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  1. 1. DELIVERING TRANSFORMATIVE USER EXPERIENCES, ONE SCREEN AT A TIME Go Beyond Caching to Detect, and Meet Users’ Ever-Changing Needs for Content Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER
  2. 2. Contents Executive Summary App Optimization: Falling Short Context-Aware Application Excellence It’s All About Context / Yottaa’s ContextIntelligence Leading Companies Experience Dramatic Results Using Yottaa Meeting Your Customers’ Goals, And Your Own page 1 page 2 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 If you’d like to discuss this paper, or meet with one of our experts to help you expand upon this topic, please feel free to send an email to, or contact us toll free in the USA at 1-877-767-0154. International customers can reach us at +1-617-896-7802. For more details, visit
  3. 3. 1 Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER Today’s customers, employees and business partners want the information they need when they need it, at the click of a mouse or a swipe of a tablet or smartphone. And you have only milliseconds to grab their attention and complete the transaction. Amazon, for example, has shown that every 100 milliseconds of latency cost them 1% in sales, while Walmart reports conversion rates rise 2% for every second of reduced load time. But many existing approaches to speeding application performance fail to deliver the instant response users demand. That is because they lack awareness of the all-important context of the user experience. What type of device are they using? What type of network are they on? How large is the screen on their device, and how many application components can they see “above the fold” without swiping down? Without this detailed context, application optimization technologies cannot drive engagement and business impact. They might speed delivery of the wrong applica- tion components or data, or even slow response time by adding client-side code that attempts to identify and tailor content to the user’s device. Existing approaches such as CDNs (content delivery networks) or ADNs (application delivery networks) cannot deliver the required application experiences because they see only a static and limited view of the data exchanged between the host and the receiving device. Their brute force, “copy and forward” “approach of speeding the delivery of all content makes it impossi- ble to prioritize the specific data each user needs at any given moment and to engage them to drive business impact. A lack of clear metrics linking application optimization to business outcomes also makes it difficult, if not impossi- ble, for managers to know how much user engagement or revenue they are missing, much less where to focus their remediation efforts. Google Analytics, for example, counts irrelevant traffic (such as from internal develop- ers and testers, search engine crawlers and automated test and monitoring tools) Google Analytics Site Speed is hobbled by low sampling rates, a reliance on means rather than medians (which overemphasizes the influence of outliers) and fails to capture data due to connection timeouts, failed requests and other inconsis- tencies. It also makes it difficult to isolate performance over mobile connections, where single samples over slow networks can have a disproportionate effect on overall site performance measures. This white paper will describe the capabilities required to automatically, intelligently and in real time speed the flow of the data each user needs at any time to their specific device. It also briefly explains how each compo- nent within Yottaa’s cloud-based ContextIntelligence architecture transforms the user experience to maxi- mize end user engagement and the business benefits of your application. Executive Summary D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E
  4. 4. 2 Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER The challenge of application optimization has been around as long as the Internet. As application types and user demands have evolved, technologists have devised successive approaches for ensuring users a consistent, pleasant experience regardless of their location, network or device type. However, all these optimization techniques fail to tailor application delivery to assure customer and user engagement in real-time on any client platform, be it PC, tablet or smartphone. Content delivery networks (CDNs) emerged in the mid 1990s and were among the first to use “edge” services to cache data on a global network of servers for delivery to local users. These services run on the Points of Presence (PoP) that are the closest “edge” of the Internet to the end user. At the time, CDNs solved a critical problem because server infrastructure was too expensive to allow organi- zations to host data and applications close enough to the user to reduce latency. Today, the wide availability of inexpensive cloud services makes the provision of such edge services much easier and less expensive. In fact, modern cloud services make it possible for customers to serve as their own CDNs, delivering much of the benefit of a CDN at far less cost. However, CDNs rely on a “brute force” approach of copying and forwarding individual site assets but failing to take into account which assets are most important to which specific users. By reducing the distance Web requests must travel, this can speed loading times, but only as long as the website is a digital “brochure” filled with mostly static content and served from a single