Aug
18
2020
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Wix launches a new company, Wix Answers, to unify customer support

Website-building platform Wix today launched a new company Wix Answers, which it says offers enterprise-level customer support and is intended to compete with companies like Zendesk and Salesforce.

Joe Pollaro, the general manager of Wix’s U.S. business, said that while the company has “been expanding into much larger types of users, enterprise-class users,” Wix Answers wasn’t initially part of that grand strategy. Instead, it’s a product that the company built to meet its own needs, which it subsequently productized and spun out into a separate entity (still owned by Wix).

“I don’t think there are many companies out there that have gone out there and just decided to build something so critical as customer communications,” Pollaro told me. “That’s part of our DNA: If we don’t feel like we find something out there that fits our needs, we just decide to build it ourselves.”

What was missing from those existing products? Pollaro said Wix “needed something to give us the full picture of customer communication — not just opening tickets and solving problems and moving on.” He later added in a statement provided by the company, “After that, because of the success we had with it managing support for 180 million of our own customers, we realized we should make this available to the enterprise as a separate offering.”

Wix Answers

Image Credits: Wix

Carl Lane, the product solutions expert for Wix Answers, made similar points when he demonstrated the product. For example, he pointed to the platform’s “360 degree view of the user,” with things like the company they work for, whether they’re “a VIP user” and showing all the customer service conversations they’ve had across channels, whether that’s via phone call, chat, website ticket or email.

“There is a need to move the customer support industry forward to a newer and more consolidated approach,” Wix President & COO Nir Zohar said in a statement. “We’re revolutionizing and elevating the industry standards as the industry moves towards a more personalized and knowledge-driven style of support.”

Lane also said that the platform uses AI to help customer support agents respond more quickly, and to recommend ways to make the team more effective (like making customer support articles more accessible).

And with the Wix Answers dashboard, “it doesn’t matter what channel [the customer] used, there’s a consistent experience for our agents.”

That can help with the workflow, for example by flagging when there’s an alarming number of people waiting to have their calls answered (so maybe it’s time to pull some people out of meetings).

Wix Answers Image 3

Image Credits: Wix Answers

“You get complete visibility over your workforce any time,” Lane said. Similarly, on the analytics side, he said, “Analytics are vital to customer support organizations. When customers have one product for chat and one product for email, it’s really hard at the end of the day to see how well did everyone do.”

With Wix Answers, Lane showed me that a manager could bring up a customer service team member’s record to see the total number of tickets they’d responded to and many customer satisfaction surveys were filled out afterwards.

Clients already using the Answers product include Getty Images, MyHeritage, Guesty, Viber, Fiverr and Yotpo.

Update: The original draft of this story incorrectly described Wix Answers as a new product launched by Wix. It has been updated throughout to reflect that Wix Answers is a new, separate company, albeit one that’s still owned by Wix.

Aug
31
2017
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Percona Live Europe Featured Talks: Orchestrating ProxySQL with Orchestrator and Consul with Avraham Apelbaum

Colin Charles

Percona Live EuropeWelcome to another post our series of interview blogs for the upcoming Percona Live Europe 2017 in Dublin. This series highlights a number of talks that will be at the conference and gives a short preview of what attendees can expect to learn from the presenter.

This blog post is with Avraham Apelbaum, DBA and DevOps at Wix.com His talk is titled Orchestrating ProxySQL with Orchestrator and Consul. The combination of ProxySQL and Orchestrator solves many problems, but still requires some manual labor when the configuration changes when there is a network split (and other scenarios). In our conversation, we discussed using Consul to solve some of these issues:

Percona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?

Avraham: On my first day as a soldier in a technology unit of the IDF, I received a HUGE Oracle 8 book and a very low-level design of a DB-based system. “You have one month,” they told me. I finished it all within ten days. Before that, I didn’t even know what a DB was. Today, I’m at Wix managing hundreds of databases that support 100M users!

Percona: You’re presenting a session called “Orchestrating ProxySQL with Orchestrator and Consul”. How do these technologies work together to help provide a high availability solution?

Avraham: ProxySQL is supposed to help you out with high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) for MySQL servers, but it still requires some manual labor when the configuration changes – as a result of a network split, for example. Somehow all ProxySQL servers need to get the new MySQL cluster topology. So to automate all that, I added two more parts: a Consul KV store and a Consul template, which are responsible for updating ProxySQL on every architecture change in the MySQL cluster.

Percona: What is special about this combination of products that works better than other solutions? Is it right all the time, or does it depend on the workload?

Avraham: As DevOps I prefer not to do anything manually. What’s more, no one wants to wake up in the middle of the night because any one of our DB servers can fail. Most everyone, I guess, will have more than one ProxySQL server in their system at some point, so this solution can help them use ProxySql and Orchestrator.

Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?

Avraham: I am hoping to help people automate their HA and DR solutions. If as a result of my talk someone will earn even one minute off downtime, I’ll be happy.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live Europe 2017?

Avraham: In the DevOps and open source world, it’s all about sharing ideas. It was actually when I attended the talks by ProxySQL and Orchestrator’s creators that I thought of assembling it all up to solve our own problem. So I am looking forward to sharing my idea with others, and getting input from the audience so that everyone can benefit.

Want to find out more about Avraham and RDS migration? Register for Percona Live Europe 2017, and see his talk Orchestrating ProxySQL with Orchestrator and Consul. Register now to get the best price! Use discount code SeeMeSpeakPLE17 to get 10% off your registration.

Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2017 in Dublin is the premier European open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, time series database, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe will be September 25-27, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.

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