Interview with Patrick Sullivan: Making Kazoo 4.0 & Day 2 Recap
With all of the new and exciting information about Kazoo 4.0 getting shared here at KazooCon 2016, it’s tough to try and catch it all, but we’re here for you! Day two was jam-packed with speakers and 2600Hz product information, of course, but we also happened to get a special opportunity to interview with Patrick Sullivan, 2600Hz’s COO. Before we get into that, however, let’s take a look at some of the other highlights from the day.
Kazoo Goes Mobile
One of the biggest announcements about the updates to Kazoo 4.0 was that, unlike other attempts to get it off the ground in the past, Kazoo is now totally ready to go fully mobile. This was a big crowd pleaser as we saw the actual SIM cards that would be used and, in a wildly successful (and rather brave, I might add) live demo, they worked like a charm. Naturally, many in the crowd had a lot of follow-up questions about this and we’re sure to see plenty of activity on Kazoo 4.0’s GitHub related to it.
How the Sausage is Made
We also got a glimpse into the unbelievably well-organized product roadmap that 2600Hz operates on. We saw this in the context of how they triage ongoing product development projects and how they weigh those efforts against the various feature requests from the developer community. Using about as many JIRA epics and project workflow charts as you’d expect to find at NASA, they systematically shift from project to project with impressive efficiency. In fact, this is how after a few items in the Kazoo forums regarding downloading voicemails arose they were able to pivot internally and within three-month roll out the all-new Voicemail Manager. Pretty impressive inner workings, to say the least.
But these developments and announcements aside, I did promise you an exclusive sit-down with Patrick Sullivan, so without further ado, here he is in his own words.
What’s the one thing about Kazoo that 2600hz is proudest of?
One highly valuable component that makes our products best of breed, is the platform’s ability to scale to demand and obtain optimal uptime. Our evolution of the Kazoo platform has far surpassed our greatest expectations. We not only hit but exceeded our operational milestones.
Early adopters of Kazoo were working with sub-optimal installation conditions, however, our engineering team relentlessly worked to ensure a functional platform was the end result. Tactics used in our early days of development, created habitual processes for developing “commodity hardware” (myriad of components) resulting in a secure and reliable platform. The Kazoo call platform has established redundancy between multiple host servers, called clusters. With this failover system in place, interruption events are significantly reduced and customers gain the peace of mind that their business will be able to carry on in the event of a natural disaster or unexpected system failures.
What was the greatest challenge that you faced when designing Kazoo?
When pioneering new products, challenges and obstacles are eminent. Since 2600Hz has always embraced bleeding-edge technologies, and strived to consistently ‘push the envelope’ there were bouts of frequent deterrents and complications. In the earlier stages of development, we’d run into road blocks and had to backtrack on multiple occasions, to ensure the right components we’re being utilized within a realistic scope. At the end of the day, we were very lucky the components we chose to implement into our foundation, came together successfully and continued to integrate and operationalize.
What gets you most excited about KazooCon 2016?
KazooCon 2016 is our biggest event to date. This year, we’re showcasing a year of ‘behind the scenes’ dedication and hard work optimizing our products to the fullest potential.
One perspective we like to make is the comparison of our Kazoo platform to a skyscraper. Where other companies focus on dry walls, and fancy looking features, we’ve focused on the foundation (laying deep pylons, pouring concrete, proper piping, etc.). Now that 4.0 is launching we have the world’s largest frame of a Skyscraper and are now focused on finalizing and perfecting functional features for a complete package. We’ve moved the needle in a way our competitors haven’t quite touched upon, as we’ve invested the time and dedication on underlying platform, creating a reliable foundation for our new and innovative features being released over the next few weeks.