Monthly Archives: March 2021

Fetcher raises $6.5M to automate parts of the recruiting process

Posted by on 19 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

Fetcher, a startup that promises to make the recruiting process easier while also diversifying the candidate pool, is announcing that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding.

Originally known as Scout, the New York startup was founded by CEO Andres Blank, CPO Chris Calmeyn and engineering directors Javier Castiarena and Santi Aimetta.

Blank told me that Fetcher automates parts of recruiters’ jobs, namely finding job candidates and sending the initial outreach emails. When I wondered whether that just leads to more spammy recruiting messages, he said that Fetcher emails actually result in “a very good response rate” because they’re targeted at the right candidates.

“The reality is that if you’re looking for a job, you don’t need an email to be so amazing, and if you’re a recruiter, you don’t want to spend 10 minutes thinking about what to write to each candidate,” he said.

He also described Fetcher’s approach as a “human in the loop” approach. Yes, the initial outreach is automated, but then the recruiter handles the conversations with candidates who respond.

Image Credits: Fetcher

“By automating both the sourcing [and] outreach sides of recruiting, Fetcher reduces the amount of time a recruiter spends in front of a computer searching for candidates, making a recruiter’s job more balanced, strategic and impactful, all while continuing to build a robust, diverse pipeline for the company,” Blank wrote in a follow-up email.

He also suggested that automated sourcing allows recruiters to reach a much more diverse candidate pool than they would through traditional methods. For example, he sent me a case study in which Fetcher helped video collaboration startup Frame.io hire 11 new employees in less than 12 months, nine of whom were women and/or underrepresented minorities.

“Fetcher has freed up time and given us the capacity to diversify our pipeline more organically,” said Anna Chalon, Frame.io’s senior director of talent and diversity, equity and inclusion, in a statement. “This has allowed us to make some incredible hires, mostly from underrepresented groups, over the last year.”

Blank added that after Fetcher has seen its revenue increase every month since July of last year, owing to shrinking recruiting teams needing to be able to do more with fewer resources, as well as a greater corporate focus on the aforementioned diversity, equity and inclusion.

Fetcher has now raised a total of $12 million. The Series A was led by G20 Ventures, with participation from KFund, Slow Ventures and Accomplice. Blank said he’s planning to double the employee count (currently 80) by the end of the year and to build out additional analytics (including diversity analytics) and CRM tools.

Posted Under: Tech News
Nigeria’s Termii raises $1.4M seed led by Future Africa and Kepple Africa Ventures

Posted by on 19 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

Ideally, it is expected of every business to reach its customers effectively. However, that’s not the case as limiting factors that hinder proper digital communication come into play at different growth stages. Termii, a Nigerian communications platform-as-a-service startup that solves this problem for African businesses, announced today that it has closed a $1.4 million seed round.

The round was co-led by African early-stage VC firm Future Africa and Japanese but Africa-focused VC Kepple Africa Ventures. Other investors include Acuity Ventures, Aidi Ventures, Assembly Capital, Kairos Angels, Nama Ventures, RallyCap Ventures, and Remapped Ventures.

Angel investors like Ham Serunjogi, co-founder and CEO of Chipper Cash; Josh Jones, former co-founder and CTO, Dreamhost; and Tayo Oviosu, co-founder and CEO of Paga also participated.

Gbolade Emmanuel and Ayomide Awe launched Termii after Emmanuel’s experience as a digital marketer helped him recognize the need for businesses to have exceptional communication channels. The CEO consulted for these companies and leveraged emails to retain customers, but as he found out that this process was lethargic, he sought other channels as a replacement.

“That got me to start thinking about multichannel messaging. What it meant was that we needed to find how to allow companies to use WhatsApp, voice, SMS effectively,” he said to TechCrunch. “And we had to make the process simple because in the African market, you can’t do complex stuff. You have to be as simple as possible.”

In 2017, the company officially launched and subsequently secured investment from Lagos-based VC Microtraction. Emmanuel says the company found product-market fit two years later after collating enough data from companies in different industries to understand what they really wanted.

