Sramana Mitra: There are a variety of user experiences and architecture designs that are being stored and based on what device a request is coming in from, the right one is being served. You’re saying that the decision of which of those designs is going to be served and what performance level is being done by companies like Akamai. Did I get that right?
Mike Afergan: Yes, that is correct. I’d say that’s correct for a large fraction of the Web experiences today. Many sites are now thinking about not just creating four, five, ten, or fifty versions of the site, but architecting to this responsive design notion where they create one “überversion” of the site that is dynamically within the device customized for the device itself. Several companies are viewing that as a simpler architecture. But what you said is a correct and fair summary.
SM: When Akamai’s technology decides to serve up different versions of the website or user experience to different users coming from different configurations, would you explain a bit more about what happens there, and how you optimize those experiences?
MA: Let me touch upon two pieces of it. Obviously, there’s a lot more. I think one piece of it is, how do you optimize the experience correctly. The other piece is, how do you figure out what device that you’re on? In our particular case, Akamai has information that maps. We understand what the device type is that’s making the request. Based on that, we have, effectively, a database that provides with information about what that device can support. Fundamentally, we allow our customers to make that decision. We enact that decision. We are the ones that ultimately execute that decision, but we enable our customers to make that decision and control that decision. They get to control that, and we just make sure that it executes out in the network.
For a customer who is unaware of what some of the right decisions are or potentially has some questions, we have expertise that can help him think through those decisions. But our job is to enable our customers to control their businesses the way they want. We provide them with this information and with tools to make the decision. And they get to make that decision at the end of the day. That’s the answer from a selection perspective.
From an optimization perspective, there are different technologies we use to help create the right enhanced performance. Again, it goes back to the situational performance perspective. Based on the situation, the attributes of the network, the user, the device, the content, and what services the customer wants us to use, we will apply the right technologies in that situation. That is something that is completely automated. As the world becomes increasingly complex and the number of situations become more numerous, there’s a lot more sophistication that goes into making those right decisions.