WHITE P APER                                                               Measuring the Return on Investment of Web Appli...
ADDRESSING CHALLENGES POSED BYWEB-BASED APPLICATION PERFORMANCEEnterprise IT professionals across all industries face sign...
The sad fact is that centralized IT/application environments, dispersed end users, andlimited network and server/storage r...
As a result, Akamai promises consistent application performance, regardless ofwhere users are located, as well as applicat...
Portal: 75% of respondents use WAA on their portal applications.     Supply chain management (SCM): 67% of respondents use...
User productivity. User productivity is a measure of how much value a user         of business applications produces per $...
Lost user productivity is the value of the time lost to downtime, performance        degradations, help desk calls, or oth...
FIGURE 1Average Annual Benefit of Akamai per Application                    User productivity                        (27.1...
WAA acceleration performance enhancements enabled companies to reduce theirbandwidth utilization and costs by 5–20%. Becau...
Payback and ROIUnlike most IT investments, where the initial investment accounts for 50–70% of thetotal investment and req...
Despite the broader market adoption of application delivery services, challenges stillexist, including:     Demonstrate th...
comScores network, which it uses to collect and compile data from the millions ofInternet and mobile research panelists ar...
Language (TOEFL), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), GraduateRecord Examinations (GRE) General and S...
Leading Independent Software VendorThe client is a world leader in application software, with a broad range of offeringsta...
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  1. 1. WHITE P APER Measuring the Return on Investment of Web Application Acceleration Managed Services Sponsored by: Akamai Melanie Posey Lucinda Borovick Randy Perry October 2009 EXECUTIVE SUMMARYwww.idc.com As Web-based applications have become critical to many business operations, a This IDC White Paper presents the results of number of enterprises have become frustrated with the performance and reliability of an IDC study, their applications and have turned to outsourcing some aspects of their Web commissioned byF.508.935.4015 Akamai, to quantify application management and support. Akamai provides the Web Application the financial benefits Accelerator (WAA) service to address this need, having pioneered the approach of of using Akamais offering application acceleration as a service rather than as a hardware-based Web Application Accelerator (WAA). solution.P.508.872.8200 To assess and quantify the business benefits of WAA, IDC conducted in-depth interviews with IT staff members of 12 organizations using the service. Eight of these interviews were conducted during the original IDC return-on-investment (ROI) analysis of WAA performed in 2006, and four additional interviews were conducted for this 2009 update. A structured set of questions was used to capture the costs andGlobal Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA benefits directly associated with WAA. The study was based on standard IDC ROI methodology, which is used to calculate the benefits of cost savings, increased productivity, and revenue realization. The IT managers interviewed reported that they realized substantial increases in the efficiency of their operations. IT productivity increased by an average of 15% annually. WAA improved application performance, reducing latency by 57% and increasing speed by 144% while reducing downtime by an average of 24%. Internal users improved their utilization of WAA-optimized business applications by 25%, increasing each users access to these applications by 50 hours per year. The most significant benefits were generated by improving application performance for external users: customers or partners. With the notable exception of one public sector organization, all companies interviewed enjoyed annual revenue increases ranging from $200,000 to over $300 million, which they directly attributed to WAA. Based on the results of these 12 interviews, the total benefits averaged more than $11 million annually on an average investment of $289,000. This translated into immediate business impact, with payback in just 2.2 months and a 580% ROI based on IT cost savings alone. If revenue and productivity were included, the ROI would increase by a factor of five and payback would be reduced to 1.8 months (including deployment).