Termii found out that in addition to assisting businesses to retain customers, there was a clear need to verify, authenticate and engage them.

“Many of these businesses we started engaging said they required tools to effectively communicate and verify customers because they were losing money at those points. For us, we saw it was a bigger problem,” Emmanuel added.

After making some tweaks, the team began to see an increase in customers numbers, especially amongst fintech startups. Positioning itself in the fast-moving space, Termii created an API-based communication infrastructure that caters to over 500 fintech startups across the continent. That’s not all. More than 1,000 businesses and developers are also using Termii’s API.

Some of these businesses include uLesson, Yassir, Helium Health, Piggyvest, Bankly, Paga, and TeamApt.

Playing in a $3.6 billion B2C communications market estimated to grow 6% annually, Termii runs a B2B2C model. But how does it make money? While a subscription-based model would’ve made sense, the two years spent by the company trying to find PMF made them think otherwise.

So the company leverages a virtual wallet system tied to a bank account and customers can make payments to the platform using mobile money, bank transfer, and credit cards. The startup charges these wallets on a per-message basis. It also does the same on every successful customer verification made towards customers’ contacts.

The Termii team

In early 2020, Termii started seeing immense progress and this coincided with their acceptance into Y Combinator. The growth continued throughout the year, growing its messaging transactions by 1000% and experiencing a 400% increase in its ARR.

Spilling into this year, Emmanuel says the company’s revenue is growing 60% month-on-month as a result of the surge in online financial transactions which to date makes up for 68% of the company’s total messaging transactions.

The seed investment that is coming a year after Termii graduated from the YC will be used for expansion and launch more messaging offerings across Africa.

Emmanuel says the company has its sights on North Africa with a physical presence in Algeria for the expansion. The reason lies behind the fact that in this quarter, Nigeria has accounted for 76% of the company’s messaging transactions, while Algeria currently accounts for 15%.

With this new fundraising, the company plans to tap into the wealth of experience from some of its new investors like Oviosu and Serunjogi who have also taken local companies into expansion phases.

Termii’s round is also noteworthy because it strays away from the usual fintech, mobility, agritech and cleantech sectors that investors typically notice. In fact, there are only a handful of venture-backed communications platform-as-a-service companies on the continent. A notable example is Kenya’s Africa Talking. It might be a stretch to say we might see more funding activity from this segment but one thing is apparent — investors are willing to place bets on less popular sectors.

Another highlight of Termii’s investment is that while foreign investors continue to dominate rounds in African tech startups, local and Africa-focused firms are beginning to step up by leading some which is a good sign for the bubbling ecosystem.

This round is also a big step for Future Africa. According to publicly available information, the firm is leading a million-dollar round for the first time since officially launching last year. This achievement is a continuation of its work over the past three quarters having invested in more than 10 African startups in the last three quarters and 30 startups in general. 

Kepple Africa Ventures, the co-lead, is also an active investor and can be argued to be the most early-stage VC firm on the continent — in terms of the number of deals made. So far, the firm has invested in 79 companies across 11 countries. 

Speaking on the investment for Kepple Africa, Satoshi Shinada, a partner at the firm, said, “Fragmented and unstable communication channels are one of the biggest challenges for the digitization of businesses in Africa. Emmanuel has proven that with his visionary goals and solid implementation of iterations on the ground, his team is unparalleled to build an innovative solution in this space.”

Posted Under: Tech News
Slapdash raises $3.7M seed to ship a workplace apps command bar

Posted by on 18 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

The explosion in productivity software amid a broader remote work boom has been one of the pandemic’s clearest tech impacts. But learning to use a dozen new programs while having to decipher which data is hosted where can sometimes seem to have an adverse effect on worker productivity. It’s all time that users can take for granted, even when carrying out common tasks like navigating to the calendar to view more info to click a link to open the browser to redirect to the native app to open a Zoom call.

