Sonal Puri is the CEO of Webscale Networks, a software company that hosts and manages a wide range of digital commerce and web applications. Sonal has almost 20 years of experience working with Internet infrastructure in sales, marketing, and corporate and business development.
Before her work at Webscale, Sonal was the Chief Marketing Officer at Aryaka Networks. She has also served as a valued advisor for a variety of technology companies and held key management roles at Akamai Technologies, Speedera Networks, and more.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Sonal Puri talks about immigrating to the United States and jumping into a career in Silicon Valley
- How Sonal, as CEO, is pushing Webscale to be be better, faster, and cheaper
- Challenges that Webscale faces—and conquers—during the Holiday season
- How COVID-19 has impacted Webscale and its clients
- The structure behind Webscale’s lightning-fast service-level agreement (SLA)
- Sonal’s day-to-day responsibilities as CEO: vision, culture, hiring, and financial security
- How is Webscale different from a typical hosting company?
- Sonal discusses the difficult transition between Magento 1 and Magento 2
In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast
Are you looking for a top web hosting platform to help you grow your ecommerce business? Do you want enhanced visibility and control over your web applications, as well as key strategies for scaling your company? If so, this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast is for you!
Sonal Puri is an expert when it comes to software. As the CEO of Webscale Networks, Sonal not only has the inside scoop on all things web hosting, but also knows the secrets to building and managing an effective, customer-focused team of tech gurus. Today, Sonal is here to share her experience and advice on ecommerce hosting solutions, successful business tactics, and more!
In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast, Guillaume Le Tual sits down with Sonal Puri, the CEO of Webscale Networks, to discuss the ins and outs of web hosting. Listen in as Sonal shares her strategies for delivering a better, faster, and cheaper service, the structure behind Webscale’s speedy SLA, and how the platform is helping clients manage the transition from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Stay tuned!
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Welcome to the E-commerce Wizards Podcast, where we feature top leaders in e-commerce and business to discuss proven strategies and trends from people in the trenches. Now, let’s get started with the show.
Guillaume: Guillaume Le Tual here, I’m the host. I feature top leaders in business and e-commerce. Today I have with me Sonal, who’s the CEO of Webscale. So, Sonal has steered the company to five consecutive years of 100% year over year growth, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. When she’s not behind her desk, she’s with her family, her husband Gaurav, their two children, Rayan and Reyna. Sorry for my French accent on the pronunciation of the names, and their super smart poodle Bella. Sonal lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found most evening embarking on long thinking walk or stuck into a good book. Now the company Webscale is a high-end web hosting provider, expert at managing scalable Magento e-commerce store in the public cloud. As a company, Webscale embraces value like delivering no matter what, take your work seriously, but not yourself and leave your drama at the door.
So, just before we jump into all this talk, this episode is brought to you by MageMontreal. If a business wants a powerful e-commerce store that will increase their sales or move piled up dormant inventory to free up cash reserves, or to automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing error, our company, MageMontreal can do that. We’ve been helping e-commerce stores for over a decade. Here’s the catch, we specialize and work only on the Adobe Magento e-commerce platform, we’re among only a handful of certified Adobe Magento companies in Canada. We do everything Magento related. If you know someone who needs development, maintenance, training, support, debugging, performance analysis and enhancement, we got their back. Email our support team [email protected] or go visit magemontreal.com.
Alright Sonal, let’s jump into this episode here. And before we talk tech, I believe there’s a very interesting story to talk about your personal story here. Because in many ways, you’re living what many would call the American dream. You are from an immigrant family, you came to the US. And now you climb the corporate ladder, and you’ve become a CEO of a company. You’re not the founder of the company, you became CEO of this company here. I think that’s a very interesting story I’d like to hear about.
Sonal: Absolutely. And Gill, at the outset, I would like to thank you and MageMontreal for inviting us. Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to try and speak to you about every e-commerce, everything Webscale, and happy to share my personal story. And if it can help in any way to impact others that are listening to this conversation, because obviously there’s a lot of people like me, both in the US and in Canada. I’ll try and give you a sort of shortened version of my story because it didn’t feel like a climb or any sort of stretch or work or anything. I think the secret behind most of it is just put your head down and get it done and leave your drama at the door and things seem to work themselves out.
