UPDATED 12:15 EDT / JUNE 27 2023


Three insights you might have missed from the MongoDB .local NYC event

Prior to the kickoff of MongoDB .local NYC on June 22, the document-oriented database provider MongoDB Inc. saw its stock soar with blowout fiscal first-quarter earnings results.

That posed some interesting trends to watch as the conference got underway in New York: How was artificial intelligence contributing to the market interest and stock prices? And how was MongoDB utilizing AI to secure a competitive advantage? 

Some of those questions were answered during the conference, including the company announcing it would beef up its cloud database MongoDB Atlas with a series of new products and features.

“That Atlas Vector Search is really interesting, because it’s an alternative to having a separate standalone vector database,” industry analyst Dave Vellante said on a recent episode of theCUBE podcast. “Obviously that is something that is going to be interesting for generative AI.”

Insights during MongoDB .local NYC were provided by industry analyst John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. Furrier, along with company executives, MongoDB customers and industry analysts, discussed the latest news and insights, as well as what comes next for AI, open-source computing and MongoDB. (* Disclosure below.) 

Here are three key insights you may have missed: 

1. MongoDB is on a journey to address developer needs.

MongoDB’s plans for its next-gen developer data platform was a top area of interest during the conference. It was emblematic of the company continuing its journey of addressing developer needs, according to Sanjeev Mohan, principal at SanjMo.

“They are adding new features, so I see two tracks happening: One is above the line, adding Stream Processing and Vector, so new capabilities,” he said. “And then below the line, which is enhancing what’s already there, like faster queries.”

The company’s goal with its developer data platform comes with a recognition that data is hugely important when it comes to developer workflow, a process that MongoDB has said it aims to simplify. The goal is to enable developers to be more productive and make a more significant impact, according to Dev Ittycheria (pictured), chief executive officer of MongoDB.

“Depending on the application that they’re building, they could spend between 30 to 70% of the time just working with data,” he said. “If you want to make them incredibly productive and make a big impact, it’s all about making it easy to work with data. So, our whole raison d’être is to be able to simplify working with data. We started with the document database, and now it’s with the developer data platform.”

MongoDB is following a trajectory that is familiar to many working in the space, according to Tony Baer, principal at dbInsight LLC. Internally, the company is going through a good sort of “tug of war” amid this transition, according to Baer.

“For years we never took SQL Server seriously, until we did. I would say that’s very much the path that Mongo is going internally within the company,” he said. “It’s always going to be a very developer-centric company. I’ve always said, though, at some point as they go more enterprise, they have to become more of a data-centric company.”

In the market today, data apps are all the rage, with Snowflake Inc. and Databricks Inc. trying to capture modern cloud-native applications. Mongo, meanwhile, has shown it has developer loyalty, and its earnings have been very sticky, according to Doug Henschen, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc.

“They’re not seeing some of the fade that some of the analytics-focused companies are seeing. I think they’ve pursued a solid strategy,” he said. “It’s just, you know, [are] the new capabilities solid? Are they there? Are they things that really are going to resonate with loyal MongoDB users?”

Here’s the complete keynote analysis analyst panel with John Furrier, Sanjeev Mohan, Tony Baer and Doug Henschen, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the MongoDB.local NYC event:

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Dev Ittycheri:

2. MongoDB sees opportunity amid the AI explosion.

DevOps democratization has surged over the past 20 years, but the rise of AI has posed some new questions. As developers want to go to the next level with their data, how it’s stored and how it’s run in their apps, how does AI factor into that? 

The first thing to remember is that AI isn’t the only thing to consider, according to Mark Porter, chief technology officer of MongoDB, during an interview with theCUBE.

“It is currently the thing that’s really exciting, and being able to build great apps that do great things with your core data is always going to be important,” he said. “But what’s happening is people are enhancing their apps with AI.”

Hundreds of companies are using MongoDB as the foundation of their AI apps right now, because it’s distributed, scalable, flexible and easy to work against, according to Porter. The company’s developer data platform is key to this approach, with the company’s document model viewed as critical when it comes to enabling the flexible data structures needed for AI applications.

The developer data platform was “prescient” in some ways, according to Mindy Lieberman, chief information officer of MongoDB.

“It’s all about data and applications on top of data,” she said. “I look at it, for IT, as a portfolio. There’s some that is built; there is some that is bought. When you can’t go to the market and find things that are fit for purpose, you have to build. And to have a developer platform available, and I get good pricing, that can’t be beat.”

And when it comes to technology such as ChatGPT, MongoDB’s focus on open-source technology comes into play, according to Tara Hernandez, vice president of developer productivity at MongoDB.

“One of the first things we said is, we took a quick pass and like, ‘You want to play with ChatGPT?’” Hernandez said during an interview with theCUBE. “Point it at the public repos, because the guardrail is already public.”

Open source is being viewed as a major driving force in the AI space right now, which presents some challenges and opportunities for organizations in a rapidly-expanding landscape.

But it’s been nice to see companies such as MongoDB step up to try to capitalize on the opportunity surrounding data right now, according to Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst of Lopez Research, during an interview with theCUBE.

“AI’s happening. There’s just no doubt about that. The only question for organizations is how do you make it happen fast and secure and how do you pivot if you got it wrong?” she said.

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Mark Porter:

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Maribel Lopez and Steve O’Grady, co-founder and principal analyst at RedMonk:

3. Collaboration is still key.

With that goal of a developer-centric world in mind, companies such as Microsoft Corp. have eyed partnerships with MongoDB and a shared focus on developer experience. AI plays a big role in that, according to Guido Govers, strategic account director of ISV and high-tech partnerships at Microsoft.

“Even the idea of Copilot; from that perspective, leveraging OpenAI and generative AI everywhere on every level,” he said during an interview with theCUBE. “It’s not just on the office side of the house, but it’s also on the developer experience. How can you make it easier for developers to find the content they need? No one wants to look anymore for that little tidbit of information when you can just get that generated and focus on the actual core business.”

In the end, it all comes down to data, which affects everything. That includes the insurance business, in which MongoDB and Databricks have sought to play a new role. One of the most prominent use cases involves an effort to assist customers to modernize away from what are the traditional constraints of legacy systems, according to Jeff Needham, principal of industry solutions at MongoDB.

“Fundamentally, insurance is a data processing organization, has been forever,” he told theCUBE. “For an organization to be able to process data more efficiently, more effectively with less hands-on keyboards is tremendously compelling, obviously, to the industry.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Guido Govers:

To watch more of theCUBE’s coverage of the MongoDB .local NYC event, here’s our complete event video playlist:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the MongoDB .local NYC event. Neither MongoDB Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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