Interactive Investor

AppDynamics helps Interactive Investor maintain a seamless user experience

Interactive Investor ranks among the top investment and trading websites in the UK, with more than 1.5 million users. The company provides a trading platform and unbiased financial information that customers rely upon in securing their financial futures. Interactive Investor's team works hard at maintaining the company's reputation for offering unrivaled customer service. Testament to that dedication is the impressive fact that nearly half of all new customers are referred to Interactive Investor by existing customers.

Challenge: Deliver flawless customer service - and deliver it fast

Interactive Investor boasts a dedicated customer base of more than 1.5 million people. Customers rely upon Interactive Investor for a range of services, including trade execution, quality content that helps guide investment decisions, and very active discussion boards.

Common among Interactive Investor's customer base is a need for speed. The company's typical user is in a hurry, needing to access the information they seek or execute transactions with a minimum investment of time. A user experience that's dynamic and responsive is key to the company's brand, and focal to the company's ongoing efforts to grow its customer base.

And mobility has become central to the user experience offered by Interactive Investor. As IT Director Alan Grose explained, "Everything we do is totally focused upon mobile devices, phones, and tablets. Everything to do with the user experience going forward will be targeted at mobile then scaled up." 

We were previously using New Relic to monitor our applications, but it just wasn't giving us everything we needed...We really needed an APM that would offer better visibility and provide richer functionality."

Interactive Investor's website and mobile apps are designed to ensure that the user journey is seamless, flawless, and fast. In support of that goal, the ability to identify and correct problems before they mar the user experience is critical. And that's why making the right decision in choosing an Application Performance Management tool was so crucial. "We were previously using New Relic to monitor our applications, but it just wasn't giving us everything we needed," said Grose. "We really needed an APM that would offer better visibility and provide richer functionality."

Solution: Proof-of-concept delivers impressive results

The company decided to try AppDynamics on a proof-of-concept basis. AppDynamics was selected to help make improvements in four key areas:

  1. Website responsiveness

  2. Efficiency of cloud hosting

  3. User experience

  4. Monitoring third-party suppliers

“To state that the proof-of-concept went well would be a bit of an understatement. The AppDynamics APM impressed the Interactive Investor team with its analytics capabilities, dashboard usability, and the end-to-end visibility it provides. Just during the initial proof-of-concept, AppDynamics revealed some inefficiencies and helped us hone in on the root causes," Grose explained.

From there the decision was easy: AppDynamics will be rolled out company wide, completely replacing New Relic. AppDynamics will be used to monitor all website and mobile applications. It will provide both developmental and operational monitoring, and will be used by the 30-member IT team as well as a 70-person contact center team in Glasgow.

To state that the proof-of-concept went well would be a bit of an understatement. The AppDynamics APM impressed the Interactive Investor team with its analytics capabilities, dashboard usability, and the end-to-end visibility it provides. Just during the initial proof-of-concept, AppDynamics revealed some inefficiencies and helped us hone in on the root causes.

Benefits: Keeping up with the (Dow) Joneses

The Interactive Investor team will be using AppDynamics' APM to increase efficiencies, cut costs, and improve the user experience. Misbehaving code can be costly on many fronts - not just user satisfaction. As Alan Grose noted, "Bad code that slows processes can really cost us - we pay for everything we use on Amazon Web Services."

And bad code will become even more of a rarity at Interactive Investor. AppDynamics will make performance testing at the development stage more effective. "Performance testing is going to be easier and more effective," said Grose. "It'll be much easier to find bugs or inefficient code before it goes live. And bugs that are found in live code will be quickly and easily traced."

More than ever, businesses in today's world are dependent upon software. And keeping that software working at peak efficiency is key to staying ahead of the competition. That's why companies like Interactive Investor are turning to AppDynamics' APM to provide a competitive boost.