For the most part, I was born in India, close to 50 years ago, I am 47. Came to the US a little bit more than half my life ago. Came here, I was really fortunate to go get my master’s. I’m actually an architect by education. And I got my master’s in Building Science at the University of Southern California. They were phenomenal. They gave me a full scholarship to go there and study. So that was my lucky thing.
Right after that I followed Gaurav, who’s now my husband to the Bay Area because he’s an engineer and works in the Silicon Valley. Followed him there, I did not know what the Silicon Valley was about, or what it does. Came here on my first job, started working in tech and then got a break into my first startup because I was doing websites and things for the startup on the side along with my day job. And that was the first of four startups that I was a part of, being a part of acquisitions and growth. One of the startups I worked at was acquired by Akamai Technologies that most of you probably heard of. Again, for a startup by Webscale really fortunate to be supported by just some of the most phenomenal investors in industry, MBDE. I’m really fortunate to be where I am, partnering with J. Smith, our founder and CTO, and definitely the brains of the outfit. It’s a great place to be. It’s really fun at Webscale. It’s built by our team, and we really enjoy what we do I would say, for the most part, life is good.
Guillaume: Awesome, thanks for sharing, you presented in a humble way. That’s great. It’s nice personal touch there. It’s a beautiful success that you guys are having here. Let’s talk about some customer stories here. Perhaps something you’d like to share, something that happened in the past you could tell us about?
Sonal: Yeah, the customer journey has been great. I think, our biggest strength is customers, once they do Webscale, they find us through their journey for various reasons. They find us through our partner network, more than half the time. They find us in various social media situations, or one of our team members reaches out to them and finds that their sites are down, or the revenues are bad in some way. And they find us because they have significant pain with the status quo. And the status quo might be that they’re running and managing their site themselves in the cloud. And their pain is associated with either uptime or costs. It could be that they’re finding us from the lack of scalability and managed hosting environments, they might be a Rackspace customer or something similar.
They may find us from a fully hosted platform, like even a Magento cloud because they’re struggling with support, or they’re struggling with security or scalability, or what have you. And that’s where Webscale shines is, we are the final destination for any brand that is serious about scale and security and performance in a very cost efficient, better, faster, cheaper manner. And that is really what we bring to the tech universe. We disrupt everything that they know and understand about how this is done. And we do it in a very simple, elegant way. We focus on the quality of experience as you work with Webscale. We really value our customer relationships, we value providing them with really high end 24/7 support.
And that’s what we’re about because as you learn in startups, or even in software service companies. And I shouldn’t call us a startup anymore, because I think we’re well beyond that in terms of size and customers and revenue. But you realize that you’re only as good as reputation in this space. And if you don’t take care of your customers, it does impact you as a company. Because they forget how phenomenal your technology is, they only remember how they were treated in their last interaction with you. So really fortunate, we’ve got seven of the Fortune 1000 companies that are customers, we’ve got customers that are B2B, B2C. They may be in fashion, beauty, retail commerce. They may be in cooling and air conditioning systems, they may be in food delivery, the maybe in e-learning or anybody who is transacting online and doing business on the internet. Anybody who’s running that application is a Webscale customer.
Guillaume: Okay, congrats on landing seven accounts in the Fortune 100 companies. That’s really great. And from what I’m hearing here, for a CEO to deliver better, faster, cheaper, that’s quite a challenge, how do you tackle that? Because that’s not conventional, conventional wisdom would say, well, you can be better and faster, but you’re going to be more expensive and so on. How do you tackle better, faster, cheaper as a CEO?
Sonal: Yeah, absolutely. You realize as a technology company in the valley, that unless you are truly better, faster, cheaper, if you set out to disrupt multibillion dollar markets like Webscale, if you step back and say, Webscale is a lot more than a hosting company. The reason that we’re differentiated is our technology stack. And we are Software as a Service built from the ground up to replace massive markets, like call it load balancers, firewalls, or scaling engines or CDN, or [Inaudible-09:09] management solutions or image managers, we’d replace the entire site with a very simple software as a service tech. If we don’t do it in a better, faster, cheaper way, we do not succeed.