source. Today most websites behave more like “mash-up” applications. By some estimates, the average page on a dynamic website draws 120 content assets from more than 40 domains. This can require multiple requests from the user’s Web browser to the various origin servers if the requested content hasn’t been cached because it is unfeasible or not cost-effective to do so. It is possible to meet a limited number of dynamic requests by copying application logic to edge servers and instru- menting the application to leverage this logic. However, this requires substantial effort to set up and maintain, and cannot be extended to content distributed by third parties such as business partners. Application delivery networks (ADNs) build on the CDN concept by adding intelligence to understand the role various components play in Web applications. They use technologies such as WAN Optimization Controllers (WOCs) and Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) to optimize routing over the Internet to speed response time. While ADNs provide minor speed and engagement improvements over CDNs, they do not have any aware- ness of the nature of the client device they are serving. They also lack any context to understand the type of information or application capabilities the user is asking for, and cannot change the way a page responds based on the user’s “context” such as their device type, location or connection speed. Both CDNs and ADNs focus on accelerating content delivery. This is a component of, but not as valuable as, true user engagement. To drive business value and customer conversion, it is necessary to understand what content the user wants, on the specific device and network they are using at this moment, based on their most recent clicks. A third, and more recent technique, often used in combi- nation with CDNs and ADNs, is front-end optimization, or FEO. FEO moves closer to driving true engagement by reducing the number of resources the browser needs to download and process, making the transfer and rendering of those elements more efficient by reducing the number of “round trips” to the server required to render a page. While FEO optimizes specific content in certain scenarios, it requires frequent, ongoing mainte- nance as application and user requirements change. It also cannot dynamically alter the delivery of content or the order in which it is rendered based on the user’s location, device type or connection speed. That is because FEO, like many other current approaches, has no awareness of the user’s context and cannot tailor content optimization to each usage scenario (such as a specific device type) without first coding specifically for that use case. D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Application Optimization: Falling Short
  5. 5. 3 Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER Responsive Web Design (RWD) aims to speed applica- tion delivery by adapting Web content to each user’s viewing environment using fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. However, RWD can actually slow content delivery and rendering when it requires large amounts of additional JavaScript or loads unneeded components such as CSS behind unused media queries. Finally, like the other existing approaches, RWD cannot determine which content to deliver to the client or repri- oritize or reorder the presentation of that content once it’s been delivered. Your own experience surfing the Web makes it obvious that major Web players such as Amazon have combined these and other techniques to successfully drive user experience and engagement. But companies that can’t match the R&D budget or global data centers of these industry giants are left struggling to deliver a quality user experience to every employee, customer and business partner. D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E EARLY 1990’S MID 1990’S EARLY 2000’S TODAY App Monitoring EU Experience Monitoring Content Delivery Networks Application Performance Content Optimization Networks EU Experience Optimization HISTORY & EVOLUTION OF END USER EXPERIENCE Y O T TA A
  6. 6. Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER Creating a compelling application experience, and meet- ing your business objectives, requires achieving perfor- mance, engagement, and impact with your users. Performance is what the industry has been chasing for years with approaches such as CDNs, ADNs and FEO. This refers to the sheer speed with which application components and data load onto the user’s device. In a world where mobile users expect sites to load within seconds, and are quick to abandon poor-performing sites, speed must be the foundation of any application optimiza- tion strategy. Engagement goes beyond load speed to eliminate bottlenecks and errors that keep the user from being completely engaged in the application. Consider a product display page on an ecommerce site that shows a picture of the product, its specifications, its price and available colors. The page may also contain a tab linked to “product reviews” and “trust” icons showing the site complies with industry security standards. However, those two site compo- nents are not “above the fold” on the mobile page – it in fact takes four complete page scrolls to reach the trust icons – which means they can and should be loaded after the data at the top of the page. Meeting these two needs is increasingly the job of IT and the CIO. Due to automation and the cloud, IT can spend more of its time delivering rich digital experiences to customers on mobile devices and