At FutureStack18 San Francisco, New Relic Chief Revenue Officer Erica Schultz, and EVP and Chief Customer Officer Roger Scott devoted a full keynote session to conversations with executives from Adobe, Gap, Change Healthcare, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), key New Relic customers and partners.

Read on to see video and explore highlights of each conversation:

Adobe Managed Services and New Relic: Partnering to help customers help themselves

Adam Pazik, Regional Manager EMEA for Adobe Managed Services, with New Relic Chief Revenue Officer Erica Schultz.

For the more than 600 companies that use Adobe Experience Manager Managed Services, the service is often a critical component of their customer experience strategies—and, by extension, a key to achieving their business goals. According to Adam Pazik, Regional Manager EMEA for Adobe Managed Services, serving this customer base involves Adobe deploying more than 15,000 cloud servers, hosting 15-20 petabytes of data, and supporting up to 500,000 total customer transactions per minute.

As Adobe’s managed-services business grew and became more mission-critical for more customers, Adobe realized its customer relationships carried a heavy responsibility—and very little room for error. “How do we capture customer incidents and potential customer issues before they really become issues?” Adam asked. Among Adobe’s airline customers, for example, “if that check-in process slows down, customers are turning away from them and going to different providers…we need to help those customers identify transactions before they become problematic.”

“Being able to track and monitor the availability of the customer’s applications is absolutely critical,” Adam added, “but response time and functionality are absolutely key, as well.” In addition to delivering superior customer service and improved service metrics, Adam said that New Relic helped Adobe scale by making engineers more efficient—a critical win in its efforts to achieve sustainable growth.

At the same time, Adam noted, Adobe also moved to embrace DevOps. Adobe’s DevOps journey, however, included an unusual twist: partnering, supporting, and coaching customers through their own DevOps initiatives. “It’s not just Adobe that we need to coach, but it’s also working with our customers to adopt these DevOps methodologies,” he explained.

Testing, in particular, was critical. “Getting our customers as well as ourselves to test early and test continuously has been really, really important in ensuring the stability of the customer’s application and ensuring the effectiveness of Adobe’s responses in incidents and outages,” Adam noted. “We really built some excellent instrumentation for New Relic APM that allows us to get back very detailed information about what’s happening within Experience Manager, and expose that through [dashboards],” he stated.

That helps Adobe’s engineers, and their customers. “It’s a huge talking point for us,” Adam said. “When we go and talk to customers about APM today, they’re very interested in what we’ve done with New Relic.”

Gap: Acceleration plus innovation yield a cutting-edge customer experience

Few retailers can rival Gap in terms of reach and impact—or success across an entire portfolio of brands, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and more.

According to Philip Glebow, Chief Architect at Gap, Inc., the company holds its legacy systems—the result of decades of mostly organic growth—in high regard: “Legacy pays the bills, legacy allows us to innovate. Love your legacy, we do. Most of the time,” Philip said. But legacy love hasn’t stopped Philip and his team from planning an aggressive and comprehensive cloud migration strategy. “Within three years, we’re going to be running 80% of…Gap’s software in the public cloud,” Philip said. “It’s an imperative for us in terms of scale.”

It’s an imperative because Gap needs to engage customers with a first-rate retail experience that spans its digital platforms and its brick-and-mortar storefronts. “We are trying to bring together some of the experiences that you might have online with what we have in stores,” Philip said. “We need visibility into that because if that experience is degraded, our customer may not come back.”

Online, Gap has leveraged the Pivotal Cloud Foundry open source application platform to go from taking “133 days to get something into production, to days or minutes,” Philip said. “Now we can move in certain areas so rapidly that our users can’t keep up,” forcing application teams to slow down to accommodate them.

Philip Glebow, Chief Architect at Gap, Inc., with New Relic Chief Customer Officer Roger Scott.

At the same time, in the brick and mortar world, “our distribution centers are becoming much more automated,” Philip said. “You see robotics, you see AI, you see all of these capabilities…that allow us to fulfill orders…at very high throughput in a very cost-effective way.” But with that automation comes a need for visibility, he added. “When something is broken at the speed that we operate, many, many orders are going to get” mishandled or delayed, Philip said. “We’ve deployed New Relic across a variety of platforms” to minimize any disruptions.