  2. 2. ADDRESSING CHALLENGES POSED BYWEB-BASED APPLICATION PERFORMANCEEnterprise IT professionals across all industries face significant challenges as theywork to support increasingly globalized business operations, rapidly growingremote/mobile workforces, and "extended enterprise" supply chains that encompassemployees, customers, partners, and vendors. Businesses are turning to the Internetfor solutions to many of these issues. By supporting applications and communicationsover the Internet, they are often able to do business in ways that are more cost-efficient than the legacy processes being replaced and to streamline businessoperations while improving productivity.As businesses centralize and Web-enable their applications, these applications nolonger reside exclusively in the controlled environments of closed corporate networks.This often places application performance and user experience beyond the ITmanagers control.The Strategic Importance of Web-BasedApplication DeliveryThanks to globalization, many enterprises employees, customers, partners, andsuppliers are scattered around the world, often accessing key applications via theInternet. These Web-based business applications support purchase and sales orders,financial transactions, customer service/support interactions, internal and externalcollaboration, and inventory management. They include financial, enterprise resourceplanning, product life-cycle management, customer relationship management, andtraining applications. Increasingly, companies are directing employees, customers,partners, and/or suppliers to enterprise information portals as centralized sources forinformation, collaboration, distribution, and support. Web-enabled portals have takenon a strategic importance to the business as hubs for enterprise decision making,action, and problem resolution.End users require timely access to all types of information and applications via theWeb, regardless of their location. They need to access corporate applications, Webcontent, and a wide range of audio and video formats from anywhere, at any time,and in a format they can readily use. And they would like access to be as quick andeasy as if they were close to the datacenter.Centralization and Web Delivery DegradeApplication PerformanceToday, enterprises look to realize IT operational cost savings by implementingmeasures such as hyperconsolidation, involving simultaneous datacenter consolidationand application centralization. Ironically, these measures have had an adverse impacton the performance of Web-based business processes. Web-based applications canoften be slow, unreliable, and unpredictable due to Internet bottlenecks outside thedatacenters control. Erratic performance affects user adoption, satisfaction, andproductivity. While the Internet provides a global, ubiquitous any-to-any medium forapplication and content delivery, the inherent limitations of this "network of networks"can degrade key enterprise application performance.2 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  3. 3. The sad fact is that centralized IT/application environments, dispersed end users, andlimited network and server/storage resources mean that IT operational cost savingsfrom hyperconsolidation are achieved at the expense of degraded performance of thevery Web-enabled business processes they are tasked with supporting.Business Costs of Suboptimal ApplicationPerformanceSuboptimal performance of Web-based applications can inhibit the adoption of thebetter, faster, cheaper ways of doing business that ebusiness infrastructures aredesigned to support. End users are becoming less tolerant of inefficient enterpriseapplications, and if they experience poor performance or cannot access Web-basedapplications, they will simply go back to more expensive legacy processes. Fixingthese problems often proves costly not only to the internal IT departments but also tothe business as a whole in terms of unrealized operational efficiencies and elongatedbusiness process cycle times. To make matters worse, enterprise IT professionalsmust often resolve any problems they may encounter with fewer internal resourcesand reduced capital budgets.SecurityAs business processes become Web enabled, security takes on heightenedimportance. Organizations must protect against targeted Web site attacks, maintainstrict controls for access to business-to-business (B2B) and corporate portals, andcomply with regulatory mandates related to data protection and information security.These tasks were difficult enough when business processes took place within closed,private corporate networks. When Internet-based access to enterprise applicationsand externally facing functions are added to the mix, the potential for security issuesand performance-related impacts increases exponentially.Application Acceleration via the ManagedServices ModelTo address these challenges, an increasing number of companies are turning toapplication acceleration services to speed the distribution and delivery of network-dependent information, applications, and business processes. By enhancing theperformance of Web-based applications, organizations can speed adoption ofenterprise applications, intranets, and other modes of internal application delivery.Optimized Web application performance can also help