If the need is for IR to ensure that customers and prospects alike know where Prognosis is headed, even as it's recognized company wide that all involved within IR need to know as well, then it's a given that on balance, where these customers and prospects are headed is equally as important. There's never any shortage of requirements when it comes to application monitoring and historically the HP NonStop community has always been highly vocal about what it is it needs from a monitoring solution provider. Through the years IR has proved adept at following its users' cues to deliver the features most sought after at the time.
Prognosis has had a highly visible presence at NonStop user group events worldwide. Whether it is on the global stage at a prestige hotel or simply a meeting room in an office building, the community has found ways to connect and network. The community numbers may be down from their peak in the early to mid-2000s, but there's no escaping the enthusiasm they all share for the NonStop system, and the presence of NonStop systems at the heart of many enterprises mission critical applications, be they financial, telecommunications, transportation or manufacturing is a testament to the well-understood differentiation between NonStop and all other system architectures that is so highly valued by enterprises everywhere.
I have been involved in company and product kick-off events for sales and marketing organizations for more than three decades. I have written about such events that have been held at IR in recent years and the value for all at IR has been easy to see, but in many respects, such events are really only a prelude to the most important event of all, the IR Customer Council. Bringing together IR's most important customers from many different industry segments, with a variety of systems (apart from NonStop), is the best tool any vendor can use when it comes to understanding the priorities for deliverables these highly valued customers request. Requirements come from multiple sources, be they the results of industry research and analysis, the roadmaps of technology companies, including major vendors like HP, IBM and Microsoft, and of course, a vendor's biggest corporate customers. When the shuffling of the inputs from all these sources comes is finalized, the potential to misjudge the direction a product and its features should take is lessened significantly.
IR is setting some very big goals for Prognosis as it is delivered to the NonStop community. Addressed in previous posts, the requirements of NonStop customers and prospects alike is to move beyond simple notifications that something may have gone wrong and even being provided with guidance and suggestions based on a broader insight into the business as a whole. Beyond too where predictions are provided as to what is about to happen even though this is becoming a more important consideration in terms of business competitiveness. Nowhere is this more important than in the payments solutions marketplace where there are fundamental changes under way in how consumers everywhere interact with their financial institutions. The mobile revolution is proving to be just a starting point and as newer smartphones and tablets become more powerful and begin to cross-over to wearable technologies, how we execute a transaction, open an account, give cash to a friend or relative will be subject to immeasurable pressure as the barrier to entry for almost any institution collapses.
Many years ago AT&T surprised the financial world when it elected to issue credit cards – the AT&T Universal Card – and in record time, it became a dominant force in the credit card marketplace. But now, through alliances and partnerships there are practically no limits as to which institution can offer cards or the scope of coverage and benefits of loyalty cards, and the explosion in usage of mobile devices is only adding to the growth in enterprises processing payments. The financial institution ecosystem is including every enterprise with a desire to play in this market segment, with few such enterprises following the bricks and mortar model of main street banks of the past. However, what all new entrants will face are the traditional issues surrounding possible fraudulent intrusions, potential attempts at money laundering, and of course, the burdensome regulatory oversight demanding an almost constant stream of information being shipped to one agency or another.
In the post of September 1, 2015, On The Frontline of Mobile Payments IR Chief Solutions Officer, John Dunne, writes of how, "The question at hand is how credit card issuers will respond to remain relevant. Will there be a point in time where mobile platform holders cut them out of the ecosystem entirely?" Dunne then follows up by suggesting a possible scenario to come, "Creating a new payment method could eventually become as easy as tapping a button on a mobile app. Once that happens, the process of going to a bank, filling out paperwork, and getting a physical card sent in the mail will seem downright antiquated." AT&T issuing credit cards? Auto companies like GM issuing credit cards? Why not satellite television companies, sporting teams or even rock groups or individual rock stars – would you like the David Bowie credit card? Oh that's right, many of these organizations have already entered these markets and with the explosion of offerings we are witnessing today, the need for monitoring solutions is growing in lockstep!
All the while, the payments switch business continues to grow as well. Whether routing all of the traffic from within a country to communicate with the rest of the world or simply offering a service to a number of enterprises in a city or region, switches are proliferating and along with them, the presence of NonStop systems. Individual networks of ATMs and POSs may survive outages at important times but the needs of a city, region or indeed a country are less likely to survive such an outage – basic business differentiation centers on uptime and the SLAs in place with those dependent upon the switch. And yet again, the need for monitoring solutions expands with the growth in switch providers. HP is certainly responding to these growth opportunities and made the investment in NonStop supporting the Intel x86 technology to more competitively price their principle fault tolerant product offering.
In the post of July 22, 2015, Fault tolerant computers for a lot less money I made the observation that, "The growth I expect to see with the addition of NonStop X will be a positive influence on the plans of IR for Prognosis and the support it provides NonStop systems, as even the lowliest of user expects NonStop systems to be well managed." As the IR Customer Council wraps up and its findings will be correlated with inputs from other sources, there's no doubt that the expectation for even better monitoring options of all NonStop systems will reverberate throughout IR. Payments processors are on the increase as are those providing network switches. Consumers will become even more fickle, changing supplier relationships on a whim. Mobility continues to push for domination of the user interface to everything financial – it's only natural to turn to Prognosis for solutions monitoring at every step along the payments path and I'm sure that will be a message not lost on all participating in this year's Customer Council.