If a customer is able to do what we do for them themselves, by getting a couple of DevOps people and buying the separate technology solutions and not really focusing on the final outcome. You just don’t have a game in town because if you’re just like 5%, cheaper and 2% faster, it is not interesting for customers to change from what they already know and understand. And we’ve come into the market very recently and we’re competing against players like Rackspace that have been around for decades and have billions of dollars of revenue. You have to be better, faster, cheaper until you’re there.
We use technology, we’ve got a phenomenal R&D team, not huge but really smart. Our support team is just exceptional and really cares about our customers. Our machine learning process, our DevOps philosophy. In our minds, we’re transitioning what is a very traditional business into this sort of, futuristic one where you should focus on your outcome as a business, you shouldn’t really have to focus on how am I going to do this. Just go build your business and let us deal with whatever happens behind the scenes.
Guillaume: So, you’re selling them the outcome, and you’re saying you’re going to replace the whole stack. You don’t have to go shop for this, and that and the load balancer and a CDN and understand that whole thing. We’re going to take care of your whole web architecture and the scalability of it, and you don’t have to think about anything, we’re just going to deliver on that. I can see it in your post in your background here. Failure is not an option. That’s the only thing in a white room with a big Blackboard, that failure is not an option, that shows the mindset.
Sonal: It’s a reminder, every single day. In companies, there are rough things, there are problems, there are challenges. And if you don’t have that mindset, you shouldn’t be in a young company. It’s a lot of fun. It’s very rewarding, but it is hard.
Guillaume: Well, that’s a bit of a curveball here. But is there any of those kinds of challenge that comes to top of mind that you’d like to talk about, maybe something you’re proud of like we had this challenge and this is how we overcame it?
Sonal: Let’s see. In my life, it’s mostly been about first deciding what the challenge is, and then saying, okay, this is what we have to do and I don’t care how we get that done, just get it done. And then all of us just put all of our minds and effort behind it. So very early, we realized that our reputation during Black Friday really mattered. Because that’s when most of our customers… You start to think on behalf of the customer, you start to focus on their outcomes, you start to realize that, what do they need from me? They need from me a very secure, highly available, fast site that just does not fall down no matter what their traffic looks like on that particular day.
So, our level of planning that goes every year into Black Friday, and I shouldn’t Jinx us, because we’re a few weeks away from this forum. We have probably 4X the volume on our network than we had last year at the same time. Arguably, our network has never been tested to this capacity. And again, I’m not going to jinx out by saying we just bought it, there’s a lot of planning that goes in behind the scenes into executing this kind of an event. I joined in July 2015, three months before our first Black Friday, and I remember, one of our customers had an issue back then. It was not something we did, it was a coordinated issue on their site. And I remember not understanding the impact of what it could be, I remember being in LA with my family, taking Thanksgiving off, and sitting on a curb outside the museum while my family was inside. And talking to the customer and trying to understand what problems that they’re dealing with like it was an escalation.
And I decided from that point going on that we were not going to have these fire drills. We were not going to stress out at that moment on Black Friday when the problem was happening. We were going to prepare so much in advance on every front, that Black Friday itself since then, has been the most peaceful time in our business like, it is quiet. Webscale is quiet during Black Friday. And I cannot imagine that’s what you find with other bands. There’s a lot of panic in other places for companies that are not in the Webscale platform. For us, Black Friday, Cyber Monday is probably the quietest period in our business. It’s just the nature of who we are. Those are the kind of challenges that if you think about again, we’re very, very close towards it this year, and we have no idea what we’re dealing with. But we’re planning for a lot.
Guillaume: Congratulation on that, being ready for it and the thing. What was the impact of COVID-19 on your industry and the demand on web hosting and some business suddenly scaling up and so on?
Sonal: COVID has been interesting. The initial impact of COVID on my business was of course that we know very well from our office culture, you can tell I’m actually back in the office and most of us are. In a span of 48 hours, we were all told everybody is going to be working from home. That was really difficult. But I would say the team has stepped up, I could not have asked for more and we’ve done a phenomenal job of supporting our customers without missing a bit. Everybody’s been paying attention to what needs to be done for our customers.
