In this episode of UpTech Report, we interview Ariel Assaraf, the co-founder and CEO of Coralogix, a company that uses AI and machine learning technology to help businesses analyze large-scale production projects.
Ariel analyzes solutions to the challenges companies face when developing products, where they should focus their attention when scaling their operations, and how stepping away from the computer and engaging in face-to-face interaction can help a business.
More information here: https://coralogix.com
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Alexander Ferguson 0:00
In this episode of UpTech Report, AI interview Ariel Assaraf, the co founder and CEO of Coralogix, a company that uses AI and machine learning technology to help developers analyze millions of log entries to identify the most important ones. For faster troubleshooting, finding the needle in the haystack. Ariel discusses solutions to the particular challenges companies face when developing products, where companies should focus their attention when scaling their operations. And how stepping away from the computer and engaging in face to face interaction can help your business. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Ariel, I’m excited to learn more about core logics and appreciate you joining us from from Tel Aviv and finding out the the interesting problem that you’re solving in your industry. So first off, what year did you start?
Ariel Assaraf 0:54
We started a company around middle 2014. And actually founded Coralogix with our initial team at about the end of 2014. Thing was
Alexander Ferguson 1:08
got it and from your focus from from the beginning, I’m curious, actually the shift at all, but what’s the industry that you serve, and the segment that you really focus on?
Ariel Assaraf 1:19
We basically focus on DevOps oriented companies, specifically, SAS or internet companies, around 200 to 1000 people.
Alexander Ferguson 1:31
And we were talking about this before you focus on this strictly because you actually came from this, you understood the pain point that they were already feeling, what’s the pain that you’re solving with your product?
Ariel Assaraf 1:41
Yeah, so actually, the idea came came to my mind when when I was at Verizon, so you ran a quick research and Verint found out how much time it takes to actually isolate, solve the problem, deliver something to production, then monitor on it. And we figured out that that this can be really short and using the right tools and the right capabilities. This one me and a friend from Varian, was the head of innovation back then partner and started a company. A few months later, we joined an accelerator, actually the first accelerator in Israel, called the junction. And then we raised our initial funds and started the company. And the entire goal of the company was to help companies solve and deliver production fixes faster. So whenever you have a production issue, the most important thing is what you call meantime to detect and mean time to resolve. These are key parameters measured by any company doing monitoring on their production. So you want to, you know, shorten both of them, and also helping companies creating a faster delivery pipeline. So they can release more fixes and also increase the pace of their product development.
Alexander Ferguson 3:08
So there’s so many logs that can be created and trying to sift through that can take so much time. So your whole thing is to be able to speed up that time find the issue and solve it faster. Did I get that? Right?
Ariel Assaraf 3:18
Yes. So that’s two things, I’m able to sift through the data quickly understand the data quickly solve for production problems by understanding the data real fast, that’s whatever’s related to meantime to resolve. But it also takes time to detect there’s an issue. So a lot of the logging tools in the past, were focused on actually, you know, giving you the right way to search visualized, alert, but then everything a proactive came from other systems. And then you use logging in as a post mortem tool. So you know, you have a problem. Either you got that from an external tool, or one of your customers complained, and then you use logging in to isolate the problem and figure it out, work on both angles. And this is why we created a bunch of capabilities around anomaly detection. So we actually separate Prologis tools into two. The first one is identifying problems automatically, whether it’s broken flows, trends of errors, bad API response trends, of normal behaviors, and then resolving problems faster, whether it’s version context, data, clustering, searching, visualizing and other tools that help companies. No, you know, find a needle in the haystack through cliche, but basically, once you know you have a problem, how do we solve how do we solve that problem faster?
Alexander Ferguson 4:48
How many customers you currently have using your platform?
Ariel Assaraf 4:53
Just bit over 2000 companies today worldwide. Spread From India, Singapore, Europe, force Israel in the US, obviously. So we have, what is diversity? Some huge enterprises and all the way down to small dev shops.
