Application Analytics for the New Millennium

What’s old is new again. That maxim is no truer than in the white hot Application Performance Management (APM) market. A decade ago APM was a dusty corner of enterprise IT, focusing on keeping creaky enterprise apps up and running.

Today, the world has changed. Applications have changed. Enterprise IT is undergoing rapid reinvention. As a result, APM is now at the crux of the digital transformation trend. And squarely in the center of this firestorm is San Francisco-based AppDynamics.

Ask any teenager about applications and they’ll look at you funny and say, “you mean, apps?” and hold up their smartphone. Today, mobile apps lead the reinvention of the application, filtering down from the consumer space into all corners of the enterprise.

The democratization of IT has upended the notion of an enterprise application as well, and digital transformation initiatives drive the assembly of increasingly complex, distributed, mainly cloud-based apps that deliver enterprise value to technology consumers – within companies of all sizes and among the public at large.

Today’s technology users might use their phones, tablets, televisions, or Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled touchpoints ranging from automobiles to factory equipment, with new form factors rolling out every day. And everyone expects always-on connectivity and blisteringly fast performance – even though todays apps may depend upon a complex web of interconnected services across multiple clouds and on-premise applications.

The App in AppDynamics

This new world of the application is the “app” in AppDynamics. Yes, AppDynamics focuses primarily on enterprise customers – but today’s enterprise customers are serving business and consumer users who expect nothing less than perfect behavior from their apps. Given this modern context, the renewed importance of APM becomes readily apparent.

AppDynamics is now upping the APM ante with a new Application Analytics offering on their Application Intelligence platform. This new module provides deep insight into the modern, distributed applications that define today’s digital world.

What makes AppDynamics’ application analytics so interesting, however, is the combination of their APM technology and big data-driven, real-time analytics capability to provide business value. “Application Analytics tie the impact of IT to the business,” according to Jyoti Bansal, Founder and CEO of AppDynamics.

The secret to the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform is how they instrument every element of the modern application – from the lowest level snippet of legacy code to the network to the virtual machine instances in the cloud to the user interfaces running on the full spectrum of digital technologies. Each of those instruments churns out a detailed stream of data. The end result: a real-time big data analytics challenge.

AppDynamics has addressed this challenge in spectacular fashion, boiling down immense quantities of detailed monitoring data into understandable, actionable insight – insight that operations personnel, developers, and business-oriented digital professionals alike can all leverage to achieve the fundamental business goals of their applications.

The Value of Application Analytics

Application Analytics provide business insight: visibility into relevant real-time business metrics. If a problem crops up – perhaps a slowdown or worse, stalled functionality – AppDynamics can pinpoint the issue and in many cases, can address the problem with no human intervention. The platform can also answer specific business questions, like the current status of an order.

Application Analytics also include business operations monitoring, giving customers insight into the performance of complex business processes, enabling people to drill down into an issue to discover the root problem, and then to address the issue with the customers affected.

Even when applications are running smoothly, Application Analytics provide critical insight business managers need to make critical decisions – for example, identifying which marketing campaigns are more effective, enabling such managers to adjust their digital efforts in real-time to meet customer needs and optimize key performance indicators, as shown below.

Business Impact Analytics Real-time Dashboard

Performance monitoring is also a benefit of Application Analytics – answering questions like which transactions are moving too slowly, which customers those slow transactions are affecting, and how those slowdowns are impacting the bottom line.

Furthermore, in many cases, modern enterprise applications depend upon numerous third parties – from embedded services to cloud infrastructure providers. To support relationships with such third parties, Application Analytics provides service-level agreement (SLA) management, enabling managers to pinpoint which third-party providers aren’t living up to their agreements – again, in real-time.

The Intellyx Take

Modern applications consist of a mélange of interconnected elements, from the front end to the cloud to the enterprise back end. Unless you understand this modern definition of the application as well as the full power of today’s big data analytics, you won’t see the true significance of AppDynamics’ Application Analytics capabilities.

Furthermore, connecting the impact of application functionality to business key performance indicators offers a strong value proposition that sets the bar for all competing products – and keeps AppDynamics customers happy as a result. “Customer are excited because they want to bridge this gap between business and IT,” says Jyoti Bansal. “We’re happy to see customers are so passionate about us.”

Monitoring the complex modern application environment presents a big data analytics challenge that raises the bar on what it means to have insight into application performance. By combining the power of its Application Intelligence Platform with the depth of its analytics, AppDynamics offers enterprises the business insight they require to succeed in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing digital environment.