Slapdash is aiming to carve a new niche out for itself among workplace software tools, pushing a desire for peak performance to the forefront with a product that shaves seconds off each instance where a user needs to find data hosted in a cloud app or carry out an action. While most of the integration-heavy software suites to emerge during the remote work boom have focused on promoting visibility or re-skinning workflows across the tangled weave of SaaS apps, Slapdash founder Ivan Kanevski hopes that the company’s efforts to engineer a quicker path to information will push tech workers to integrate another tool into their workflow.

The team tells TechCrunch that they’ve has raised $3.7 million in seed funding from investors that include S28 Capital, Quiet Capital. Quarry Ventures and Twenty Two Ventures. Angels participating in the round include co-founders at companies like Patreon, Docker and Zynga.

Kanevski says the team sought to emulate the success of popular apps like Superhuman which have pushed low-latency command line interface navigation while emulating some of the sleek internal tools used at companies like Facebook where he spent nearly six years as a software engineer.

Slapdash’s command line widget can be pulled up anywhere, once installed, with a quick keyboard shortcut. From there, users can search through a laundry list of indexable apps including Slack, Zoom, Jira and about twenty others. Beyond command line access, users can create folders of files and actions inside the full desktop app or create their own keyboard shortcuts to quickly hammer out a task. The app is available on Mac, Windows, Linux and the web.

“We’re not trying to displace the applications that you connect to Slapdash,” he says. “You won’t see us, for example, building document editing, you won’t see us building project management, just because our sort of philosophy is that we’re a neutral platform.”

The company offers a free tier for users indexing up to five apps and creating ten commands and spaces, any more than that and you level up into a $12 per month paid plan. Things look more customized for enterprise-wide pricing. As the team hopes to make the tool essential to startups, Kanevski see the app’s hefty utility for individual users as a clear asset in scaling up.

“If you anticipate rolling this out to larger organizations, you would want the people that are using the software to have a blast with it,” he says. “We have quite a lot of confidence that even at this sort of individual atomic level, we built something pretty joyful and helpful.”

Posted Under: Tech News
Atlassian peps up Confluence with new graphical design features

Posted by on 18 March, 2021

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Confluence, Atlassian’s wiki-like collaborative workspace, has been around for over 15 years and is often a core knowledge-sharing tool for the companies that implement it. But for the most part, Confluence is a business tool and looks like it, with walls of text and the occasional graph, table or image. But user expectations have changed and so it’s maybe no major surprise that Atlassian is now bringing a stronger emphasis on design to the service.

Today’s update, for example, brings features like cover images, title emojis and customizable space avatars (that is, “icons that denote a ‘space’ or section of Confluence”) to the service. The team also recently introduced smart links, which allow you to paste links from services like YouTube and Trello and have the service immediately recognize them and display them in their native format. Other new features include the ability to schedule when a new page is published and the ability to convert pages to blog posts (because, as it turns out, Atlassian has seen a bit of a resurgence in corporate blogging — mostly for internal audiences — during the pandemic).

Image Credits: Atlassian

“We ended up doing something that we called ‘love sprint,’ where we prioritize about 30 features for the enhancements, which are all — if you think about the themes — about how you design information in this world where you have to read more, where you have to write more,” Natalia Baryshnikova, the Head Of Product Management for Atlassian’s Confluence Experience Group, told me. “And there’s the attention span that’s kind of pushing its limits. So how do you design for that situation? How do you discover our content?”

Baryshnikova tells me that the team took a close look at how content production, management and delivery works in the social media world. But some of the new features are also purely a reaction to a changing work environment. Take the ability to schedule when pages are published, for example. Employees who work from home may work especially late or early right now, for example, in order to prioritize childcare. But they still want the content they produce to be seen inside the company and that can be hard when you would otherwise publish it at 11pm, for example.

Image Credits: Atlassian

And having your content get noticed is getting harder because Confluence usage has dramatically increased in the last twelve months. As Atlassian noted today, over 60,000 companies are now using the service. And inside those companies, those users are also far more active than ever before. The number of Confluence pages created from March 2020 to March 2021 increased by more than 33 percent. The average user now creates 11 percent more pages, but the product’s superusers have often doubled or tripled their output.