Alexander Ferguson 5:14
And as far as then the pricing the way goes, what does that look like and connected is it make sense for every type of size as well, though company to use utilize what you have?
Ariel Assaraf 5:24
Yeah, our philosophy is that we only give great products to our customers. So we don’t want to do tears that are based on features or based on capabilities. And then if you’re a small dev shops, if you’re a small startup, you’re stuck basically, with a tool that is very limited. So what we do is we price based on two parameters, which are how much data you ingest per day, and how long you want to retain your data. That’s the only two parameters that you need to care about. And all features are included in all packages, unlimited users. So basically, even if you’re small, tiny companies or five developers, you get the exact same product as a huge enterprise, only you’re limited in your data, but you don’t generate that data anyway. So it doesn’t matter.
Alexander Ferguson 6:12
Got it? That’s awesome. Now, you kind of mentioned earlier on that you have tried tools early on before you started a company. And there’s things out there. So what makes yours different? Just give me a bit more about your your IP, and do you use AI or ml and your stuff?
Ariel Assaraf 6:30
Yeah, so the quarter company, unlike a lot of company, other companies in the market. So there are a lot of companies to say that we’re the only one do machine learning will not be accurate. But there are a lot of companies that started as platforms for searching, visualizing, alerting, basically, data analytics tools. And then they started adding capabilities for anomaly detection, we’re actually we came the other way around. We started as an anomaly detection platform, we integrated into different tools and then created anomalies on top of them. That was the initial idea of core logics. And this is what we focused on. And then actually, we change, we switched strategies, because we figured out companies are really suffering also, from the level of user experience they’re getting with other tools. So even when they do get anomalies from core logic storability. Do the basic stuff like search visualize, is limited, and it’s not very pleasant to that and old school tools. So this is where we decided to create a whole platform from scratch. That platform incorporates everything from data collection, searching, visualizing, alerting, API’s, and we took the best algorithms that we’ve had that had the most success with customers and implemented them into the entire platform.
Alexander Ferguson 7:54
Gotcha. So it’s kind of the way you started your approach of anomaly detection that already kind of gave you a different spin and look at it. But then making sure it is inclusive of all the other tools that it would be needed. In being able to identify and solve it.
Ariel Assaraf 8:09
We built a pipeline. In the machine learning orientation, the we break down data, the way we look at different entries, the way we ingest the data. So if you think about Gorillaz is a bunch of micro services running on a data pipeline. And the data ingestion into the basically the data storage where you create a data and all is just one micro service out of about 11 or 12. And it’s related to the old school type of logging. Everything else is different capabilities that we’ve developed along the way.
Alexander Ferguson 8:46
Gotcha. So from from where you are now and and also looking for what kind of partnerships or integrations Do you have that kind of then make even easier? Your product or makes more accessible?
Ariel Assaraf 9:01
Yeah, so there are two types actually, that that are main ones there are a bunch of partnerships and small integrations that we’ve created with a lot of tools. Um, so you know, collecting data using our packages for different coding languages or a common open source like LogStash or fluent D or File B, we have an Akamai integration and so on. But the two main partnerships that we look at the first one being a Roku. Roku has been great for core logics. We have an add on there were a named add on of the month for two times in the first year in the marketplace, by the Hebrew community. We have about 400 customers coming from there and getting great traction. And the second one is the AWS Marketplace, from CoreLogic is the premier AWS partner. We ran through the entire process of getting well architected review and competitive See with AWS at all in our part of the marketplace, and then every company that doesn’t want to go through the procurement from scratch, and they want to just pay for logics as part of their cloud bill are able to do so on a standard agreement that was created by AWS. So these are the two that we have right now.
Alexander Ferguson 10:20
How long have you had that integration? Or that AWS partner ship status
Ariel Assaraf 10:25
is actually relatively new? I think it’s like three months. Okay. Very big enterprises using it?
