When Cisco acquired AppDynamics in January for $3.7 billion, it was a big surprise as the company was on the verge of going public. While it’s probably too soon to say how intertwined it will become in the Cisco product family, it continues to march forward announcing an update to the products set at the AppD Summit this week in New York City.
Today’s announcements build on the company’s push to become more than an applications monitoring platform, but to begin to understand the full impact of technology performance on the overall business that began at the end of last year.
Instead of simply looking at the underlying technology and how a performance issue could affect the overall experience of a customer, it wants to begin to analyze the business process itself. That means if you are looking at a process like a loan, you can follow the customer, who might start in a browser, then move to a mobile app and finally into the bank itself, and Prathap Dendi, GM of Business IQ at AppDynamics says you need to be able to track each step of that process and understand what’s happening from a business and technology perspective.
The company is also beginning to look at Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data moving into the enterprise, but again, they are looking at this from more of a customer experience perspective than a traditional monitoring one. They believe if their users can understand the customer better through sensor data such as information coming from a connected car, they can begin to offer more tailored experiences for them.
This is a move away from the traditional APM role, which has involved monitoring performance issues at the browser, application or device level and understanding how to resolve those issues. The end result of that was always a better experience for customers, but AppDynamics now sees the experience itself as equally important and they want to help customers understand that better.
It’s worth noting that Cisco has shown great interest in IoT, acquiring Jasper Technologies in 2016. Dendi says while there is clearly some alignment there, the IoT features were on their product road map before the company was acquired. “This is independent of the Cisco acquisition and is something we have been developing because of richness of that data,” Dendi said.
He says the connections between the company, its sister companies like Jasper and Cisco’s larger vision are still being worked out. “If you think about the vision behind the acquisition, they have networking data, security data [and other data] and look at us as a bridge from modern infrastructure and upwards to the line of business,” he explained.
For AppDynamics that means building a deeper understanding of the business data, while Cisco should provide even richer data from its family of hardware and software products, and should at least theoretically give them the ability to innovate faster.