The use of Confluence has also helped many companies reduce their number of meetings, but as Baryshnikova noted, “not only are pages competing with meetings — but pages are competing with pages.” So using good graphics, for example, is a way for a user’s content to stand out in the noise of corporate content production. Which, I have to admit, strikes me as a somewhat strange dynamic. But I guess that just like on the web, in order to stand out in a corporate environment, you have to make the documents you produce stand out in order to get noticed. Maybe that — as well as the lack of watercooler conversations — is also the reason why corporate blogging is seeing an uptick right now.

Posted Under: Tech News
Seven months after Drone acquisition, Harness announces significant updates

Posted by on 18 March, 2021

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The running line from any acquired company CEO is that the company can do so much more with resources of the company that acquired it than it could on its own. Just seven months after being acquired, Drone, co-founder Brad Rydzewski says that his company really has benefited greatly from being part of Harness, and today the company announced a significant overhaul of the open source project.

The artist formerly known as Drone is now called ‘Harness CI Community Edition’ and Rydzewski says the Harness CEO and founder Jyoti Bansal kept his word when he said he was 100% committed to continue developing the open source Drone product.

“Over the past seven months since the acquisition, a lot of community work has been around taking advantage of the resources that Harness has been able to afford us as a project — like having access to a designer, having access to professional writers — these are luxuries for most open source projects,” Rydzewski told me.

He says that having access to these additional resources has enabled him to bring a higher level of polish to the project that just wouldn’t have been possible without joining Harness. At the same time, he says the CI team, which has grown from the project’s two co-founders to 15 people, has also been able to build out the professional CI tool as it has become part of the Harness toolset.

Chief among the updates to the community edition is a new sleeker interface that has a much more professional look and feel, according to Rydzewski. In addition, developers can see how projects move along the pipeline in a visualization tool, while benefiting from real-time debugging tools and new governance and security features.

All of this is an embarrassment of riches for Rydzewski, who was used to working on a shoestring budget prior to joining Harness. “Drone came from very humble beginnings as an open source project, but now I think it can hold its own next to any product in the market today, even products that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

Posted Under: Tech News
SecurityScorecard snags $180M Series E to measure a company’s security risk

Posted by on 18 March, 2021

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SecurityScorecard has been helping companies understand the security risk of its vendors since 2014 by providing each one with a letter grade based on a number of dimensions. Today, the company announced a $180 million Series E.

The round includes new investors Silver Lake Waterman, T. Rowe Price, Kayne Anderson Rudnick, and Fitch Venture along with existing investors Evolution Equity Partners, Accomplice, Riverwood Capital, Intel Capital, NGP Capital, AXA Venture Partners, GV (Google Ventures) and Boldstart Ventures. The company reports it has now raised $290 million.

Co-founder and CEO Aleksandr Yampolskiy says the company’s mission has not changed since it launched. “The idea that we started the company was a realization that when I was CISO and CTO I had no metrics at my disposal. I invested in all kinds of solutions where I was completely in the dark about how I’m doing compared to the industry and how my vendors and suppliers were doing compared to me,” Yampolskiy told me.

He and his co-founder COO Sam Kassoumeh likened this to a banker looking at a mortgage application and having no credit score to check. The company changed that by starting a system of scoring the security posture of different companies and giving them a letter grade of A-F just like at school.

Today, it has ratings on more than 2 million companies worldwide, giving companies a way to understand how secure their vendors are. Yampolskiy says that his company’s solution can rate a new company not in the data set in just five minutes. Every company can see its own scorecard for free along with advice on how to improve that score.

He notes that in fact, the disastrous SolarWinds hack was entirely predictable based on SecurityScorecard’s rating system. “SolarWinds’ score has been lagging below the industry average for quite a long time, so we weren’t really particularly surprised about them,” he said.

The industry average is around 85 or a solid B in the letter grade system, whereas SolarWinds was sitting at 70 or a C for quite some time, indicating its security posture was suspect, he reports.

