This post is part of a series where Dyn Chief Strategy Officer, Kyle York, who has led growth since 2008, delves into the most influential prospect, customer, and partner meetings that shaped Dyn’s Internet Performance vision.
The customer story of Onshape is a unique one that started prior to them becoming an official and inevitable Internet Performance customer. It was when Onshape announced their commercial release at the end of 2015, that got me really thinking about their journey. It all started in 2013 and our investor North Bridge was investing in the repeat entrepreneurs who had earlier founded, run and exited SolidWorks in the CAD space.
They had a vision to build ‘CAD in the Cloud’ and were initially operating under the name ‘Belmont Technologies’. After meeting with Chairman, Jon Hirschtick and CEO, John McEleney, to discuss the SaaS business model, GTM scaling and the cloud infrastructure landscape, it was apparent they would scale on Dyn. But before that, the business needed a memorable and defining name. At an event in California over a glass of wine, I chatted with Hirschtick as he rifled through name ideas. I kept saying “It needs to be simple and descriptive.” He tossed out Onshape and I immediately thought it fit the bill. I grabbed my Dyn Whois mobile app and saw it was unavailable. I intro’d them into domain name brokers, Sedo, and they acquired the foundational name.
Several months later, Onshape launched its beta product. It was a tremendous demo the first time I saw it and we knew we could be helpful as they moved to public launch. We offered to host some senior members of their technical leadership team at our HQ in NH to discuss how Onshape was going to ensure an exceptional global end-user experience.
CAD design collaborations happen across distributed teams in real-time. For the application to be truly optimized, it needed to be deployed across infrastructure providers in strategic data center locations. We first demoed our Internet Intelligence products and showed them how our 200+ vantage point network saw their front-end website and application infrastructure footprint and performance. We ran traceroute latency measurements, displayed routing paths users would transverse, and dug into the infrastructure partners and locations they had selected for their beta version. We thought we hit a snag early in the meeting. We could see where they were deployed for cad.onshape.com on one location of Amazon Web Services (AWS), but we also saw Akamai’s CDN in the Onshape.com name space. They called us out; their app only ran in one location on AWS at the time as they worked through architecture. Always quick on my feet I asked, “What CMS do you use for your current front-end site?” They responded, “Hubspot.” I coyly smiled, “Hubspot uses Akamai as their CDN.” It was pass through insight like that that truly displayed the power of the tool, even across SaaS providers. Our VP, Product Management, Charlie Baker, confidently navigated our offering to dive into greater detail.
Another great anecdote from the meeting came when we measured performance of the app from China. The majority of the world’s manufacturing happens in Asia, but yet the latency of users accessing designs had much room for improvement. Our Traffic Management service would enable them to geographically manage, steer, and optimize user traffic as future AWS locations are added. We would help them by providing the data and analytics around availability, performance and reachability of users and infrastructure married with a rules engine to shape traffic to optimize that experience. That’s our Internet Performance Management vision.
Today, Onshape is scaling fast and shaking up the CAD world. We’re proud to have Onshape as a client. Congratulations on the big release and may your 2016 be of continuing success.