Alexander Ferguson 10:33
Are you seeing a big uptick now with that integration being existence that more will be wanting and able to take advantage of your service?
Ariel Assaraf 10:42
I think, you know, we just started so it’ll take a while to see that in a ruku. Yeah, we changed our self onboarding channel, you know, smaller customers are mainly from a rug, actually, it really did a huge and it’s really done a huge impact on core logics, a lot of us were looking at larger clients that don’t want to register a small vendor, or don’t want to go through procurement. And then using us with AWS with AWS quality stamp, is something that really boosts their our ability to approach larger clients. And, you know, naturally, the sales cycles are longer. So I’m seeing like, four or five months from now will be smarter. But we have, we have a lot of hopes, and that it’s an
Alexander Ferguson 11:28
interesting perspective and thought of that making an integration with AWS or another partnership that already has large enterprises. That’s like actually an easier in then into those organizations. And if you have to build a relationship, one on one already, is that correct? Did I get that correct? Yeah.
Ariel Assaraf 11:45
So let’s say ruku was actually an interesting example, for one of the things that we’ve done, we’ve created an integration with the version delivery pipeline. So whenever you deploy a new version, it creates a tag for largest. And we’ll give you an automatic benchmark of the new version deployment quality. So it was very hard for us to get feedback on that, because it was an integration and you feature and you know, you want to educate the market and being a small company is extremely hard to do so. So what we’ve done is that we baked that into the ruku integration in a way that would allow you to do it otherwise, like whenever you integrate with the Roku add on, it immediately integrates itself with your Roku pipelines. And whenever you deploy, you get a tag and everything is automatically done. And that created the initial 100 customers using the pipelines feature. And then we have people to talk to we had feedback, we had reviews, we had success stories. And then from there was very easily very easy that to spread through different types of customers different sizes to customers. And today, I think over 80% of our largest customers use that feature. So the ability to really use a channel like a Roku that has a single like integration to push this feature that was not that commonly used or known, really helped us. So in AWS, we’re looking to do the same with security. So we’ve created a security offering around the AWS environments, around cloud trail, VPC flow, log, and even a one click deployment, intrusion detection system for cloud environments. So again, three, four months from now we’ll know better, but it looks very promising.
Alexander Ferguson 13:33
That’s awesome. So obviously, the space is always changing and innovate. And things are always evolving. So how are you innovating? Where do you go for the latest news on tack, and just making sure you’re staying on the latest and the greatest?
Ariel Assaraf 13:48
Me personally? Yep. So one of the things that I’ve done actually, about three years ago, and it’s proven itself to be extremely important, and it’s a good advice, I’ll give any founder of startup, we’ve created a group of fellow CEOs that run companies around our our type of company around what we call b2b business to developers. So we’ve created a group of what we call a B to D CEOs. We’re six people from great companies, and we get we get together every few weeks. So we always chat, you know, phone calls and conversations around things that we’re contemplating on and stuff but we get together to hold the six of us every few weeks, and everyone you know, bring new ideas, things that worked for them. industry trends that they’re seeing customers that they’re meeting and have needs around other companies is areas that it’s also you know, a great group for you to vent being a very lonely job and you know, in History stuff. So for us, it’s a great way a way to share ideas.
Alexander Ferguson 15:05
You had this group, this event that sounds like a mastermind group,
Ariel Assaraf 15:10
always, almost three years now. And it’s amazing to see, you know, how companies have grown during that time, you know, we were tiny companies, when we started, we used to meet and talk about how do we make our first, you know, revenue whatsoever? How do we get a company to sign up? The initial conversations were like, What are you guys using to build your website, a commercial website? It was like, and now when we’re meeting is like, you know, how do we scale to 10s of millions of dollars, you know, what VCs, we should approach for B rounds? Where are you guys looking to hire in terms of VPS, and so on. So it’s really nice to see how the company how the companies in that group scale, what app was actually acquired a couple months ago, which was also very happy event. Yeah. And, you know, being in Israel, it was very hard to find companies working on monitoring and data analytics, because it’s like, half the companies here. But you can always find a couple of founders doing a company in your area. And most of the time, they have much more data shared in any, you know, online source. So I believe in human touch. I believe that whatever you read, or listen, and podcasts is great, but if you don’t have anyone to share that with, and really, you know, nurture those ideas and give different perspectives, to them, it’s useless.
