Ramping the Innovation Factory with ThoughtSpot Cloud: A Builder’s Perspective

As we reflect back on this year, there is a lot that can be said about 2020. Most of it, we would like to forget. 

However, as a leader here at ThoughtSpot, I believe this will be the year we will look back and remember as one of incredible building and transformation, one where we laid the foundation for even more rapid innovation. This week has been exciting as we launch ThoughtSpot Cloud, the first SaaS search and AI-driven analytics platform. ThoughtSpot Cloud was built with great passion, innovation, and engineering pride. It also meant a lot of hard work. 

That begs the question: with such a successful business already, why did we decide to double down and build the SaaS analytics offering? So what is the big deal about ThoughtSpot Cloud? 

At the Heart of ThoughtSpot Cloud: Our Customers

Our customers are at the center of our cloud effort. As you embrace the cloud, you need to move faster and be more agile. We heard you loud and clear when you said you wanted to make it easier to explore new use cases with search and AI-driven analytics, identify where you can deliver value, and get up and searching quickly.

We also know that you need a platform that can keep up with the rapid evolution of the analytics ecosystem. We have focused on transforming our innovation engine to be one that is built for rapid iterative co-innovation with customers. The pace of change is faster than ever, and is only accelerating. Our customers need problems solved in real-time. With our work on ThoughtSpot Cloud, we are ready structurally to take ideas and solutions from ideation to production to value rapidly. Since our internal launch in May, we have already seen a 4X reduction in idea to value latency. Our support team has evolved from a product mindset to a service mindset to help our customers focus on their business outcomes, not on managing software and infrastructure lifecycle.

Increasing Engineering Velocity and Impact

I’ve always believed that happy customers are created by happy engineers. ThoughtSpot Cloud is a game changer for our engineers. They are now further enabled to iterate with customers, solve customer problems, validate quickly, and continuously improve our product with immediate customer feedback and engagement. All of this can happen  many times in the same time it takes to get a product deployed on-prem. 

ThoughtSpot Cloud is also sharpening the scope for our engineers. By leveraging the cloud services ecosystem, our engineers focus their skills and effort on solving problems in our core space of analytics. They don’t have to worry about  building common supporting software infrastructure, and instead, constantly work on building new capabilities at the bleeding edge of innovation in data, analytics, AI, and cloud. With discipline of having only one version in production, our SRE team and engineers can avoid the drag of technical debt associated with on-prem software version sprawl, giving them the focus to solve problems faster. 

So How Did We Get Here?

It took quite a marathon to get here - and we have only just begun. As we embarked on building our SaaS data analytics offering, we didn’t just take what we have and begin hosting it in a ThoughtSpot owned VPC. Instead, we focused on building a strong foundation. Our engineering factory has been retooled to support releases every 4 weeks, with the capability to go faster as we build new services in the cloud. 

This has meant improved development process, tools, workflow automation, and operating models. We built ThoughtSpot Cloud with automation in mind; our SaaS production is fully automated including life cycle management, logging, and monitoring. We focused holistically on security and compliance and have completed our SOC 2 type 1 audit. 

I know our customers don’t just bet on a company’s products and services, they also bet on the team. During the past 6 months, the ThoughtSpot team has pulled together closer, worked together in unique ways, and helped our customers (we’ve had a support NPS consistently higher than 95), all while delivering our biggest releases and launching ThoughtSpot Cloud. 

I am betting on this team to do even bigger things and I am confident our customers will do the same.