The Silicon Review
Train journeys have always been boring and are even more irritating when your phone runs out of network coverage. Chetan Ahuja experienced first-hand how bad network connections affect user experience while commuting by train. Unfortunately, none of the big companies were coming up with solutions to fill this void. So, out of frustration, Chetan founded PacketZoom in 2013, which offers the first in-app networking technology to boost mobile performance.
“I left Google and started PacketZoom with the vision to offer a technology that sets the standard for mobile app performance worldwide, simply and reliably,” says Chetan.
PacketZoom started its journey by developing a proprietary protocol-based mobile networking solution - Mobile Expresslane. The service was later enhanced with Mobile IQ, a real-time mobile app analytic solution, and recently with Mobile Connect, a real-time multiplayer communication solution for mobile games.
Soon after its inception, the company quickly learned that while it encouraged mobile app developers to self-serve and integrate its lightweight SDK on their own, customer pilots were most successful when the PacketZoom team was fully involved to provide best practices and support. Also, the company faced challenges with proper A/B testing as it requires its SDK to be released to a statistically significant number of users - a step that entails high credibility and trust. With a team that includes technology addicts with combined experiences from Google, Akamai, Riverbed and more, PacketZoom has pushed its boundaries, overcoming every hurdle and dazzling customers with its cutting edge networking technology.
Today, PacketZoom is one of the leading companies in the industry and the only one that offers an end-to-end mobile networking platform designed to improve the end user experience while saving mobile app developers operational costs and time to market.
In-Conversation with the Marvelous Duo, Chetan Ahuja & Shlomi Gian:
Q.Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?
Being a start-up, PacketZoom is constantly changing and evolving. For us, it is always imperative to have a clear sight of what is important to the community we serve, and without feedback from our employees, customers, and partners, it wouldn’t be possible. So, everyone at PacketZoom knows how essential their feedback is to the company’s success.
Sitting in an open space and utilizing Slack for both internal communication as well as external communication with customers, PacketZoom operates in full transparency. We share concerns, technical challenges, milestones and successes every day. We also have a weekly team presentation and brainstorm sessions where all team members share strategic projects and ideas to improve collaboration.
Q.About adaptability, how do you stay relevant to consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?
At PacketZoom, one of our prime values has always been to listen to our customers and align with their goals.
Recently, a gaming customer who’s been with us since the early days suggested that we add real-time multiplayer communication support to the platform. We launched the Mobile Connect initiative after gathering all the required input from additional customers and learning about common concerns regarding this void in the market. Similarly, we have also worked with smaller companies who already used Amazon CloudFront CDN, and requested for us to bundle it with our Mobile Expresslane solution in order to simplify operations and to lower costs.
Listening to our customers and identifying opportunities has definitely helped us stay relevant and evolve to best serve the market we operate in.
Q.What are the factors that make your company one of the most ‘innovative,’ and why?
PacketZoom fosters a disruptive culture, where innovation is a crucial factor for success. We have redefined the standards in a market that settled for an old infrastructure and a dated protocol created 30-years ago for the wired web.
We challenged legacy solutions with our new approach that mobile apps require a mobile-specific technology, and created a groundbreaking mobile networking platform to optimize performance for users on-the-go. By creating mobile-only networking solutions, PacketZoom improves the user experience with mobile apps and supports business KPIs, such as engagement and consumer retention. We believe that’s exactly what makes us one of the most innovative companies in the industry at present.
The Future Vision
Mobile apps play a key role in almost every industry today, including retail, banking, travel, media, and gaming, with new apps constantly being introduced at an exponential rate. Unfortunately, although billions of people around the world have access to smartphones, many network connections still rely on older cellular technology, preventing users from maximizing the value of their devices.
PacketZoom’s mobile networking platform eases the pain associated with these issues by delivering fast, reliable, and engaging mobile app experience to users, while helping mobile app developers build and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
In terms of the future, PacketZoom Mobile Connect is currently in soft launch and is expected to become available in Q3 of this year. Developed per request from our gaming customers, Mobile Connect is a turnkey cloud solution designed to minimize network lags and disconnects for a true real-time multiplayer gaming experience. It leverages PacketZoom’s patented mobile networking stack that already serves millions of users globally, and saves game developers time and money. We’re excited to see how game developers use Mobile Connect to enhance players’ experiences all over the world.
Meet the Key Executives
Shlomi Gian, CEO: Gian has 20 years of experience in the technology space with 12 of them heavily focused on mobile measurement and performance solutions. He co-founded the Emerging Mobile Business Unit at Akamai and served as General Manager of Mobile Solutions at Cotendo and Keynote Systems.
Chetan Ahuja, Founder & CTO: Prior to co-founding PacketZoom, Chetan was involved with developing technology at several companies including Google, IBM, and Riverbed Technology. He has experience working on massively scalable high performance distributed server technology, transaction logging, kernel software and data distribution over massive clusters.