less on managing internal IT and line of business applications. This gives the CIO the opportunity, perhaps for the first time, to change from a “keep the lights on” cost center to a driver of lasting, tangible competitive advantage. Delivering both speed and engagement requires identi- fying and delivering the critical rendering path for an application – the proper loading of application compo- nents such as JavaScript or HTML -- to render pages within one second to keep users engaged. This is all the more critical because, even on a 4G network, the network latency involved in DNS lookups, TCP connec- tions, TLS handshakes, HTTP and server processing often eats up half of that one second window before any content starts loading on the user device. Companies can make the most of those other 500 millisec- onds by first down- loading only the “above the fold” content (the content that appears on the first mobile screen). They can stream HTML responses to the client device rather than waiting to render the entire HTML file, and trans- fer CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) data to the client as quickly as possible to speed the “painting” of the page, and eliminating JavaScript that can delay page render- ing. Putting associated services such as TLS (Transport Layer Security) and DNS (Domain Name System) on the same domain also reduces the number of time consum- ing “hops” required before the mobile user begins to see a response on their screen. 22 Context-Aware Application Excellence 4D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E DROP PAGES THAT WERE... Seconds slower Improvement in landing page speed increased downloads by: In revenue In page views 2 4.3% 15.4% DROP11% Seconds slower2.2 Second delay causes an1 In conversions DROP7% Second delay causes a1 THE PERFORMANCE IMPERATIVE: SPEED + ENGAGEMENT = IMPACT
  7. 7. Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER 5D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Around the world and across every industry, mobile devices have become the primary channel through which customers, employees and business partners engage with organizations. By some estimates more than half of Web searches are already launched from mobile devices, a percentage that is likely to grow. Users crave fast response, especially in the on-the-go, distraction-rich mobile environment. When they unlock their phones to check for updates (which some do as many as 150 times per day) users expect an application to “know” their location, their Web browsing history, and even (if they are an employee) their most important clients or most recent service calls. To grow revenue and maximize employee productivity, mobile applications must provide the data and functions each user needs, in the form they need it, as soon as they need it. They must deliver reliable, fast, secure perfor- mance over a distributed, cloud-based network regard- less of each device’s processing power, display size, oper- ating system, and connection speed. All that requires optimization solutions that understand the full context of the user experience and tailor the delivery of that content to maximize user engagement and business results. You should also look for monitoring and measurement features that let you track the impact on the business of not just speeding content delivery, but engaging with customers in ways that boost the bottom line. It’s All About Context At the heart of Yottaa’s application optimization capabili- ties is its ContextIntelligence™ architecture, a rules engine and machine-learning platform that automates optimization and drives the actions of InstantON™ and AppSequencing™ It is implemented through a cloud-based service that collects information about the context of site visitors and automatically tunes optimiza- tion rules in real time to maximize the user experience. ContextIntelligence allows you to preserve your existing investments in content, design and usability, transform- ing them in real time to optimize the end-user experi- ence without changing infrastructure or code. Backed by 15patents, ContextIntelligence is currently in use at customers worldwide, speeding time to first byte by as much as 67% and time to display by as much as 40%, increasing average session duration by 73% and conver- sion rates by 20%. Yottaa’s ContextIntelligence OPEN ARCHITECTURE WITH FEEDBACK LOOP FOR MACHINE-LEARNING, PERSONALIZED USER EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION PATENTED ContextIntelligenceTM CLOUD-NATIVE ARCHITECTURE 01 02 03PERFORMANCE ENGAGEMENT IMPACT InstantOnTM AppSequencingTM ImpactAnalyticsTM ContextNEXUSTM Engine ADAPTIVE, CLOUD-NATIVE CDN WITH GLOBAL PRESENCE MACHINE LEARNING IMPACT ANALYTICSRULE ENGINE ContextAgentTM JS Engine 10:30 ContextNavigatorTM
  8. 8. 6D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER PERFORMANCE ENGAGEMENT IMPACT AUTOMATION 16% Increase in Revenue-per-Visitor 53% Decrease Page Weight 37% Decrease Page Load Times 21% Time-to-Render PERFORMANCE ENGAGEMENT IMPACT AUTOMATION + 35% Time to Display + 62% Start Render Time 80% Bandwidth Offloaded 68% Requests Offloaded With on-boarding times as low as 10 days using the Yottaa cloud service, customers have seen dramatic improvements across key metrics such as Time to First Byte by 67%, Time to Display by 40%, Average Session Duration by 73% and Conversion Rate by 20%. Below are two examples of how Yottaa is helping customers to optimize their web and mobile applications: Leading Companies Experience Dramatic Results Using Yottaa
