How a Six Man Startup Team Prepared their App for O2’s Nationwide Rollout

Industry

Technology

Website:

qudini.com

Location

UK

Employees

6

Use Case

Nationwide Rollout

About Qudini

Qudini was founded in 2012 with a clear purpose: to enhance the experience of the waiting customer.Whether waiting to buy groceries or on standby for a dinner reservation, customers using Qudini’s virtual queuing and appointment management system are freed from long, frustrating queues. They can stay mobile and get on with their day - while getting handy SMS updates so they don’t lose their place in the line.

The result? The frustration is taken out of queueing for customers, meaning they are happy to wait their turn. And with the resulting higher retention, spend and customer loyalty rates - the retailers and restaurants are even happier.

The Challenge

For two years, Qudini built up its client base across the UK. Gradually more retailers and restaurateurs started using its native Android and iOS apps to manage staff, breaks, queues, waiting lists and more. But it was over the past few months that the company started to gain major traction with big retailers. In October, UK Telecom’s retailer O2 decided to partner with Qudini. The nationwide retailer wanted to implement Qudini’s tablet app in 100 of its stores before Christmas 2014 - and roll it out to the rest of its estate shortly after - alongside their store-wide roll-out of Samsung tablets. With high volumes of customers entering their stores and multiple staff managing queues of customers from multiple devices, Qudini needed to be 100% sure its system would handle the load.

"The staff use our system to allow their customers to look around the store, confident in the knowledge that their place is being held in the queue. We needed to be sure that the system would be able to handle this. Any downtime would mean a bad experience for our retail partner and their customers - which is the opposite of what Qudini is all about."
Fraser Hardy, CTO and Co-Founder, Qudini

The Solution

Qudini's retail partners like to act fast. With a team of six agile developers, the Qudini team had just over a month to ensure its system could handle the high customer volumes and numerous devices that would be pulling on its database for real-time queue information.The team had been writing JMeter scripts and running JMeter from their own machines. Now they needed to find an actual system to push up the load testing and get an accurate indication of the outcome. As they had already been using JMeter, BlazeMeter seemed the obvious choice.Qudini runs on AWS so the team replicated their live environment on the AWS cloud platform. They wrote JMeter scripts, testing the user flow according to how they expected the customers to behave. They started testing with just a few hundred concurrent users and gradually ramped it up until bottlenecks became apparent. For example: they were able to see in BlazeMeter that there was a significant slow down when they had thousands of concurrent users and needed to add customers to the virtual queue. BlazeMeter is fully integrated with Systems Analytics Platform New Relic, so Qudini’s developers were able to use New Relic to explore why the bottlenecks were occurring. It was then easy for them to make the relevant changes and optimizations to ensure that none of these issues would occur in production.

"We found BlazeMeter remarkably easy to setup and use. We imported our JMeter scripts and, within a few minutes, we were able to run 1,000 concurrent users against our app and immediately see precisely what was going on. It gave us a flexibility that we wouldn’t have been able to replicate otherwise."
Fraser Hardy, Qudini Co-Founder and CTO

The Results

After just a few weeks of testing, the staff at Qudini were ready...ahead of the O2 rollout date. The team implemented its system within 100 O2 stores without a hitch and are now set for the nationwide launch in January 2015.
However, as a rising technology company, Qudini is already thinking past the O2 rollout. The company is planning a major new version of its app and many new features. All of these will need to be load tested so Qudini can be confident its system will be fast and reliable for its users.

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