Seerene: Performance Management Made Easy
ACIO’s most important resources are the company’s codebase and engineering capacity. Every company that is out there, today, regardless of what vertical it is a part of, will consider software to be one of their most important assets. Moreover, it is important to be at the forefront of the software trends in the industry to maintain the value of the company as well as retain the pace of product innovation. While organizations have CRM systems in place to monitor sales metrics and ERP solutions to look at the financial position, there is no true performance management system that can measure the value of the software investment.
Seerene, an off-shoot from Berlin-based technology college, Hasso Plattner Institut, is a code and people management platform that enables IT personnel and CIOs to monitor the software initiatives that the organization has in place. This allows for greater understanding of the costs involved, risks and effort, by delivering performance indicators that are key to seeing how these organizations can work with software developers and service providers to increase efficiency and save money. By automatically capturing and analyzing data from various systems, Seerene is able to identify improvement opportunities with respect to engineering speed, productivity, quality, and risk. Seerene’s solution also compares the company’s software performance with industry benchmarks and best practices to predict the performance in the future. Companies use the platform to steer both internal and external teams, and share progress and achievements across different levels of the organization.
What started as a research project at the university was eventually spun into the standalone company that we see today. Founded by Marc Hildebrandt and Johannes Bohnet, Seerene has had two rounds of funding by Lakestar and Earlybird, Europe’s most prominent venture capitalists in Europe to collectively raise $19 million.
Berlin-based Seerene’s solution looks across all the data in the source control systems and code repositories and offers simple and timely insights to ensure that an organization’s software team is more efficient while fostering better collaboration across the entire organization. A large number of Seerene’s clients are Fortune 500 companies; delivered as a SaaS solution, there is no proprietary code and no confidential information that gets past the firewall. The company analyses data from the existing systems so that there will not be any changes in the workflow. It does not require any behavior changes either.
The solution simply runs in the background and generates KPIs that are normalized across programming languages and developer tools. It is very easy to set up. Seerene focuses on the needs of the very large enterprises, because of the more complex the operation, the greater the value. When organizations deal with thousands of applications like legacy, new, strategic, and revenue generating, it is hard to understand things like attribution and risk. This makes it even more difficult when the software is written in different languages, by different internal teams and outsourced consultants.
For application managers and engineering leaders, Seerene enables them to monitor their portfolio, ensuring that the relevant development team is being as productive as possible
With Seerene, a global CIO’s perspective becomes perfectly clear—seeing things in real-time or in a time-lapse, they can monitor exactly where investments are being made and what needs their focus. Seerene helps enterprises to speed up product innovation and accelerate time to market by giving them a clear view across codebases and development capacity, both internal and outsourced. It creates visual maps so enterprises can see the number of FTEs (Full-time equivalent) invested into a project, understand its code quality, and gain clarity on the risks and key person dependencies.
For application managers and engineering leaders, Seerene enables them to monitor their portfolio, ensuring that the relevant development team is being as productive as possible. All of Seerene’s applications have a page that details the different KPI trends in the context of the organization’s development efforts and when there are changes in codes. Organizations can set KPI targets so that they will stay informed when the KPIs step out of the pre-defined ranges. By looking at these factors, organizations can see trends as new vs. legacy or internal vs. external, allowing them to see which of their applications and codes require updates for modernization.
Project management offices and project managers think about their work in terms of milestones and projects. Seerene makes this easy for them as its applications support them with the tools and data to complement their workflows. When project managers examine their portfolio, being able to quickly identify projects that are slow, inefficient or at risk can be the difference between success and failure. Seerene offers these insights to customers so that they can discuss solutions with the software architect and the engineering team. It lets project managers identify the set of applications or code units that make up a project so that they can keep tabs on the developer churn, quality of the code and any other metrics that they feel might have an influence on the success of the project. As projects have milestones that are important to meet, such as targets and completion dates, Seerene allows these milestones to be compared with the amount of development activity of the different projects so that teams can ensure that they are well within the deadlines or extend it before the last minute.
All the insights that Seerene provides are through real-time dashboards that executives and software teams can choose what applications, projects, and teams they want to follow. Users can also look through myriad KPIs to create leaderboards which highlight the top- and bottom-performing applications, projects, and teams. The dashboards also have widget functionalities, so that the executives can monitor specific aspects more closely— where with one-click, the detailed report will be available. Seerene also offers custom reports with adjustable time ranges, code unit filters, and parameters such as tags.
In order for organizations to visualize their entire application landscapes to look into individual code units for a root cause analysis, Seerene’s KPIs can be plotted on software maps. Seerene’s KPIs are powerful visualizations that make it easy to see issues related to speed of an application, project, and team level. If teams review the findings regularly, it can spur a culture of continuous improvement. As most large enterprises often have no idea about what is inside their mission-critical applications, Seerene’s software maps give customers clear visibility into the state of their codebase, while visualization makes it easy to request for resources as and when required. The software maps also show where the organization is vulnerable in terms of risk and potential draining in productivity, by looking at the logic branches that are undocumented. The greater the undocumented source code, the slower the development in the future as it will take developers longer to understand the logic behind what they are looking at. This is often a vital step in creating a remediation plan, which may include addressing technical debt, process changes, or changes at the team level.
In 2016, it won the Digital Top 50 “Best Startup” award from Google and McKinsey & Company. Often called the “Google Maps of Software,” Seerene was named a 2018 Cool Vendor in Application Services by Gartner. The startup’s biggest customers so far include SAP, Adidas, Lufthansa, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, The Generali Group and other global Fortune 1000 companies. It currently operates with over 90 employees with offices from around the world and looks to grow further in East Asia, India, and Singapore.