HubSpot Delivers Realtime Chat and Robust Collaboration with PubNub

Maturity, low latency and reliability set PubNub apart from the rest for powering customer interaction of the future

“PubNub is one of those systems that we set up and it just works. At this point, I don’t even have to think about it anymore.” – Ze’ev Klapow, Technical Lead

For the past 10 years, HubSpot has helped over 34,000 companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers through their inbound marketing and sales software.

Beginnings and Challenge

HubSpot’s PubNub journey started with HubSpot Sales, an all-in-one solution designed to help sales teams sell in a more human-friendly way. From the beginning, HubSpot Sales was using Google App Engine’s Channel API to provide real-time notifications of prospects’ activities — but the team was seeking alternative solutions due to concerns around reliability, support, and ease of use. (Years after their decision, Google announced they would permanently disable Channel API due to scalability issues.)

Building a realtime system in-house was a serious consideration, but a financial analysis showed it would cost more to build and maintain their own system, and significantly increase their time to market.

“We already had thousands of customers using our extensions and applications across multiple platforms…we knew that building a system from scratch and integrating it into our ecosystem would be too much of a distraction from our core focus of helping our customers reach their business goals,” said Klapow.

After weighing their options, PubNub’s maturity, low latency, and reliability eventually won them over, and within three weeks HubSpot introduced an all new beta version of HubSpot Sales built on PubNub’s infrastructure.

Realtime updates in HubSpot Sales, powered by PubNub.

According to Klapow, “One of the beautiful things about our PubNub infrastructure is we’ve not had to build systems to monitor PubNub independently, which we’ve had to do with other services. We’ve yet to see any issues with messages getting through on PubNub; relying on PubNub’s dashboards has worked out great.”

PubNub helps power realtime updates for the suite of productivity tools included with HubSpot Sales. So now, HubSpot’s customers know precisely when prospecting emails are received, opened, or clicked; when sales enablement documents are opened or viewed; and when prospects book new meetings on their calendar.

Expanding Horizons

After finding success with their initial implementation of PubNub for realtime updates, HubSpot began to leverage PubNub for other projects, taking advantage of additional features like Access Manager, Functions, Presence, Mobile Push, and Storage & Playback. They’ve since introduced the following features that are powered by PubNub:

Messages, a tool that lets sales teams chat with site visitors in real-time. All chats and internal notes on the conversations are automatically synced to the contact’s account in HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Projects, a feature that lets teams create repeatable projects consisting of shared tasks. Users can tag one another, assign different steps of projects to multiple people, edit projects collaboratively, comment on steps, share projects, and more.

HubSpot Composer, a distraction-free, collaborative writing experience within HubSpot that allows colleagues to leave comments for and communicate with each other, on top of being able to simultaneously edit the document together.

PubNub powers the realtime experience behind these applications, including chat, online/offline status, realtime notifications and alerts, historical message retrieval, dashboards, document collaboration, and syncing of changes across all users and devices. HubSpot is also using PubNub Functions to make external requests to HubSpot’s internal systems for analytics purposes.

“We’ve been very happy with things. It’s great that we’ve been able to expand how we work with PubNub. Even as more of our teams start working with PubNub, we can still count on getting great support and reliability,” said Ze’ev.

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