Sramana Mitra: What are the key trends? You said rightly that it’s a very crowded space. What are the broad overriding trends in the space?
Lior Koriat: It’s a good question because you ask yourself that along the way, and you try to understand what would help customers choose you amongst others. What you see today as a main trend is that every customer becomes, more and more, a software company. We have customers that are very large paper manufacturers, for example. It turns out they have hundreds of developers developing websites because this is the way they go to market.
Even if you are a paper manufacturer or you are a technology manufacturer, you deliver your services through applications internally and externally. This digital revolution forces you to all the same practices of application development. That’s the main driver. It actually matches the vision of cloud, agility, and DevOps as main trend. This is where we come into play.
We try to make it easier by turning what used to be a cumbersome mission to get infrastructure to deploy your application into a seamless service that is very trivial for them to design and consume whenever they need. That leads to the use cases that we support or try to go after today.
Sramana Mitra: We’ll do use cases. I just have one question before we go there. Quali has been around for quite a while. You guys started in 2004. Of course, DevOps has changed tremendously in that time frame. Could you give us a bit of historical overview of where the industry was when you started versus where you are today?
Lior Koriat: Absolutely. It’s been quite a journey. In 2007 when I joined, infrastructure was mostly physical, isolated, and in the shape and form of labs and data center. It was all very manual and labor-intensive. At that point, we had the mission of allowing to create an abstract layer on top of that and allowing users from remote sites to go and access stacks of infrastructure.
A couple of years later, virtualization became more and more prevalent. It also became a technology that is being used by IT to deliver different services. We saw the world with a lot of brown field deployments between physical and virtua worldsl. Cloud became more of a notion when it was possible to then consume in an automated fashion and gradually make it more and more as a service. This is when people gradually started adopting or accepting the concept that you don’t need to own your infrastructure. Someone else can own it. It could be someone in your own organization.
It wasn’t easy for a lot of organizations to accept the fact that the most sensitive information like customer’s logo, names, and contacts is going to be in some cloud service. Today, I’m very happy to see that not only has that changed to a point where it’s acceptable but it has changed the way you would consume solutions like ours. This was another dimension where we saw a change in this journey. 10 years ago, you would consume software as if it was capex. Today it’s opex.
This is pretty much the only way for you to scale as a software company today – subscription fashion. This would not have been possible if not for the revolution of cloud consumption, even if infrastructure now is opex rather than capex for a lot of organizations. It’s been a very long journey.