For many years, Akamai has been the undisputed leader in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) market it pioneered. Now that CDN capabilities have largely become commoditized, however, disruption is upending the CDN segment – and relative newcomer Instart Logic is now running the ball toward the end zone.
The financial news from Instart Logic is unquestionably positive: it tripled its bookings for the third year in a row, adding more than 60 new enterprise customers and ten new deals worth over $1 million each, a new record.
Instart Logic is competing successfully with Akamai in the maturing CDN market. “We now regularly beat Akamai in competitive sales situations,” says Manav Mital, CEO and founder of Instart Logic, “and closed 5X more enterprise customers in FY ‘17 than the prior year.”
Instart Logic is doubling down on this trend by recognizing the commodity nature of traditional CDN services, still the core of Akamai’s business. “Pure transport and delivery has become commoditized,” Mital claims. “Customers should not be forced to pay a premium for this commodity.”
Instead, Instart Logic is guaranteeing an improved performance of at least 20% across desktop, web, and mobile apps. It also promises its customers better results from the value-added services it delivers on top of its platform like increased conversions (online sales), of particular importance to enterprises with ecommerce channels.
The newest of these value-added services, Ad Integrity, offers online advertisers a way to circumvent ad blockers, thus maintaining the value of the advertising to a broad swath of digital enterprises, centering on the digital media firms like the ones that are bailing on Akamai.
The Power of the Platform
Instart Logic’s ‘Akamai-killing’ innovations fall into two broad areas. The first is its endpoint-aware application services platform. In addition to the scalable network and storage-driven caching capabilities that characterize first-generation CDNs, Instart Logic adds scalable compute power – now cost-effective due to the ongoing progress of cloud computing.
The combination of the Nanovisor and the endpoint-aware network, in turn, combine to provide the ability to create a broad range of disruptive offerings, such as Ad Integrity, as well as new ways to improve the security and performance of web and app interactions.
In fact, Instart Logic’s security capabilities include defenses against denial of service and botnet attacks, two of the most challenging cybersecurity threats facing enterprises today. “We call this the ‘power of the platform’,” explains Mital. “Deploy once and leverage for a variety of use cases to generate a variety of new revenue.”
Customers are understandably impressed with Instart Logic’s capabilities – especially in contrast to first-generation CDNs. “Instart Logic’s ‘power of the platform’ solution provides Edmunds with cutting-edge performance backed with solid security and reliability,” says Paddy Hannon, CTO at Edmunds.com. “We were able to replace our three CDN vendors with a single platform that actually works better and delivers more value.”
Another customer, Office Depot, sang the praises of the performance as well as the security benefits of the Instart Logic platform. “I was pleasantly surprised by the remarkable gains in conversions as a result of performance, security, agility, and the overall user experience,” says Abdul Khan, Senior Director of eCommerce Delivery for Office Depot.
Given the number of breaches that online retailers have experienced over the last few years, security is understandably of paramount importance for Office Depot as well. “Partnering with organizations such as Instart Logic which enable us to not only hit our targets, but to also become best of breed in the industry when it comes to protecting our customers,” adds Michael Lazer, Head of eCommerce Security for Office Depot.
Software-Defined and End-to-End: Two Keys to Digital Success
Most CDN vendors focus on network and caching infrastructure, while web performance vendors offer techniques for serving up content faster. Instart Logic, in contrast, connects both ends. “Instart Logic focused on software and an end-to-end solution down to the device client,” says Shailesh Prakash, CIO and EVP Digital Product Development for the Washington Post.
Mital agrees. “When the edge becomes software-defined, we can write code around it and take completely new approaches to site delivery, optimization and personalization,” he says.
Its market success to date shows that Instart Logic is on the right track. “Market acceptance for Instart Logic’s modern cloud-based endpoint-aware application services platform continues to grow exponentially,” says Mital. “The legacy content delivery network market – one ripe for disruption as competitors have failed to innovate or keep pace with the move to the cloud – is allowing us to accelerate our growth rate and increase our deal size.”
In addition to Office Depot and the Washington Post, Instart Logic’s customers include AutoNation, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, Telstra, and Walgreens, among more than 150 others. This list is still shorter than Akamai’s to be sure, but given its growth rate, it won’t be long until Instart Logic wins its own Superbowl.
As of the time of writing, Instart Logic is an Intellyx customer. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Jason Bloomberg.