Today we announce Emcee, available at, in a collaboration between Totaal Software and Squins IT Solutions. Emcee is a public beta, and free to use. Master the ceremony of maintaining and updating (software) systems. The ideas behind Emcee are simple: if you manage (software) systems that require maintenance, let the users of these systems know before, during and after the maintenance.

" target="_blank" rel="lightbox[id_191]" href="/images/stories/emcee/logo300.png">Let users know about the upcoming maintenance events in a manner that is structured, standardized and recognizable. Repeated use of standardized notifications teaches users what to look for, so that they know what to expect, how to act, and what questions to ask (ahead of time). It is a simple idea, solving this problem with a simple and straightforward tool, that is easy to use. Emcee aspires to be the best tool in this small problem space. But we see tremendous opportunities to further specialize, and make it more attractive to our users. You can read more about this vision here. If you just want to get started, take a look here, or directly go to For an introduction, see the video below.


While we all use these little, but highly useful, online tools to do our work in IT, Operations or DevOps, there just isn't anything to automate the announcements of maintenance events. We were seeing people improvising these via different communication channels, including often cryptic or ambiguous information, and with a very inconsistent timing, relative to the actual maintenance event. We first standardized these announcements using templates, as manual processes, in the organizations where we worked or consulted at. Then we took a stab at automating the process, which typically became part of the tools that we were already using or the software services that we were delivering. With Emcee, the machinery to standardize the announcements becomes its own thing, so that we can also standardize the announcements across services, thus across the organization. It is certainly a niche, but one that we see a potential for. We alpha-tested Emcee with a small group of users, representative for our typical audience, think of DevOps engineers, Business Analysts, and Support Engineers. In this process we resolved over 100 issues. While we have surveyed our connections to satisfaction that this will, in fact, solve people's problems, and while we also have put incredible dedication into the engineering work, it is still all terribly scary to throw something new at the world, and find out how people think about it, but the time is now. Try it today: