AppDynamics AppSphere 2015, our second annual worldwide user conference, got off to a rousing start with a day jam-packed with exciting announcements, great presentations by an impressive roster of client companies, and exciting interaction with partner companies, AppDynamics engineers, and our valued clients. If you’re not here, I’m sorry you’re missing out, but here are the highlights of day one.
For starters, AppSphere is more than twice as big as our first conference last year. We have more than 1,500 registered attendees; 1,000 will participate in training over these four days. Our partner companies have sent 300 attendees — a testimony to the rich, deep ecosystem AppDynamics has created. Today I talked to clients and partners from all over the U.S., the Netherlands, Brazil, and the UK, and I talked to reporters from the U.S., Mexico, and Japan. And that still leaves about 1,480 people I haven’t talked to yet!
The enthusiasm of this big crowd is palpable, and understandable. These are the people who are at the forefront of the massive shift to digital taking place in every enterprise, in every industry. And they recognize that AppDynamics is one of their most valuable partners to help them succeed in their transformation.
Debut of the AppDynamics Winter ’16 Release
Day one started with a review by AppDynamics leadership of the trends driving business today, encapsulated in two words — ‘digital transformation’ — and what that means in terms of business strategy in general and software strategy in particular. From the everywhere bank that people carry on their phones to the Maasai in Africa conducting business on mobile phones, from connected cars to connected health care, ‘software is eating the world.’ And we’re in the thick of it.
AppDynamics was created specifically to serve the software-driven world. As our Founder Jyoti Bansal reminded us, our mission from the start has been to “ensure that the software applications today’s businesses depend on always deliver the expected business outcomes.” But the word we’re already outgrowing is “today’s.” Because the solutions we’ve created and are creating are also designed for the digitally defined businesses that are taking shape for tomorrow, too.
That posture was dramatically communicated as Jyoti and Chief Technology Officer Bhaskar Sunkara presented the new AppDynamics Winter ’16 Release (4.2), an across-the-board update to our Application Intelligence Platform focused on providing even greater support to enterprises engaged in digital transformation initiatives. It gives the clearest picture yet of users and their journey as they interact with applications and websites. It provides more comprehensive end-to-end views of application performance, across code and infrastructure, in context of business transactions. And it draws the connections between application performance and business performance with actionable insights that can improve business outcomes.
Among the specifics that Jyoti and Bhaskar announced for 4.2: Browser Synthetic Monitoring, User Sessions, Server Infrastructure Monitoring, MongoDB Monitoring, C/C++ support, dramatically enhanced Application Analytics, and more than two dozen new extensions. Read more details in our separate Winter ’16 blog post.
All-Star Clients and Partners Sharing Their Stories
The leadership presentations and the debut of the Winter ’16 Release were followed by two general sessions.
The Future of Enterprise IT, presented by Amazon Global Head of Enterprise Strategy Stephen Orban, focused on the shift from infrastructure to innovation. Orban’s enthusiasm for the cloud is unabashed, cultivated over a career that included Bloomberg and Dow Jones before arriving at AWS. The provocative question he posed was, “What if you could devote 30% more resources to your customers?”; those are the resources reclaimed by moving infrastructure to the cloud. His enthusiasm also extended to AppDynamics’ cloud migration support, calling it “one of the most effective tools to help manage data migration.”
From Code to Customers: The Digital User Journey, by Barclays Head of Barclaycard Technology Delivery Peter Gott, looked at the conversion in the financial services industry from a six-sigma point of view to a customer experience point of view. The industry is leveraging the important technology trends — self-service in the cloud, microservices, DevOps — to gain the responsiveness, speed, and efficiency needed to deliver satisfying customer experience. Not surprisingly, AppDynamics delivers the visibility, agility, cloud access, and DevOps collaboration needed to successfully create and sustain a customer-centric model.
The rest of the day (until the closing panel discussion) was devoted to breakout sessions, led by an all-star cast of clients and partners. We heard from The Container Store, Expedia, DigitasLBi,, Pivotal, Comcast, IHS, and NTT, as well as a number of AppDynamics experts.
The day finished with an engaging panel discussion on “Microservices as a Requirement for Agile Software-Defined Businesses,” led by our own Jonah Kowall, vice president of market development and insights. Panel members from Red Hat, Google, Microsoft, and DreamWorks were unanimous in their endorsement of microservices as one of the most important trends impacting development and operations, hand-in-hand with containerization — although it is not without challenges, particularly in terms of data access and integrity as microservices rapidly proliferate and interact. The panel was stacked in favor of microservices, but nonetheless, it’s clearly a trend that’s creating major impacts.
It’s hard to imagine how day two can top, or even match, the excitement and breadth of day one. But we might be surprised. I’ll recap tomorrow. Meantime, let me close with my favorite quote, posted on the conference app by August Azzarello of The Container Store: “Only AppDynamics customers are confident enough to send their IT staffs to a conference on Cyber Monday!”