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TecHRseries Interview with Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Co-Founder at Catchpoint

“We are always trying to innovate at Catchpoint with the goal of helping our customers perform better and faster ,”  shares Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Co-Founder at Catchpoint in this chat with TecHRseries where he talks about his journey setting up the company and how the platform transformed over the years. Here’s the complete QnA:

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Hi Mehdi, good to have you here! How did the idea of Catchpoint come about? Tell us a little bit about the evolution of the platform…

 The idea came when I was at DoubleClick and Google with specific responsibility for monitoring teams. I was introduced to the Cloud in 2007, and me and my co-founder thought, “Holy Cow, this is going to change the world and change our world of monitoring.” We realized that monitoring needed to be changed and updated based on the Cloud. We wanted to ensure everything was running faster and performing better from an end user and outcome-based perspective. And off we went…..12 years later the rest is history.

At Catchpoint, we focus on visibility, ensuring our customers are bringing experiences to their customers without a glitch. We monitor everything that can break a user experience or Web page, including the guts behind a Web page – DNS infrastructure, SSL Monitoring, APIs, etc. The natural evolution for us was to monitor as many things that can impact the user experience.

The other part of that evolution was determining where we would monitor from. Rather than pulling data from random locations, our customers were requesting location specificity. If our customers had offices in LA on Comcast vs. offices in NY on Cox, for example, they needed monitoring of APIs and application frequency at location of choice. We had to re-think our synthetic load footprint and now we are pushing innovation to monitor from as many places as possible with over 850 locations and 150 in China alone. We are constantly adding new locations.

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That is how Catchpoint started—as a synthetic monitoring solution, continuing to monitor things before customers are affected.

The natural evolution from there was real user monitoring. This gives customers the ability to capture, in real time, every real user interaction with an application or Web page and report on it in real time. The other evolution was to get into the network monitoring space. One key capability added was trace route, allowing customers to trace from a location to a destination and provide visibility to all the various paths. And the second key capability was BGP monitoring, allowing the customer to see if there was something else going on with the Internet that will impact the user experience.

Finally, a few years ago we had an explosion of customers asking us to monitor their SaaS applications such as Workday, Office365, Zoom, etc. They wanted to keep an eye on things that can impact their employees. We then made a shift from the customer being very important, to all employees being just as important in order to ensure productivity. Finally, with COVID-19, we had to look at end-point monitoring. We now have employees working from home, each with a unique infrastructure that needed monitoring.

The innovation is continuing with the goal of helping our customers perform better and faster. When we hear from customers that they could detect and resolve an issue within 30 seconds. We know that innovation has paid off and we’ve done our job well.

The new normal is recreating workplace standards, how according to you will the Future of Work shape up given the effects of the pandemic? What would you tell organizations coping with adjusting to the new normal today?

We are all in this together; the first thing to remember is that not everyone has the luxury of working from home. We have to be thoughtful of those that can’t work from home.

For those that can, we will see major changes, I see it with our employees who aren’t required to be in the office anymore. First, people won’t stay in big cities any longer. Ten of our employees have already located to different states. Second, there will be a challenge for companies to on-board new employees. Nothing beats the water cooler for training and experience. Lastly, how are companies going to ensure their employees are taken care of? Employees are working harder than ever and not taking time off because there is nowhere to go. We need to ensure interaction and over communicate in order to re-enforce togetherness. There will be a lot of innovation and changes to management style.

As the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic play out over the next few months, how would you advise companies to focus on enhancing their customer and employee experience during this time where remote work and online collaboration have become base fundamentals?

 We work with the most amazing and innovative companies in the world and we’ve seen that they are relentless in their focus on employees and they are thriving because they were so focused on customer and employee experiences. They’ve doubled their usage of Catchpoint. They determined that during COVID-19 it is unacceptable to have an outage, it is a focus on visibility and availability. Their businesses are now outperforming.

This correlates with a survey Catchpoint recently conducted of 200 enterprise CIOs and 200 enterprise work-from-home (WFH) managers that examined the differences between those enterprises who fared the best and the worst during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey found that top-tier enterprises were 2.6 times as likely to have grown revenue, 2.5 times as likely to have reached profit goals and 2.1 times as likely to have high employee satisfaction numbers. Improved performance was also seen within IT, where top-tier enterprises saw improved app reliability, network reliability and cyber security.

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How do you see this pandemic impact the global talent and work marketplace in tech / B2B?

Catchpoint headquarters are in Boston, NY and Bangalore. We decided to stop hiring based on those locations. We hire based on experience and time zone (so they can be productive with the team). By doing this we’ve discovered a lot of talent outside of our markets and it has been amazing for us. As people leave big cities, we’ll see the trend continue.

Could you take us through some of the process changes at Catchpoint undertaken during this downtime – to help boost employee coordination and productivity?

We are making sure everyone has the right equipment. Some of our employees had outdated equipment and we needed to make certain they could be comfortable with their office environment in terms of desks, AC, chairs, etc. Comfort and safety are our top priority with an emphasis on communication.

Your biggest takeaway as a parting thought

My biggest take away is the unbelievable impact of technology on our lives. I’m jealous of my kids. They’ll have so much more at their disposal – virtual reality, unlimited compute capabilities, automation, etc. Making their lives, hopefully, simpler.

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Catchpoint

Catchpoint revolutionizes end-user experience monitoring to help companies deliver abetter digital experiences. The platform provides complete visibility into users’ experiences from anywhere – and real-time intelligence.

Mehdi is the Co-founder and CEO at Catchpoint