In terms of business, and I kind of hesitate to say this Gill, because it feels unfair almost. But our business has been just crazy good for the last two or three quarters. We actually started that journey, even in Q4 of last year, Q1 of this year, Q2, Q3 and now Q4. It has been great. We do have a small subset of our customers that are struggling, we’re trying our best to work with them. We’re trying to structure contracts so that it doesn’t impact them. And they still come in because if it does… we want to be that partner that understands their pain and partners with them through this down because we know that they’ll come back, come back stronger. But the customers that are doing well are just doing phenomenally well.
One of our customers, JM Bullion is more than silver trading online. Their business has been Black Friday since even before COVID, I would say. JM fought onwards, it’s been, every day is Black Friday. The volumes are high. I’m sure there are challenges with shipping. I’m sure there are other challenges in their business that I don’t see. But business as a whole is doing very well. Agri Beef, Snake River Farms provides steaks to really fancy restaurants. So, actually shipping direct to consumers at this point and their site is doing really well. A lot of our brands are doing really well.
They’ve adapted to change, they’ve understood the changes in their market and their customer base and what’s important, what’s not. There are some customers that are in the quality fashion space, and no one’s wearing makeup and going out and dressing up and stuff like that. They’re struggling a little bit but I’m hoping Black Friday is going to be really good for them.
Guillaume: COVID has really destabilized things. Some people were certainly out of work, and other people had two, three, four times more work than they used to have and cannot keep up. This is a big shift and resources worldwide going on there. You mentioned also your support team that you seem to be very proud of. And I know you have a very fast SLA that’s faster than industry standard. Perhaps you can tell us more about that?
Sonal: Yeah, for sure. We started off with, everybody was equally important across the board and every ticket was as important as the other. And as we started to scale, we realized that there’s something to be said for site down versus I have a challenge for regular support. So, we split up our tickets into our regular support system and our critical tickets. And our critical tickets, actually, our SLAs are 15 minutes. But if you see every dashboard internally that we publish, we literally respond to every critical ticket in a minute, or two or less than five, we don’t exceed five minutes for anybody. So, we beat our own SLAs by a mile.
The other thing that we do that’s really interesting that I’m happy to share, everybody should think of it this way. Earlier, we would escalate up. Our concept was okay, if somebody opens a critical ticket, a basic support engineer will look at the ticket, and if they can’t solve it, they’ll escalate it up to their peers, and so on. And our CTO J realized that, that’s probably a backwards way of looking at it, because when somebody’s site is down, they’re really upset. And they’re upset at the world broadly and we are part of that world. So why make them wait to escalate up? Why not get the best person for the job on the ticket right away?
So, we have our level three engineers now looking at every critical ticket. And if they find that it’s a simple thing, or it’s some customer that might be overreacting and opening the critical ticket and it’s not that critical and it’s not a site down issue, we can always escalate that. So, we look at it from that point of view of let’s get the best person on the job right away and get it quick. It’s not so much how soon we respond to a ticket, it’s actually how quickly we can fix it. Because if I respond to a ticket right away, I meet my SLAs, but if I take two days to fix it, there’s no point for SLAs.
Guillaume: There’s SLA for time to reply and SLA for time to resolution. Those are very important. That’s interesting structure. You got probably some kind of project team also onboard, a new client, probably some standard support team. And then you have the emergency support team.
Sonal: Yeah, I think we’ve done a pretty great job as we’ve scaled to break out our provisioning team and our provisioning team only provisions new customers. We’ve got a pre-sales team that is working with the customers to make sure that they’re on boarded correctly. So multiple constitutes to speak on behalf of the customer and then to maintain on behalf of the company instead of the same person having to, a pre-sales engineer onboarding customer and supporting customer that starts to get pretty old pretty quickly. We’ve got pre-sales engineers, we’ve got provisioning engineers, we’ve got level three, level two, level one support, then we’ve got our support management that is not really working on tickets, but actually managing the process of assignment of the tickets and our director who’s managing dashboards and escalations and so on.
So, we take it very seriously. We don’t hold back on our investments in supporting our customers.