Alexander Ferguson 16:40
That’s a powerful example, a tool that have a mastermind group of people. And I appreciate your importance that you put on face to face talking, sharing examples and experience together any tips on how to form that? Did you just know these other folks? Did you find us a site to connect with them?
Ariel Assaraf 17:00
So actually, I wouldn’t, you know, I love to say that it was like, I had an idea to create that group. I started researching and I created, it wasn’t like that. Were like, two people talking. Someone you know, connected us, we had a very good click, I, you know, I can I can mention a few of the companies, one of them actually two out acquired, which is pretty awesome. So one of them is testing not IO. One of them was rollout, one of them will save the case. So someone connected me with the CEO of testing my Oh, he was, you know, we got to get we got along really well. From the get go. We had a lot of similar challenges, both in funding and building the teams and everything. And of course, you know, how we build a product and market it. So we started meeting, and then he said that he heard something from the CEO that he really likes, and he had a great idea. And then the three of us met, and he knew someone, so he invited her to join. And then someone heard that the four of us met, so you wanted to join two, and then we created this group, and then we say, you know, let’s let’s start getting together, then we created a WhatsApp group, so that we can communicate on a daily basis, and people can, you know, ask questions and get a fast answers. And then people inside the group started meeting, you know, in between to get to know, to get, you know, to drill down into things that were brought up in the group meeting, if it’s related to just two or three other companies. So basically branches from that group into separate conversations. And, you know, besides being able to learn and vent, you also get a lot of very good connections to customers to VCs, I think I was, I was you know, reference call for at least five seats for companies, the best reference call you can get, because they really know the company, the industry and the guy you’re investing in. So it was in a, you know, an objective reference call, but for them, it was someone who really knew them, and really wanted them to succeed. So it’s a good reference to
Alexander Ferguson 19:15
that. That’s powerful. And it’s interesting though, there was a pretty organic, how it grew just from the connection of one person to the next. And speaking of the other ways of learning, you mentioned it best way okay, it’s in person and face to face experience from others, but audio books, books, podcasts, what any you can recommend that you’re listening to or reading right now.
Ariel Assaraf 19:37
So I usually read books that are outside my, you know, day to day work, because you run into so many customers and so many challenges, so many technical challenges that you constantly find yourself reading and learning, technical stuff and you know, things that are related to your day to day. So I’m trying to do to open my mind to new things, I read a lot of management books, though they’re pretty old. But great. There’s the pit Reilly management book that he wrote about how he managed the Lakers team in the in the 80s. Nice, sweet, I’d recommend, I’m now finishing Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross, the guy who built that imagine for Salesforce, wonderful book. But these are not like my main focus. They’re just giving me they’re enriching me in other areas that I’m not doing on my day to day. Something that I do is whenever I need a company, and I’m doing you know, a lot of sales, and I meet a lot of DevOps, the people that I actually sell to, whenever I meet someone that is interesting, I’m usually reaching out outside of the meeting context, and saying, Hey, let’s, let’s get together for a coffee. And I’d love to hear your perspective. I think, I guess like four out of the latest five main features came from conversations just like this.
Alexander Ferguson 21:04
Wow. That’s awesome. That’s powerful. So going forward, as you’re always innovating, whether with your mastermind group your reading, where do you see your company in five years from now?