drive greater usage ofexternally facing applications such as extranets, B2B portals, and Web channels forsales, fulfillment, product updates, and support.By implementing application acceleration through a managed services approach,enterprises can deploy bandwidth-intensive applications in hyperconsolidated ITenvironments without sacrificing network performance or compromising broader ITcost-saving initiatives. The managed service lessens the need to invest in additionalservers, bandwidth, or application acceleration network equipment to supportdistributed application usage. The managed services approach reduces up-frontcapital expenditures as well as the IT staff time needed to deploy and manage theapplication acceleration implementation. It also enables enterprises to provideconsistent high availability and performance to geographically dispersed end users.©2009 IDC #220102 3
  4. 4. IMPROVING WEB-BASED APPLICATIONPERFORMANCE WITH AKAM AI WEBAPPLICATION ACCELERATOROne company that offers application acceleration as a managed service is Akamai. ItsWeb Application Accelerator service is designed to leverage the globally deployedAkamai platform to deliver consistent, improved application performance for usersworldwide. WAA enables enterprises to extend dynamic, highly interactive Webapplications, including customer-facing portals, collaboration platforms, elearningenvironments, B2B commerce, and other enterprise applications to the Akamaiplatform. Enterprises employ WAA to reach new markets and drive increasedrevenue, achieve cost savings, and improve performance and availability of theirapplications. WAA is designed to help customers achieve greater adoption of Webapplications through improved performance and higher availability and to reach aglobal audience without incurring the time and cost it would take to build theinfrastructure themselves.The Akamai WAA service also includes tools that give enterprises the visibility andcontrol to help them optimize their sites performance and — via the Akamai EdgeControl Management Center — ensure the effectiveness of application delivery. TheAkamai network is PCI compliant to scale Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) transactions,and with its global server footprint, the Akamai platform can help Akamai customerswithstand large-scale attacks by catching the malicious traffic at the Internets edge.Activation of the service is designed to be simple and nonintrusive, requiring a singleDNS change by the customer, with no additional hardware, software, or codechanges. Given the broad global footprint of the supporting network infrastructure, theAkamai service can be helpful to organizations with widely dispersed locations in lessdeveloped parts of the world where communications services are limited.Akamai WAA incorporates a number of techniques for accelerating customersdynamic Web application content, including: Dynamic mapping of user requests to an Akamai edge server optimally suited to deliver the content/application (This is designed to allow Akamai to respond in real time to changing Internet conditions, thereby mitigating the impact of network problems and improving the availability of customer applications.) Route optimization technology, which allows Akamai to avoid Internet problem spots, sending application transactions over the fastest, most reliable, and most secure Internet paths Connection optimization technology that incorporates a number of capabilities, including compression, long-lived interserver connections, content prefetching, and transport protocol optimization Application security by delivering applications over SSL and through integration with leading access control mechanisms that enterprises may already have in place Flexible caching technology, which enables Akamai to store and serve dynamic pages according to customized business rules set by the customer4 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  5. 5. As a result, Akamai promises consistent application performance, regardless ofwhere users are located, as well as application capacity on demand, where and whenits needed — without significant investments in additional infrastructure.QUANTIFYING THE BUSINESS BENEFITS OFWEB APPLICATI ON ACCELERAT IONMAN AGED SERVICESTo validate and quantify the business benefits of Web application acceleration as amanaged service, IDC interviewed companies that are Akamai WAA customers andasked a series of questions about the cost savings and increased revenue madepossible by the service. These questions were designed to understand a broad rangeof economic benefits delivered by the service, including: Reduction in operations costs and increase in revenue tied to replacing more manual legacy business processes Increased application adoption rates and improved revenue streams Value of improved customer satisfaction and retention Reduction in infrastructure and management costs Value of having a more secure, controllable application delivery environment Ability to scale even during peak usage and load periodsUsing the results of the interviews, we applied our proprietary ROI methodology to thecost savings and added revenue resulting from use of the WAA managed service todetermine the average payback period and ROI realized by the surveyed companies.Survey