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Welcome Mike, let’s start with a quick introduction of who you are and what your role is at Apica?
I’m Mike Howse, VP International Business at Apica and I’m responsible for the Apica/AppDynamics relationship.

And what beer will you be drinking tonight?
Guinness. It reaches the parts I care about.

What problems does your solution or service solve for customers?
Apica helps customers optimize performance and identify bottlenecks by providing a whole range of testing and performance solutions and services. We offer scalability testing, stability testing, and spike load testing as well as regular performance testing and synthetic monitoring. We also provide performance consulting specifically around moving applications to the cloud.

What types of technology trends are you seeing within your customer base?
We’ve noticed a lot of increased complexity in our customers’ applications. There has been a lot of adoption of more complex and modern application architectures – SOA, virtualization, cloud, all of that. There are still customers that make do with older architectures but they know they need to be migrating. And the result of this is that operations staffs are overwhelmed with problems, and there’s a perceived lack of affordable tools available to solve them.

So there’s a lot of change and added complexity but there’s also a lot of anxiety about that change. People moving to the cloud are worried about scalability and 24×7 performance. A lot of people think they can solve these problems by focusing on the network instead of what they should be focusing on, which is the business transaction.

What application performance pain and challenges do you typically see within customer accounts?
Well, a lot of ops teams are under a lot of pressure to launch apps quickly, which sometimes leads to cutting corners in testing. A lot of organizations only test once – if functional testing has been done in development, chances are that no scalability or stability testing has been done in production, which isn’t good.

We also hear more and more about the impact of poor performance. Today when a website is down the news spreads like wildfire, and that tarnishes your brand. Within your organization you get dev and ops playing the blame game instead of collaborating to solve the problem. It’s not a very effective way to handle performance.

Also we hear a lot of people talking about creep within application specifications without any understanding of performance implications. Creep always happens, but adding requirements without any context for how they will affect performance can be dangerous.

Why does partnering with AppDynamics make good sense for Apica?
AppDynamics’ integration with Apica LoadTest and Apica WebPerformance enables a complete view from the end user perspective as well as from the ‘inside’ – right down to code level. This dramatically speeds up the process of isolating the root cause of problems both in production and in development. With AppDynamics, the Apica WebExcellence suite of services is now a complete application performance management package, with performance testing – scalability/stability/spike – synthetic monitoring 24×7, real-user monitoring, inside monitoring for vital signs analysis and deep-dive code level analysis from AppDynamics.

What’s your favorite thing about AppDynamics?
I’d say it’s just the simplicity. AppDynamics makes it easy to find answers to complex problems.

How can someone find out more about Apica?
You can learn more about Apica’s products on our website. If you want to know more about Apica’s partnership and integration with AppDynamics, check out our partners page.

Which software companies inspire you?
I know everyone says it, but I’ll have to go with Apple.

Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Superman, of course. It’s in the name

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