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How helped Pleo reinvent the way they communicate during incidents

With, Pleo has been able to drastically improve how they communicate during incidents, leading to more efficient response processes and less downtime.

Key Benefits

  • Streamlined incident communication channels
  • More transparent and intuitive response processes
  • Actionable incident insights
  • Improvement in key SLO metrics saves us hours per incident when considering the need for us to write up the incident, root cause and actions, communicate it to wider stakeholders and overall reporting.
Braedon Plough
Braedon Plough
Site Reliability Engineer

Pleo is a spending solution designed for forward-thinking teams. Their smart company cards empower thousands of businesses across Europe

The challenge

As one of the fastest-growing startups in the financial services sector, Pleo had a lot to lose by missing the mark on incident response.

Responsible for safekeeping troves of sensitive customer data and navigating the complexities of dealing with bad actors left and right, Pleo had to ensure that the new incident management solution they adopted not only hit the mark but exceeded it.

Their existing in-house response solution was becoming particularly problematic, especially when several incidents were happening simultaneously. Here’s what they were looking to solve:

  • Unclear and siloed communication during incidents was a massive challenge, exacerbated by the in-house tooling they were using. Each incident felt like a game of catch-up and context-chasing
  • Meaningful learnings and insights from incidents were complex due to a reliance on manual documentation that was both time-consuming and inefficient
  • Their backlog of incidents was growing by the day, leading to engineering burnout and a lack of clarity around prioritization and delegation
What were they looking for in an incident management tool?
  • A solution that prioritized seamless incident communication and clarified roles and responsibilities throughout the response process
  • A way to automatically glean deep insights into the efficiency of their incident response
  • A sensible and intuitive design and user experience that streamlined the incident response process
  • A solution that made it easy to evangelize incident response beyond the engineering team

The solution

Automation and communication that enables better incident response

One of the most impactful changes for Pleo has been the implementation of Workflows, which allows responders to automate several key parts of the incident response process.

“It acts as the backbone to our processes and procedures and lets us automate many things,” says Gough. “With it, we can ensure that any necessary response actions, for example, getting the right people into the response channel, is done without human intervention.”

Communication has also seen a vast improvement thanks to the intuitiveness of’s interface. “It's easier to spin up a Slack channel than to sit and parse a thread of information, which is what we were doing with our in-house tooling,” says Gough.

An intuitive interface that encourages declaring more incidents…in a good way

Before, Pleo’s in-house solution made even declaring incidents an exercise in frustration.

But thanks to the intuitive and design-forward nature of’s declaration and response workflows, Pleo lowered the bar for what constitutes an incident. Now, the response declaration process isn’t solely on engineers—it’s a company-wide responsibility.

“In the process of implementing, we went through an exercise of refreshing our definition of what an incident was. We asked ourselves: 'What categories of incidents do we care about? How do we handle incident severities?'”

With, they not only answered these questions but also optimized for them as well. “Ultimately, it's reduced the barrier to entry for starting or declaring an incident. It's giving us a platform to say, ‘We're investing in declaring more incidents.’"

An easier way to learn from incidents and build better products as a result

For Pleo, the post-incident process was one of the most crucial. But it was being held back by a highly manual process of documenting critical data points like incident timestamps, making meaningful learning impossible.

“Postmortems were all written by hand, which was incredibly time-consuming.”

With’s Insights dashboard, Pleo could lean on a single source of truth for the metric they cared about most without the manual overhead.

“The insights helped us identify the areas we needed to focus on to reduce our mean time to recovery, which was a huge plus for our team.”

About the interviewee

Braedon Gough has been living and working in Copenhagen since 2015 after having the opportunity to work at two incredible Danish startups, focused on incident management & GitOps. Outside of work, you’ll usually find him reading or in the kitchen.

Braedon Plough

Braedon Plough

Site Reliability Engineer

Financial services
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