2019: 12 Months of Connecting with Customers



As is customary with this time of year, blogs, press and social media are filled with top 10 lists, year in review, articles reflecting back on what has passed and what is to come. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2019 and some of the ways the Micro Focus team has come to together to help us connect and collaborate with our customers and partners. So, here it is, a look back on 2019 – highlighting some of the key moments Micro Focus connected with customers.

January: Micro Focus Launches its Point of View (POV) on Digital Transformation (DX)

2019 was the year of Digital Transformation. January was the month that Micro Focus launched its POV on what that means to us. Why? So that we could get on the band wagon?! No, because we realized as one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world we owed it to our employees and to our customers to be prescriptive and take the 40+ years of our failures and triumphs and distil it into something that could be used by our customers for success.

So what is the Micro Focus POV on DX? Put simply we’ve identified 4 key capabilities an organization has to enable if they want to extract real value from Digital Transformation: Speed, Agility, Security and Insights. One alone is good, but a focus on all four will accelerate your ability to both run and transform your business. Why run and transform? Because until you optimize the below the line mandate of making your organization more efficient and effective, you stand a limited change of successfully being able to transform. Now, if you want to achieve speed, agility, security and insights at scale, you will have to invest in Enterprise DevOps, Hybrid IT Management a holistic approach to Security, Risk & Governance underpinned by Diagnostic and Predictive (as opposed to Descriptive only) Analytics.

February: Micro Focus acquires Interset

Part of being able to deliver for your customers, is being able to innovate and evolve. Some innovations and evolutions are organic and done as part of the existing organization, and sometimes you look outside to help accelerate an agenda. In February Micro Focus acquired Interset a worldwide leader in security analytics software that provides highly intelligent and accurate cyber-threat protection. Why? Because we knew our customers needed us to not only continue to evolve and innovate our security portfolio to deal with current and next gen trends such as zero trust, user and entity behavioural analytics (UEBA), more accurate threat detection; but because we knew Interset could help us to accelerate the overall Micro Focus analytics agenda. By leveraging the innovations Interset brings in machine learning and correlation and combining it with the existing intelligence Micro Focus has in this space across not just security but IT Ops and Application Delivery, the vision of Data In, Intelligence Out can be realized to help customers transform their organization.

March: Oh Vienna

March brought with it one of the highlights of connecting with our customers and partners as it represented the annual European Micro Focus Universe Event. Reaching 3000+ attendees, giving Micro Focus the chance to connect customer to customer as they shared their stories on DX. The highs, the lows and the how Micro Focus can help. Micro Focus Universe was also the showcase for the birth of the Micro Focus Lego City.  Our Lego City was a visual representation of our Digital Transformation vision and mirrored a typical customer’s world. Perhaps more importantly, it succeeded by creating a feeling amongst our customers who attended Vienna, it gave us an innovative and fun way to engage and listen to how our customers were handling the challenge of DX. It was so successful that what started as a way to tell our story in a different way has led to permanent installations of the Micro Focus Lego City in our new offices in Santa Clara, California, USA and at the Accenture Liquid Studio Innovation Center in Madrid.

April: Calling all DevOps enthusiasts 

April moved us from Vienna to Chicago to host the second of the Micro Focus IT Summits – this one focused on the Application Delivery Management space and all things Agile, DevOps, Testing, Quality and more. Why did this one stand out? It gave us a chance to engage with customers and partners on key trends such as Agile and DevOps and reminded us all that no matter how fancy your website, how pretty the UI or sleek the UX – your application must satisfy user needs and perform. We all need to look at the “what’s next” to stay ahead of the game but in the world of the app, the fundamentals of successful software development and the need for integrated quality remain constant. The ADM Summit brought together customers, like McGraw Hill who are taking performance testing to the next level with Micro Focus solutions, providing a rock-solid bedrock for DX initiatives.

May: Greetings from our APAC roadshow

May was the month to connect with our customers in Asia Pacific and Japan. Micro Focus embarked on a 10 stop tour across the Asian and Australian continents landing in major cities to spread the Micro Focus POV (now referred to as the Micro Focus Advantage) and engage 1000’s of customers and partners in lively discussion. This event series stood out for me because it stressed the importance of words. Err, what? I hear you ask. Well in particular for me, it was the choice to name this event Micro Focus Realize. That’s significant because it speaks to our goal as Micro Focus to help customers realize their potential, realize the ways Micro Focus can help, realize what’s possible with technology if you only look a bit further. At Micro Focus taking a customer-centric approach is at the core of what we do. That doesn’t mean selling some software and moving onto the next customer. It’s about being there for the long run and forming a symbiotic partnership so our customers realise the value of their investment and we evolve our portfolio to meet their needs through product enhancements.