Finally, Philip noted that Gap used New Relic to help its leadership team understand the ties between technology and business performance: “To be able to bring that together and to give our executives a real-time view as to how we’re doing…is critical to our success.”

Change Healthcare: Using New Relic to escape legacy-system limbo

When Gopi Devalcheruvu, Vice President of Payments Engineering at Change Healthcare, stepped on stage at FutureStack18, he opened with a jaw-dropping fact about the economic power and potential of the healthcare industry.

“If you take a step back and look at the U.S. healthcare system, it is one-sixth of raw [U.S.] gross domestic product,” Gopi said. “The spend last year was about $3.3 trillion and growing. And we believe there’s an addressable market of about $300 billion for removing a lot of the administrative inefficiencies and the waste within the system.”

Gopi Devalcheruvu, Vice President of Payments Engineering at Change Healthcare with New Relic Chief Customer Officer Roger Scott.

Change Healthcare’s role as a healthcare industry technology provider puts it in prime position to tap this immense market. The work of Gopi’s team—which builds and maintains the payment networks that link providers, insurance companies, and other parties—is essential to its success. “Our goal is really to provide two things: A seamless experience, and a very efficient experience, given how much waste and inefficiency is” in existing healthcare payment networks, Gopi said. Both goals, he added, demand the ability to assess the performance and reliability of its payment applications and to address potential issues before they impact business-critical payment networks.

Getting there hasn’t been easy. “I inherited…a legacy healthcare network platform,” Gopi stated, likening the process of hunting down performance issues to “finding a needle in a haystack.” It was difficult for Change Healthcare engineers to do innovate, Gopi added, because they were so buried in what they had to do” to keep things running.

Implementing New Relic was essential to maintaining the legacy systems. “Within six months, we were able to really focus on the key pain points and remove the toil” from legacy processes, Gopi said. “In the last year, we achieved 100% uptime on our legacy healthcare platform. And that enabled us to free up our key engineers and product folks to build a completely new healthcare platform on AWS.”

Watch Change Healthcare’s Gopi Devalcheruvu speak with New Relic Chief Customer Officer Roger Scott:

AWS: Closing the loop on cloud migration metrics

Today, said Josh Hoffman, Global Head, AWS Partner Ecosystem, businesses no longer ask whether they belong on the public cloud. Instead, they’re focused on how to extend and increase the value of their public cloud investments.

But while most industries have entered what Josh called the “mass migration” phase of cloud adoption, others are encountering turbulence as they try to take their cloud migration to the next level. He shared how AWS and New Relic work together to help customers solve key challenges.

Josh Hoffman, Global Head, AWS Partner Ecosystem at Amazon Web Services, with New Relic Chief Revenue Officer Erica Schultz.

First, Josh said, many firms encounter headwinds as they scale their initial cloud migrations to the enterprise as a whole.

“One business unit is easy to migrate, but once that company starts to look across all the business units, and they see thousands of applications…identifying all the interdependencies and all the performance variations and that becomes a very daunting thing,” Josh said.

“This is where New Relic really helps them,” Josh stated, especially when companies also invest in the right methodologies, training, and change management initiatives to support large-scale cloud migrations.

Second, many firms make a crucial error by failing to follow through on the business case used to justify a cloud migration. “They’re not closing the loop on the metrics, they’re not going back to finance” and documenting the impact of a firm’s cloud investments, Josh said. Financial decision-makers who don’t see or understand the benefits of an initial migration effort may push back against funding the next phase of a cloud strategy, he warned. “We really try to advise our customers to work with partners such as New Relic so that they understand the before, the during, and the after” so they can iterate and close the loop on those metrics, Josh advised.

Matthew McKenzie is a Senior Content Editor at New Relic. He's a veteran writer, editor, content strategist and IT industry analyst with more than two decades of experience following the evolution of cloud computing and related technologies. View posts by .

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