While Yampolskiy didn’t want to discuss valuation or revenue or even growth numbers, he did say the company has 17,000 customers worldwide including 7 of the 10 top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The company has reached a point where this could be the last private fundraise it does before going public, but Yampolskiy kept his cards close on timing, saying it could happen some time in the next couple of years.

Posted Under: Tech News
Saleor scores $2.5M seed round for its ‘headless’ e-commerce platform

Posted by on 18 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

Saleor, a Poland and U.S.-based startup that offers a “headless” e-commerce platform to make it easier for developers to build better online shopping experiences, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding.

The round is led by Berlin’s Cherry Ventures, with participation from various angels. They include Guillermo Rauch (Vercel CEO and inventor of Next.js), Chris Schagen (former CMO of Contentful) and Kevin Mahaffey (co-founder of Lookout).

Saleor says the injection of capital will be invested in further developing Saleor‘s headless e-commerce platform, including a soon-to-launch cloud product and GraphQL API for front-end engineers.

Founded in 2020 but with a history going back to 2013, years before founders Mirek Mencel and Patryk Zawadzki spun out the product separate from their agency, Saleor is described as an “API-first” e-commerce platform that takes a “headless” approach. The idea is that the platform does the back-end heavy lifting so that developers can focus on the front end where most of the value is created for users.

“Saleor was born of necessity when our agency work at Mirumee Software required more modular, flexible and scalable e-commerce software,” Saleor co-founder Mirek Mencel recalls. “Most solutions for bigger brands came with proprietary baggage like vendor lock-in, slow adoption of new technologies and commercial certification programs. On the open-source side, we didn’t enjoy Magento’s developer experience and felt alternatives weren’t viable at scale”.

And so Saleor was conceived as an open-source platform focused on “technical excellence and quality” that could deliver greater scalability and extensibility than existing proprietary software. By 2016, the product had grown from something Mencel and Zawadzki’s agency used internally into a platform used by developers around the world.

“We could have stopped there, but saw brands pressing for more revolutionary front-end experiences,” Mencel says. “Decoupling Saleor’s core from its presentation layer was the obvious path to revolutionary front-ends. As difficult as it was, we tore down what was a rather good open-source e-commerce platform and rebuilt it API-first”.

Beyond their early headless conviction, the pair also came to the realisation that GraphQL delivered “more power, precision and developer happiness” than REST. Reasoning that most developers prefer “a few things done superbly to many things done well,” they committed exclusively to Saleor’s GraphQL API. “We have never looked back,” says Mencel.

In 2018, the original six-person team shipped Saleor 2.0. Now with a headcount of 20, Mencel says Saleor has a simple vision of developer-first commerce: open-source, GraphQL and “fair-priced” cloud — a vision that Cherry Ventures has clearly bought into.

“We are currently witnessing a paradigm shift with developers switching to headless commerce solutions, allowing more flexible, differentiated shopping experiences,” says Filip Dames, founding partner of Cherry. “Mirek, Patryk, and their team are at the forefront of this development and will enable innovative merchants to build state-of-the-art shopping experiences that scale across all consumer touch points and devices”.

“We decided to pursue venture backing as a way to increase the Saleor core team size and accelerate buildout of Saleor Cloud, which we’ll launch this year,” adds Mencel.

Posted Under: Tech News
Amazon will expand its Amazon Care on-demand healthcare offering U.S.-wide this summer

Posted by on 17 March, 2021

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Amazon is apparently pleased with how its Amazon Care pilot in Seattle has gone, since it announced this morning that it will be expanding the offering across the U.S. this summer, and opening it up to companies of all sizes, in addition to its own employees. The Amazon Care model combines on-demand and in-person care, and is meant as a solution from the search giant to address shortfalls in current offering for employer-sponsored healthcare offerings.

In a blog post announcing the expansion, Amazon touted the speed of access to care made possible for its employees and their families via the remote, chat and video-based features of Amazon Care. These are facilitated via a dedicated Amazon Care app, which provides direct, live chats via a nurse or doctor. Issues that then require in-person care is then handled via a house call, so a medical professional is actually sent to your home to take care of things like administering blood tests or doing a chest exam, and prescriptions are delivered to your door as well.

