Vienna, one of Europe’s most beautiful, historically important cities, proved to be the perfect location for a fantastic customer forum centred on application modernization. Part of the Micro Focus Universe show, our single biggest industry event of the year, the Application Modernization and Connectivity Customer Forum at the Austria Centre, Vienna, March 26-28, attracted well over a hundred customers, partners and analysts. Running across a three-day period, the AMC Forum took visitors on a journey from the latest market trends and drivers, through a mouth-watering array of customer stories, and into the latest technology plans and demonstrations from the Micro Focus experts.
I had the pleasure of acting as host for the AMC Forum. Here are my highlights in numbers.
That rather hefty number is the dollar figure estimated as having been wasted on failed IT projects in just a single year. Part of the AMC Opening Plenary delivered to a packed room, it illustrates the risks involved of untested or unclear IT strategies, and goes a long way to explain the recent growth in popularity of a more pragmatic approach known as Modernization. As Chris Livesey, GM of the AMC business unit explained, customers and analysts alike are witnessing “a shift from a ‘rip and replace’ approach towards modernization strategies.”
We heard then about the Micro Focus Modernization approach, offering a solution that tackles Modernization across the three key areas of application, process and infrastructure, taking in 10 key considerations in a model for building an effective modernization strategy.
The plenary provided helpful context for the main purpose of the event, for the customers to showcase their own modernization stories. The real evidence of the value of our modernization solution comes from those who use it day by day. We had time to hear from 7 guest speakers, representing major vertical industries including banking, insurance, technology and service sectors, all of whom offered illuminating examples of what is driving change, and what’s possible with modernization, from their own organizational perspectives. A range of contemporary topics covering Cloud, Containers, Platform Change, Managed Code environments, Web Services and SOA, Windows and Linux, DevOps and Agile, even AI, all were ingredients across a broad array of successful modernization projects. The one thing in common was how trusted, core business systems could be transformed and innovated to support new, digital business requirements, without having to start from scratch. As one of our clients put it “Our choice of Micro Focus … over 25 years ago is still paying dividends for us. We have enjoyed continued wide platform and OS Support and have now made the move to the cloud.”
Our thanks go to the speakers representing Allianz, Advanced Software, Syspro, Infosys, DIE Software, Kuwait Finance House and ING Bank. Our agenda philosophy was “by our customers, for our customers,” and this focus resonated loud and clear with the audience. The networking breaks and customer group dinners witnessed a tremendous energy as further stories were told and best practices shared. The best evidence of being a customer-centred software organization is when the customers take centre stage.
The customer presentations were a fantastic set of examples of what is possible with Micro Focus technology in the realm of key modernization projects. But the permutations of possibility didn’t end there.
The closing main stage session was hosted by the Micro Focus Product leaders who outlined, and then demonstrated, some of the exciting new innovations underway in the Micro Focus labs for the next incarnation of our modernization solutions. Showcasing some of those details, we offered the stage to a couple of guests, from long-time technology partners Microsoft and Astadia, who provided further proof of the innovative capacity of Micro Focus’ modernization story: the demo covered core COBOL systems as the backbone of an AI application running in the Azure Cloud.
The majority of our delegates were able to see for themselves, by test-driving the technology in our on-site tutorials lab, working alone or with Micro Focus experts on a range of modernization scenarios all provided as part of our Tutorial Workshops, very much part of the immersive, transparent Micro Focus Universe experience.
In the digital age, modernization matters. It can be the difference between a successful IT strategy and real difficulties. Micro Focus and our customers are witnessing a low-risk and pragmatic approach to a range of challenges with our enterprise scale technology. Hopefully we will see YOU in person at one of our events, but if you can’t wait, please find me on Twitter and let’s talk! Who knows? Give me a mic this big again and I might even sing……