Viewing app performance from the outside in is key to digital initiatives

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The outside-in capability shows if that is in fact the case and also identifies the high impact items by showing what’s happening to users. Then the trick is, how do you correlate and get rid of the false positive alerts that might have been triggered by something that wasn’t really an issue, like having more traffic than normal. Anybody that has baselines built on historical information continues to get alerts and so everybody discards those. We build in more intelligent analytics for automatic baselining. That makes it possible to take into account, for example, if everything is rising at once. So, if traffic and your CPU is rising I’m not going to alert, but if your traffic isn’t rising and the CPU is rising I’m going to tell you about that. Then I’m going to tell you if any users are impacted. That’s the intelligence that’s built in.

Do you get that out of the box or is that after a year of customization?

It’s very much out of the box. Compare that to where we were even five years ago. You’d go talk to CA or IBM and six months or maybe a year later they were done configuring every little potential path through an app. Ours is automatic. And as we go forward, it’s getting to the point where all dependencies are mapped between everything in minutes. And it’s not just once, it’s always mapped all the time, which is unheard of.

On the cloud front, how are your SaaS offerings doing?

Our “as a service business” is about $150 million, between Synthetic and Ruxit, so we have a significant part of the installed base that just want to use APM as a service.It partly stems from the fact that it’s hard to find real experts in the full stack of monitoring today. We have lots of experts.

What has changed since you became an independent company?

One of the biggest changes is the culture. As an independent business we can take on a culture focused on innovation and customer success. This is now a meritocracy, where your results matter to the business as well as to yourself and your career, as opposed to the “who you know” kind of model. That’s really refreshing for the organization because it strips away clutter and confusion about who reports to who, who does what, etc., especially in the international spaces where we had literally six different businesses sitting in the same office.

That’s all cleaned up now. If you go to our French office it’s Dynatrace, if you go to the Sydney office it’s Dynatrace. It may sound like a little thing, but its fundamentally powerful because everybody now has identification with one thing and the success of one thing.

It also enables us as leaders to accelerate change, whether that’s reacting faster to market shifts, or the pace of product innovation, or branding or reengaging the market in terms of what we’re about, how we’re different, those kinds of things. The speed at which we can react has stepped up dramatically.

All of these things are really important to success in this very competitive, dynamic market. My hat is off to Thoma Bravo for recognizing that there was a diamond in the rough here and somebody needed to come in and carve it out and give it its own life and charter and ability to attack the market. They’ve been a great partner.

A great partner in what way?

Here’s one example. They looked at our support costs and said they were too high relative to their portfolio companies. So we looked at that and ended up coming up with a way of actually doing better than their benchmarks and increasing customer satisfaction at the same time. We reorganized and moved from a traditional support model focused on how many cases closed per month, and shifted it over to engineering, where it’s about reducing the total number of cases in the first place by building a better product. Now engineering spends less time on escalations because they are right in the middle of what’s coming in. They get to see what’s coming in on a daily basis and react to them in each and every product.

It just took re-spinning and thinking about it once they showed us the benchmark was off. We’ve probably done at least a half dozen of those transformational kinds of things and it’s made a world of difference in our efficiency, in the satisfaction of customers, in our speed to market. My hat is off to those guys.

 

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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