  9. 9. 7D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Which web apps are most critical to the business? Are desktop and mobile channels equally vital to your success? What metrics, such as application load time, and what application components and/or data should load first to best engage your users? Are any of these metrics different on mobile platforms? Have you implemented (or tried to imple- ment) Responsive Website Design (RWD)? Has it had a positive business impact? For mobile specifically, has RWD actually increased page load times? What areas of the application experience do you need to fix to increase user conversion, satisfaction and loyalty? What optimization technologies and processes do you have in place now? Where are they falling short? How will you ensure your new optimization technologies are applied correctly and are working? How will you measure how well each new technology worked to guide future invest- ments? A successful application optimization solution must help you meet two strategic objectives. One is aimed outward at improv- ing the experience of your customers, employees and business partners and engaging them to do business with you. The other is aimed inward at how you implement optimization processes and technologies, and how your investments help meet corpo- rate objectives. In our experience, successful companies use questions like these to help them evaluate, deploy and enhance their application optimization solutions. Meeting Your Customers’ Goals, And Your Own When planning your customer experience strategy, questions to ask include: What corporate goals will application optimiza- tion help meet? How can we truly engage with employees, customers and business partners, rather than just providing them content a little more quickly? What departments help meet those goals, and what are their responsibilities? What application and application optimization technologies is each department responsible for? How does the work of these departments, and the optimization technology each manages, affect the work of other departments? What is your strategy for maintaining enterprise visibility and inter/intra departmental communi- cation and workflow throughout the application optimization process? How will you measure the effects of your optimi- zation strategy on user engagement and corpo- rate goals? How can application optimization increase securi- ty by automatically scanning for andredirecting suspicious requests? How can application optimization speed app deployment through DevOps by making it easier to roll out new features and services? How will you use these metrics to measure business impact and guide future investments? When planning your business technology strategy, questions to ask include: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER 7D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E
  10. 10. 7D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Y O T TAA WHITE PAPER 8D E L I V E R I N G T R A N S F O R M A T I V E U S E R E X P E R I E N C E S , O N E S C R E E N A T A T I M E Yottaa’s AppSequencing™ is an industry-first solution for accelerating personalized and dynamic web content that drives user engagement. It intelli- gently breaks web content into smaller fragments, then re-prioritizes their delivery sequence and timing to maximize user engagement. Yottaa’s InstantON™ speeds the delivery of application content, decoupling the delivery and rendering from dynamic data requests. InstantON™ instantly deliv- ers all of the header metadata and cached HTML with placeholders, then asynchronously adds dynam- ic elements into the page once the origin server has returned the dynamic content. This reduces Time to Start Render, a key metric used to identify a page's initial user engagement. ContextIntelligence™ prioritizes and sequences page content using automated rules, information about what content users are requesting through our ContextNavigator™ technology running on host Web sites, as well as user-supplied configurations. This maintains the visitor's curiosity and interest, encouraging ongoing engagement through additional page views, time on site, and impact through increased conversions on any device, on any network, anywhere. Yottaa allows you to configure even the most detailed content manipulation policies, automatically maintains the rules and continues to apply them as your site evolves. Impact is where you measure the business results of your optimization efforts to ensure you are focusing your effort and investment on the areas that provide the greatest benefit to the business. This requires not only IT-related metrics such as availability and response time, but business metrics such as custom- er retention, average time on site, shopping cart abandonment and average revenue per visit. Yottaa's ImpactAnalytics™ technology evaluates your current quality of delivery, experience and service and helps set improvement goals and KPIs. We then measure our impact in terms of perfor- mance (speed in which content is presented and users move through the app), engagement (KPIs such as Bounce and Abandonment rates and time on site, and business impacts (such as eCommerce Conver- sion Rate, Goal Completions, and Advertising Impressions.) Insights from our ImpactAnalytics™ technology provide guidance on maximizing business impact through simple configuration updates through our ContextNavigator online portal. DYNAMIC WEB APPLICATIONS DEMAND A NEW APPROACH YOTTAA ADAPTIVE CDN WITH PATENTED EDGE ACTIONS TRANSFORM / ACCELERATE / AUTOMATE / ANALYZE