CloudBees wants to become Salesforce from BizDevOps

Usually, CloudBees hosts its DevOps World at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Problem: A virus “a few nanometers” in size has caused a global health crisis. Regardless, the American company, led by the Swiss Sacha Labourey, organized the first virtual version of its conference. Result: More than 20,000 registered instead of the usual 2,000. It has to be said that the DevOps approach is seen as an essential aspect of the “digital” transformation.

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The subject is extremely technical. However, CloudBees intends to make it understandable for executives and companies in organizations. The topic this year is particularly topical: resilience. “During the lockdown, many companies realized that DevOps was a way to achieve resilience before developments accelerated,” said Sacha Labourey, CEO and founder of CloudBees at MagIT.

With that in mind, the editor (one of the main people in charge of Jenkins) believes their automation tools are ready. CloudBees categorizes them in the Software Delivery Automation (SDA) category. This name includes the CloudBees CI, CD, and Feature Flags offerings. “We’re seeing companies adopt these types of tools and get what they want, which is speed,” said the CEO of CloudBees.

However, there is one important change that the publisher is not communicating about immediately. The pricing model of the CloudBees CD is the same as that of the CI offering.

So far, there have been no packages depending on the size of the company. The starting price was the same for everyone, which kept small businesses from adding the CD offering to their CloudBees CI pipeline. “We can expect more SaaS offerings in SDM and SDA. Our customers are realizing that managing resources is not a profitable thing, ”says Sacha Labourey.

An “eagle’s perspective” on developments

According to the publisher, there is no overall vision “like that of an eagle to understand the situation”, which is called into question by multiplying the developments.

This must be provided by the Software Delivery Management (SDM) platform, a set of modules available in SaaS mode. “We created the Salesforce for software delivery,” said the CEO of CloudBees. “Instead of business opportunities, it’s features, environments, vulnerabilities, technical teams, developers,” he lists.

Technically speaking, CloudBees’ proposal is similar to that of Datadog in IT monitoring: a level of data recovery via agents who auscultate the systems and software provided by the company, combined with modules and application tools for interpreting the data. collected. The first module is called “Engineering Efficiency”.

“It’s not about whether a developer has fallen asleep or not, it’s about gaining the meta-understanding of what you’re doing as a development team: how much time do you spend developing functionality, debugging applications, blocking applications for troubleshooting major infrastructure problems and comparing these metrics between teams, “says Sacha Labourey. Specifically, tools for analysis, data visualization and task monitoring should enable better management of the development and deployment phases.

CloudBees offers a second module called Feature Management. “We took over the rollout last year. The feature management offers the possibility to monitor what the conditional features (feature flags) are provided for, to analyze the metrics and to test these features A / B, ”says Sacha Labourey. Feature Management is tied directly to Feature Flags, the product launched last year after taking over Rollout below the SDA cap. This makes it possible to group the feature flags (or conditional functions) and manage them in a logic of production and commercial requirements. However, this exercise must be done manually via dashboards to make this task easier.

“There are no immediate solutions to managing feature flags. However, code analysis tools are emerging to remove old rules and collect junk feature flags. We are discussing adding this type of functionality, it will be inevitable, ”predicts Sacha Labourey.

“There are no immediate solutions to managing feature flags. However, code analysis tools are emerging to remove old rules. »Sacha Labourey CEO, CloudBees

The beginnings of SDM, inspired by Salesforce

These two modules are aimed directly at the “Product Owner” who, in good French, makes the appointment of a project manager more difficult and who, in English, gradually becomes BizDevOps. “Today, SDM modules are aimed at technical managers and product owners. However, companies and developers can develop their own modules, ”says Sacha Labourey, who justifies the comparison of CloudBees with Salesforce. “Some developers have used NLP algorithms to analyze the sentiment of pull requests and determine whether they are perceived positively or negatively. Internally, we applied machine learning to closed JIRA tickets to find out who closes them, and under what conditions, to recommend teams to help them tackle problems, ”he says.

Last May, a spokesperson for publisher MagIT stated that SDM consists of two products: Product Hub and Value Stream Management. Product Hub is precisely the level of data recovery and connection to third party tools that makes it possible to maintain that “eagle” vision. However, unlike a Datadog in another area, CloudBees doesn’t just want to sell a technical layer.

“We developed Salesforce for software delivery. »Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees

“Product Hub will be merged with Feature Management. Value stream management [autrefois DevOptic N.D.L.R.] was created at a time when SDM did not exist. We see SDM as something much more general than Value Stream Management, which is also becoming a module, ”says Sacha Labourey.

Commercially, CloudBees is again inspired by Salesforce. “At the moment we are concentrating on the sale of modules. Maybe at some point we will offer a generic platform like Salesforce, ”says the CEO of CloudBees. It should be noted that SDM offers are purely SaaS offers, while the SDA catalog still contains on-site solutions.

Other actors turn to BizDevOps, these project managers. Atlassian made a similar offer, although questions regarding integration with some tools remain unresolved. Plutora, Tasktop or even Puppet enter this market like CloudBees. This still young concept ensures strong competition among publishers. It remains to be seen whether the sauce will catch on with large customers, some of whom are still struggling to reorganize according to DevOps principles. CloudBees seems to be taking its time: both SDM modules will be available in the fourth quarter of 2020.