In APMdigest's exclusive interview, Dynatrace’s Chief Marketing Officer Nicolas Robbe talks about Application Performance Management (APM), and the company’s ongoing business transformation and future outlook – including the merger with Keynote announced today.
APM: Dynatrace has been transforming itself over the past year, including the recent announcement that Keynote is merging into your company. How do these moves play into your longer-term strategy?
NR: Dynatrace has always understood the disruptive nature of the digital transformation, and how it impacts businesses across all sectors, as well as its implications for the APM market. In particular, what we anticipated is a shift from focusing on applications to users’ experience. The increasingly connected, omnichannel way of life is a fast-moving and ever-present force, which has reshaped what APM is about. Among other things, it forces companies to understand how their users’ experience compares to competitors, and to do this before — not after - real users hit their mobile app or site. Call it the renaissance of synthetic testing!
Now, our merger with Keynote empowers us to continue building the world’s most complete and accurate virtual user cloud. Collectively, we take more than 2 billion measurements of digital endpoints every day, from all corners of the world. This is an invaluable platform for any company trying to gain greater confidence in the digital experience they deliver to users.
The past year has been a very exciting one for us. The transition in December to being a private, stand-alone company gave us the agility and flexibility to focus solely on delivering solutions that deliver real-time information and insight on digital services — and users — visible and usable by everyone in an organization. In our first year as an independent company, our growth rate has nearly tripled, and Gartner has ranked us #1 in worldwide APM market share — accomplishments that we’re very proud of.
In terms of Keynote’s merger with Dynatrace, the leadership teams at both organizations shared a similar vision about the opportunity ahead. By bringing our organizations together we can deliver and cross-pollenate more innovation for the Dynatrace and Keynote platforms.
This merger accelerates our ability to continue innovating and delivering the most trusted digital performance management solution in the industry. Dynatrace is now 1,750 persons strong, supporting more than 7,500 global customers, over 100,000 APM community members and driving more than $450 million in revenue annually.
APM: How do you expect Keynote merging into Dynatrace will benefit Keynote and Dynatrace customers and partners?
NR: Keynote will join Dynatrace as part of a new business unit, which will bring together the Dynatrace Synthetic, Dynatrace UEM and Keynote Performance Monitoring and Quality Management products. This makes Dynatrace the largest APM as-a-Service provider in the world, with thousands of the world’s top customers.
Howard Wilson, Keynote’s former Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, will run the business unit covering both cloud-based services.
Both Keynote and Dynatrace customers will continue to run as usual and both will see immediate additional benefits. No customer will be left behind or have to “switch” services.
■ Keynote customers will gain immediate access to Dynatrace cloud innovations such as Real User Experience Management as-a-Service, advanced third-party analytics and PurePath Technology.
■ Dynatrace customers will gain immediate access to Keynote’s exclusive “Insights” consulting service.
■ Both customer bases will see an upgrade in their service/portal usability as well as expanded value for business-critical use cases such as real-time business analytics and omnichannel visibility.
APM: How does Dynatrace define end user experience management (EUEM)?
NR: Great question. This is a real differentiator for us. Dynatrace delivers “gap-free” information and insight on users’ experiences across the entire application delivery chain. What this means is that we have the unique ability to capture every swipe, every click, for every transaction, every user, 24x7 for native apps, single page web apps and hybrid mobile apps. This data is actionable and valuable for everyone in an organization — development, test, ops and business.
Unlike other vendors whose design principles really stem from traditional production monitoring algorithms, our architecture employed big data principles from the get-go, enabling our customer to derive a unique level of insights about a user behavior, its journey and their experience performance-wise.
And as a result of the Keynote merger, Dynatrace and Keynote customers will have access to the most accurate virtual user network, comparative benchmark and real user monitoring in the industry, which means that business audiences can gain unprecedented value from application performance data to make decisions that drive the bottom line in a very tangible way.
APM: What do you see as the most important aspects of APM today?
NR: In today’s digital world, systems are more complex, the way users interact with businesses is more complex and the sheer volume of data being handled by organizations is historic. The old way of doing things — focusing primarily on troubleshooting and problem identification — isn’t enough. We have four cornerstones we point to that organizations need from their APM vendor:
■ First, APM is not about applications — it is really about a digital performance strategy that starts and ends with end-users, including understanding and delivering what they need at any given moment.
■ Second, insights into performance must be gap-free. Incomplete data doesn’t cut it any more. Organizations need to track every transaction, 24/7/365, not only to ensure applications are trouble-free, but to deliver meaningful information that can guide business decisions.
■ Third, DevOps, not “just/Ops.” Performance is a team sport. And it starts in development. The goal is to release application faster while ensuring better quality in production. A new generation APM needs to provide “performance gates” that will ensure condensed release cycles with confidence.
■ Lastly, confidence in application performance well before a company rolls out a new app or new version of an app to even one real user. When the bottom line depends on it, it is crucial to be positive no user will ever have a poor experience. With a robust combination of synthetic testing and the ability to leverage Dynatrace’s globally distributed virtual user network, — the most accurate in the world — there is no need for organizations to “cross their fingers” with a roll-out. They know for sure, performance will be flawless.
Dynatrace is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these shifting focal points.
APM: What are your biggest challenges ahead?
NR: Our challenges come from within — to manage a fast paced, high growth business, while continually raising the bar for technology innovation and digital experience. We have the best funding model of the new generation APM vendors, we are profitable and expending fast. No need to hype things up for an IPO, or public shareholders to please every quarter. We will continue focusing on our vision, keep pushing meaningful innovation out. I’m very excited about the opportunity ahead.
ABOUT Nicolas Robbe
Nicolas Robbe is Dynatrace’s Chief Marketing Officer. Born in France, Robbe has lived on both the left and right coasts of the US as well. And with a strong background in technology as well as marketing, he’s also an expert at balancing left and right brain thinking. Having lead many endeavors in the software industry, including IBM cloud, and ILOG, Robbe is passionate about creating a start-up atmosphere in market-leading companies.
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