Thursday, September 1, 2011

The right partners!

In this second part of a two part posting on CSL, when it comes to deployment then comForte employees represent a tremendous repository of knowledge and users benefit when they involve the company early in the process …

It was only a few days after writing the previous post that I was able to go back and pick up my car from the shop where I left it after its track adventures, and much to my relief nothing had broken and the car looked remarkably strong. Leaving a car, perhaps any car, at a shop called “The (car model name – just add you favorite car) Spa” conjures up all sorts of images of your car sunning itself, poolside.

But this wasn’t the case at all. The work was done very affordably but perhaps even more impressive, given today’s economy, the proprietor told me as I pulled out of his shop “any time you have a track weekend, bring the car around pre-event and post-event for a complete check-up, and I will do it for free!” Echoing the lines from Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

The previous post built on the one of two weeks ago, “Modernize? It requires more than a re-set!”, where I revisited the topic of modernization, and equally as importantly the product Client Server Link (CSL). The theme of the previous post continued to press home how important modernization of computers and application is becoming, and even as it percolates to the top of the list in terms of importance as far as vendors, including HP, are concerned.

Just recently comForte CTO Thomas Burg emailed me a link to a video HP is running on its web site. It does require completing a registration form before it begins to play, but the effort is well worth it. Check out the following link "Welcome to the Hub" on HP's web site. The film highlights how today every company is looking at their application portfolio and assessing the contribution applications are making to the performance of the business.

Some applications can be quickly categorized as strategic, while others simply as much needed “keepers” that can be designated as requiring only the cheapest platform possible. And then there’s a third category that simply begs for being decommissioned or, at the very least, replaced.

With the dynamics we see across the business world where M&A activity thrives, the number of applications supported continues to rise. No IT manager seems to have the time or patience to assess functionality that could be retired with the arrival of new functionality. Likewise, “just keeping the lights on (at the price of not being able to) innovate,” suggested one of the HP presenters in the film, is simply not good enough when the pressure is on to attack new markets all the while facing-down competition.

As Burg later explained for me “the typical NonStop application we see running today usually has a business unit manager who is not fully aware of all that is in play around him, particularly when considering the dynamics HP described in its film. Should these business unit owners fail to grasp the power and flexibility that comes with closer integration to what’s around them, through implementing the same modern interfaces as are in place with nearly all other applications, then their participation within the business unit can be seriously threatened!”

Fortunately, as I recalled in the post of two weeks ago, I have begun to see a re-birth of interest among the community in Pathway (TS/MP), and today it plays a critical role in supporting modernization. New ports to NonStop in the payments marketplace have all elected to use Pathway and it has become relatively easy to externalize instances of Pathway Serverclasses as Web services – a critical requirement when it comes to supporting SOA.

And yet I am not convinced that every NonStop user is fully exploiting the services model. The comForte CSL offering supports a variety of approaches and as such, brings with it powerful technology to help with modernization. However, it’s not just the product, it’s the partnership that develops between comForte, the company, and its clients that is possibly just as important. Aware of what others are doing, the comForte Team have developed the experience to quickly help others navigate this path to modernization.

Somewhat emphatically, Burg reiterated how “the worst possible move to make is to not move! While there are a couple of products on offer for the NonStop community, it is the experience comForte has developed in connectivity and services that separates us from the offerings of others.”

All of us know a good deal when we see one, just as all of us will tend to rely on someone we see going the extra mile to help us. Recognizing and leveraging partnerships is how we best capitalize on changing technologies, and modernization dictates we continue down this path. I’ve certainly found one now for my car and will take every advantage of the opportunity I have been offered, just as I see NonStop users capitalizing on the services skills of comForte.

Modernization is a journey and it goes all the more smoothly when you are alongside someone who has made the journey before!

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