Archive for March, 2012

Congrats to Service-Now for filing S1

Friday, March 30th, 2012

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1373715/000119312512143517/d301887ds1.htm

Nice one and congrats for getting this far to Fred, Rob, Frank and the whole Service-Now team

Just remember….

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

Must feel really good to know that you are in the win column.

Day One GA review….@boundary

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The day started with some concern. We thought we had tested everything but some things slipped through the cracks. In our situation there was a corner case in our registration process which meant that a small percentage of people were delayed receiving their activation emails by a few hours. The “bug” was found (it was actually to do with our implementation of automation systems), corrected and emails released to those that did not received them.

There were a couple of other minor issues for instance some folks asked us about pricing and, (even though we are waiting a short while before fully publishing pricing on the web site) there was a pricing FAQ page that didn’t quite make it to the final web push (this is also updated now).

But, apart from these minor items the GA launch day was a good one. By the end of the day there were over a 100 more people enjoying Boundary than there were just 24 hours earlier and, we had another company make the commitment to being a paying customer. I’m sure we will make the marketing announcement as soon as we have that company’s permission.

From a product perspective all went really well. The twitter comments which can be easily viewed by searching @boundary were very positive in terms of speed of setup “Took 3 minutes to setup a @boundary meter. 2 minutes and 30 seconds of that was the ec2 instance starting up”, the visibility of the data that Boundary is providing “…I’m watching network traffic in realtime. Ladies and gentlemen, your jetpack”, and the super cool user interface “Goddamn the @boundary UI is cool.”

We received some positive press coverage as well. A selection of the articles:

http://www.talkincloud.com/boundary-launches-saas-based-monitoring-for-big-data-and-cloud-applications/

http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/data-management/meeting-challenge-of-monitoring-big-data-in-the-cloud.html

http://siliconangle.com/blog/2012/03/27/devops-dossier-boundary/

Our infrastructure and datacenter was great and even though someone at our provider decided to pull a cable on one of our production servers in the middle of the day…..customers didn’t notice a thing. That’s why you write resilient software, because people do dumb things.

Another real positive for me for the day was the level of direct interaction between our engineering team and new customers particularly on the IRC channel (#Boundary on Freenode). Constant discussion all day long with our engineers helping users directly with questions and comments.

So, what now? Well the “spike” that you get from launch interest is very short-lived and real life typically resumes as soon as day 2. Today we’re all business….need to gather the sales and marketing folks together to ensure that we’ve got our plans together for the next few weeks, the engineering team will need to get together this week to start researching and assessing the next waves of capabilities that we’re going to add to the solution, the customer support teams need to be sure that they are following up with all our users and making sure their Boundary experience is an exemplary one and of course….we need to ensure that we take some time to enjoy the achievement so far, of which beer will play a major role.

Thanks to everyone for their support so far – now we’ve got some work to do.

@Boundary service moves to General Availability

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

After huge amounts of effort from everyone involved I am pleased to announce that the Boundary solution for monitoring Big Data application architectures is now Generally Available.

Over the last few months, we have had approx 60 customers beta testing Boundary and much of their feedback has found its way into the GA product or is scheduled for future delivery. Our documentation has been updated, lots of videos have been added, the support forums are up and running, huge amounts of capabilities have been added and the service is also now hosted at one of the largest SAS 70 Type II compliant, Tier III data centers in North America.

So what does it mean for us to be GA? Well the most noticeable difference is that customers can come directly to our web site and get access to a 14 day free trial. There are no sales people to talk to, no webinars to sit through, just give us your details and you’re free to get started. We will be in contact with you during your trial period by whatever means you prefer (chat, phone, email etc) to offer assistance and get your feedback but you should also feel free to reach out to us with comments, questions or suggestions for future capabilities.

At this point, you cannot buy our product via the web and we don’t yet publish our pricing online, but both of these are temporary measures while we get feedback from our initial set of customers. In the future we plan to allow our customers to sign up, browse pricing plans, buy and get support all online.

Today marks a water-shed day for the entire IT monitoring business. We believe that this is the first time that any product has attempted to operate by collecting “all the data all the time” (instead of being restricted by old-fashioned data sampling techniques) and to process that data in real-time to give customers second by second updates. The potential for this architecture and the technology that we have built is enormous; one of our greatest challenges is sure to be deciding which areas of future capability not to build….already we have more ideas that we have time to build them!

So, it remains for me to say a huge thank you to everyone on the Boundary team. Even though I’ve only been a part of this company for a few months, I have been incredibly impressed by our team and how much we can achieve in such a short space of time; I look forward to sharing in the future with you.

And biggest thanks of all of course are reserved for our beta testers and our first set of paying customers. Boundary exists for you and we encourage you to keep giving us feedback, keep telling us your likes and dislikes, keep sharing with us your challenges and of course, how you solve those challenges with Boundary.

I realize that we’re still a small company and many of the incumbents will arrogantly try to dismiss us but we know what the future holds and with your help we will get there.