DemographicsFor this survey, IDC interviewed IT managers at 12 medium-sized to largeorganizations with operations in North America, Europe, and Asia, includinggovernment institutions, service providers, and enterprises in the chemical,information technology, and manufacturing industries. The organizations offered adiverse range of uses for the Akamai WAA service, and each has used the service forat least six months. The average number of employees per organization was 25,000,though some companies had more than 70,000 employees.What the IT managers surveyed had in common were complex enterprise applicationenvironments. On average, these companies used WAA on five applications. Therespondents relied on WAA to optimize their most critical enterprise applications,including: Extranet: 83% of respondents use WAA on their extranet applications. eBusiness: 75% of respondents use WAA on their ebusiness applications.©2009 IDC #220102 5
  6. 6. Portal: 75% of respondents use WAA on their portal applications. Supply chain management (SCM): 67% of respondents use WAA on their SCM applications.On average respondents had twice as many external users (61,000) as internal users(29,000). Many of these external users were distributors or resellers responsible for asignificant portion of the interviewee organizations revenue. Over half of therespondents were already outsourcing their Web-based applications prior to switchingto application acceleration services. In all cases, the organizations were seeking toimprove the performance of their enterprise applications to reduce delays for usersand increase customer satisfaction. Despite the performance issues, 11 of the 12organizations were in the process of expanding the use of the applications by anaverage of 21% annually. To do so successfully, they needed a way to address theperformance issues they had been encountering. Through WAA, they were able toefficiently accelerate and scale the applications to meet user growth.IDCs ROI MethodologyTo quantify the business value of technology solutions such as Web applicationacceleration services, IDC has developed an ROI methodology that measures thetotal costs of the technology solution from initial deployment through three to fiveyears of operations and the sum of the benefits achieved over the same period. Themethodology calculates the ROI in a three-step process:1. Ascertain the investment made in the solution including the following spend categories: Initial hardware and software purchase Migration costs such as software updates Installation costs (internal staff time and external services) Initial training of IT staff Annual service, maintenance support, or licensing fees Ongoing maintenance and upgrades Ongoing IT staff costs for direct support2. Measure the gains in IT staff and user productivity from deploying the service, as well as the revenue generated from improved business operations or recaptured from reduced downtime, and the cost savings from increased IT staff efficiency and lower capital and operating expenses. IT productivity savings. IT staff productivity indicates how effectively IT managers and their staff use their time. Besides reducing operations costs, gains in IT productivity can free up staff to implement new initiatives more rapidly, helping to create a competitive edge.6 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  7. 7. User productivity. User productivity is a measure of how much value a user of business applications produces per $1.00 of salary. As organizations become progressively more network centric, business user productivity is increasingly dependent on the quality and performance of business applications. WAA enables companies to replace legacy business processes with accelerated business applications. Processes that used to take one hour now take a fraction of the time due to improved performance and higher availability of the applications. This, in turn, increases user adoption, spreading the productivity benefit over a larger base of users. Revenue. WAA impacted revenue realization through business operations in multiple ways: Increased speed and performance enabled more orders to be processed and quickened time to market; high application performance reduced customer churn and enabled higher overall revenue by driving higher customer usage and eliminating legacy ordering processes; new applications drove new revenue; and higher service availability contributed to the business top lines because less revenue is lost due to downtime. Additionally, increased performance and lower downtime are the two most important contributors to improved customer satisfaction, which impacts future revenue. IDC converts top-line revenue changes by subtracting the costs to produce those revenues (85–90% reduction) and then taxes the net at 30–50%. IT cost savings. IT costs can be cut by improving IT staff efficiency, which is a measure of how well the IT management organization can achieve economies of scale and scope of work with its people, tools, and practices. To remain competitive, companies must be able to grow their systems and networks at a faster rate than the IT staff required to support them. Skilled IT professionals continue to be scarce, so companies are expecting existing staff to take on more work and responsibilities. If