There will be a lot of activity within the NonStop community, I expect over the next couple of months, as we enter the serious part of the year when companies put the finishing touches on new applications before the start of the holiday season. For vendors that are trying to finish the year on a positive footing, deals that are completed in this timeframe will help position them for stronger growth in the coming year.
Nowhere has this been more visible than in the days following the recent NonStop Symposium. As I follow-up with my clients, it’s become obvious to me that we are seeing the landscape changing rather dramatically, with customers investing in vendors, partnerships between vendors in different markets being created, and even stronger ties between the community’s primary vendor, HP, and the ecosystem of vendors that depend so strongly on them.
Mastercard has invested in Opus / ElectraCard Systems, a provider of payments platforms. HP has completed OEM deals with both comForte and XYPRO to plug holes in their security offerings. ACI has ditched its own manageability products in favor of more comprehensive offerings from Integrated Research (Prognosis). Even cooperation between former rivals seems to be fashionable lately, and a way to better penetrate a NonStop marketplace which is showing the first signs of improvement.
Throughout the meetings and events where HP has participated this year we have heard the key message of “Converge! Transform! Innovate!” but increasingly, when it comes to convergence and transformation, I have to think this is as much a message to its vendor community as it is to HP customers. After all, it’s really all about leverage! HP is hoping their customers turn to HP to help them along the path to innovation, leveraging their products, expertise and services. Likewise, increased cooperation between vendors benefits HP and their customers as the increased leverage cooperation produces substantially improved capabilities, not to mention support and services.
In my previous posting I wrote of how I have long thought that, as part of the bigger HP, the mission of the NonStop Enterprise Division (NED) would become more focused on software, as hardware continues to commoditize. I wrote of how a senior manager with NED graphically portrayed the future of NED as a software-only organization. Perhaps this is not part of any immediate tactics that can be seen coming from the bigger HP but it definitely would not surprise any of us who work with HP on a regular basis.
I believe that in pursuing cooperation, partnership, and aggressively leveraging the ecosystem in which they operate, vendors will become stronger and develop the wherewithal to meet a growing community’s demands for products. Crossing into adjacent product spaces and improving the paths between them, with the tighter integration of security, manageability, operability, etc is a sound strategy and one that benefits all of HP’s customers. And that’s a new development every HP customer will surely welcome!