The expansion is being handled differently across both in-person and remote variants of care; remote services will be available starting this summer to both Amazon’s own employees, as well as other companies who sign on as customers, starting this summer. The in-person side will be rolling out more slowly, starting with availability in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and “other cities in the coming months” according to the company.

As of today, Amazon Care is expanding in its home state of Washington to begin serving other companies. The idea is that others will sing on to make Amazon Care part of its overall benefits package for employees. Amazon is touting the speed advantages of testing services, including results delivery, for things including COVID-19 as a major strength of the service.

The Amazon Care model has a surprisingly Amazon twist, too – when using the in-person care option, the app will provide an updating ETA for when to expect your physician or medical technician, which is eerily similar to how its primary app treats package delivery.

While the Amazon Care pilot in Washington only launched a year-and-a-half ago, the company has had its collective mind set on upending the corporate healthcare industry for some time now. It announced a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan back at the very beginning of 2018 to form a joint venture specifically to address the gaps they saw in the private corporate healthcare provider market.

That deep pocketed all-star team ended up officially disbanding at the outset of this year, after having done a whole lot of not very much in the three years in between. One of the stated reasons that Amazon and its partners gave for unpartnering was that each had made a lot of progress on its own in addressing the problems it had faced anyway. While Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan’s work in that regard might be less obvious, Amazon was clearly referring to Amazon Care.

It’s not unusual for large tech companies with lots of cash on the balance sheet and a need to attract and retain top-flight talent to spin up their own healthcare benefits for their workforces. Apple and Google both have their own on-campus wellness centers staffed by medical professionals, for instance. But Amazon’s ambitious have clearly exceeded those of its peers, and it looks intent on making a business line out of the work it did to improve its own employee care services — a strategy that isn’t too dissimilar from what happened with AWS, by the way.

Posted Under: Tech News
OctoML raises $28M Series B for its machine learning acceleration platform

Posted by on 17 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

OctoML, a Seattle-based startup that offers a machine learning acceleration platform build on top of the open-source Apache TVM compiler framework project, today announced that it has raised a $28 million Series B funding round led by Addition. Previous investors Madrona Venture Group and Amplify Partners also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $47 million. The company last raised in April 2020, when it announced its $15 million Series A round led by Amplify

The promise of OctoML, which was founded by the team that also created TVM, is that developers can bring their models to its platform and the service will automatically optimize that model’s performance for any given cloud or edge device.

As Brazil-born OctoML co-founder and CEO Luis Ceze told me, since raising its Series A round, the company started onboarding some early adopters to its ‘Octomizer’ SaaS platform.

Image Credits: OctoML

“It’s still in early access, but we are we have close to 1,000 early access sign-ups on the waitlist,” Ceze said. “That was a pretty strong signal for us to end up taking this [funding]. The Series B was pre-emptive. We were planning on starting to raise money right about now. We had barely started spending our Series A money — we still had a lot of that left. But since we saw this growth and we had more paying customers than we anticipated, there were a lot of signals like, ‘hey, now we can accelerate the go-to-market machinery, build a customer success team and continue expanding the engineering team to build new features.”

Ceze tells me that the team also saw strong growth signals in the overall community around the TVM project (with about 1,000 people attending its virtual conference last year). As for its customer base (and companies on its waitlist), Ceze says it represents a wide range of verticals that range from defense contractors to financial services and life science companies, automotive firms and startups in a variety of fields.

Recently, OctoML also launched support for the Apple M1 chip — and saw very good performance from that.

The company has also formed partnerships with industry heavyweights like Microsoft (which is also a customer), Qualcomm and AMD to build out the open-source components and optimize its service for an even wider range of models (and larger ones, too).