Intellyx advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. AppDynamics is an Intellyx client. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this article.

If You’re an APM Customer, You Might Be Missing Out On a Powerful Combo

Peanut butter and jelly. Love and marriage. Horse and carriage. Coffee and cup. Batman and Robin. Some things just belong together. It’s even a little bit magical the way that certain things can be combined to form a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. That’s certainly true of the classic combo examples above. And it’s also true of the combo of Application Performance Monitoring and Application Analytics.

It’s a shame, then, that many of our customers deny themselves the power of combining APM with Application Analytics.

Not Your Father’s Business World…

The role that software plays in the world of business has changed dramatically in just a few short years. Not so long ago, software was simply an aid to running a business. Just a tool. But now, in a very real sense, software often is the business. These days, many businesses are built upon a foundation of software.

That’s because software-based businesses offer many advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar business models. In fact, you can probably think offhand of many examples in which an upstart software-based business dethroned a long-entrenched industry leader. The obliteration of Blockbuster by Netflix is a classic example. But the many advantages offered by software-based businesses have also come with some challenges, such as monitoring the performance of software and getting business insights into business information that is represented in 1s and 0s inside software.

How Well Does Your Software Perform?

Understandably, AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has become very popular. Because keeping tabs on the performance of applications has become integral to success in today’s business climate. After all, an under performing or misbehaving application can wreak lots of havoc in a little bit of time.

But in order for AppDynamics APM monitoring to be effective in production environment, where it really matters, it needs to monitor intelligently while keeping the overhead to a minimum. AppDynamics intelligently captures transaction details of only those transactions that are not performing well; performance metrics of the ones that are behaving as per expectations are just aggregated into rolling averages. The downside of this is that the granularity of those transaction metrics is lost, which is by design.

It should be noted that this is NOT sampling; it’s really smart monitoring.

The Power of Analytics

Often times, organizations want to have detailed business information on who visited their website, what business they conducted or couldn’t conduct. Analysis of this data is invaluable as it can help organizations improve their customer engagement and experience, or optimize conversions and revenues.

AppDynamics Application Analytics automatically collects all the data generated by software-driven apps. It collects every data point – both performance as well as business – giving you the power to evaluate business as well as IT performance of every single business transaction. It gives you the power to drill down into the level of details on every transaction that has flown through the application.

Application Analytics preserves the granularity of data generated through business transactions, permitting assessments of the smallest details of any business transaction. As opposed to the snapshot or rolling aggregates of application performance that APM provides, Application Analytics provides a holistic view of business transactions.

You Need Both APM and Analytics. If You’re Only Using One, You’re Missing the Complete Picture

APM tells you how well your applications are performing. Application Analytics delivers business insights through data gathered in real-time as your applications run. APM goes hand-in-hand with Application Analytics. It’s a natural combo that provides you with unprecedented power in getting the most out of your applications and the insights gained from business transactions.

All due deference to the classic combo of Batman and Robin – but the combo of Application Performance Monitoring and Application Analytics? That’s the new Dynamic Duo.

Interested to see how the powerful combo can work for you? Download a FREE trial today!

Is Your Intelligence Failing You in One Critical Area?

How’s your Business Intelligence software working out for you?

If your experience has been like that of many BI users, your answer is probably a bit of a mixed bag. That’s because most BI users have experienced a combo of great insights and extreme frustration from their BI software.

Change is in the air. The reason I want to discuss this today is because as with many things IT, intelligence is up for disruption as well.

A Brief History of BI

In the early days, BI revolved around the following process:

  •      A business user would define a need, and submit a ticket to the IT department
  •      The IT department would gather the relevant data, often from data warehouses and cubes (Cognos, Business Objects, etc.), and deliver it to a business analyst
  •      The business analyst would then analyze the data using spreadsheets or some form of dashboards, and then create reports for the business user

Sounds like a cumbersome process, doesn’t it?

Even worse, it’s a very s-l-o-w process. A lag time of weeks or even months between the initial request and final delivery were common. Or perhaps I should say are common – many companies are still stuck in this “early days” process.

And data was often stale before it was even loaded into the data warehouses, since data was often collected from production databases on a weekly basis. So by the time business analysts finally got their hands on the reports, they weren’t exactly looking at up-to-date information.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.07.27 PM

Eventually, companies like Tableau and Qlik (formerly QlikView) arose to fill the growing demand for visualization and dashboarding. Business analysts finally had the ability to slice and dice data to their own needs. That was great progress. But business users were still working with stale data.

