Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, today announced the general availability of Web Application Accelerator, an innovative solution for accelerating Web-based enterprise applications. The managed service enables enterprises to extend dynamic, highly-interactive, externally-facing Web applications, including customer-facing portals, collaboration platforms, E-Learning environments, and business-to-business commerce, to the Akamai platform. Dozens of enterprises, including Cathay Pacific Airways, Frictionless Commerce, The SKF Group, and the U.S. Air Force, trust Akamai Web Application Accelerator to achieve greater adoption of their Web applications through improved performance, higher availability, and an enhanced worldwide user experience.
Web Application Performance Directly Impacts Business
Enterprise IT professionals face ongoing challenges in delivering centrally-located and -managed Web applications on a global scale. These online applications, which represent critical business processes, are often slow, unreliable and unpredictable, affecting user adoption, satisfaction and productivity. Inefficient Web applications can inhibit revenue growth and prove costly to IT professionals tasked with optimizing application performance.
"Application performance has come to represent a company's status of excellence. Whether to internal employees, partners in a protected business ecology, or to consumers and prospects over the public Web, quality of application performance equals quality of business service," said Dana Gardner, Senior Analyst, Yankee Group. "With its latest offering, Akamai is focusing on a comprehensive approach to application acceleration for enterprises, where simplicity and cost-effectiveness for quality assurance solutions are more important than ever."
Alternative solutions to optimizing Web application performance, such as those that are appliance-based, require businesses to implement and maintain hardware. The Akamai Web Application Accelerator service is designed to leverage Akamai's globally-deployed platform to deliver consistent, improved application performance for users worldwide. The activation of this service is simple and non-intrusive, requiring a single DNS change by the customer. Akamai accelerates customers' dynamic Web application content using a number of techniques, many of which are unique to Akamai. For example:
Dynamic mapping of user requests to an optimal Akamai edge server allows Akamai to respond in real time to changing Internet conditions, alleviating the impact of network problems and improving availability of customer applications.
Route optimization technology enables Akamai to avoid Internet problem spots, sending application transactions over Internet paths that are fast and reliable.
Connection optimization technology incorporates a number of capabilities, including compression, long-lived inter-server connections, content pre-fetching, and transport protocol optimization.
Application security is maintained by delivering applications over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and through integration with leading access control mechanisms that enterprises may already have in place.
Flexible caching technology enables Akamai to store dynamic pages according to customized business rules set by the customer.
"In today's demand economy, users expect immediate access to information -- when, where, and how they want it. As enterprise applications increase in value, performance and availability become ever more critical. Poor performance and availability impede user productivity, application use and adoption, hindering business growth," said Tom Leighton, Chief Scientist at Akamai. "By accelerating the delivery of Web application transactions through our secure, distributed network, Akamai enables customers to conduct more business online."
Proven Service Yields Significant Results for Customers
Early adopter customers from the automotive, high-technology, manufacturing, and financial services verticals have embraced the Akamai Web Application Accelerator service. They are using it to deliver enterprise applications via the Internet to globally-distributed user bases with improved performance, scalability, and security.
Cathay Pacific Airways of Hong Kong, the world's sixth-largest cargo carrier by volume, was experiencing performance degradation for users trying to access its consumer, agent, and cargo extranet sites, hosted in Hong Kong, from other parts of the world. Cathay Pacific Airways knew that slow site performance would hinder future business growth, but realized that building out its infrastructure to address the performance challenge would be complex, and ultimately, would not help overcome global performance issues. Within a few months of activating Akamai's Web Application Accelerator service, Cathay Pacific Airways achieved a 65 percent increase in site traffic without additional infrastructure, a 65 percent increase in global site performance, an estimated annual savings in infrastructure of $1.5 million, and a significant increase in travel agent extranet adoption.
Scott Ohman, Manager of E-Business, Commercial for Cathay Pacific Airways said, "Increased site speed is undoubtedly a major contributor to all of the beneficial effects we've seen on our sites. Without Akamai, there is no way that a 100 percent increase in online bookings would have occurred."
Sweden-based SKF Group, the leading global supplier of products and services in the rolling bearing business, uses an extranet infrastructure centrally hosted in Europe, consisting of more than 100 group websites to interact with thousands of global customers. This approach has brought several challenges to the company, particularly with its ability to provide high-quality performance and availability to customers and employees in the Asia-Pacific region, where the company is experiencing high growth. After evaluating a number of options, SKF chose Akamai's Web Application Accelerator service to solve the performance problem.
"Akamai's connection optimization technology brought dramatic performance improvements - over a 150 percent increase - to the Asia-Pacific region's ability to access dynamic content that must route back for transaction to our origin server in Europe," said Richard Olivecrona, Director, Internet and Intranet Management, SKF Group. "We also rely on Akamai for secure, internal-use-only web-based application acceleration, and have achieved a 3-times performance improvement in the Asia-Pacific region compared to running these applications through our VPN-based internal wide area network. Moving forward, we are evaluating Akamai's services to support our dynamic eCommerce applications, as well as our wide area network, which would both greatly benefit from improved global performance."
The Akamai Web Application Accelerator service includes tools that give enterprises the visibility and control to help them optimize their site's performance and ensure the effectiveness of application delivery via Akamai's EdgeControl Management Center. Akamai has become a member of the Apdex Alliance, a group of companies collaborating to establish an application performance index to measure user satisfaction with the performance of enterprise applications.
Akamai® is the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online. More than 1,300 organizations have formed trusted relationships with Akamai, improving their revenue and reducing costs by maximizing the performance of their online businesses. Leveraging the Akamai EdgePlatform, these organizations gain business advantage today, and have the foundation for the emerging Web solutions of tomorrow. Akamai is "The Trusted Choice for Online Business." For more information, visit www.akamai.com.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
The release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai Technologies, Inc.'s management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by unauthorized users or others, failure to have available sufficient transmission capacity, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.