IT departments are unable to achieve the required economies of scale and scope, they restrain corporate managers business decisions and discourage aggressive deployment of technology to gain a competitive advantage. The customers in the study were able to reduce or reallocate IT resources that were formally tied to the IT resources supporting the Web-based applications. Optimized applications required significantly lower bandwidth. The other major area of savings comes from eliminating the hardware and software resources required to deliver the enterprise applications to distant users.3. Calculate the payback period and ROI for the deployed solution. From the results of the interviews, IDC was able to calculate the average payback period and return on investment from using the Akamai WAA service based on the net present value (NPV) methodology. IDC bases its calculations on a number of assumptions: User and IT staff productivity are functions of time multiplied by burdened salary (salary + 28% for benefits and overhead) and uplifted at an annual rate of 5%.©2009 IDC #220102 7
  8. 8. Lost user productivity is the value of the time lost to downtime, performance degradations, help desk calls, or other availability issues multiplied by a discount factor of 10–50% to recognize that users are still productive even though they may not have access to enterprise applications. Increased revenue is captured verbatim from interviews and then converted to a percentage of total revenue. Lost revenue is a product of downtime multiplied by the average revenue loss per hour (based on interviews). IT cost savings are based on interviews. The investment includes an initial investment plus three years of annual costs, all derived from interviews. The benefits are based on the change in business operations before and after the deployment of the solution, projected over three years across the organization. Because IT solutions require a deployment period, the full benefits of the solution are not available during deployment. To capture this reality, IDC prorates the benefits on a monthly basis and then subtracts the deployment time from the first-year savings. The NPV is calculated by subtracting the total investment from the total benefits discounted at a 12% rate to account for average cost of capital plus risk. ROI is the ratio of the NPV and the investment. Payback is the time period from deployment to when the cash flow becomes positive (and stays positive).STUDY RESULTSIn the study, IDC asked a number of quantitative questions about managementprocesses and the associated time and staffing requirements before and afterdeploying the Akamai WAA service. IDC analyzed the implementation costs as wellas the benefits realized, including the revenue generated through improved businessoperations. Additionally, IDC asked a number of qualitative questions regarding thedecision-making process for deploying the service and how well it had metexpectations and had achieved anticipated business objectives.Cost-Benefit AnalysisFrom the results of the interviews, IDC was able to determine the average benefitrealized from increased user productivity, IT cost savings, and increased revenue.Comparing these benefits with the average three-year investment in Akamai WAAservice yielded the ROI and payback period. Benefits from all sources averaged $1.8million per optimized application (internal and external) annually (see Figure 1).8 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  9. 9. FIGURE 1Average Annual Benefit of Akamai per Application User productivity (27.1%) Revenue impact (46.9%) Cost reduction (26.0%) Total = $1.8 millionSource: IDC, 2009User ProductivityBy improving the internal business application users experience, WAA increaseduser productivity. User productivity analysis was based on three factors:1. Internal productivity, which increased by 2.5% across the total user environment. Productivity increase is the result of reduced latency (57%), increased speed and performance (144%) for remote users, and reduction of legacy processes that the applications were intended to replace. These improvements increased the utilization of the applications and reduced the time needed to accomplish tasks within the application.2. Increased availability. Enterprise application downtime was reduced by 24%, which contributed to improved confidence and higher utilization rates.3. Fewer calls to help desk. Even with higher application usage the optimized application performance resulted in 42% fewer calls to the help desk.The combined user productivity increased by 7.2 hours per user per year, generating$487,474 in annual benefits per application.IT Cost SavingsIT cost savings were realized in four areas: hardware/software, bandwidth, hostingservices, and IT staff. Hardware and software savings came either throughcompanies eliminating infrastructure as they migrated their enterprise applications toAkamais network or through cost avoidance from not having to add infrastructure tosupport additional users, sites, and applications. One company estimated that itwould cost $11 million in hardware to duplicate the WAA service in its environment.Reduced hardware and software spending accounted for $99,213 per application.©2009 IDC #220102 9