But early on, BI processes revolved strictly around structured data. Data warehouses – 1990s technology – did not have the ability to capture unstructured data.

All data captures were from relational-based data storage. Only data that conformed to a conventional relational schema was captured; all other data was untouched.

Unstructured Data Gets Unlocked

Large companies like Yahoo and Google were crawling trillions of web pages, amassing massive amounts of data, and indexing the unstructured information for rapid searchability. They built Hadoop-like technologies to capture and analyze large volumes of unstructured data. And so the open-source technology Hadoop became quite popular for storing vast quantities of unstructured information – though not nearly as efficiently as structured data storage.

To facilitate the process of storing unstructured data, Hadoop created its own file system: HDFS (Hadoop Data File System). And Hadoop provided MapReduce technology, which allowed analytics to run on top of all that unstructured data.

The advent of Hadoop inspired companies to begin capturing ever-increasing quantities of unstructured data.

But the MapReduce technology has its flaws. It’s slow. It takes lots of time to run jobs that must sift through massive amounts of data. The time lag between asking a question and getting an answer can be substantial – and in many cases, entirely unacceptable.

Currently, many companies are using Hadoop to store huge quantities of unstructured data. And they’re combining the text data analytics with structured data analytics from data warehouses, and using applications such as Tableau to analyze the resulting amalgamation of data.

Traditional Business Intelligence solutions – based both on structured and unstructured data – have evolved to be of great value. They provide companies with a wealth of decision-making support that simply wasn’t available not so long ago.

But there’s a problem…

A Gap Between Capabilities and Needs

More and more, the business world is running on software. In many cases, software-based business models have even toppled long-entrenched business dynamos.

Netflix vs. Blockbuster is a classic example.

Netflix, enjoying the benefits and economies of operating a software-based business model, contributed greatly to putting Blockbuster and it’s huge empire of physical stores essentially out of business.

But as the business world becomes more software-oriented, companies increasingly need a way to gather insights into software operations. And traditional BI tools are failing companies in a very critical way. Software provides businesses flexibility to their operations. Code changes can easily alter how businesses are operating. The DevOps culture is resulting in multiple application updates per day, and BI tools and their huge latencies are simply not getting the job done.

Let’s Go Shopping

To illustrate the problem with traditional BI tools, let’s imagine that you’re logged-on to one of your favorite eCommerce websites to do some shopping – something that you likely do very frequently.

There’s a particular product you want to buy. But during the process, you’ll probably do some browsing around. Read some customer reviews. Consider alternatives.

And then once you’ve fulfilled your mission, and added your must-have item to your shopping cart, you’re likely to do some more browsing. Just some fun shopping. Some wish-listing.

Then, finally, you go through the checkout process and leave the site. The classic BI tool has only captured the end result of your interaction with the site – your purchase. What has the merchant company learned about you, their customer? Probably not as much as they could have or should have.

Opportunity Lost…

If the company is using only traditional BI tools, they’ve not learned nearly as much about you as opportunity offered. Sure, they’ve collected some data relating to your purchase.

But they could have learned so much more about you than what the mere transaction records offer.

They could have learned more about your interests. They could have learned how to serve you better. They could have learned ways to engage you far beyond your single purchase.

All invaluable data – and right there for the taking. But many companies don’t take it. Intentionally or not, many companies are turning up their noses at this unprecedented opportunity.

Opportunity Maximized…

Our Application Intelligence Platform offers companies a means of turning all of this disregarded or neglected data into golden opportunity. It provides:

  •      Real-time information about every interaction flowing through the software system
  •      Business context for every transaction type – logging transactions; add-to-cart transactions; checkout transactions; etc.
  •      End-to-end visibility of all transaction streams, front-end to back-end
  •      All information presented in a single dashboard

business-impact-analytics2-1-960x0 (1)

Application Intelligence fills the gap that other BI tools ignore. As more companies adopt a software-defined model, customer experience becomes one of the most valuable commodities. Understanding your customer to give them a seamless experience is vital to long term success. With Application Intelligence, you can understand your customer better. It helps you to serve your customer better.

It helps to maximize the benefits of the hard-earned relationships you’ve established with your customers. And in the end, isn’t that what Business Intelligence is all about?

Start understanding your customer better and gaining insightful metrics. Try out AppDynamics for FREE today!

Stop troubleshooting based on hunches and intuition – ITOA use case #2

In the first installment of this series, I talked about why analytics matters for IT Operations teams and drilled into the first of five ITOA use cases — visualizing your environments. I described our flow map feature at length, which automatically maps the topology of the application environment so customers can understand the dependencies between application components.

