Vidyard is an online video platform for AI-powered video messaging, video hosting, and buyer engagement solutions. Today they help brands such as Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Microsoft stand out with prospects, tell better stories, and wow their customers.

Key takeways
  • Vidyard rebuilt their entire notification system with Knock after facing issues with their old system being slow, fragmented, and difficult to understand.

  • Before Knock, implementing a new notification could take 3-4 weeks. With Knock, the Vidyard team can have a new notification live in hours or even minutes.

  • Vidyard has been able to remove 3 internal services for notifications by switching to Knock.

  • Knock helps the Vidyard team ship new features faster and has helped drive the product-led growth motion at Vidyard.

Every day Vidyard users engage with their teammates, customers, and prospects through the video they create in the platform.

Notifications are a key driver of Vidyard’s engagement flywheel. Shares, views, comments—all of these key actions drive notifications that help users find value in the Vidyard product and engage with other users.

As the Vidyard team started to focus on product-led growth in 2023, they realized that their existing in-house notification infrastructure was slowing them down and preventing them from accomplishing their goals.

An in-house notification system that slowed product execution

Vidyard's existing in-house notification system was slow, complex, and fragmented across different frontends and services. The team managed four frontends across their web app, mobile apps, and chrome extension, and managed multiple backend services related to preferences, email templating, and cross-channel orchestration.

To implement a new notification, they needed to instrument it across all of the backend services and all of the frontend clients. A single notification could take weeks to introduce.

“For a lot of projects that did require new notifications, developers would just skip that part of the requirement because it just wasn't worth the time to implement.”

Kyle Kreutzer
Kyle KreutzerSoftware Developer

Once notifications were implemented, because they lived in backend code, it was difficult for the broader team to understand the logic and send behavior around existing notifications in the system. “We had a lot of people, especially people who hadn't spent a lot of time with notifications, who had no idea what our logic was around our existing notifications,” said Kyle Kreutzer.

The team knew two things: (i) they had ambitious roadmap plans moving forward and would need to be able to ship fast and (ii) notifications (and visibility into their behavior) were a critical piece of their product-led growth motion.

They decided to rebuild their notifications system to support their product-led growth plans and to enable their team to ship faster moving forward.

“We knew we needed to fix this now because if we kick this can down the road, it was going to cost us a lot more later," says Kreutzer.

Evaluating options: in-house or notification infrastructure vendors

First the Vidyard team evaluated their current notification infrastructure to see if they could use what they already had in place. It soon became clear a full rebuild was required.

The team knew they could elect to rebuild the entire system house, but opted to use a 3rd-party vendor that could focus on scaling their notification infrastructure so Vidyard could focus on their core product.

The team chose Knock over other 3rd-party notification infrastructure providers for a few key reasons:

  • Overall developer experience and ease of use. The Knock platform had the strongest developer experience and was the easiest to start using of the vendors Vidyard evaluated.
  • Knock subscriptions API. With Knock’s subscriptions API, the Vidyard team was able to offload an entire part of their system and logic that they’d otherwise need to build in-house.
  • Knock preferences API. “In Knock, preferences are just easy. You just create a preference by sending a request with the workflow key. If we did this ourselves, we’d need to make an update to a model in our backend. We could do it, but it’d take much longer—that’s not where we want to be spending time.”
  • Testability and observability. Knock made it easy for the Vidyard team to test notification workflows with its test runner and to observe the health of the system with its Datadog extension.

The initial implementation with Knock

When the Vidyard team started its implementation of Knock, they had an ambitious roadmap for an overhaul of notifications across all their front-end clients, and new notifications for their Vidyard Rooms launch.

For front-end clients that had previously taken weeks just to introduce just a single notification, the Vidyard team was able to have completely new, on-brand in-app notifications live within a few days.

“For our new Chrome extension, starting from scratch to having a PR tested and in production took four days.”

Kyle Kreutzer
Kyle KreutzerSoftware Developer

The team worked closely with Knock and was able to hit every milestone and release Vidyard Rooms on schedule.

“As we worked through implementation, questions and feature requests would come up. You guys jumped on it right away. We hit every milestone, we didn't miss a single one. As far as projects go, this was a really successful one.”

Vidyard’s in-app inbox, powered by Knock
Vidyard’s in-app inbox, powered by Knock

Impact: shipping faster and removing technical debt to power product-led growth

With Knock live in production, the Vidyard team saw two benefits take hold.

First, they could ship new features much faster.

“Our original notification infrastructure required significant time investment to create new notifications. Implementing a new notification could take 3-4 weeks or even longer depending on the complexity,” said Kyle Kreutzer.

Knock has made it easy for us to create new notifications and push out updates to existing ones. Instead of spending upwards of a month on creating and modifying new notifications, we can now do it in hours or even minutes.”

Second, the team was able to remove a lot of the technical overhead associated with running their in-house infrastructure. By moving to Knock, the team was able to sunset its internal services for message routing, preference management, and push notification management.

“We were able to remove three services just by switching Knock on, so it's vastly simplified our infrastructure.”

Kyle Kreutzer
Kyle KreutzerSoftware Developer

Now that the team is live with Knock, they’re experimenting with notifications faster to learn how they can accelerate product-led growth in their product. We’ll update this case study in a few months when our two teams have worked together to evaluate that impact. Stay tuned.