Another six months has passed by and another IR sales kick-off event has taken place. I have posted several times about how much I enjoy being a part of these occasions and this year proved to be no exception. Whether it's simply the opportunity to escape the routine or to be back down in the Denver Tech Center - where there's an ample variety of restaurants to sample – socializing with those from IR directly responsible for the front line customer-facing efforts of the company is always a special time.
This year, and for the first time since my engagement with IR, the Chairman of the Board of IR, Steve Killelea, attended and hearing directly from Steve was an added motivation for me to participate. It's common knowledge among many within the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) development organization how my first year with Tandem Computers was spent in the Sydney, Australia, offices of Tandem where, for almost the entire year of 1988, I was present in the offices to see Steve and Andy Rutherford file in each night to work on what was to become Prognosis.
Following a brief update on what happened in the background that led to the formation of IR and to the development of Prognosis, and about the original vision he had for the product, which was "about building a platform that was (tightly) integrated to do systems management in real time." there were also messages about strategy and even trust – strategy doesn't always arrive with a blinding flash of inspiration and when it comes to system management, do you really want to trust what your selected systems vendor reports about their own systems? However, when Steve touched on opportunity he also touched on a raw nerve.
"Whenever you see a window of opportunity open, jump on through; all too often these same windows will shut and shut quickly," Steve told the assembled audience. In many respects, this is obvious to all who have been in business, but all the same, it's a message that is often lost on those close to the firewall of business and customer engagement. There's the old adage of being so close that an opportunity right in front of you is missed – yes, we all know too about not being able to see the trees from the forest.
Being swift through an opening has its rewards but it also more often than not, an opportunity missed. Working with HPE executives and senior managers, it's apparent from announcements of late coming from HPE CEO, Meg Whitman. Effective January 1, 2016, HPE "sunset our HP Helion Cloud offering" an admission as public as there can be that HPE arrived too late to the public cloud marketplace. Instead, according to Whitman, HPE would be doubling down on private clouds as they promote the message of transformation to hybrid infrastructures.
Steve noted too that IR wasn't immune to spending just a little too long looking through an open window. On one occasion, as the company pursued diversification of Prognosis, it looked at entering the Windows marketplace only to find that its first forays into this marketplace arrived just a tad too late. However, as creative as IR has proved to be through the years, it realized that with only a few keystrokes, it could play in both the Unix and Linux markets and this eventually led to the significant market presence IR is now enjoying in the monitoring of Voice over IP (VoIP) devices. Relationships with the likes of Avaya, Cisco and eventually Microsoft, all flourished because of the opportunity that arose in a monitoring vertical that emerged from hardware vendors with little discipline or expertise when it came to building software products.
For the NonStop community this too is proving to be a very important development – the window on Windows may have closed quickly but that didn't mean the view through the window evaporated. The strength of Prognosis in the Linux / Unix / Window (LUW) space is going to play well to HPE communities working with HPE on their own journeys to a transformed hybrid infrastructure. By it's very nature, hybrid implies more than one platform and where NonStop plays a part that ensures that there will be at least one of LUW present as well – and Prognosis can span this hybrid effectively and efficiently.
Prognosis has always been about the better visualization of data being generated from platforms – be it about the operating system, the middleware, including everything in support of transaction processing, and the application. In effect the whole stack in support of a business solution can be monitored by Prognosis and now, should this stack be split across platforms, Prognosis has the wherewithal to bring meaningful visualization to all parties involved in the oversight of the performance of the solution.
While I had an opportunity to provide the IR Sales teams working in both the Payments and Infrastructure markets, I remained acutely aware of what Prognosis offers today. Shortly I will be taking a selection of the PowerPoint slides I used to anchor the third in a series of Webinars I am participating in, thanks to IR – if as yet you haven't registered please follow this link to register for NonStop X: The New Goal - Independence from Systems & Infrastructure! Windows do only open for brief periods of time – so don't miss out on this opportunity!
In a brief exchange over coffee with Steve, the question arose over the future prospects of NonStop systems. Certainly the announcement of the NonStop X family has given cause for greater interest in NonStop – spending the hundreds of millions of dollars HPE did to migrate to the Intel x86 architecture brings with it a sizable boost in vendor confidence. On reflection, as I left this year's IR's Sales Kick-Off, I was left to speculate about the smile that came across Steve's face – did he see yet another window open that already had him thinking of his next move? I have to believe it did and that too augers well for all in the NonStop community.