Ariel Assaraf 21:18
Yeah, that’s, that’s good point. So about six, seven months ago, we got an acquisition offer, that we that made me think about this question exactly. You know, it forced me to think these are things that you’re not, you’re not, you’re so into the daily routines and all. So the hardest thing is to lift your head and look for the future. But when you get an acquisition offer, it forces you to think whether you you’re in it for you know, quick cash, whether you think it can be a huge business or not, whether you think it can blend into different bigger company or not. And our our, you know, obviously I’m here, we’re not acquired, we decided to take another funding round. So our perspective is that core logics is set to be a very big company, we see the market evolving extremely fast. And the way we see core logic, we want to expand into separate into different markets over not just the DevOps market, I mentioned the security product, we’re going into more and more capabilities that are outside the specific management of production, but related the entire management of your cloud environments, looking at, you know, a big company, doing a couple more rounds, and then increasing, specifically engineering and also building something more predictable, or more scalable in terms of sales, because currently, companies selling and few millions, everything is done inbound, we don’t have salespeople at all. Everything is down is done, you know, word of mouth, or from the challenge that we have integrated with?
Alexander Ferguson 23:06
Not cash. That is not your goal. You’ve got a grand vision. I love it. Yeah. You see where you could play in that it really can grow? And I can see so what you’ve already named a few imagining what hurdles you’re going to have to overcome in order to vision realize this vision one you mentioned, maybe sales? Is that one piece, what other hurdles? Do you see?
Ariel Assaraf 23:32
Yeah, I think if the put it in one big, you know, headline is scaling company, and building processes. So the biggest challenge once you find the market fit, once you find that you have the right product sold to the right people willing to pay good cash for that product. I’m experiencing good, you know, getting good experiences and are vouching for product and everything. So you have something that you can sell. And I need to scale that and the only thing you know that’s preventing you from becoming a big companies basically you the market is there, the product was there, the need is there. Now it’s about you building the scale of the company, building a new hierarchy for the company and building and turning a lot of things that you do, by instinct, from your experience, turning them into processes that everyone can step into. So you want a big, you want to build a big company, where whichever guy you hire for whichever role you hire, he has a very strict process that he knows that he needs to follow to reach the company’s goals. And more than that, you want to know that you can measure people because you have a strict process. And you know, you have enough checkpoints to understand that someone is doing his job properly. And for him to understand if he’s doing his job properly. So currently, you know the main challenge that a lot of things are done by instinct. And the company is still relatively small, we’re 25 people. So, you know, the revenue per person is very high in the company. But these are not things that you measure this, these sizes, you actually want to scale the company as fast as you can.
Alexander Ferguson 25:19
So being able to, as you grow, provide each new hire clear definition of this is your role, and they can understand their benchmark to it so that it’s not just on my instinct, because you, yourself, know what to do. But you can hire, you see that as the hurdle to overcome in order to scale?
Ariel Assaraf 25:37
Yeah, it’s hiring, which is always, you know, super tough. And then building, building the right processes for the right people that you hire. So they know you know what to expect from them, and they know how to how to follow your steps, and actually do a good job.
Alexander Ferguson 25:54
Well, this has been awesome. Thank you for sharing your insight. Where can people go to learn more, and what’s kind of the next step that you’d recommend?
Ariel Assaraf 26:02
So I’m a lobbyist calm to learn a little more about pro logics. There’s a very nice post that I’ve written about our companies. turnover. So three years after we founded the company, we were at skewer revenue. And basically all the growth that we’ve experienced is the past couple of years. There’s a blog post, I wrote about it on medium called out of the grave and in 250, X MRR and 10 months. Definitely recommend to read that I’ve mentioned a few lessons that we’ve learned along the way. And if you’d like tick box, then our if you go to core logics blog, you’ll see a bunch of posts about Elasticsearch, Kafka, data streaming, indexing, and parsing and also how to do proper monitoring. So obviously, if you’re a DevOps, I think you’ll you’ll find a lot of interesting content there.
Alexander Ferguson 27:02
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us, Ariel. Appreciate it
Ariel Assaraf 27:07
was great. Alex is speaking to you, man. Have a good day.
Alexander Ferguson 27:11
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