In this post I’m going to focus on the second common ITOA use case, rapid troubleshooting.

Rapid troubleshooting

Once you can visualize the inter-dependencies inside your environment, the second common ITOA use case involves leveraging this visibility to solve operational problems. Being able to pinpoint root cause of an issue using data generated from your application environment is of the utmost importance for businesses whose livelihood depends on these types of applications. Typically Operations teams troubleshoot issues that arise using their instincts and knowledge of past events, however with AppDynamics’ unified monitoring approach, Operations teams can triage and isolate issues faster than ever before using a common view of application performance. Quickly knowing what an issue ISN’T is almost as valuable as knowing what it IS in these situations where every second counts.

AppDynamics offers multiple ways for customers to isolate and identify the root-cause of application performance issues in real-time. I’ll walk through some examples of how customers can discover root cause using several different views inside the Application Intelligence Platform starting the investigation on the front end, going through to the server side, and wrapping things up with the database backends.

Real-User Monitoring (RUM):

Customers can view the high-level real-user load and health by geography:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.09.54 AM
By clicking on a geo, one can filter the data associated with just that geography.
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.03 AM
When viewing Browser RUM data, one can right click and view all browser snapshots from a particular region:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.12 AM
These browser snapshots provide a wealth of information including the performance of the different components of the browser (like pages, AJAX requests, and iFrames), associated business transactions, and resource timing for the snapshot.
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.23 AM
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.40 AM
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.49 AM
When looking at Mobile RUM data, you can view network request snapshots to analyze what happened when the device called out to the application over the network…
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.58 AM
…and you can also view the crash dashboard to analyze crash trends…
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.09 AM
…and crash snapshots to see what was happening on the device at this particular point in time.
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.23 AM
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.32 AM

Server-side:

If the issue doesn’t appear to be related to the browser or device, AppDynamics gives users the ability to automatically drill downstream into the associated server side business transaction snapshots.
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.42 AM
By drilling down into the call graph, one can isolate the exact class, method, or web service that is a performance bottleneck for a particular user request:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.51 AM
We also isolate the hot spots of this particular snapshot:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.58 AM
And show things like top SQL calls that could potentially be slowing down the application from a database perspective:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.12.07 AM
What was going on in the hardware and memory during this time? We automatically correlate and show those metrics too:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.12.18 AM

Database Monitoring:

What if all signs point to an issue in the database as the root cause? AppDynamics also offers a database monitoring product module that provides granular visibility inside your database environment.

With our database monitoring product module, ops teams can now drill into the databases themselves to gain information about:

Detailed query analysis:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.12.29 AM
Top query analysis:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.12.38 AM
As you can see, the Application Intelligence Platform provides multiple ways for customers to leverage operational analytics to isolate issues and drill down to root cause from multiple dimensions. No matter where you start in the troubleshooting process, AppDynamics provides the flexibility to iterate quickly and drill up, down, and across the application environment, with all data automatically correlated, so Operations teams can find the root-cause as fast as possible.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at the third common ITOA use case — prioritizing issues and opportunities. If you’d like to try out the powerful troubleshooting capabilities of the Application Intelligence Platform, sign up for your free trial today and get started in minutes.

Radio to TV, now Web to Apps: Creating Mobile Intelligence

This blog originally appeared on Wired Insights.

Television was a new form of entertainment in the late 1920’s. Unclear how to optimize this new channel, many of the first television stations treated TV the same as radio. Time proved that TV was a completely different experience and changed the way people consumed media.

I see a similar parallel to web and mobile. In the beginning, many treated mobile just as they did web. But we are about to see a paradigm shift: According to the Accenture Mobility CIO Survey 2013: 73 percent of the top 400 IT executives believe that mobility will impact business as much or more than the web did. In fact, it looks like the web looks is just the beginning of the ‘digital disruption,’ and that’s a good thing.

Research shows that end users spend significantly more time with apps than they do on mobile websites. Even as more businesses develop and push out apps, many are still ironing out their mobile testing and application lifecycle programs. Today, the mobile user experience is the main driver of user engagement and loyalty.

Real Users Means Real Results

Speed and availability are paramount to a great mobile user experience. In order understand your user, you must have more information than just, ‘is my app working?’ You’ve designed an experience for them, created user personas, diagrammed use cases, mapped paths through your application to trigger conversion. So the big question is: Do users behave the way you anticipated, have the experience you designed, and generate the revenue you projected? These are high-value performance metrics. Mobile real-user monitoring can provide the answers.

