Founded in 1998, MINDBODY is the largest cloud-based software provider in the health, wellness, and beauty industries. Its technology links tens of thousands of health, wellness and beauty professionals to the millions of clients they serve. Over 500,000 practitioners at over 30,000 locations in 90 countries use MINDBODY. In previous months, the company has added approximately 1,500 new customers around the world, and supported 3-4,000,000 unique consumers with its SaaS-based software.
In 2013, MINDBODY launched its MINDBODY Connect app, allowing consumers to take control of their health and wellness and tap into the MINDBODY network around the globe. Also in 2013, MINDBODY was recognized for the fourth consecutive year by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, ranking 228th for its 437% revenue growth between 2008 and 2012.
As a SaaS provider, uptime and reliability are paramount for MINDBODY. With that in mind, the company had used a content delivery network (CDN) provider for two years. With so much riding on the web performance of its software services, MINDBODY closely and proactively monitored the web experience, both globally and in real-time. During that two-year period, MINDBODY determined that the CDN provider was responsible for 78% of the outages that it experienced. “We are very aware of brief interruptions or regional outages,” explains Jeff Darnton, Director of IT Operations for MINDBODY.
When outages occurred, MINDBODY would bypass the CDN provider and deliver content from its origin servers. “This put a larger load on our servers, but was a necessary measure to achieve our goal of making our software available at all times,” continues Darnton. When the CDN provider was unable to improve the reliability of its service after two years, MINDBODY started searching for a new solution.
MINDBODY needed to meet four key requirements to support its objectives:
After reviewing the CDN market, Darnton concluded that Akamai was the best possible option. “There was no question about Akamai’s position in the market. Plus, we were impressed by the types of businesses – particularly those in the software space – that were using Akamai’s services,” recalls Darnton. The company also appreciated that Akamai provided a performance and uptime guarantee.
To consolidate services previously provided by three different vendors, MINDBODY opted for Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator, Web Application Firewall and Fast DNS solutions. According to Darnton, the implementation was smooth and straightforward. “We engaged Akamai Professional Services, who worked with our engineers and handled the majority of the setup. And we hit our goal of transitioning to Akamai’s services within 90 days,” says Darnton.
Within the first 30 days of being live with Akamai, MINDBODY saw an average 10% improvement in global page load times over the performance delivered by its previous CDN provider. In key countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the boost was 22% on average. In Asia Pacific as a whole, performance jumped by 37%, and in China in particular, pages displayed 49% faster than before. “These tremendous improvements were without any customization or changing the way we serve content. We just turned on the Akamai services,” explains Darnton.
At the same time, MINDBODY offloaded about 50% of the traffic on its highly dynamic site to Akamai. And with Akamai Web Application Firewall, the company knows that its site and applications are automatically protected against DDoS attacks. All of these improvements had a direct impact on MINDBODY’s day- to-day business. The company’s sales team proactively sets potential subscribers up on demos so they can get a feel for the MINDBODY web application. “By having Akamai services in place and knowing we’re seeing better performance and have a 100% uptime guarantee, our sales team can stand firm in assurances about the quality of our service,” says Darnton.
On any given day, approximately 30% of all Internet traffic and content flows through the Akamai content delivery network (CDN). “Akamai’s massive network presence gives my technical and business teams confidence that we can take our application into any global market and deliver the needed level of performance,” explains Darnton.
To ensure continued growth, MINDBODY is constantly evolving and expanding its web and mobile products. Because its technical team is lean, the company relies on its partnerships with best-of-breed partners to stay abreast of technology trends and opportunities. With Akamai’s cloud services, MINDBODY gains peace of mind through reliability, scalability and performance that it didn’t have previously. “We can leverage Akamai’s expertise and insights to make decisions about where to go from a technical standpoint. This helps satisfy our core goal of intelligently leveraging technology to improve health and wellness,” concludes Darnton.
MINDBODY has led the health and wellness industry in software development since its founding. Over 500,000 practitioners at over 30,000 locations in 90 countries use MIND- BODY and thousands of new locations are adopting the software each month, making it the fastest growing SaaS provider in the health, fitness, and beauty industry. In addition to its web and mobile solutions, the company offers a holistic, corporate wellness solution for employers called MINDBODY Exchange, and a global consumer booking app called MINDBODY Connect. MINDBODY has been listed on the Inc. 500/5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. for the past six consecutive years. www.mindbodyonline.com.