Sunday, January 29, 2012

Customers are buying!

Continuing with the theme of New Year and with opinions and observations about what we can expect to see – this time the focus is on NonStop users and vendors. New customers and new solutions bodes well for a good 2012 …

While it was only a matter of a few weeks that I wrote of welcoming the New Year, and yet here it is. Did you get a gift for the New Year – and do you still recall what it was? The end of January already, and it is a reminder of how quickly our plans for the year can take on a sense of urgency. The end of the quarter is now a mere eight weeks away! For some businesses this leaves but one more quarter before they wrap up their financial year.

However, January has been anything but quiet for many of us within the NonStop community. Already the dates for upcoming user events are becoming more widely known. The venues? I am not sure I could wish for anything better – HP Discover will be held again in Las Vegas, Nevada, (June 4 – 7) and then it’s a flight to Nice before a short drive to Monte Carlo to join EBUG participants in an ACI Exchange at the Meridien Hotel in Monaco, (June 13 -15), before a trip back to Europe late summer to join GTUG as it hosts the pan European event in Dresden, Germany, (Sept 26 – 27). Many others will be heading to SATUG early in March and here’s hoping OzTUG puts in an event in Sydney again.

In the last post, “A return to normal!” I described what I thought of HP’s prospects, as well as of the NonStop Systems future. As I anticipate all that might happen in 2012, the view looks pretty good. As I am reminded so often by those much closer to HP than I am, there’s every indication that customers are buying again. Yes, after a couple of years sitting it out, on the sidelines so to speak, the continuing growth in transaction volumes has led to many “capacity refreshes” being pursued. And along the way, there are a number of instances where NonStop customers have begun to talk more openly about more applications being moved to the NonStop System platform.

So, what will the year hold for customers of NonStop? Rack-mounted NonStop Systems continue to see prices dropping with each new Intel Itanium chip package. For users looking for 2 or 4 CPUs, these simply cannot be overlooked and as regional servers, or simply as development servers, the price / performance metrics are even harder to ignore. However, probably more importantly, in general customers are liking what they see coming from HP today – they like the new direction HP NonStop Enterprise Division (NED) is taking and these customers and prospects like the breadth of choice now on offer from HP.

Quad-core BladeSystems for NonStop have had a number of big wins of late, and while there are always difficulties in actually describing individual wins or naming the customers, it’s safe to say that within the financial services marketplace, particularly among the better known card issuers, there have been some very interesting developments of late. Something I hope to more fully cover in blogs and opinion papers shortly.

But yes, there is a lot of excitement with the success that card fraud detection vendor, Retail Decisions, immediately achieved following the port of its scoring application to NonStop and it’s big win with this large card issuer. While the details about the opportunity are coming slowly, and it may still be a while before we know the full story, it’s always good to welcome the arrival of a new solutions vendor particularly that they have begun developing a pipeline for their NonStop solution! New applications coming to the NonStop platform is always a candidate for future headlines! In this case, it should provide a compelling read for all customers of NonStop!

And what does the year hold for NonStop vendors? While the NonStop platform continues to attract solutions vendors perhaps it is among the NonStop middleware vendor community where we may see more action. The departure of GoldenGate from the marketplace, now fully integrated into Oracle continues to spur interest among all vendors, where near partnerships are forming and new products are coming to market. And for those providing modernization tools and utilities, whether in support of client access or simply helping to move to more modern networks, the evidence suggests there is still a lot of interest within the NonStop user community.

In the previous post, and already referenced earlier in this post, I quoted comForte’s Thomas Gloerfeld, after he told me that comForte in 2012 “will very much focus on modernizing applications as well as modernizing infrastructure.” In a more recent discussion, Gloerfeld went on to add how “some of the recent investments by comForte in new products to address modernization met with success in 2011. The uLinga product suite now has several customers and a healthy pipeline of new prospects in America and Europe. comForte continues to innovate in the security space and its recent launch of the SecurData Suite of products has met with early success.”

Gloerfeld then added “as for Infrared360 (IR360) - middleware that enables secure, audited, delegated access to Enterprise Messaging Environments (EMS) such as WebSphere MQ™, Tibco EMS™, or other JMS messaging providers that is agent-less (there is no agent deployment to target queue managers, neither is there any client software required) - interest continues to remain very high even among NonStop users as WebSphereMQ continue to be one of the preferred infrastructure solutions integrating disparate server platforms.”

Customers of NonStop will continue to add capacity even as vendors targeting the NonStop platform will continue to bring new solutions and middleware to market. In the last post I closed with the observation of how the integration with the servers around NonStop using standard and modern middleware and infrastructure will continue, and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the NonStop community. However, what many customers within the NonStop community may overlook is just how much choice they have and how rich the product offerings really are. And perhaps that is the best New Year’s gift of all!

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