Fewer eyes on glass, more automation for consistently performant applications


As the dust settles on the COVID pandemic, fewer industries were more affected than cruise ship operators.

With customer experience now more important than ever, Royal Caribbean Group partnered with Cisco Systems Inc. to build applications that deliver consistent end-user value.

“We have really worked hard to improve and remove friction from our guest vacation; we want to keep them on vacation and having a great time,” said Alice McElroy (pictured, left), director of IT service management at Royal Caribbean. “We say we don’t really sell a cruise, we sell an experience. So we use AppDynamics to monitor those key applications that our guests are interacting with to ensure that they’re having that experience that we expect.”

McElroy and Gregg Ostrowski (pictured, right), executive chief technology officer of AppDynamics, part of Cisco Systems Inc., spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Savannah Peterson during the recent AWS re:Invent conference, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the cruciality of observability and performance monitoring, particularly in the cruise industry. (* Disclosure below.)

Managing sprawl in the technology stack

With the world digitally transforming at an unprecedented rate, consumers are placing increasing importance on digital products, such as websites and applications. In fact, Cisco’s recent App Attention Index saw 84% of respondents report that digital services are instrumental to regaining some pre-pandemic normalcy, according to Ostrowski.

“The interesting part that came about is that out of those respondents, 60% of them blame the brand if the application did not work the way they expected it,” he stated. “So they didn’t really care about the complexity in the backend.”

Essentially, as companies work to expand app abilities, it generates a sprawl in the technology stack. This sprawling can be difficult to manage without adequate observability and application performance tools, further leading to functionality issues. So, while Royal Caribbean suffered in terms of traveler numbers, it was able to manage operations when things quickly picked back up, according to McElroy.

“We did take a hit but we were able to use the AppDynamics tools to ensure that our systems were running with fewer people also watching those systems. So less eyes on glass, more automation.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS re:Invent:

(* Disclosure: AppDynamics, part of Cisco Systems Inc., sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither AppDynamics nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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