The Six Five On The Road – An Inside Look at MongoDB .local NYC

By Patrick Moorhead - June 23, 2023

On this episode of The Six Five On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead provide their analysis and opinion on the Opening Keynote at the MongoDB .local NYC event.

Their discussion covers:

  • The future of data is hybrid and multi-cloud.
  • MongoDB is uniquely positioned to lead in this new era of AI & data.
  • The company is investing heavily in innovation, including new products and services, to help customers succeed in the hybrid cloud world.
  • MongoDB is committed to providing the best platform for the developer community and the C-suite, which is essential for success in the modern data landscape.

You can watch the full video here:

You can listen to the conversation here:

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Patrick Moorhead: Hi, this is Pat Moorhead. And The Six Five is live on the road at MongoDB.local in New York City. You can hear the excitement around it. We are in the middle of an awesome show. Daniel, how are you doing?

Daniel Newman: I feel like I am at a start-up and we’re just surrounded by developers building really cool products, services on the MongoDB platform, and they’re doing it here in New York City at the Javits Center. But we just got done with the keynote. We heard from the company CEO, Chief Product Officer, a number of the company’s customers. And there was launches, there was announcements, there was customer stories. And they had all the parts and all the pieces required to make for a good event. And like I said, you really can hear this place is buzzing. There’s sessions going on all around us and they’re all full.

Patrick Moorhead: Five stages too.

Daniel Newman: Five stages.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. So big picture, I think my biggest takeaways are growth, growth and more growth through either new verticals or new products. And it’s funny, Dan, having sat in so many briefings that we’ve done in the past about different types of technologies, the whole simplicity message came through as well. Which was essentially, “Hey, as opposed to having all these point products for your data, use us. One API, one format and you’re good to go.” So it’s so interesting how something from this event would remind me, but I think simplification, if there’s nothing else, is one of the big trends out there.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think MongoDB is focused on two areas. One’s really well understood, and that’s the developer. And with the advent and now the accelerated pace of generative AI, we’re seeing this inflection about, well, how is code going to be developed? And they even called Hugging Face the GitHub of open LLMs.

And so you’ve got this side of things, but then you also have the boardroom initiatives that are being brought to light. And the boardroom initiatives are first about AI for efficiency, meaning how do we put all of our data to work to make our companies more efficient in every department?

I was talking to you about a tweet the other day I saw from JCal, from the All-in podcast, Jason Calacanis. And he tweeted something out about Uber basically removing a huge percentage of its HR workforce because of generative AI. And so you start hearing stories like this and the initial sort of reaction is that we’re going to be building technology and applications to sort of displace, but I think that that’s the early reaction.

I think it’s about… The metaphor is when you want to do a great rehab on a house, you tear it down to the studs. And I think what we’re seeing now is with applications with the stream processing, vector search, search… And by the way, encryption for security, you’re seeing a very holistic solution that enables data to be utilized by developers to build applications that streamline functions across business. So a long way to get to an outcome is businesses are saying, how do we get more efficient first with apps and developers? And then how do we scale rapidly the way we did in the first wave of big data, but took many, many years? This is happening much faster.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. So I want to hit on this growth category with the company and we’re going to be doing a lot of deep dives on the technology and customers in the other video, but let’s just break this down here. So there’s a lot of different ways you can do search primarily with text, and I think the biggest announcement here at the show was the addition of vector search. And that gives you the ability to work on data, whether it’s images, videos, songs, things even like code. That by the way, that enables you to do generative AI and LLMs. So I think that’s a huge growth path for them and they’re increasing their SAM by bringing this out.

And I loved the example that was put on stage, which essentially was an industrial IOT application where data is coming off a car, likely streaming data, so maybe it was a twofer, was being pulled in and activated on to be able to do better predictive maintenance on it.

One thing in general I really appreciated because I’m not a programmer and I’m not a developer, is that they kicked it off talking about the mission of the company, but also giving a very important head nod to my favorite topic, the hybrid multi-cloud. And literally the first three slides of the entire presentation showed how MongoDB went across AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, on-prem and Edge. And I think that’s super important to always keep in mind as we’re moving forward, and it supports that simplicity factor that IT wants. They’re sick of having different stacks literally for every cloud, and MongoDB has a solution for that and it’s called Atlas.

Daniel Newman: So let’s move this from the D-suite to the C-suite. In the developer suite what we saw today was a set of tools that continues to go horizontal and vertical to solve the complex ways that developers have to deal with data, deal with search, deal with the stream processing. But, what we’re also seeing is outcomes.

Okay, so you mentioned that automotive repair and the outcome that was so interesting to me was it was able to take a vector like sound, okay? And a vehicle that has a certain issue makes a certain sound, one that the average ear of a technician probably couldn’t easily identify. But using Vector and using MongoDB, what the company was able to do, was it could listen to an engine, it could diagnose an issue, and then go across the manuals of all these different parts and pieces and vehicles. And then use an add generative capabilities built right into the tool to then let the technician know their exact course of action.

Now kind of makes me think of some of the mixed reality tools where they had the little dotted lines, but now it’s creating generative… And this flows up, you talked about huge reductions in time spent, huge reductions in costs, wrong fixes, wrong parts. You start to see these types of things in dealing with customer service issues, or dealing with medical, with diagnosis. How this stuff could translate to other applications that could work across other industries that could become really prolific for driving business, lowering costs, improving customer experiences. And that was what I really saw, Pat, in this whole presentation was, this is developer actions that yield boardroom improved results.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, it’s definitely operating on multiple levels. And by the way, I think the C-suite is also very interested in costs and it is never a, hey, do whatever it takes and whatever it costs. And I’m thinking that MongoDB is serving up a twofer here, which is, hey, we can help you with all these digital transformation projects you have that involve data. And by the way, any type of data, OLTP, time series, text, analytics, stream vector, search under one vendor. And you can do that with one API, which should be able to save costs when it comes to development.