Knowing What to Ask

Modern mobile real-user monitoring tools provide rich features such as activity timers and data collection APIs to give you powerful insights into mobile users, enabling you to track, time, and analyze virtually any behavioral pattern or transaction worth studying (anonymously, of course). Some examples:

  • Set timers to learn how long a user spends getting from point A to point B — from entering a search term to putting an item in the shopping cart.
  • Learn which buttons they press when, and see the sequence.
  • See when in a transaction the user is most likely to abandon it.
  • Track the dollar value of shopping carts.
  • See which devices and operating systems your most valuable customers use.
  • Quantify and/or time any interaction that matters to the business.
  • Given the demanding nature of mobile users, who are quick to move onto another app or delete an app that doesn’t meet their many expectations for speed, functionality, usability, relevance and more, it’s important to expand the definition of performance to encompass these behavioral and experiential metrics. A robust mobile real-user monitoring solution can deliver these insights, on top of fundamental speed and availability monitoring, as well as crash reporting and analytics.

    The mobile experience is different from the desktop and continues to evolve. It’s a higher bar. The right mobile performance solution can make sure it is reached.

    Interested in trying AppDynamics Mobile RUM? Check out our FREE trial!

    How Advanced Operations Analytics (AOA) are Transforming the IT World [INFOGRAPHIC]

    We recently partnered with Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to research how Advanced Operations Analytics (AOA) are impacting IT professionals. EMA’s report, The Many Faces of Advanced Operations Analytics, surveyed IT professionals about their experience with AOA, adoption levels, and use cases.

    We found some interesting nuggets as a part of the research:

    • “Advanced Operations Analytics” is indeed transforming the world of IT; extremely successful AOA respondents are reporting up to 20x improvement in hybrid cloud adoption
    • Overarching capabilities of data assimilation and analysis boost efficiency of IT in a wide variety of use cases that include significant business impact

    Big data clearly plays a vital role in IT decision-making, however, the report highlighted important use cases including optimizing service performance, minimizing security issues, managing change, optimizing capacity across the extended enterprise, and ultimately governing IT more effectively as a business in support of the business it serves.

    However, the report revealed that the most effective AOA investments are blending these formerly separate areas. On average, respondents reported five use cases for each AOA deployment, with some reporting 10 or more. Advanced Operations Analytics solutions were supporting roles across both IT and the business, including roles related to business planning and online operations. There was particularly strong interest in AOA for DevOps and cloud, with two-thirds of respondents planning to support DevOps with AOA. In fact, those who were ‘extremely successful’ in AOA were 20 times more likely to be ‘very successful’ in their hybrid cloud adoptions than those who were only ‘moderately successful’ or less in AOA.

    Check out other important findings from the report in the infographic below:

    Check out the full report for free which dives deeper into use cases and adoption levels here.

    Don’t Treat the Symptoms — The Importance of Finding the Root Cause

    I was recently reading Freakonomics’ authors Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner’s latest book, Think Like a Freak, and passed over a quote that really resonated with me:

    So rather than address their root causes, we often spend billions of dollars treating the symptoms and are left to grimace when the problem remains.

    Sure they were referring to socioeconomic issues such as poverty and crime and not application monitoring, however, the statement still holds true. Since my time at AppDynamics I’ve seen and overheard customers claiming they don’t need an APM solution because they have been adding more servers and hiring more personnel to help monitor their application and ensure it’s up and running. But aren’t these simply addressing the symptoms?

    Being reactive to application issues and constantly firefighting is simply not an efficient nor scalable way to handle performance. Instead of enabling efficiency and finding the root cause of your application issues, they’re spending money attempting to resolve the symptoms of inadequate monitoring. What’s needed is an all-encompassing platform which gives you application intelligence — real-time code-level visibility so you can isolate root cause and treat the underlying performance problems instead of constantly running around treating the symptoms.

    With AppDynamics you get end-to-end visibility and are able to drill down to find the exact line of troubling code which is the root cause of the performance issue. That’s a powerful tool.

    No more needing to take Advil and DayQuil and NyQuil and Sudafed to get rid of your [application] cold symptoms. AppDynamics allows you to find the damaging sickness and simply fix it. This issue is exacerbated in cloud and distributed complex environments since finding the root cause becomes that much more difficult. Therefore the costs and time stemming from a single issue increase exponentially. If you’re spending valuable resources treating the symptoms, then you’re losing innovation and slowing growth.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.34.36 PM

    One AppDynamics customer, Priceline.com, has lowered their MTTR by finding root cause and zeroing in on the code. Check out their story and how they use AppDynamics here. FamilySearch estimated they saved over $1.3 million by lowering their MTTR in production and pre-production issues by quickly and efficiently resolving the root cause.

    You can also check out more about Application Intelligence and AppDynamics in this short video:

    Thinking like a Freak means you should work terribly hard to identify and attack the root cause of problems.

    Want to stop treating your application performance symptoms and starting fixing the root cause? Check out AppDynamics and start a free trial today.

    The new battleground in Analytics Part 1: Transforming APM into Application Intelligence

    As a relative newcomer to the world of Application Performance Management (APM) and the larger category of Application Intelligence, I knew I had a lot to learn. I came into this market having spent the last 15 years in the Analytics space. The idea of taking large volumes of disparate data and turning it into actionable insight is something I’ve always found compelling. Though people generally think of a flashy dashboard, Analytics is so much more. At Business Objects I got to be part of the evolution from standardized reporting through ad hoc analysis, data exploration, and predictive analysis.  There was still a significant barrier though to making it work in the real-world where data volume, variety and velocity were too much to handle at the application level. Data had to be extracted and transformed before being made available in a data warehouse or mart where it became available to an end user. That’s an expensive and time consuming process that only offered the insight you’re looking for hours, days or even weeks later. However, at SAP our customers were finally able to realize the promise of these new capabilities with the introduction of SAP HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance). That in-memory platform delivered amazing computing power capable of simplifying the infrastructure of application environments while giving the business real-time insight.

    The business impact derived with the right information at the right time is staggering to the point that customers have been willing to pay SAP handsomely for these capabilities. Companies can drive huge revenue increases, save millions in cost, and reduce their risk substantially by better leveraging their data assets. I have great passion for the space and helping customers use insights to change their business.

    Given my background, getting into the APM space seemed like a huge leap. My impression was I’d be working with IT organizations more than the business owners. I’d be in a much more technical space, solving technology problems more than business issues. Clearly, I had a lot to learn. I started the learning process by focusing on two things: learning the product and understanding how it drives value for our customers.

    First, I began to familiarize myself with the product and learn how the features provide benefit. As an APM tool, AppDynamics can help people quickly find bad code, inefficient code, database problems and a host of other things that negatively impact the experience for end users of applications. I don’t want to discount the value of deep knowledge and experience in the APM space, but after watching a demo or two and playing with the software a bit I felt like I could use AppDynamics to find problems and performance bottlenecks in an application. It was simple and instantly compelling.

    The second phase of learning was digging into customer use cases and how they realize value with AppDynamics. There are some amazing stories of real business impact. Here are a few of my favorites:

    FamilySearch:  Using AppDynamics FamilySearch saved $4.8M in infrastructure and related costs over two years by making their applications more efficient. With help from AppDynamics they scaled the use of their application 10x without growing their infrastructure!

    Fox News:  After deploying AppDynamics they reduced their MTTR (mean time to resolution) from weeks to under a few hours. They decreased the number of support tickets by 90%, and they stabilized new releases in hours compared to the full week it used to take them.

    Edmunds.com:  With AppDynamics they went from having 10 people working on a single problem for several days to fixing things in a few hours. That’s a huge productivity improvement and a dramatic reduction in lost revenue.

    During a proof-of-value implementation with a large prospect we helped them immediately identify a bug they knew existed but couldn’t find. 30 minutes later the problem was resolved. Later, over dinner and drinks they were noticeably excited and acknowledged they had worked around this bug by adding 2,000 additional servers to their environment. Those 2,000 servers were no longer needed. That’s an unbelievable cost savings and it took less than an hour!

    You can learn more about how these and other companies are getting impressive value out of AppDynamics at http://www.appdynamics.com/case-studies.

    After immersing myself with these learning exercises it suddenly occurred to me Application Performance Management is simply another form of Analytics. It turns large amounts of data into information you can use to take quick action. It can help you drive revenue, reduce costs and mitigate risks. The results can be incredibly exciting.  Our customers are seeing it every day!

    With that realization, it was time for me to take the next step and dig into Real-Time Business Metrics, Transaction Analytics and the corresponding transformation of APM into Application Intelligence.  By being plugged directly into an application’s code you can get real-time analytics without the challenges and costs associated with traditional analytics. It’s a game changer for business and IT, and this will be the focus of the upcoming Part 2 in this series.