  10. 10. WAA acceleration performance enhancements enabled companies to reduce theirbandwidth utilization and costs by 5–20%. Because these companies were heavyusers of Web-based applications with multiple sites, the resulting savings averaged$154,219 per application per year.Four of the companies had already outsourced the hosting of their servers. Thesecompanies were able to eliminate, reduce, or avoid hosting services, saving them$112,471 per application per year.Outsourcing reduced the demands on IT staff, enabling companies to reallocate 0.5%of their IT staff and save another 1.5% in not having to grow IT staff to meetincreased numbers of users and applications. IT staff efficiency savings totaled 5.72full-time equivalents (FTEs) or $101,277 per application per year.In total, IT budgets were reduced by $467,181 per application annually.Revenue ImpactWith the exception of one government organization, the companies in this study reliedon their Web-based applications to generate a significant portion of their revenue. Asa result, companies experienced annual revenue gains ranging from $200,000 to over$300 million. This includes the reduction in downtime. Companies experienceddifferent drivers for revenue generation (see Table 1). T ABLE 1 Examples of Revenue Realization from the IDC Study WAA Business Impact Revenue ($M) Increased speed enabled more orders from dealers $375 Customer satisfaction increases per basket size and repeat business $6 Reduced customer churn $2.1 New applications replacing slow, manual processes drive new revenue $1.5 Ease of use adds one to two new customers per year $.45 Provide information to clients and partners faster so included in more bids and specifications $.25 Source: IDC, 2009Companies participating in the study experienced an average revenue benefit peryear of $844,735 per application. The magnitude of generated revenue, even whenonly taking 10% and taxing the income at 50%, is so large that it skews the benefitspicture. Because not all companies may enjoy revenue benefits, we purposelyfocused the ROI analysis on IT cost savings only.10 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  11. 11. Payback and ROIUnlike most IT investments, where the initial investment accounts for 50–70% of thetotal investment and requires significant capex rather than opex, only 11% of theinvestment for WAA is made initially, and it is all opex. Because of the low initialinvestment, the risk is lower and payback is exceptionally fast: 2.2 monthsFor the Akamai WAA service customers surveyed, the hard IT operations savingsaveraged more than $2.49 million annually, or $467,181 per application. IDCaccounts for the opportunity costs realized by not having invested the initial amount insome other instrument yielding a 12% return. This results in an NPV for the three-year benefits of $1.1 million per application (see Table 2). Were revenue andproductivity included, the ROI would increase by a factor of five and paybackwould be reduced to 1.8 months (including deployment).Based on the IT cost savings benefits alone, the payback period from deploying theAkamai WAA service averaged 2.2 months for the companies surveyed, yielding anaverage return on investment of 580%. T ABLE 2 Three-Year ROI Analysis: IT Cost Savings per Application Benefit (discounted) $1,106,853 Investment (discounted) $163,739 NPV $944,114 ROI 580% Payback 2.2 months Discount rate 12% Source: IDC, 2009CHALLENGES/OPPORTUNITIESAs Web applications become integral to the business process, it is becoming amandate for organizations to understand the entirety of their IT, network, andapplication environment in order to institute best practices in application delivery.Customers are increasingly interested in solutions that strengthen businessprocesses while increasing application performance and availability. To meet thesecustomer requirements, Akamai is articulating a strategy to help customers improveadoption of online business processes, drive IT efficiency, and reduce IT costs.©2009 IDC #220102 11
  12. 12. Despite the broader market adoption of application delivery services, challenges stillexist, including: Demonstrate the benefit of a service approach. Many organizations today are looking to implementing a network equipment–based application delivery strategy. The network equipment providers are increasingly positioning application delivery as integral to next-generation networking deployments. Network managers are deploying application delivery networking both in the datacenter and at remote branch locations to create best-in-class networks. Akamai has an opportunity to complement existing application delivery networks as well as offload application delivery from existing networks. Akamai will need to continue to emphasize the benefits of a cloud offering — including the greater geographical reach — in very large, globally dispersed deployments. Enable adoption of cloud-based services. As the ecosystem of cloud-based services evolves from hosted email to hosted customer relationship management, Akamai has a role to play both for the provider of these services and for the consumer of these services. Akamai needs to continue cultivating an ecosystem of partnerships that showcases how Akamai can be the secure delivery foundation for cloud services. Demonstrate the benefits