July 17th, 2013 NYETM
On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, OLC attended New York Enterprise Tech Meetup’s event held at Microsoft. The event featured three demos: SOASTA, LayerVault and Skedge.Me; and was followed up by a talk between five distinguished panelists: John DeMattia, VP & Global Head of Sourcing at Thomson Reuters; Conor Flynn, Director, Vendor Management Office at TD Securities; Diane Kennelly, Executive Director, Head of Compute and Storage IT Sourcing at Morgan Stanley; Dror Futter, Partner at SorinRand; Ken Going, Strategic Sourcing, Spend Optimization & Procurement Operations at Marsh & McLennan; and the moderator, Laura Grana - Director of National Affairs for the Institute of Supply Management NY and Global Sourcing Lead, Design and Construction Sourcing at Morgan Stanley.
SOASTA demoed first, with Andrew Custard, VP of Sales and Cliff Crocker, VP of Product Management. ”Web and mobile apps have changed how we look at performance,” Custard said. “Apps were fundamentally simple, but today, they are composite apps both inside and outside the firewall. Web and mobile user experience is happening inside the browser or on the mobile device.”
Custard explained that to get to success in this space, one needs to understand how apps function and understand user experience in real-time. SOASTA consists of 120 employees serving over 400 enterprise customers. It brings to the table three platforms: CloudTest, mPulse, and TouchTest. Custard and Crocker were only demoing mPulse. mPulse measures real-time analytics and displays it in a web browser.
“This product was built out of pain—there’s a lack of apps showing real-time performance on the user’s side,” Crocker said. Every single user interaction is captured and visualized within two seconds on the dashboard. Everything is updated in real-time.
“Data is great,” Crocker said, “but only when it is actionable.” The dashboard shows the page-load time for web apps. “We’ve been missing context for a long time and SOASTA solves that,” he said. It also shows page views, network, countries, browsers and the like.
Users can also do more statistical analysis with data. “We can start to derive true statistical data. It gives you the true shape of users all around your site,” Crocker concluded.
Kelly Sutton demoed LayerVault, version control for designers. “Web and graphic designers are living in the dark ages,” Sutton said. “Adobe products are nice, but people are saving files as ‘Final1.psd’ or ‘Final2.psd’ or ‘FinalFinal.psd’ so we developed LayerVault to help designers with that.”
When users use LayerVault, they are prompted to install a small file, which is displayed on the top menu bar. This allows users to save their projects to the cloud—and on the physical hard drive. With LayerVault, users can actually go back in time and view the stages of the saved file. “Every time you hit save, the file automatically syncs, but the old file isn’t written over, it’s saved so you can go back and view the changes that you made,” Sutton said.
LayerVault uses a web interface and users can see revisions and files synced in real-time. Discussions can also be held within the project, with designers commenting on it in a sidebar. LayerVault also introduced a new tool called Wormhole, which essentially lets designers figure out previous changes to a small selected space on the project.
Skedge.me, presented by Richard Rubin, is a smarter and simpler way of scheduling appointments online for businesses and customers. It is an online calendar app, but much more than Google Calendar or iCal or Outlook. “It’s like a white-label OpenTable,” Rubin said. “We create efficiencies in scheduling. We drive revenue by reducing friction in making appointments. We’re also making appointments to be a Trojan horse for marketing.”
Skedge.me incorporates business schedules, as the app knows the business’ services that are offered to customers, the team and the available time slots allotted. Rubin also added that Skedge.me allows for tremendous data mining.
The app is customizable—it can be designed to fit the user’s desired interface. When appointments are finalized, the reservation is sent through email. Users can program email reminders and notifications at any time. It also comes with an iPad app and can sync with Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook.