The new Copacet platform – was this really necessary?
Over the past several weeks and countless hours spent testing and tweaking, I have asked myself this way too many times. And the answer has always been an easy yes.
An easy yes? Well… yes. =) Given the limitations and bugs in the old platform, and our commitment to our publishers, there really was no alternative.
A little background: when we started Copacet, we were convinced that a custom platform was the way to go and we started building one. But after several weeks of brainstorming and writing code, we decided that it might be easier and better to lease one of the numerous existing – and tested – platforms. We thoroughly vetted several products and initiated trials on several platforms, finally choosing to work with a particular company – a platform with a good reputation, an API, and both affordable and scalable. The next several weeks found us customizing ad code and the optimization functions, getting everything ready to go for an opening in mid Oct. 2011.
After several weeks things were going very well and as expected.Then we decided to run our Preroll beta test and started running into problems. To make a long story short, our ad code and optimzation scheme exposed a reporting bug in the platform we were using: for every 1 impression delivered, 3 impressions were being recorded. After two weeks of trying to find the error in our code, the company we were leasing the platform from acknowledged a bug in their system. A glitch, but no ‘real’ problem – they had the resources and incentive to get things fixed as quickly as possible; and we felt confident that this is what would happen. Their customer support suggested as much when they indicated that the problem would be fixed in the next product update.
Much to our chagrin – and to the disappointment of Copacet partners anticipating the release of our preroll – this didn’t happen. After 4 or 5 additional patches and hot-fixes, and 6 weeks later, the problem was still occurring. It was clear to me that the decision to either move forward with something else or to continue to trust the company that we were working with had to be made. However well intentioned, the company we were working with did not value our publishing partners as much as we did. We needed the ability to respond quickly to the needs or our partners and relying on another company for our infrastructure was just not going to work very well. This is when we decided to move ahead with our own proprietary reporting platform and we haven’t looked back.
The company we were using for our platform will remain un-named. Customer support was good, and we gave them the benefit of the doubt, but the problem went on for far too long. To say the least, I was surprised and dis-appointed – this is a multi-million dollar company with several very large clients and a good reputation; problems happen, but this situation should not have played out as it did.
The relationship with our partners is very important to us, and in the end this was the deciding factor. We want to provide the best service and experience to our partners and with our own platform we can kick it up a notch. Expect more from Copacet.