DialogTech uses LaunchDarkly to empower teams and release quickly with confidence

DialogTech

DialogTech Overview

Improved time required to segment customers from days to hours.

Improved time required to segment customers from days to hours.

Enabled teams across the organization to self-serve.

Enabled teams across the organization to self-serve.

DialogTech is a Chicago-based company that helps customers like GE and Toyota measure marketing efforts against inbound sales and support calls. Their products give users insight into how marketing channels are performing and how to drive more conversions from voice interactions.

DialogTech Timeline

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Challenge

DialogTech maintains a suite of conversational intelligence products across five engineering teams. They were using a homegrown solution for feature flagging that included a combination of database tables, hard-coded account IDs, and hard-coded flags. The solution lacked consistency and moving code between dev and test environments was cumbersome. Enabling or disabling functionality for internal teams and customers required developer time and stalled innovation. For example, adding customers to an alpha group could take up to a week. When the team was planning for significant product updates, the need for more agility in their process to enable iterative releasing and testing became clear. They also wanted to give some teams outside of engineering the ability to update customer accounts. DialogTech explored expanding their homegrown feature flag solution, but determined that development cycles would be best spent building new features and functionality for customers. Their feature management solution needed to both empower less-technical users and be robust enough to meet the development team’s varied needs. After examining available solutions, DialogTech chose LaunchDarkly for its ease of use, SDK maturity, language support, and strong feature set.

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Solution

Since adopting LaunchDarkly, DialogTech has used feature management extensively to manage releases, increasing team collaboration and efficiency. The development team can toggle individual features on or off within the dashboard, instead of having to spend time reindexing their entire codebase. The QA team can now work much more iteratively with developers. Rather than waiting for code completion, QA can start building automated test suites as soon as a flag is defined, while developers continue feature work. Paired with custom roles, it is easy and safe to provide the QA team members access to a test environment, while limiting development and production environment access to the engineering team. Additionally, numerous teams have been empowered by feature management to operate with greater efficiency: • Product managers can toggle features on and off for alpha and other customer segments. • Implementation managers can test customer environments and push the boundaries of usage. • Customer support managers can enable functionality for top tier accounts.

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Results

With more empowered teams and a more efficient release process, DialogTech can provide improved customer experiences. Most recently, they were able to perform a percentage-based rollout and granularly control the user experience of a significant upgrade to their homepage. By segmenting user groups, the team ensured a risk-free, smooth rollout for all users. • The most active users received the new experience immediately. • As systems and latency levels (a primary concern of the dev team) remained performant, the highest data volume accounts began receiving the new experience. DialogTech was able to streamline developer workflows, improve cross-functional collaboration, and deliver better customer experiences with LaunchDarkly—all while adding confidence to the release process. What could take up to a week with their previous solution can now be done in a matter of hours. The team plans to continue building with confidence and enabling more users to benefit from the power of feature management through LaunchDarkly.

LaunchDarkly makes our iterations so much easier. Being able to just toggle a feature flag and have it immediately change is a big win for our developers and their workflows.

Tim Dupree

Director, Front End Engineering, DialogTech

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