Keynote systems may not be a household name in the consumer world, but it has set itself apart as the leader in testing Web sites and applications for performance and usability.
With strategic acquisitions that broadened its range of testing and measurement capabilities, Keynote founder and CEO Umang Gupta said he believes the company, based in San Mateo, Calif., has become the JD Power & Associates of the Internet industry.
Senior Editor Paula Musich sat down with Gupta at Keynotes first Executive Summit in San Francisco, where he outlined his vision for the future.
How do your new VOIP [voice over IP] and mobile services address Web 2.0?
The new Internet is about programmable, mobile and broadband. In each of those there is added complexity and problems with the customer experience that need to be diagnosed and fixed.
But that adds complexity and affects quality of service. Complex transactions behave differently from browser to browser and from one network to another. Our new service, [the one thats] most important for programmable, is Application Perspective 4.0, with its support for AJAX.
What exactly do you propose to test?
With client-side interaction, theres a huge amount of special scripting required. The same is true for Java. [With AP 4.0,] theres an element of scripting that allows our people and [customers] to create scripts to monitor [custom applications].
With broadband, theres VOIP Perspective. The health of VOIP [services] is a recent [concern]. From a technical viewpoint, streaming [which Keynote already monitors] and voice are trying to do the same thing—send traffic across a platform where no quality of service exists. When youre sending text, continuity doesnt matter. It does with voice.
The technology ... to make VOIP work on the Internet is complex. Our job is to identify mishaps and make recommendations to fix those. The mobile Internet [requires] monitoring for handsets, networks and content. Weve done handsets monitoring for two to three years for carriers.
Now, our Mobile Application Perspective services are enabling content companies—portals like MSN and Yahoo, and enterprises, too—to monitor the health of content and test quality. So when you deliver content, it is received and rendered correctly on hundreds of different handsets.
Do you ever see Keynote broadening beyond services into products—tools, for example—or more professional services?
Services are products. Its one of the few effective models in the systems management area.
Ultimately, our goal is to focus on subscription services. Even Microsoft is moving to subscription licenses.
We started the business in 95, and, from 97 onward, weve always been [focused on] subscription service. That wasnt accidental.