-up to peak season, please get in touch.
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