Guillaume: Yeah, I see. Because it’s the core of your business, of course, you have the infrastructure that needs to be up all the time and scalable, but then you’re a support business. The whole infrastructure, then it’s a lot of staff level 1, 2, 3, pre-sale, onboarding, and so on. It’s a lot of expertise. It’s quite a queue, just to get the final product, lots of people in this. I’m very interested by how you structured things in your business like this. What else are you responsible for on your day to day as a CEO? What’s your day to day? What do you work on? What are your responsibilities?
Sonal: Yes. Every leadership meeting that you sit in, you are told that as a CEO you are responsible for three things. You’re responsible for the vision of your company, the vision and culture, obviously, a lot of it comes from me. I do a lot of our hiring. I believe I speak to most people that we hire into the business even today, personally, on the last interview. And I care very deeply about who comes in and how they impact our culture and why they want to work with Webscale. That’s really important to me. And then the third piece is, financially making sure that the company is secure. That’s technically my three top responsibilities. But when I’m not fundraising, or I’m not hiring, I’m setting the vision in front because you don’t change that pretty much every day.
In Webscale, I’m meddling in sales and meddling in marketing. In fact, I think my team is the happiest when I’m fundraising because I leave them all alone to do their job because they are better than me. Except for engineering, because no one wants to trust me with writing code, I pretty much meddle in everything.
Guillaume: Yes, the role of the CEO is to oversee the big picture of things going well, and it can be challenging. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, lots of varied work, it’s going to be very challenging also, to keep track of all that stuff in your mind and see where everything is at businesswise. Let’s say about hiring, you’re the final interviewer for people there. We all know how critical it is to get the right people on board in the companies, can be the difference on the market and everything. I believe people come first and then you have processes, and then you have tools last but people come first. So, what are you looking for when you hire a candidate? How do you make your decisions?
Sonal: It kind of varies in all honesty across all the various roles. Engineering, I definitely do not do a technical interview for any of the engineers that come on board, but I just want to understand from them, why are they joining Webscale? What is interesting in our business that calls out to them? Is it that they’re wanting to transition into cloud technologies, and they want to learn new ways of doing things? Is it that they’re moving from maybe hardware engineering over to software engineering, and we are that stepping stone that gets them there? Is it that they’re moving to one of the locations that we have an R&D Center and this is the job that they’re trying out for? Do they want to work in a startup? Do they want to work in a big company?
Just want to make sure that their goals are aligned with our goals, because sometimes they may be the best software developer but they may be joining us for the wrong reason. Or they may not understand who we are. I don’t second guess the technical interview, because I’m not qualified to do that. But I just try to make sure that their needs are aligned with us. And that also, I understand them as they come into the business. And as we’re making future decisions, that I have a broad idea of who these people are and what their families are like, where they’re from, what their backgrounds are. And I know them as human beings beyond as a person.
Sales is very different. Sales is a tough one to interview candidates because I’m a sales person, and we are really good at selling ourselves, and you got to look through what’s being said and do what’s the reality. How successful is this person going to be? Because I don’t look at a resume and say, oh, this person worked for Rackspace, they’re going to be successful here. Maybe they’re not, because maybe they were successful at Rackspace at a time where everybody who was associated with Rackspace was successful, but Webscale is a much harder sales job. So, are you going to be successful now because I don’t want to hire really top salespeople and have them come in and fail, it’s not interesting. So, it’s different.
Guillaume: Yeah, to evaluate the fit. I see what you mean is that saying in a tornado, even a turkey can fly. Maybe they had so many clients just incoming that they’re not necessarily that good of a sales rep. Okay, so that’s interesting about sales rep. It’s something that we have to hire all sides. It’s a different type of hire, the engineer, the programmers, very introverted. And the sales, it’s completely different what you’re looking for in those people. Can be challenging putting all those things together, again, from CEOs point of view. Of course, your business is hosting, let’s talk a bit about that. What’s going on that’s interesting, exciting right now about hosting, and where’s this industry going?
Sonal: Hosting is not interesting. I don’t know how to say this more simply. But we are a hosting company, that’s not really a hosting company. And I know this sounds like it’s going to make people scratch their heads.
Guillaume: I’m already doing it.
