Learn how Solutia Consulting relied on Checkly to confidently deploy client software updates
Solutia Consulting is an information technology consulting firm based in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota. Solutia provides assessment and advisory services, dev team staff augmentation, managed IT services, and project-based contract work for a variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to mid-sized enterprises and organizations.
One of Solutia’s clients didn’t have a formalized synthetic monitoring regimen in place. Thanks to Solutia and Checkly synthetic monitoring, that client now has experienced a 50% reduction in technical support tickets and experienced increased application reliability.
The need for a synthetic monitoring solution to catch issues before customers see them
In the spirit of making their services even more effective for a large healthcare client, the company kicked off a search for a synthetic monitoring platform in mid-2022. Thomas Reither, an associate consultant at Solutia, was tasked to find a synthetic monitoring platform that would help the firm offer enhanced monitoring support for a specific client.
“I actually found out about Checkly by reading a post by Tim Nolet [Checkly’s CTO/CPO and Co-Founder] on Hacker News that was unrelated to monitoring,” says Reither. “When my boss asked me to look for automated front-end testing and monitoring solutions, I remembered that Tim worked at Checkly.”
Reither then evaluated Checkly against a number of other testing and monitoring solutions, including Playwright, Puppeteer, Selenium, and Cypress. He also looked at Browserstack, but was drawn to tools that had more robust support for Playwright, as the Solutia team had already been using and was familiar with the popular web testing and automation framework.
Support for Playwright and advanced synthetic monitoring with Checkly
Reither said that Checkly became his client’s preferred monitoring solution primarily due to two things: Checkly’s robust Playwright support and the extra visibility that Checkly monitoring provides.
On this first point, Checkly’s ability to use Playwright scripts directly was a big timesaver for the Solutia dev team. “We’re a small team, so the fact that we didn’t have to modify Playwright scripts before using them in Checkly was a big plus,” says Reither. “A lot of the other tools I was looking at, you'd have to insert some sort of custom script inside your Playwright script, or push it to their endpoints, or something like that. With Checkly we could just write the script, put it in Checkly, and then run it.”
“The initial reaction of my colleagues when seeing Checkly for the first time was very positive,” says Reither. “The first thing my engineering manager said was ‘Wow, that's a very intuitive interface.’ He then compared Checkly’s interface to what we’re dealing with right now with a competing monitoring solution, which has a very complicated UI with a bunch of graphs and stuff. He also said ‘I like Checkly because it’s easy to figure it out.’”
Solutia also liked that they weren’t locked into using Checkly exclusively. They could use a GitHub repo and still run their suite of Playwright scripts locally. They could edit those tests in that GitHub repo, and Checkly would still sync with their Playwright scripts without the need for modification. That was valuable, Reither says, because it doesn’t force them to maintain multiple types of test suites.
The second reason Solutia primarily chose Checkly was the enhanced visibility into how their apps are performing, and the alerting that happens when something goes down.
Reither mentions an example where Checkly alerted the team—via Slack notifications, which was their preferred alerting format—that login functionality for a service was down. About an hour later they received a ticket indicating that the login service was down, but Checkly had already alerted the team more than an hour before the first support ticket was generated.
“A real advantage that Checkly gives us is that we’re not waiting for our users to report an issue with a product, or waiting on a staff member to file a ticket—Checkly gives us real-time feedback on what is and isn’t working,” says Reither.
Saving engineering resources and improving the customer experience
Since using Checkly, Reither estimates that his client has seen at least a 50% reduction in customer-reported technical support issues, and the dev team is almost always now notified by a Checkly alert before they receive support tickets from the client. Alerts from active monitoring with Checkly has helped give the Solutia dev team even more confidence that what's running on production is working.
While smaller developer teams and organizations might overlook testing and monitoring tools, Reither suggests that bringing Checkly into a dev team’s workflow is easy to do, and can have a profound impact on developer resources and customer satisfaction. “Using Checkly is a great way for us to create value, and we’re confident in the value that we bring to our customers. Because of that we’re likely going to see more support and adoption for Checkly within my own company as well.”