I also noticed that they’re starting to flavor in a cross-platform security, right? As well, again, with the ability to reduce the amount of vendors and reduce the amount of cost. I need a little bit more research on the security side, but again, it’s very much seeming to me like this could be a twofer satisfying both sides of the house. And we don’t see that that often. Usually it’s, hey, a message that is targeted directly at the C-suite or targeted directly at the D suite.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, well you saw in the security area that they’re addressing those… It almost kind of had flavors of confidential computing to me though, of addressing those three areas. You got the data at rest, data in motion and in use, and in use is always the problem. So the way it’s able to utilize without decrypting was really powerful knowing how much data is being created. And in these applications you’re often talking so much about real time. And so that definitely caught my attention.

The other thing was probably just getting down to the applications that are going to drive the immediate development opportunities. We saw one of the examples on stage, ADA, talking about 85% improvement in customer resolution. Really important number, but CX is actually the first killer app for generative AI.

CX is the ability for the customer data to be accessed, for resolutions to be driven. I don’t think people think a lot about MongoDB as the enabler of that, but that really is when it comes to building the app. Sitting in on top of all these different data transaction operational layers and being able to then finally generate an outcome that’s, hey, faster customer service. Getting them the right answer in the right channel generatively, very powerful.

Patrick Moorhead: Hey, I want to hit on two more areas of growth. I thought growth was a big theme of the company here. I think investors should be interested in that. I think CXOs who want to consolidate vendors should be interested in this.

One other area was a relational migrator. Hey, the great folks at MongoDB are going to enable you to blow the bolts on your current relational database provider. There are many of them. So think SQL, NoSQL, and come over to them and they’re going to help you not only bring over the data, but also the application. So again, another area of growth. We have new products to increase the SAM. We have new, I would call it share shifting, to increase the SAM.

Then the final piece of growth that I saw was going vertical. Now, there weren’t a lot of details yet. And this is classic growth mode, right? At some point you have to start going vertical because of the complexity and nuances that go on with a certain market. And what the company announced today, that it was using financial services, it’s the first vertical that it’s going to go after, as you can imagine, right? Salesforce Systems Engineers who understand this, and likely some modifications and tweaks to get more vertical.

And again, the ability to drive more revenue and drive growth. I mean, not that the company needs help doing that because quite frankly they’re throwing up some pretty big numbers if you look at the past few quarters,

Daniel Newman: Yeah. The last quarter was indicative of the momentum. I think it was very important that MongoDB was able to attach itself to this AI trend. And unlike a lot of what I kind of would call AI washing right now, the company has a real claim to make. These applications that are going to be utilizing generative capabilities need to have this data layer well-designed, orchestrated, multi-cloud enabled secure. And then of course using Vector and Stream gives that both real-time, and the ability to deal with complex variable data archetypes. And so this leads to the growth that I think a lot of people were long waiting for.

MongoDB’s first wave was in the apps era and it became hyper-relevant in the apps era. The generative AI era is going to create the second wave of requirement for its technology, Pat. And I think that was the message I really came away with, is there’s growth, growth and more growth in its future. Having said that, would like to hear more declaratively about the TAM opportunity, would like to understand more about net revenue expansion, attach rate, will customers pay more, which has been an important demarcation between the companies that have done really well in this AI boom and every other.

But by early indicators, the way I see it from what I’ve heard so far, what I’ve seen so far is, this is one of the companies that maybe quietly, but shouldn’t surprise anybody that is going to be a winner of this AI transformation we’re undergoing.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, they definitely send some cookie crumbs though, right, when they talk about some of the applications, dynamic pricing, recommendation engines, customer support. And by the way, we saw that with ADA, right? ADA powers a lot of these chatbots, process automation, QA system, digital asset catalogs, right? So I think in the future we’re going to see some more definitive conversations.

It was great by the way. It was great to have ADA up there basically saying MongoDB is the bedrock of what we’re doing with AI. And showing not just stuff we’re thinking about, but stuff that’s actually in process and in production.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think that wraps it up pretty well, Pat. We’ve got a big day ahead. We’ll be talking to MongoDB customers. We’re going to be talking to MongoDB executives. And I think everybody out there hopefully spends some time with us. But good keynote. Any final words?

Patrick Moorhead: No, I mean, I’m impressed. This is my first… I know this isn’t MongoDB World, this is MongoDB.local, which by the way, the company went from one giant global event to hitting 30-

Daniel Newman: 30 events.

Patrick Moorhead: … cities in 19 countries. So-

Daniel Newman: 30 events, 19 countries.

Patrick Moorhead: … it’s pretty good to be here. I mean, it’s lively, that’s for sure. And it’s good stuff. And I’m looking forward to what the company has to say.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s going to be great. So everybody, you have it here for Patrick and myself, for MongoDB.local. Now you’re going to have to stay with us because we have several more conversations. We’ve got executives, we’ve got partners, we’ve got customers. And Pat, I love when we get the customers on the show, gives us a whole different flavor.

Patrick Moorhead: The best, the best.

Daniel Newman: And so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Hopefully you hit that subscribe button. Watch our other shows. If you catch them in order or out out order, I think it’s going to still be easy to stay with us and follow us. But, we appreciate everybody tuning in to The Six Five. We’re here on the road at MongoDB.local, 2023, in New York City. Stay with us.

Patrick Moorhead

Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.