New Relic pitches "single pane enterprise view" with new platform offering

Profile picture for user slauchlan By Stuart Lauchlan May 15, 2019
Summary:
New Relic's new offering aims to let customers to see "absolutely everything they need to observe in production".
Lew Cirne

Coinciding with the release of strong full year numbers, New Relic has rolled out New Relic One, pitched as per the official announcement as a way to help:

DevOps teams with complex environments quickly find, visualize, and understand their data so they can take immediate action, deliver better digital experiences to customers, and drive revenue.

Or as CEO Lew Cirne puts it:

New Relic One is the industry’s first entity-centric observability platform. It helps our customers quickly find, visualize and understand all of the data they need to deliver more perfect software. With the explosion of micro-services and adoption of DevOps practices, our customers’ systems and organizations are becoming increasingly complex.

It’s that complexity that this extension to the New Relic platform is intended to address, he argues:

Today, many of our customers leverage multiple point solutions, one tool for observing Kubernetes, another tool for servers and cloud hosts, another tool for applications, another tool for the network, and so on But, a cacophony of point solutions creates a fragmented view of their systems, which can make quickly finding and fixing problems nearly impossible. It’s not enough to merely gather and watch metrics; our customers increasingly need to see the relationships and dependencies between all of the things that they measure. New Relic One treats all of the things you want to instrument as entities, allowing our customers to visualize complex environments and understand the dependencies at a granular level.

He adds:

New Relic One is designed to be the single pane enterprise view that allows our customers to see absolutely everything they need to observe in production, across every type of entity like that stands from databases to micro-services, to Lambda function, to Kubernetes, to cloud instances and where other products that fall short in. No product’s ever been able to do that before is do that in a unified way at a scale large enough, where a single instance can see everything in that enterprise and see the relationships and dependencies between those entities. It’s not enough to see that a database is having trouble in production.; it’s also important to see that that database might be impacting code running owned by a different team, different part of the business in different geographies, that might be using a different New Relic account. New Relic One unifies that view across all of the New Relic accounts and across all the different types of entities that we observe.

The new offering brings:

  • A global search and discovery platform with universal tag filtering so that our customers can manage millions of entities across their estate.
  • Service Maps that automatically visualize upstream and downstream dependencies of these entities, again across the entire enterprise. Enhanced dashboard capabilities
  • A unified, fast, and intuitive user experience
  • UI programmability.

Vision

Cirne argues that New Relic has a different worldview to others in the market, a vision that has shaped the new offering:

To date, we view most of the market and, in particular, standalone monitoring tools, as metric focused, which means they don’t realize that every metric has a source and a set of dependencies. No entity ever runs in isolation, and if it has problems, it is important for our customers to pinpoint the cause of that disruption across from all of the entities within their environment. New Relic One gives them a pan-enterprise, unified observability platform. We view New Relic One as not only bringing entity-level visibility to the market, but also an enabling technology platform that will accelerate our pace of product development. 

New Relic One’s debut - it’s available today for paying customers as “as a complementary view to the existing products they have” - came as the firm announced full year 2019 revenues of $479.2 million, up 35% on fiscal 2018. GAAP loss from operations was $33.1 million, compared with $46.8 million for fiscal 2018. The firm exited fiscal 2019 with 858 customers valued north of $100k, compared to 703 in fiscal 2018.

Looking ahead, Cirne gave some indication of the plans for the SignifiAI ‘event intelligence’ tech, acquired by New Relic back in February:

We do think SignifAI has potential to be a big deal because our customers feel so much pain on what they call alert fatigue. One of our customers literally has 50,000 alerts that fire [every] day in production. They’ve hired a large number of people to do pretty menial work trying to synthesize those 50,000 alerts into maybe a few thousand work items that really need attention and activity. They’re doing that by hand, by manually observing these things and trying to separate out the signal from the noise. So I think the business case for a product that can consolidate those 50,000 alerts into a few hundred meaningful pieces of action, that business case is very compelling.

That being the case, the question is,  when will this be available? The answer is…have patience. Cirne says:

We’ll ship it when it’s ready, when it’s part of the New Relic One platform and when we’re confident that it can deliver a great value for our customers, which are the most demanding digital operations in the world. We set a high bar for what we deliver for them. We’re excited about the progress…but we want to maximize its full potential.

It’s a product delivery principle for the company, he explains, arguing that enterprise expectations are high:

When we deliver new products, we want to make sure it’s ready. I can recall one product initiative we announced before, 4.5 years ago or so. I think we could have taken another quarter to harden it before we brought it out…Building the software we’re building is nontrivial. It’s hard work. It’s taking some really brilliant people doing some exceptional work. But that’s part of it. Getting the message right, getting our field enabled, understanding how it relates to the other products and technologies they use, when to integrate, when to compete. Those are all important questions that we think through anD answer before we feel like we’re ready to succeed in the market with these products.

My take

A strong full year for New Relic. The business case for New Relic One is soundly articulated by Cirne and ticks a lot of enterprise needs boxes. This is being pitched as “the foundation for the next 10 years” for the company, so the way it’s being rolled out to customers is worth noting. Cirne says:

What we didn’t want to do was introduce a dramatic change for our customers. They’re doing mission critical work there and so they need to have familiar user interfaces that they’re used to.  We could have decided to force it on them as a replacement for existing products and that would’ve been a bad decision in our part…we’re not going to try to force our customers into adopting.

Keeping an eye on those adoption numbers will be something to track in fiscal 2020.