Today we announced a partnership with SOASTA as our “exclusive Real User Monitoring (RUM) technology partner.” Rigor will be integrating our digital performance monitoring and optimization platform with their mPulse product to complement our synthetic monitoring platform as laid out in our press release. Why did we make this decision?
Hopefully, by the end of this blog, our intentions will be clear.
Before we dive into the rationale behind this partnership, I’ll start by explaining why Rigor exists today. In 2010, our CEO, Craig Hyde chose to start Rigor because he saw a gap in the market around traditional monitoring technologies. He noticed that the management of revenue-generating digital applications was shifting outside of traditional IT organizations due to the rapid proliferation of cloud-based technologies.
In an effort to keep pace with market trends, retail, media, and finance organizations searched for ways to accelerate their digital presence. The internet became their primary revenue stream as a growth market, and they needed new leadership to implement a digital strategy to drive revenue. These leaders are less technical, solely focused on improving the digital customer experience and increasing revenue. They value:
- Agility and the capability to implement solutions quickly
- Flexibility to change with their rapidly transforming industry
- Simplicity as they work with cross-functional teams that need to be aligned towards common goals
- Benchmarks and the ability to compare one’s progress relative to the competition
- End-User Experience and web performance to the extent that it negatively impacts revenue
Existing performance management technologies catered for the technical user contradict with the values above. These legacy tools focus on collecting all of the data from all of the low level systems instead of focusing on the end-user. Monitoring all of these systems leads to product implementations that are increasingly complex, time-consuming and inflexible. Once organizations complete these considerable implementations they are left with complex systems that require a high level of expertise to operate.
Enter Rigor. We chose to build a modern, global network that leverages synthetic (active) monitoring techniques without all the bloat offered by legacy organizations. Why synthetic monitoring? Because it is:
- Agile – synthetic monitoring is completely external and can be implemented quickly providing immediate value.
- Flexible – synthetic monitors can be turned on or off at a moment’s notice. If the priorities of an organization change, monitors (or checks, as we call them) can be immediately reconfigured.
- Simple – synthetic monitoring at its core is very simple. In a nutshell, we spin up remote servers to execute scripts that replicate common user interactions and record the session results.
Because we collect our data synthetically, we can check the box on the other two items that digital leaders value: benchmarks and the end-user experience. Because our monitors are completely external in nature, any organization can leverage our monitoring networks to test and “benchmark” the performance of a competitor against its own. At Rigor, we leverage real browsers so that we can monitor digital performance from the perspective of an end-user. Rather than focusing on back-end system components, we focus on the end-user and the front-end where 80-90% of modern page latency lies. Unlike other vendors in the market, our goal isn’t to make mountains out of molehills. We prefer to focus on what will add the most value to our users and their businesses.
In short, our goal is to better align performance monitoring with the needs of the modern digital business owner.
After a few years of gaining traction and working with some amazing customers, we learned that digital business owners also craved a solution beyond capturing and reporting on traditional monitoring data. They wanted something that:
- Turns monitoring data into actions to answer questions like:
- “My total page load time increased by 2 seconds, but why and how can I fix it?”
- “I am responsible for multiple web properties, how can I ensure that images are optimized without spending hours sifting through my CMS?”
- Correlates performance with revenue
- Informs their organization as to “what” they should be monitoring/optimizing
- Helps identify performance budgets and answer “how fast” their site should be
In 2015, we answered the first point with our acquisition of Zoompf. We believe Zoompf is exactly what the market was waiting for: a programmatic solution to identify, prioritize, and prescribe optimizations to improve site performance.
The last three points are where SOASTA enters the equation. Like Rigor, SOASTA is focused on aligning performance monitoring with the goals and needs of modern digital business owners. With SOASTA’s RUM product, business owners can tell a story and build a business case around performance. The core value of RUM is its ability to help organizations bridge the gap between revenue and performance by correlating real user session data with performance data. This allows users to:
- Identify “what” you should monitor and optimize.
- Understand your performance sweet spot or “how fast” you should be to maximize revenue.
- Better understand the technical demographics of your user
All of this data empowers digital business owners to leverage Rigor’s digital performance solutions more effectively and with greater purpose than ever before. More importantly, it helps us provide a solution that more completely addresses the evolving needs of digital organizations. Based on some early feedback, I think we made the right decision:
“At CNET.com, performance optimization is ingrained in our culture. Nothing goes live without knowing the impact to our performance budget’s bottom line. While developing this culture we have found no better resources than SOASTA for RUM and Rigor for synthetic performance monitoring. With Rigor aligning with SOASTA, the best-in-breed for both RUM and synthetic monitoring can be found in a unified solution!” – Jason Trester, Sr. Director of Site Engineering, CNET.com, ZDNet.com, TechRepublic.com at CBS Interactive
“The combination of Rigor and SOASTA helped to fill a significant blind spot for Spreadshirt. These solutions provide us greater insights into how well our different applications run for our customers. They also enable us to measure how services we depend on, like our DNS provider, CDN and third-party libraries perform over time. This information allows us to make data-driven decisions to solve apparent problems for our digital audience, consequently increasing revenue. Seeing both tools further integrate towards a unified solution is exciting news and will make them even more valuable to us.” – Guido Laures, CTO at Spreadshirt.com
Rigor is the first end-to-end digital performance monitoring and optimization platform for digital organizations. Our platform programmatically identifies, prioritizes and remediates the root causes of poor site performance and reliability.