SAN FRANCISCO — For three and a half years, Jyoti Bansal has wanted to describe his company, AppDynamics, as a provider of “application intelligence,” and not just a vendor in the application-performance management (APM) business.
His chief marketing officer talked him out of it. “His idea was it would be very hard for us to go to analysts and try to pitch something that was too forward-looking,” Bansal said in an interview with VentureBeat.
But now the company is in the midst of trying to solve more problems for more companies. It doesn’t just want to surface data on how quickly applications are running. It wants to keep watch on IT operations, provide business analytics based on the data it collects, and even automate responses to problems with applications. That’s a far wider range of capabilities than just APM. Such an ambitious scope also makes more sense now, as AppDynamics seeks to go public soon.
To become a more full-featured system for understanding what’s up with applications, today AppDynamics made monitoring for native mobile applications generally available, and it added support for new programming languages and databases, to provide more comprehensive insight.
These moves widen out the core monitoring capabilities of AppDynamics. But they can also add value on the analytics and automation fronts.
As AppDynamics shifts into a tool for IT, operations, and business analysts people — instead of merely something for developers to check — it must contend with competitors like New Relic, which is undergoing a big expansion of its own. New Relic just started the public beta for its Insights tool for answering business analysts’ questions.
While that tool has caught lots of attention, AppDynamics also introduced real-time business metrics last year. And more features are on the way. “We are investing in it heavily,” Bansal said. The same goes for automation capabilities.
Such a full-fledged product line could help AppDynamics stand out from other APM contenders, like CA, Compuware, and IBM.
But it was “never about APM,” Bansal said. All along, the idea was to offer a platform. But step by step, AppDynamics has sought to solve more problems. Today — with the company growing so fast — it’s reasonable to think about using a more holistic label.
“Now is a great time,” Bansal said.