Interview with Vick Vaishnavi, CEO of Yottaa (Part 2)

Here is the second half of our interview with the CEO of Yottaa, Vick Viren Vaishnavi. In this portion of the interview, Vick explains Yottaa’s plans moving forward and what to expect from the company in the coming years. Additionally, Vick goes into Yottaa’s core strengths, how its solutions have evolved and what makes this company different from others in the market. Vick has a refreshing perspective on the CDN market, and we think that the upcoming years hold exciting promise for Yottaa.

Q: As you are aware, there are categories or groups of CDNs in the ecosystem. Some companies are focused on large-scale video streaming like Level 3, Limelight, and Akamai, and others on security like Incapsula, CloudFlare, and Zenedge. What is Yottaa’s focus today? Is it security, video, SDN, wireless last mile, ecommerce?

 A: As for our focus today, you can think of us as a new-age CDN that measures, optimizes and drives business impact by focusing on integrating performance and engagement for end user experience; something a traditional CDN was not designed to do beyond pure performance. Enterprises quantify business impact using industry-specific KPIs. For example, Ecommerce focuses on conversion rates. For other verticals, it could be page views, time-on-site, or goal completions. A typical customer will tell us, “We have implemented Responsive Web Design on several mission critical web applications and need to maximize our desktop and mobile channel impact. Our current infrastructure isn’t able to manage the impact that JavaScript and third party content have on user experience, and addressing customer demands stresses our develop-release processes.”

They want a managed service to take over and automate critical app optimization. Meeting our customers’ requirements and going above and beyond to enhance every end user’s experience by improving contextual performance is what Yottaa is focused on. We are not focused solely on performance improvement – but rather improving performance with the end user’s context in mind to maximize resulting business impact, and do it in real time. If I had to make an analogy, Yottaa is like a German high performance car in that it is focused on the ultimate driving and handling experience for the driver. It has the ability to gauge constantly the driver’s (end user’s) context and road conditions and keeps the driver in control. Contrast that with a pure “muscle car” that provides the driver with a largest engine, highest horsepower but no ability to control and handle the car! Both are cars, both offer performance, but only one offers it “tailored” for the driver.

Is Yottaa’s focus resonating with customers? In 2014 we saw a 138% increase in revenue and capped off the year with our eleventh consecutive quarter of record revenue. In addition, our average sales price increased 100% year over year. Based on those metrics, we are clearly doing something that customers’ value.

Q: Is Yottaa going to be a more sales-driven organization than it has been in the past?      

In terms of our sales strategy, Yottaa certainly has a lot of DNA for driving sales now. Between my background, and the addition of John McMahon to our Board of Directors, you can expect Yottaa to be more sales-driven moving forward. John, in particular, brings a lot in terms of helping to make our sales team more productive. He brings 25 years of experience leading sales, professional services, customer services and marketing teams at five public and several venture-backed high-growth companies. His advice on scaling Yottaa’s sales organization will be invaluable as we continue to scale the company.

Q: What competitor is most similar to Yottaa? Also, is there a CDN you in whose footsteps you would like to follow?

A: We really feel we offer a uniquely differentiated solution in the market. Yottaa provides a cloud automation platform for enterprises to manage, optimize and secure web and mobile end user experience for critical apps to maximize business impact in a rapidly changing environment. Our technology focuses on three elements for creating and maintaining a successful web and mobile presence:

  • Contextually optimize performance for end user experience to maximize business impact
  • Tune end user experience via configuration without any code change
  • Meet SLAs and demonstrate business impact achieved without incremental costs

Basic CDN services are necessary components for any web and mobile infrastructure as they ensure the efficient delivery and routing, content acceleration and digital data protection that modern applications demand. Yottaa provides these services, including edge caching, geographic distribution and origin server bandwidth and request offloading, as well as integrated monitoring and web security. The challenge with CDN services is they cannot optimize beyond server, protocol and route optimizations to impact application performance and engagement for individual visitors in real time, which is necessary to drive business impact.

Beyond CDNs, our differentiated technology eliminates the performance/engagement dilemma by allowing any dynamic, rich, personalized content to be rendered quickly – ensuring that IT and line of business professionals can work more closely together on driving top line improvements.

As for our peers, some CDN vendors aim to specialize in delivering specific content type, some claim new ways for application delivery, and others simply offer a portfolio of services bolted on top of each other without an integrated stack. From our perspective, the question is not how similar we are to other companies but instead how we are different. Our architecture is what makes us different. We were purpose-built with the goal of delivering high business impact to our customers through our platform.

The feedback loop to measure and improve business impact, contextual evidence to drive performance, and constant loop of information, and analytics are areas where we excel. If a customer’s request is pure (one size fits all) performance improvement, we can certainly accommodate them. But if you are ready to drive your business forward and make real business impact through constant monitoring, contextual evidence from the end-user, and real-time analytics from the backend, then you should really look at Yottaa.

In regards to CDNs, Yottaa is totally agnostic. We are not trying to be any company’s friend or enemy, but rather remain neutral. When it comes to publishing our business metrics, I will say that our customers predominantly use Google Analytics or Omniture. We simply use either of these or any other analytics portal as a “display panel”. When it comes to competition, size, age, technology, location etc., all are relevant. I respect every potential competitor. My philosophy is that just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean there is no one out to get you. Every competitor is relevant, and we take even the smallest competitor seriously.

Q: Where do you see Yottaa in the next 3-5 years?

A: With my previous three companies, there was a point where people would say, “you are going to be acquired” or “you are going to go public”. There was not a specific exit strategy for each of those companies. However, all of those companies had high valuation exits. Likewise, Yottaa does not have an exit strategy. We have a success strategy that is based on three components: continue to innovate new products, demonstration and growth in the market, and execution. I would say you could speculate in the next 3-5 years, could Yottaa become a public company? My answer to that question would be absolutely. For it to happen the entire company needs to focus on growth and execute. I believe that having a pre-planned exit strategy only speaks to the fact that you’re not 100% focused on execution.

We wrapped up our interview and deep dive discussion with an analysis of the market place right now. At Bizety, we feel that market education is key during this time in the ecosystem. A great example of misconception from the consumer and competitors is Yottaa. They started as a CDN, and while they do not consider themselves in the same category, other CDNs are still categorizing them in that light. Vick agreed, and explained that many large research analyst firms tend to throw all these sect-specific companies together, when in reality they are not necessarily targeting the same market or offering identical services. Market education for analysts and customers is definitely the next step we face in this collapsing, multi-faceted industry.

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