SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Okay, Google. When Am I On-Call Next?

Is VoiceOps Ready for the Next Step?

Imagine this: PagerDuty calls and a calm voice tells you that you have problems to pay attention to. Your internal response is perhaps not as calm and sounds something like this:

“Aahh! I have to fix this!”
“How should I fix this?”
“Is this someone else’s problem? Can this be someone else’s problem?”

Or some expletive I can’t publish here.

The reality is that the rising DevOps movement means that responders aren’t limited to just solving problems from 9 to 5 in a cubicle. Smartphones, laptops, and fast home Wi-Fi enable and occasionally require people to do their work from home. When something comes up, they can be notified and respond anywhere, anytime, and through a number of platforms.

But even with today’s technology-forward society and myriad communication options, there are times when people can’t or don’t have access to a laptop and reliable Wi-Fi: commuting, meeting someone for coffee, getting a root canal at the dentist’s office. In these cases, responding with their voice can feel more natural (ok, except for the root canal):

“Escalate. I can’t answer right now.”
“Yeah, okay. Acknowledge.”
“Hmm. Request additional responder. Find Ellen from the database team.”

With this scenario in mind, a few of us at PagerDuty started researching how people might like to actually talk to PagerDuty. First, we considered the two situations people associate the most with PagerDuty:

War Time: A number of people are responding to a major incident, most likely with multiple teams involved and communicating on a conference bridge.

Skirmish Time: One responder is acknowledging and dealing with a minor incident, probably working alone and referencing some dashboards, metrics, and runbooks to resolve the issue.

But there’s another scenario: Peace Time. This is when teams make the most of the relative quiet to edit schedules, check analytics, configure services, and manage overrides. Consider how people gained trust with voice-enabled devices at home. Most of these interactions are relatively “peaceful.” Consumers have started trusting voice-enabled devices around their homes by experimenting with relatively non-urgent commands:

“Do I need an umbrella today?
“Tell me a joke.”
“How fast can cheetahs run?”

Checking on the state of a system should be just as natural as checking the weather. VoiceOps in a peacetime scenario can transform the way people manage their digital operations. Corinna Sherman, a UX designer, and Zayna Shahzad, a lead software engineer, and I mapped out the possibilities of VoiceOps for peacetime, then built a prototype using Google Assistant, a Google Home device, and the PagerDuty API.

We then teamed up with the Actions on Google development community and hosted a joint hack event last month, where we shared the prototype with the PagerDuty Community and attendees from Hackbright Academy and Code2040.

During the event, everyone brainstormed to come up with ideas and build demos using Actions on Google Assistant and PagerDuty APIs. Winners were awarded Google Home devices so they could continue working on their projects after the event. Additionally, Ido Green, Dev Evangelist for Actions on Google, helped participants understand the principles of designing for voice, walked through some code labs, and shared how Dialogflow adapts and trains using different natural language techniques to improve over time.

What did we learn?

  • VoiceOps is promising for responders during Skirmish Time scenarios when responders are working on their own to resolve minor incidents.
  • VoiceOps has promise for managers in Peace Time, providing answers to people who do not usually check their team’s PagerDuty application every day.
  • VoiceOps is not ready yet for War Time just yet: As Corinna points out, voice recognition can still be pretty spotty when it comes to recognizing accents or when the speaker is in a room with questionable acoustics.

People will use VoiceOps if voice recognition and interaction work—and work well. If any voice interaction doesn’t work as designed, then people will get frustrated and stop trusting it.

Want to learn more? Check out the prototype and join the discussion in the community forum. What would you ask when you’re on call? When you’re not? We’d love to hear it. Also, don’t forget to join the PagerDuty Community to stay up-to-date on events and more!

The post Okay, Google. When Am I On-Call Next? appeared first on PagerDuty.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By PagerDuty Blog

PagerDuty’s operations performance platform helps companies increase reliability. By connecting people, systems and data in a single view, PagerDuty delivers visibility and actionable intelligence across global operations for effective incident resolution management. PagerDuty has over 100 platform partners, and is trusted by Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, including Microsoft, National Instruments, Electronic Arts, Adobe, Rackspace, Etsy, Square and Github.

Latest Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.