Online Performance Is as Important as In-Game Performance for the Super Bowl

Posted 2/5/2016 8:00:54 AM by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Online Performance Is as Important as In-Game Performance for the Super Bowl
The biggest sports day of the year will also be a huge day for companies who have an investment in the big game. We visited with Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, to discuss how digital performance management is particularly important during “spikey” events such as the Super Bowl, where digital performance can make or break a brand.

He also provides insights into SOASTA’s Super Bowl Harris poll of more than 2,000 Americans that delves into consumer expectations for their Super Bowl digital experience. 

ADM: What is Digital Performance Management and why is it important for digital businesses?

Lounibos: “Digital Performance Management” (DPM) is a broad term that describes a proactive approach to continuous peak digital performance as measured by user experiences and monetization. With DPM, a company can ensure that its online business (via websites and mobile applications) is responding to its customers’ needs and delivering an exceptional user experience, as well as sales conversion. 

DPM, the next step beyond traditional Application Performance Management (APM), is a data-centric approach to performance management in which web and mobile applications are continuously measured, tested and optimized to deliver the best possible user experience and business outcome.

ADM: Why is it important for digital businesses to make the move to the DPM Platform, particularly around big events like the Super Bowl?

Lounibos: Digital has fundamentally transformed how we live, work and shop. Storefronts are now open 24 hours a day, and consumers are mobile, social and hyper-connected, with high expectations for their digital user experience. With an estimated $10 trillion of digital economy at stake, online performance has never mattered more than it does today to digital businesses. Performance is particularly important during “spikey” events such as the Super Bowl, where digital performance can make or break a brand. 

The DPM Platform does more than just measure and analyze digital performance. It actually enables continuous measurement and improvement of digital performance. It has the ability to predict and prevent performance and functionality issues before they occur, unlike other platforms that address an issue as it is occurring or after it has already cost the business customers and, ultimately, revenue.
Tim Lounibos

We often see a spike in digital use (with websites and mobile apps, for example) before and during big events like the Super Bowl. Here’s one reason why: viewers see an ad on TV and they’re compelled to learn more, so they turn to the advertiser’s website. Fans might visit their favorite team’s page to look up the team’s roster or next season’s schedule. There’s always a lot of traffic to these sites, and it’s important for businesses to be prepared.

ADM: What are the key technologies in the DPM Platform? 

Lounibos: The SOASTA platform consists of five key technologies – mPulse, CloudTest, TouchTest, Digital Operations Center (DOC) and Data Science Workbench – working in concert to provide continuous performance delivery. 

ADM: SOASTA recently released new enhancements in you 2016 Winter Release, could you provide highlights of those? 

Lounibos: Enhancements to two of these technologies, mPulse and CloudTest, are the highlights of the recently announced Winter 2016 Release. 

mPulse real user monitoring (RUM) collects and analyzes 100% of the front-end performance data from every web and mobile user and correlates this data with critical business metrics – all in real time. The 2016 Winter Release provides greater visibility into user experience beacons such as network activity, navigation, battery life and DOM objects, advanced visualization for precision identification of performance issues, unlimited alerts, and integration with popular tools such as PagerDuty and Slack. As a result, the site owner always has a clear view of what’s working, what isn’t, and what to do next.

CloudTest provides a powerful, flexible and affordable platform for continuous load testing – including real-time analytics, a visual test creation environment, dynamic test-grid provisioning, and the ability to pause and restart tests in production. The 2016 Winter Release provides faster test creation, service level agreement (SLA) performance validation and automation of the testing process, from test and collecting results  to finally shutting down the testing grid.

ADM: Why is the DPM Platform important for DevOps teams?

Lounibos: The DPM Platform enables DevOps teams to better manage workflows and respond to and resolve incidents faster.  DevOps teams are able to do so through productivity enhancements, with unlimited alerts to easy “exception management,” fully integrated with popular tools such as PagerDuty and Slack.

ADM: What did SOASTA’s research reveal when it comes to the importance Americans place on digital performance during the Super Bowl? 

Lounibos: Here are some highlights of what we learned:

- 32% of Americans who are planning to watch the Super Bowl said they will also be using social media. 

- 46% say that a poorly performing website or app is worse than watching their favorite team perform poorly during the Super Bowl.

- More than 2 in 5 (42%) of Americans agreed that posting on social media is an important way fans show their loyalty.

- 59% watch games on a laptop or mobile device.

ADM: Why is online performance just as important as in-game performance during the Super Bowl? 

Lounibos: Our research revealed that fans actually expect high performance from online sites during the big game. In fact, 48% of those polled said that online performance during the Super Bowl matters to them and that online and mobile activities will be critical to their game-watching experience. That means that for almost half of Americans watching the game, their game-watching experience will be heavily influenced by online performance. And businesses need to be prepared to make it a positive Super Bowl experience, whether or not their customers’ favorite team wins. 

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About the author: STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Stuart Parkerson has an extensive background in niche technology publishing.

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