On the engineering side, Ceze tells me that the team is looking at not just optimizing and tuning models but also the training process. Training ML models can quickly become costly and any service that can speed up that process leads to direct savings for its users — which in turn makes OctoML an easier sell. The plan here, Ceze tells me, is to offer an end-to-end solution where people can optimize their ML training and the resulting models and then push their models out to their preferred platform. Right now, its users still have to take the artifact that the Octomizer creates and deploy that themselves, but deployment support is on OctoML’s roadmap.

“When we first met Luis and the OctoML team, we knew they were poised to transform the way ML teams deploy their machine learning models,” said Lee Fixel, founder of Addition. “They have the vision, the talent and the technology to drive ML transformation across every major enterprise. They launched Octomizer six months ago and it’s already becoming the go-to solution developers and data scientists use to maximize ML model performance. We look forward to supporting the company’s continued growth.”

Posted Under: Tech News
New Relic expands its AIOps services

Posted by on 17 March, 2021

This post was originally published on this site

In recent years, the publicly traded observability service New Relic started adding more machine learning-based tools to its platform for AI-assisted incident response when things don’t quite go as planned. Today, it is expanding this feature set with the launch of a number of new capabilities for what it calls its “New Relic Applied Intelligence Service.”

This expansion includes an anomaly detection service that is even available for free users, the ability to group alerts from multiple tools when the models think it’s a single issue that is triggering all of these alerts and new ML-based root cause analysis to help eliminate some of the guesswork when problems occur. Also new (and in public beta) is New Relic’s ability to detect patterns and outliers in log data that is stored in the company’s data platform.

The main idea here, New Relic’s director of product marketing Michael Olson told me, is to make it easier for companies of all sizes to reap the benefits of AI-enhanced ops.

Image Credits: New Relic

“It’s been about a year since we introduced our first set of AIops capabilities with New Relic Applied Intelligence to the market,” he said. “During that time, we’ve seen significant growth in adoption of AIops capabilities through New Relic. But one of the things that we’ve heard from organizations that have yet to foray into adopting AIops capabilities as part of their incident response practice is that they often find that things like steep learning curves and long implementation and training times — and sometimes lack of confidence, or knowledge of AI and machine learning — often stand in the way.”

The new platform should be able to detect emerging problems in real time — without the team having to pre-configure alerts. And when it does so, it’ll smartly group all of the alerts from New Relic and other tools together to cut down on the alert noise and let engineers focus on the incident.

“Instead of an alert storm when a problem occurs across multiple tools, engineers get one actionable issue with alerts automatically grouped based on things like time and frequency, based on the context that they can read in the alert messages. And then now with this launch, we’re also able to look at relationship data across your systems to intelligently group and correlate alerts,” Olson explained.

Image Credits: New Relic

Maybe the highlight for the ops teams that will use these new features, though, is New Relic’s ability to pinpoint the probable root cause of a problem. As Guy Fighel, the general manager of applied intelligence and vice president of product engineering at New Relic, told me, the idea here is not to replace humans but to augment teams.

“We provide a non-black-box experience for teams to craft the decisions and correlation and logic based on their own knowledge and infuse the system with their own knowledge,” Fighel noted. “So you can get very specific based on your environment and needs. And so because of that and because we see a lot of data coming from different tools — all going into New Relic One as the data platform — our probable root cause is very accurate. Having said that, it is still a probable root cause. So although we are opinionated about it, we will never tell you, ‘hey, go fix that, because we’re 100% sure that’s the case.’ You’re the human, you’re in control.”

The AI system also asks users for feedback, so that the model gets refined with every new incident, too.

Fighel tells me that New Relic’s tools rely on a variety of statistical analysis methods and machine learning models. Some of those are unique to individual users while others are used across the company’s user base. He also stressed that all of the engineers who worked on this project have a background in site reliability engineering — so they are intimately familiar with the problems in this space.

With today’s launch, New Relic is also adding a new integration with PagerDuty and other incident management tools so that the state of a given issue can be synchronized bi-directionally between them.

“We want to meet our customers where they are and really be data source agnostic and enable customers to pull in data from any source, where we can then enrich that data, reduce noise and ultimately help our customers solve problems faster,” said Olson.

Posted Under: Tech News
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