In a blog post published September 26th, New Relic (“a leader in Observability and Application Performance Management”) announced the ‘Limited Preview’ availability of New Relic Session Replay.
New Relic Session Replay is a new feature in the New Relic platform that provides visual incident playback to enhance problem and incident management with context, in a video-like playback of client-side experience, side-by-side with diagnostic telemetry data from across the entire stack. This new capability in the New Relic Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) offering empowers operations teams and software engineers to detect, reproduce, diagnose, and resolve issues faster than ever before.
New Relic customers adopting Session Replay gain many new innovative capabilities including:
- Visual Time-line Representation: Engineers now have access to a visual time-line showing end users’ digital experiences, allowing for granular diagnostics, down to the code level.
- Root Cause Identification: It quickly exposes the root cause (or more accurately, the proximate causes) of performance issues and customer pain points across modern digital applications.
- Comprehensive Data Playback: It captures and replays all DOM changes, interactive events, and user actions, providing an accurate playback of user journey data across the entire stack.
- Code-level Diagnostics: Playback of user experiences includes granular traces and error details, connecting front-end behavior with backend processes using code-level telemetry.
While not a major product release, Session Replay represents more than a mere feature enhancement. It aligns with New Relic’s strategic vision in several ways:
- Simplifying Complexity: Session Replay reduces toolset complexity, making it easier for engineers to use the New Relic platform quickly and effectively.
- Driving Efficiency: With consumption-based pricing, it continues to deliver new capabilities and enhance the platform value by allowing customers to only pay for what they use.
- Enhancing Competition: New Relic aims to differentiate by adopting a privacy-first approach, offering data granularity, a unified approach to telemetry, and an all-in-one pricing model.
Competitive Analysis: Setting It Apart
Session Replay faces strong competition from multiple extant vendors in Observability, APM, and EUM, but New Relic aims to stand out with unique features and positioning including:
- Privacy First: Features such as automatically obfuscating, masking, and/or encrypting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) by default, with custom settings for specific needs.
- Data Granularity: Access individualized data across logs, metrics, and traces, correlated with a visual playback of user experiences, all in a single screen, to reduce cognitive load.
- Unified Approach: An ‘all-in-one’ platform that integrates data from all sources into a single data store, and a single interface, with everything engineers need at their fingertips.
In addition, New Relic differentiates with dynamic, consumption-based pricing and technology, enabling customers to scale up and scale down in real-time, real-life scenarios, and only pay for what they use.
Customer Impact: Enhancing Digital Experience Monitoring
This new functionality addresses multiple strategic decision factors for customers – reducing toolset complexity, enhance ease of use, reduce skillset requirements, reduce training spend, remove cognitive load, advance developer efficiency, increase service levels, and improve customer satisfaction.
Session Replay leverages insights from New Relic APM 360 as part of the New Relic observability platform, to streamline and accelerate incident diagnostics and problem resolution, especially for collaborative ‘DevOps team’ approaches to problem and incident management, by reducing wastes like context switching and ensuring nothing ‘falls into the cracks’ between tools and teams.
What’s Next: Future Plans for Session Replay
Session Replay is already available worldwide, albeit in a limited preview. However, New Relic already has exciting plans for its future evolution, including:
- Generative AI Integration: Leveraging AI for even more advanced insights.
- User Journey Mapping: Enhancing the ability to track and analyze user journeys.
- URL/Geo-Specific Replays: Providing virtual and physical location-specific insights.
- Mobile Device Support: Extending Session Replay and more to mobile platforms.
- Expanded User Base: Features for new personas like PMs, CSRs, and UI Designers.
While there is no set timeline for these features, New Relic suggests that advanced AI use cases could roll out sooner for Session Replay, as they continue to prioritize AI Integration across the platform.
New Relic’s Session Replay has potential to be a game-changer in the world of Digital Experience Monitoring. New Relic has work to do if it is to overtake competitive offers, but it is already attractive with innovative features, a commitment to data privacy, and comprehensive integration within the New Relic platform. Session Replay will revolutionize and accelerate how New Relic customers diagnose and resolve issues, ultimately leading to improved user satisfaction and business performance.
Existing New Relic customers can sign up for the limited preview of New Relic Session Replay here.