Sonal: I’m doing it too. I know we call ourselves a hosting company. And the reason we do that is because our customers are in the market looking for hosting because that’s what they used in their past life. When they went to Rackspace, they wanted to host on a server, they wanted to put their applications. They knew exactly how many visitors that application is going to get. And then two years from then, the server fell down because it was too small, and they bought another server, and they upgraded their plan or their server CPUs or memory, or whatever, to serve the next player. That was hosted.
In today’s world, the whole cloud computing universe has completely changed how we think about consuming resources. We think of it as more resource allocation. In fact, our founder and CTO his PhD thesis, which is what this company is based off of, is dynamic resource allocation. We think of everything as a resource. On one hand, we have a software as a service tech that provides you with all the software functionality to make your site successful, make it fast, make it secure, make it high performing, and make it highly available. It can scale, it can balance across assets, it can protect, it can block, allow firewall rules, and so on and so forth.
On the other side, you’ve got this unlimited availability of assets, which is what we call cloud hosting or cloud resources, cloud instances. We run our software on the public cloud. The public cloud does not have borders, it does not have limits. What we do really well is we understand the application needs and we bring as much resource as the application requires, when it requires it at the right amount of time using automation.
So, we’re not a hosting company. But we look like a hosting company from the outside, because our customers are used to buying hosting. And if I go to them and say, I have this dynamic, multi-cloud automation platform that allows you for better management of your sites, they’re going to be like, yeah, I’ll call you back in about five years. In the meantime, I’m going to go buy some hosting. So, I have to call myself a hosting company, for them to recognize me as what I bring to the table for them. They don’t have to worry about it.
Guillaume: Okay, I think I get you there. And, there’s that big wave right now of Magento 1 e-commerce sites with the end of life of Magento 1 that was in June 2020. What do you see there about extending either the life support of Magento 1 or the transition to Magento 2? What do you see going on there in your business?
Sonal: You call it a wave, I call it a tsunami. It has been rough on customers, and some of them are our customers that are nine months, some of them are not. I don’t want to do too much of vendor bashing on this call, because it’s unfair. And I see our perspective, but I think it was a very difficult time to put hundreds of 1000s of merchants in a very difficult situation when they didn’t need it. They needed help and support and they needed to be treated better. And I think unfortunately, without naming names, these customers were not treated well. And while they will be forced to move off a platform that finally after many years had stabilized to the point where it met their needs like 19 is fairly stable, 114 is fairly stable. All the problems have been worked out from those merchants’ point of view and to be forced to move, just because there’s an artificial deadline was… and then the pandemic didn’t help.
Obviously, they didn’t see the pandemic and make those plans. They were saying it for a long time. It was rough. We do a lot of work on security for our existing customers, and we knew what we were doing to protect these customers. And the biggest fear is obviously PCI compliance and security. That’s the biggest gap. It’s not functionality. So, we quickly put together what we call our 911 support option. And we’ve got hundreds of 1000s of sign-ups. It’s been a very interesting journey. It’s peace of mind with a lot of customers who are like, I don’t plan to move platform for another three years, and there are other customers where I just need six months of support for somebody to watch my back and then I’m going to transition off.
So, we’re working with our partner network, folks like you to say, these are the customers that want to move off, they just need a good partner. In parallel, I think a lot of the agencies are just swamped with a lot of work, because e-commerce has become really mainstream. The metrics were showing that we went from 14% of total retail to almost 40% of total retail in just the last six to seven months. And that means a lot of business for both you and me.
It’s been interesting times, we are very committed to [Inaudible-31:30] support. We got on a call with one of our customers, very big brand that’s actually a large public company in the UK. And their head of IT reached out to us and said, I want you guys to know that you’re doing a better job at supporting Magento and providing fashion than Magento with themselves. So maybe you guys should continue to do this. Because we’re so happy that the patches just work and guess what? The patches are coming from our partner focus on like we’re writing them because we’re not developers, but we have partners who are writing batches with us and doing a very quick, very fast way well managed job. I know it’s a very long answer to a very simple question, Gill.
Guillaume: No, it’s a good answer. Keep going.
Sonal: So, when Jeff said this to us, my response back to ourselves, to convey this message to me, I was like, that is a low bar, saying we’re better than Magento at delivering patches was such a low bar, because I don’t think they’ve ever been good at doing it at any time.