of evolving the network architecture. One of Akamais greatest challenges is overcoming the notion that keeping the network architecture the same is the safest strategy. Akamai needs to stress how a vibrant, flexible enterprise network architecture can meet new evolving global business process demands while meeting enterprise requirements such as security, quality of service, and service-level priorities.CONCLUSIONThe data collected in this study strongly suggests that companies engaging insubstantial levels of ebusiness or companies deploying critical business applicationsover the Web should evaluate the costs and benefits of deploying Akamai WebApplication Accelerator managed services. Participants in this study experiencedsubstantial benefits generated by the increased application performance and muchhigher usage by employees, business partners, and customers. The higherperformance was coupled with lower capital and operational costs. The pricingstructure for these services is transparent and consistent, regardless of the size andcomplexity of the environment, which makes it relatively simple for companies to dotheir own analysis and make an informed buying decision.CASE STUDIEScomScorecomScore is a global leader in measuring and providing market intelligence for theonline and digital media world. Leveraging a combination of behavioral and surveyinsights, comScore provides syndicated and custom solutions for online audiencemeasurement, ecommerce, advertising, search, video, and mobile.12 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  13. 13. comScores network, which it uses to collect and compile data from the millions ofInternet and mobile research panelists around the world, is a fundamental componentof the companys operations. Looking to scale its business to accommodate thegrowth in Internet traffic and achieve other strategic objectives, comScore needed toincrease the traffic into its datacenter by about 25 times. Facing the prospect of anexpensive and time-consuming infrastructure buildout, comScore instead chose toscale by adopting the Akamai Web Application Accelerator service.comScore chose Akamai because it felt it had the greatest reach and most robustnetwork architecture of any of the vendors it looked at. By adopting Akamai,comScore was able to scale very rapidly without making a huge investment in newinfrastructure, instead paying just for the capacity it required. And equally important,comScore was able to avoid the several months lead time it would have required toperform each successive wave of infrastructure buildout.Additional benefits of the Akamai WAA solution for comScore include: Expanded business opportunities through greater network intelligence. comScore collects a broad range of data on Internet usage and takes great advantage of Akamais Internet statistics collection and reporting capabilities. Akamai passes records tagged with dozens of fields such as geographic region, DMA, and source IP address. This provides a platform for comScore to expand into new areas of business opportunity. Improved flexibility and time to market. With WAA, comScore has greater agility to scale its network and add new services. The company estimates that it can perform scale-outs that would have previously required an entire year in as little as seven to eight weeks. This allows comScore to get new offerings to market faster and realize greater market opportunity. Improved customer retention. comScore credits Akamai with improved customer retention. It is better able to service customers for its syndicated market intelligence services around the world and noticed a dramatic reduction in customer complaints and user dissatisfaction after moving to WAA. comScore also attributes an increase in customer traffic in part to its move to WAA. Reduced IT operational costs. comScore has seen significant benefits in avoided server implementation and management costs. It estimates that by going with Akamai it has alleviated the need to implement several hundred servers, avoiding not only the capital expense of purchasing the servers but also the cost of the approximately three FTEs who would have been required to manage and maintain those servers. Greater acceptance among customers and partners. comScore found it could leverage the strength of the Akamai reputation; simply informing customers and partners that it was using the Akamai network alleviated any concerns customers may have had about scalability, robustness, or throughput.Educational Testing ServiceEducational Testing Service (ETS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancingquality and equity in education for students around the world. It develops, administers,and scores more than 50 million tests annually, including the Test of English as a Foreign©2009 IDC #220102 13
