New RelicThis sponsored post is part of a new series called “The Future of Modern Software” and is brought to you by New Relic. Read the series here

As one of the fastest-growing companies in the burgeoning realm of application performance management (APM), New Relic sees its fair share of traffic and data. According to the company’s latest statistics, it collects more than 200 billion metrics daily from 15 billion page views and 100 million mobile devices for its 70,000 active customer accounts.

As the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) APM to hit the market, New Relic is in a prime position to leverage all of that information. Usually, when you start talking about big data and SaaS, the story lies in things like scalability and realms like application and server architecture. But in this case, New Relic’s as-a-service design means something more.

Bill Hodak, New Relic’s director of product marketing, offers the example of a company using a locally deployed APM solution. It might start out with a 10-second response time and, using the APM, make changes to bring it down to 8 seconds, but it may not realize that many of its competitors are providing a 2-second response. Hodak explains that as a SaaS solution, it’s New Relic’s capability to crowdsource metrics that makes it much more valuable.

“One of the features of our product is the application speed index. It allows our customers to select an industry or application type, such as e-commerce or social networking, and allows them to benchmark themselves against other apps and companies in that group,” says Hodak. “That’s one of the benefits of being a SaaS provider. We can do that because of the other thousands of e-commerce apps that we serve out there. We’re crowdsourcing the data in a sense.”

The company recently announced at its FutureStack conference that it would be taking its usage of all this data a level further with something it calls “software analytics.” New Relic CEO and founder Lew Cirne describes the endeavor in the announcement about their new product effort, which they have code-named Rubicon.

“Software Analytics is about gathering billions and billions of metrics each day from your live production software — including user clickstreams, mobile activity, end-user experiences, and transactions — and then making sense of those metrics by providing you with real-time performance and business insights that let you make better decisions,” writes Cirne. “Software analytics includes application performance management, but it also extends to user behavior, business transactions, customer insights, and more. APM helped people optimize their apps. Software analytics helps people optimize their bottom line. Software analytics allow everyone from C-level executives to front-end developers to make better decisions and build better products.”

Hodak explains that the advantage customers have with New Relic, in this case, over an in-house solution is that New Relic is able to keep on-hand a much greater amount of data for a longer period of time, enabling them to return at a later date and ask questions about that data. In addition, New Relic’s Project Rubicon lets you quickly modify what questions you are asking of your application, repeatedly sifting through all of those billions of metrics in milliseconds to uncover important business-level nuggets.

“The application data is relevant for asking other questions,” says Hodak. “They might have used New Relic to see how fast their app is, but now they can see what web pages are being used more frequently or that when a particular page slows down, revenue slows down. They’re able to tie in business performance with their software’s performance.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about New Relic’s next steps in software analytics, the company is still remaining a bit tight-lipped on details, but you can sign up here for more information on Project Rubicon.

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