Keynote Systems CEO Gupta Toasts Services

Q&A: The ambitious Web-app testing company has a number of growth plans, with subscription services as the star.

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.

After coming back strong from the dot-bomb fallout several years ago, the company is poised to kick growth into high gear.

With a handful of strategic acquisitions (12 since 2000) that broadened its range of testing and measurement capabilities—especially in the customer experience arena—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.

At Keynotes first Executive Summit in San Francisco, Gupta outlined his vision of what the new Internet, or Web 2.0, is all about.

He said he believes new services for mobile applications and VOIP (voice over IP) that Keynote will launch shortly for Web 2.0 will fuel the companys next growth spurt. Senior Editor Paula Musich sat down with Gupta at the customer event to talk about Keynotes future.

Whats your idea of what Web 2.0 is and how do your new services address that?

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.

Programmable [enabled by Java, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and others] means highly fluid and capable of doing more [than just simple Web transactions].

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 most important for programmable is Application Perspective 4.0 with its support for AJAX.

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].

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about Keynotes plans for mobile applications and VOIP.

With broadband, theres VOIP [voice-over-IP] 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 platform where no quality of service exists. When youre sending text, continuity doesnt matter. It does with voice.

The technology required 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.

Keynote has been a relatively quiet company. Does the Internet world really know the company well enough to agree that it is the "JD Power of the Internet industry?"

Among the Internet customers who deliver Internet services, I think most would agree we are. We dont measure consumer goods like cars. But if you deliver Internet services—like Barnes & Noble, Yahoo, and so on, I think people know us.

You predicted that the company would become a $200 million firm. When do you think that will happen?

Were a public company. I cant say. Our goal is to be a $200 million provider to monitor, measure and [help] improve performance. We have a good shot at getting there by riding the wave of the new Internet.

Next Page: How big will VOIP testing, and Keynote, get?