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Impressions from PagerDuty Summit

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One of the things that we track at RedMonk is the convergence of market segments and categories. PagerDuty is well-known for their incident management capabilities, but both PagerDuty and the market around them are evolving.

  • Monitoring is intersecting with alerting and incident management (“if I detect this problem / anomaly, I should tell someone about it.”)
  • Alerting is moving into the remediation space (“hey, we shouldn’t just tell people there’s an issue; maybe we can help people fix the issue, too.”)
  • Remediation is seeking paths towards automation (“maybe we can make fixing things easier.”)

All of these adjacent categories are running into one another, and PagerDuty is definitely part of these category collisions. Some of their key announcements this week were about functionality that starts to cross into other categories.

  • This is PagerDuty’s first Summit since acquiring Rundeck, a company that does runbook automation. One of their major announcements this week was around Runbook Actions, which will help on-call teams auto-remediate issues.
  • Another key announcement was Service Graph, a tool to help better map technical dependencies, and visualize the connections between services and teams. This dependency mapping feature starts to enter the problem space that many monitoring and observability tools are also hoping to solve.

PagerDuty is moving into adjacent markets, but it’s also notable that they are working to expand their reach to new personas. They are moving beyond the traditional DevOps use cases for which they are best known and into other areas of the enterprise. This week PagerDuty introduced a strategic partnership with Salesforce and announced a native app that will live within the Salesforce Service Cloud, which will both allow customer service reps who are doing customer-facing interactions to have live information on incidents that they can convey to customers, and vice versa to help initiate incidents if they start getting notified of outages or service issues from customer calls.

PagerDuty did a really nice job of choosing case studies that helped demonstrate their competencies outside of the traditional DevOps incident response role for which they are best known. Their key customer spotlight from the keynote was Fox Broadcasting, who shared the story of their $250M data center in Arizona. A contractor accidentally drilled into a water pipe, and because they were using PagerDuty to monitor their physical infrastructure, they were able to quickly alert on the incident and map out the blast radius of the flood so they could minimize impact to services.

PagerDuty has a big challenge ahead of them to both tackle these adjacent markets and to help expand the industry’s understanding of what their platform does. The storytelling they used during Summit was strong and did a nice job highlighting these expanded use cases. While most developers may continue to think of PagerDuty as the company that does their incident response, it’s fairly clear that Jennifer Tejada and team have much bigger ambitions.

Click to watch my quick take video on YouTube

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