  14. 14. Language (TOEFL), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), GraduateRecord Examinations (GRE) General and Subject tests, and the Praxis Series. Itadministers these tests in more than 180 countries at over 9,000 locations worldwide.ETS offers a number of applications over the Web, including Criterion, an onlineessay writing tool targeted to the K–12 market; however, with the applications housedout of one datacenter on the East Coast, users on the West Coast were experiencingserious degradation in application performance. Page refreshes were taking fullytwice as long for users on the West Coast as for those on the East Coast, making thetool unacceptably slow.Without Akamai, ETS would have needed to open a datacenter on the West Coast toaddress this problem, along with all the expense that would have entailed. ETSestimates it would have cost several hundred thousand dollars just to open a newcenter and many tens of thousands of dollars per year to manage and maintain it.ETS did not want to go down that path and instead chose to outsource applicationacceleration to Akamai.ETS has been running Akamai for over three years now and has realized a number ofbenefits, including: Server cost avoidance. Being on Akamai has allowed ETS to increase the number of users that can be handled by a single server. If it didnt have Akamai, ETS estimates that by now it would have required 25% more servers for the applications that are currently WAA enabled. This would have amounted to an additional $200,000 per year in server management and maintenance costs. Reduction in number of help desk calls. After ETS implemented WAA for Criterion, the number of calls into the help desk for the affected applications was reduced by about 90%. Previously, most calls were due to slow application performance, and the troubleshooting steps required for these calls — mainly walking through browser and firewall settings — was painful and time- consuming. ETS outsources its help desk operations, so by reducing the number of calls into the help desk, it realized savings directly to its bottom line. Reduced monitoring burden. The network now runs much more smoothly, enabling ETS to reduce the amount of administrative personnel time spent on monitoring. Before implementing WAA, it monitored 30 network locations in the United States and another 20 locations outside the United States; with WAA it has cut the total number of locations to only 10, all in the United States. ETS estimates it is saving tens of thousands of dollars per year in this area alone. Increased user adoption. ETS credits WAA with increasing user adoption of its Web-based applications. Page refreshes for users in the United States are now half of what they had been previously, providing a consistently better experience for all users. And before WAA, ETS was having difficulty getting any overseas users to use the services due to its poor performance; now the applications are fully usable for them as well.14 #220102 ©2009 IDC
  15. 15. Leading Independent Software VendorThe client is a world leader in application software, with a broad range of offeringstargeted to enterprises and large businesses. With annual revenue over $1 billion, theclient has more than 5 million users in hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide.Having historically distributed the bulk of its products via DVD, the client beganmoving into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model in the early 2000s and nowprovides a number of its leading offerings via SaaS. The applications are hosted onservers in the clients datacenter and accessed by users via a browser-basedinterface. Because these applications require users to transfer large amounts of dataover the Web, there was inconsistent user experience, with users in remote areassometimes suffering significant performance lags.Looking to improve application access performance across the board and provide amore consistent experience for users around the world, the client turned to AkamaiWAA. It first adopted WAA over five years ago, and currently all of its SaaS-basedcustomers are handled by the WAA network.Key benefits of the Akamai WAA solution include: Customer satisfaction. After the client deployed Akamai, the experience of its customers improved dramatically, and consistency in performance across its customer set increased. The client estimates that users experienced improvements in data transfer speeds of anywhere from 10% to as high as 60–70%, depending upon their location. Simultaneously, customer support calls to its service delivery team dropped noticeably. Revenue growth. Without the performance increase gained through WAA, the client believes that it would have fewer happy customers and more customer defections and that it would have lost new sales. WAA also allows the client to more rapidly scale its SaaS-delivered applications. The client estimates that without adopting WAA, it could have lost over $1 million potential sales through the SaaS channel. Competitive advantage. Faster application performance and improved customer experience provide the client with a significant competitive advantage. It performs ongoing monitoring of its application traffic and saw an appreciable decrease in download times, an increase in the number of downloads, and better overall performance.Copyright NoticeExternal Publication of IDC Information and Data — Any IDC information that is to beused in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior writtenapproval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of theproposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right todeny approval of external usage for any reason.Copyright 2009 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden.©2009 IDC #220102 15