Guillaume: And they moved on many years ago, because in November 2015, we had to release with Magento 2. So, all the efforts by several years, were all in Magento 2 so for sure Magento 1 was just being supported with security patches, there was nothing more happening over there.
Sonal: We’re going to watch these customers for as long as it takes, and then we have a lot of them migrating very successfully to Magento 2. And I think it’s a good platform, it’s got its initial challenges, but people who are live, I mean, we’ve got some sites that are just phenomenally fast on Magento 2. In fact, I would go so far as to say that our deployments of Magento 2 are probably faster, more secure. And have much less downtime during deployment than anything that Magento can do themselves. But again, I committed to you that I wouldn’t do too much bashing. So, this is not bashing.
Guillaume: You have freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want, thank you for your diplomacy.
Sonal: I think we are doing just a great job. We are much smaller than Adobe is, obviously. But I think we’re doing a great job on behalf of our customers to support this industry. At the end of the day, we’re on the same side. We all love Magento, a big part of my customer base is Magento M1 M2 community enterprise, whatever number you call it. And now PWA and other kinds of headless deployments. That’s who we are.
Guillaume: Yeah, exactly. In the commerce cloud environments, Magento. Well, it’s built on platform.sh. When you’re competing against that cloud hosted environment here, you’re competing against platform.sh that is sort of bought by Adobe, not as a company, but as a service here to offer to the commerce cloud hosting. But regardless when you go with, like open source or Magento commerce, it’s Magento which is great. And then about where you hosted, depending on what’s the best fit for your business needs and the offer for each competitor on the market for this business.
All right. Well, I’m still thinking about your better, faster, cheaper, mentioned how you set up your company for really good support, because it’s quite an architecture of staff you hire to be a support company versus a project-based company that would churn out projects one after another is very different business build. And I like those two builds, because especially if it’s a web agency would typically have that. It can be a project building machine, or it can be a support machine. Both is possible. But it’s two different business units that are almost like competing for business resources together. It’s very different business models. Still thinking about what you’re saying, is there anything else that we should talk about that I have not brought up yet?
Sonal: No, I think you’ve done a really great job of asking us about our business and sharing with us. And I think I’m happy to share with us as a company, I think you outlined earlier that we’re growing at 100%. And we’ve been exceeding that number pretty consistently. And I believe next year, it’s going to be more than 100%. Our big customers that have started working with us are, are getting bigger with us, our small customers are growing.
I think it’s a push that we’re seeing in our industry and we’re benefiting from it. And I think we benefit from it a little disproportionately, because of what a great job we do both on focusing on R&D. I think that’s the area where we’re not taking focus away from R&D, we’re coming to invest in that area, because there’s so much work to be done across things like fraud, bots, security. We’ve always been a great security platform, but our focus on security is becoming even deeper, using machine learning and trying to do some modern incredible things on supporting our customers so that before they have a challenge, were able to identify what’s going on their site. Because after they have a challenge, or a security breach, it’s too late. So that’s the kind of thinking that’s going into what we’re doing.
And I expect next year, same time, that we should do this again. My guess is, we’ll have even more Fortune 1000 customers, we’ll have even bigger relationships with a lot of our larger brands and we’ll have obviously, twice the amount of logos and customer success stories that we have already across various platforms. I think I should mention that we are not only Magento, we support Drupal sites and Ruby on Rails and WordPress, WooCommerce. [Inaudible-37:12] arguably is the largest WordPress and WooCommerce opponent on the internet. So, we’ve got all of those other platforms, we’ve got Oracle Commerce, we’ve got SAP Hybris, we’ve got IBM, we’ve got a lot of different platforms that we support. And we support them across all cloud providers. In every job we’ve got customers in more than 10 countries, even though we’re a very US company so far.
And that’s all happened by us finding people like you, believers like you and it was like our customers finding us from countries like Malaysia and other parts of the world.
Guillaume: Alright, I do believe you’ll have the growth you just mentioned success. You guys are on track for it. Sonal, thank you for being here today. I appreciate it.
Sonal: Thank you so much for inviting me. I really appreciate the platform to get our message out.
Guillaume: Thank you.
Thanks for listening to the E-commerce Wizards Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes and contact us at magemontreal.com