I remember my first NBA game. No, I’m not talking about the Bulls-Pistons game I attended while living in Chicago (though it was amazing to see Jordan play live). No, my newer “first” NBA game was a few seasons ago, when NBA launched their online offering on CashBox. In 2011, the Vindicia team worked through the summer to prepare for the big day. True basketball fans will also recall that 2011 was the year of the lockout. Due to the labor dispute, all of our hard work sat on the shelf from October to December, when the season finally started on Christmas Day.
2011 was also our first year working with the children’s toy company, LeapFrog. Christmas morning is an incredibly important day for them as well. In 2011, they were launching the LeapPad, which was widely considered “the hot toy” for the year – a must have for the younger set.
So there we sat on Christmas Eve, with two major clients who had both bet big on Vindicia. One big launch is enough to cause a good operations staff to make a list and check it twice. Having TWO major launches on the same day definitely upped the ante. We had our CTO, operations team, engineers, and services folks all on standby. 2011 Christmas day went off without a hitch.
Fast forward a few seasons. In 2015, just 4 years later, Vindicia has grown at an incredible pace. New clients like DIRECTV and the BBC have pressed us in new ways, and we’ve devoted a lot of energy to enhancing platform performance and expanding our stack. In the interim, we’ve also moved data centers and deployed more than a few shiny new boxes.
Earlier this year, we had another successful launch with the NFL, and over the past two nights we sailed through another NBA season tip-off. As is our custom for high profile events, we arranged for some extra eyes from operations to be watching the stack, and we had some services folks engaged continuously with the client through the launch window. In 2011, we were doing this because we were committed to our client’s success and wanted to make sure we performed exactly as we promised.
Today that show of force is still about making sure the client knows we’re committed to their success. You see, with the growth of our customer base over the past several years, the start of a major sports season just isn’t as large as it used to be. As a percentage of overall capacity, it’s a nice "little event," but it’s not the same adrenaline-inducing event it once was – and that’s a good thing. We’ve been through so many load tests, so many dry runs, and so many season starts, that we have an incredible amount of data on which we can draw. We can tell our clients what to expect – how far in advance they can expect to see volume tick up, and how that traffic curve will shape itself over the course of the launch. It’s a phenomenal thing to have absolute certainty that everything will go exactly as planned. It gives us great peace of mind – and that peace of mind extends to our clients too.
That way, they can focus on the important thing – watching the Warriors play basketball.