#monitoringthatdoesnotsuck

Visit Boundary.com tomorrow….many changes and new announcements coming

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Tomorrow is a big day for Boundary. We’ve been working hard to get to this day and we’re so close that we can almost touch it.

Come back to our web site tomorrow and check it all out.

Customer email received…check it out @boundary

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

We already feel strongly about our return of investment on boundary

Thank You :)   I’ve wanted a product like Boundary for years

fwiw this will save my client likely 15k a month or more…just to be completely clear on how much value you give…

a lot of people on the cloud are unaware…of what they do…you can get all the data with Boundary without a lot of work…and that is the value

I really can’t say enough thank yous

Structure Data New York – come see us on exhibit table #29

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Boundary is exhibiting at the Structure Data conference in New York starting today and are giving away some nice logo items as well as having daily drawings for bigger prizes.

If the Boundary team on the booth seem a little stressed, it’s because they are also working hard to get ready for GA launch in the next week.

Feel free to bring them whiskey (or whisky….depending on where you’re from).

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone…..big day for me

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Today is the 2 year anniversary of CA acquiring Nimsoft which means……I’m free…yeah!

Boundary is rocking it and I’m loving it.

I’m surrounded again by people that care about their customers and care about their product and really want to win. Takes me back…

Countdown…

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The speed at which Boundary is moving is incredible. Right now we are firing on all cylinders and it’s amazing how much is being achieved by such a small team of people in such short time frames.

We’re getting this company ready for public launch and even though we each have a mountain of work ahead of us – nobody is sitting and staring at it, everyone is just getting it done.

Hiring is going very well; we were excited to welcome a new engineer on Monday this week, we will be welcoming another engineer next week and had 4 different people in our offices yesterday for interviews (will be making 2 job offers today hopefully). Quality is extremely important to us and I’m pleased that the level of talent that we’re attracting to talk to us is off the charts positive.

Not only do we have a large and ever increasing number of companies in the beta program, but we also have our first signed up and paying customers this month (don’t tell my board members though because I told them we would not see any revenue until April).

For anyone that is tracking us, you will start to see changes happening on the web site starting next week to better reflect the reality of our solution and its applicability. And for customers that are on our beta program (thank you!!), they are seeing major new areas of capabilities in the product on a weekly basis.

Launch is coming…….

Selling software in 2012 – it’s complicated

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

I read with interest the post from Alex Payne entitled “How Not to Sell Software in 2012”

Alex has a ton of respect from the Boundary team and the post created a good discussion on our internal Yammer.

As someone that buys software, I agree with Alex wholeheartedly. I hate the traditional sales models, I hate the feeling of being qualified every step of the way and I want immediate value (instant gratification).

But, as someone that spends a lot of time building and running companies and sales organizations, I understand the vendor predicament and the complexity that goes behind it.

The basic premise for me is to put the customer in control of the buying cycle. There are some steps to do this….

  1. Figure out who our customer is
  2. Figure out how those customers want to buy
  3. Figure our how much value my software derives for my customer
  4. Engage with the customer in the manner in which they want to do business, at the value/model that they want to pay

Isn’t that a beautiful vision? As a customer I get to define how I want the vendor to engage, how I want the vendor to license and how much I want to pay for the software. Then, the vendor can either say yes/no…..sort of like a priceline for software.

But, and here’s the rub, when building a company these things become really difficult to achieve. Every piece of flexibility that you build into the sales model increases the complexity for the vendor significantly and it affects all parts of your business. Hence why most vendors have a single sales process that they follow -rinse and repeat is much easier to teach and scale.

Who your target customer is dictates your sales process. If I want to sell to engineering/operations folks at innovative start-ups, then I need to give them everything via the web. If my target customer is a manager in a medium to large company then they want personal contact, without it they will not buy. And if my target customer could be either (as is true for Boundary and many others), that’s when the dance starts.

I had a situation a couple of years ago with my previous company when a potential customer, Softlayer, came to us and said “just send the software. I don’t want to talk to anyone in your company until you’ve sent us the software and we’ve had a chance to evaluate it on our own”. This came all the way to myself to approve (we normally wanted to offer the customer support during their evaluation process). The answer was simple….send them the software. (As an aside, a week later they called us, told us they loved the software and asked us to meet with them in Dallas, which was the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship for both companies).

Bottom Line: There is no one size fits all. Look at Splunk – incredibly successful but I can’t figure out their pricing and buy from their web site. Look at AppDynamics and New Relic –both in the same space, both being incredibly successful but wildly different sales modes.

My advice to Alex and anyone other buyer is, tell the vendor how you want to do business; listen to their response and if they are not willing to adapt their model to meet your needs, don’t do business with them. As a buyer you always have the power of choice.

My advice to those that sell software is, figure out what your customers want to do that. Don’t be a sheep – do the right thing for your customers.

And finally, in case you are wondering, yes, Boundary will absolutely publish its pricing and be available to buy directly from our web site. But, we will also have a sales/technical team who engages with customers and offers them support in their evaluation and usage of our solution.