Why solving customer problems is more important than chasing buzz words

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AppDynamics Kick OffIt’s been a while since I last blogged, almost entirely because AppDynamics is growing faster than I ever expected. For example, last week we had our sales kickoff for 2013 and we literally filled the Clift hotel in San Francisco. To say the least, that’s a very different experience than filling a conference room with 35 people back in 2011!

Possibly my favorite part of the day was the first part–the CIO from one of our major retail customers addressed the sales team and spoke about how AppDynamics has become integral to his business and has truly become a strategic partner. He looked at our team straight in the eyes and said, “You guys belong in the CIO’s office.” Talk about an epic, special moment. When a CIO says that, you sit up, listen, and realize you’re well beyond byte code instrumentation, asynchronous transactions, and garbage collection.

You see, this CIO didn’t have a technical background–and he was perfectly upfront about that–yet he did “get” how AppDynamics has helped him solve some of the most complex problems across his business and partners. He was also a super competitive guy who wanted to crush his competitors, and he saw AppDynamics as a clear competitive advantage that helped him do just that.

This brings me to the philosophy behind everything we do at AppDynamics: simply put, we’re laser-focused on solving real-life problems for customers. We deliver solutions to problems rather than deliver technology, abbreviations, or buzz words like Big Data, Cloud, BTM, BDA, ALM, BPM, BCI, Packet Inspective, Predictive Analytics or Log Analytics. Technology is just a means to solve problems; what customers really care about is whether you can take away their pain.

We’re in the Application Performance Monitoring market. That’s what we do, that’s what we know, that’s what we breathe, and that’s what we’re great at – we help customers manage the performance and availability of their applications in production. Simple.

The problems we solve are pretty straightforward:

- Tell me if there is a performance or availability issue with my application as quickly as possible

- Help me troubleshoot where the problem is as quickly as possible

- Help me fix the problem as quickly as possible

- Help me avoid the problem in future

- AND help me do all this as easily as possible, with minimal configuration, maintenance, and effort (and without breaking the bank)

We do all the above better than anyone else right now, and we do it in some of the largest, complex, distributed application environments in the world. And the reason we do just that is because our stuff works. We don’t sell slideware, we don’t oversell, and we don’t promise the world. Rather, we just let our solution do the talking, because that’s what customers want.

The biggest problem we face is no one believes us after the pain they’ve gone through owning/evaluating the first generation of APM vendors. Customers these days don’t want an army of sales people and consultants turning up to sell and configure their solution; they just want the product to what it’s advertised to do. Can you imagine if you bought an Apple laptop and a consultant turned up at your door and configured it in front of you while you waited?

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.47.46 PMYep, our solution has a lot of technology and not-so-secret sauce like deep diagnostics, distributed transaction tracing, application discovery & mapping, behavioural learning, and dynamic baselining – but we don’t sell those things because individually they solve nothing for customers. Yet, when you put them all together, you start to deliver something that can help customers solve real pain in their business. For example, an end user complained that they couldn’t login to the application – we monitor that transaction, learn its normal performance, flag its abnormal deviation, and provide diagnostics of how that transaction executed across and inside every tier within the application infrastructure. We do all of that in production, yet we’re so lightweight that you don’t even know we’re there. Customers typically find the root cause of business impact in 5 to 15 minutes with AppDynamics–compared to hours using traditional approaches.

This is one of the key reasons why we’re winning the trust and attention of CIOs around the world. We help customers solve problems–that’s all we do–but we do it well and without the hype.

Make no mistake: we’re laser-focused on solving customer problems and that is why AppDynamics is growing and I have no time to write blogs.

Appman.

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