Agile Digital Transformation

Agile Digital Transformation

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Agile Digital Transformation Authors: Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Shelly Palmer, William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict

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Instart Logic Runs CDN Ball For Touchdown

For many years, Akamai has been the undisputed leader in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) market it pioneered. Now that CDN capabilities have largely become commoditized, however, disruption is upending the CDN segment – and relative newcomer Instart Logic is now running the ball toward the end zone.

The financial news from Instart Logic is unquestionably positive: it tripled its bookings for the third year in a row, adding more than 60 new enterprise customers and ten new deals worth over $1 million each, a new record.

Home Pages of Some of Instart Logic’s Customers

Home Pages of Some of Instart Logic’s Customers

Instart Logic is competing successfully with Akamai in the maturing CDN market. “We now regularly beat Akamai in competitive sales situations,” says Manav Mital, CEO and founder of Instart Logic, “and closed 5X more enterprise customers in FY ‘17 than the prior year.”

Instart Logic is doubling down on this trend by recognizing the commodity nature of traditional CDN services, still the core of Akamai’s business. “Pure transport and delivery has become commoditized,” Mital claims. “Customers should not be forced to pay a premium for this commodity.”

Instead, Instart Logic is guaranteeing an improved performance of at least 20% across desktop, web, and mobile apps. It also promises its customers better results from the value-added services it delivers on top of its platform like increased conversions (online sales), of particular importance to enterprises with ecommerce channels.

The newest of these value-added services, Ad Integrity, offers online advertisers a way to circumvent ad blockers, thus maintaining the value of the advertising to a broad swath of digital enterprises, centering on the digital media firms like the ones that are bailing on Akamai.

The Power of the Platform

Instart Logic’s ‘Akamai-killing’ innovations fall into two broad areas. The first is its endpoint-aware application services platform. In addition to the scalable network and storage-driven caching capabilities that characterize first-generation CDNs, Instart Logic adds scalable compute power – now cost-effective due to the ongoing progress of cloud computing.

Secondly, Instart Logic has invented the Nanovisor, a lightweight JavaScript-based virtualization layer. Every time the Instart Logic CDN serves a page or application component, it inserts the Nanovisor to provide visibility and control at the endpoint.

The combination of the Nanovisor and the endpoint-aware network, in turn, combine to provide the ability to create a broad range of disruptive offerings, such as Ad Integrity, as well as new ways to improve the security and performance of web and app interactions.

In fact, Instart Logic’s security capabilities include defenses against denial of service and botnet attacks, two of the most challenging cybersecurity threats facing enterprises today. “We call this the ‘power of the platform’,” explains Mital. “Deploy once and leverage for a variety of use cases to generate a variety of new revenue.”

Customers are understandably impressed with Instart Logic’s capabilities – especially in contrast to first-generation CDNs. “Instart Logic’s ‘power of the platform’ solution provides Edmunds with cutting-edge performance backed with solid security and reliability,” says Paddy Hannon, CTO at Edmunds.com. “We were able to replace our three CDN vendors with a single platform that actually works better and delivers more value.”

Another customer, Office Depot, sang the praises of the performance as well as the security benefits of the Instart Logic platform. “I was pleasantly surprised by the remarkable gains in conversions as a result of performance, security, agility, and the overall user experience,” says Abdul Khan, Senior Director of eCommerce Delivery for Office Depot.

Given the number of breaches that online retailers have experienced over the last few years, security is understandably of paramount importance for Office Depot as well. “Partnering with organizations such as Instart Logic which enable us to not only hit our targets, but to also become best of breed in the industry when it comes to protecting our customers,” adds Michael Lazer, Head of eCommerce Security for Office Depot.

Software-Defined and End-to-End: Two Keys to Digital Success

Most CDN vendors focus on network and caching infrastructure, while web performance vendors offer techniques for serving up content faster. Instart Logic, in contrast, connects both ends. “Instart Logic focused on software and an end-to-end solution down to the device client,” says Shailesh Prakash, CIO and EVP Digital Product Development for the Washington Post.

Mital agrees. “When the edge becomes software-defined, we can write code around it and take completely new approaches to site delivery, optimization and personalization,” he says.

Its market success to date shows that Instart Logic is on the right track. “Market acceptance for Instart Logic’s modern cloud-based endpoint-aware application services platform continues to grow exponentially,” says Mital. “The legacy content delivery network market – one ripe for disruption as competitors have failed to innovate or keep pace with the move to the cloud – is allowing us to accelerate our growth rate and increase our deal size.”

In addition to Office Depot and the Washington Post, Instart Logic’s customers include AutoNation, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, Telstra, and Walgreens, among more than 150 others. This list is still shorter than Akamai’s to be sure, but given its growth rate, it won’t be long until Instart Logic wins its own Superbowl.

As of the time of writing, Instart Logic is an Intellyx customer. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Jason Bloomberg.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).