June: Digital Everything, Digital India

June saw us bring together another community of IT leaders in India. Senior leaders from across the region gathered to discuss how to bridge now and next in the race to Digital Transformation as India played host to the 7th annual Micro Focus Software Innovation Dialogue.  One of my personal highlights of the event was the innovative spirit conveyed by one of the keynote speakers Harshwardhansinh Zala. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Harshwardhansinh and hearing first hand how he developed drone technology that detects and detonates landmines without human risk at 16 years of age. His story reminds us that in tech, anything is possible by anyone if they have the vision, will, determination and support to make it a reality. What an inspiring story to set the tone for the spirit of the Micro Focus Software Innovation dialogue, what an honor to host him.

July: March of the Robots

July saw the launch of Micro Focus’s Robotic Process Automation Software. Micro Focus’s RPA solution brought together key technology from industry leading solutions including Operations Orchestration and Unified Functional Testing to create a new, ready for market solution that automates business-critical but repetitive tasks. RPA is a great example of where Micro Focus listened and learned from its customers who were all searching for ways to overcome a problem that was ultimately costing them millions of dollars. We responded quickly and implemented a scalable solution to meet the need. What’s more, you can try it for yourselves for 60 days without a contract or credit card by hitting this linkAnother way the team listened to customers and made sure there was immediate value.


August: 3rd party event time  

Of the hundreds of 3rd party events Micro Focus attends – the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit is always a highlight as it stresses the importance of taking a holistic approach to security. It also allowed us to validate with our customers our POV around securing what matters most, identities, applications and data. Contributing to and attending 3rd party events is a key part of the Micro Focus strategy, but the lesson learnt over 2019 and in the years before ensures that the teams are clear with what success looks like for the event. It’s about awareness, validation, and a chance to engage new prospects and build an extended community. Participation ensures Micro Focus is listening to the voice of the industry and the customer and making a big buzz on Social Media of course.

September: all hail Grace Hopper & COBOL

September marked the 60th Birthday celebrations for COBOL. COBOL holds a flagship position in the overall evolution of IT and a core position for Micro Focus as one of our longest standing offerings. It shows just as technology needs to change with the times it’s just as important to evolve business critical core enterprise applications that our customers rely on. Over the years Micro Focus’s COBOL solutions have evolved to help customers make the most out of their existing investment and stay modern and fresh – from helping customers to maintain and modernize ACUCOBOL applications across more than 600 deployment platforms to providing solutions to enable modern language developers to modernize COBOL systems using Visual Studio and Eclipse as well as deploy COBOL applications and services to new platforms, including .NET, JVM, Docker and the cloud. The COBOL60 campaign was a key reminder that technology is as much about evolution as it is revolution. The knowledge we’ve amassed through 40 years of Enterprise Application Modernization and Connectivity projects has now been neatly distiled into our Modernization Maturity Model ensuring that ‘Best Practice’ is standard practice with us.


October: DevOps @ Enterprise Scale

October saw us attend the annual DevOps Enterprise Summit in Las Vegas and showcase how we help customers scale their DevOps practices to the Enterprise. What does that mean? Well, so often we speak to customers who tell us that they have success with Agile and or DevOps in a one team, one project, but when they try and move beyond that they fail. The DevOps Enterprise Summit gave our team a chance to connect 1:1 with customers and prospects and really hear what was working and not for them. And how we, as their partner need to evolve our product roadmaps to reflect their needs in the short and long term.

November: SaaS, SaaS and more SaaS

This one is simply 133% customer growth. November saw our customer count for our next gen machine learning based ITSM software (aka SMAX) grow by 133%. This was also the time we decided to announce the availability of the solution on SaaS with the goal of providing customers with the broadest choice of deployment options, including consuming SMAX as a service, deployment in the cloud with Amazon (including AWS GovCloud), Microsoft or Google, or deployment on-premises. Why is that important? Because it speaks to a core tenet of our strategy and our customer’s reality, helping provide customer choice and helping them manage an often complex and hybrid IT landscape. We believe the IT world is increasingly hybrid and needs an agile approach to manage it.

December: Horoscope for 2020

December saw us / sees us (depends on when you are reading this) partner with IDC to showcase the Micro Focus 2020 Technology Horoscope. The Technology Horoscope leverages the research conducted by IDC in their Futurescape research so that Micro Focus can help its customers and partners ensure that they are aware of some of the top trends and changes to hit to the technology space in 2020 and beyond. After all, you can’t be prepared if you don’t know what’s coming. We started the conversation with customers in India and in 2020 you can expect to see more from the Micro Focus Technology Horoscope in cities worldwide and online in the Micro Focus digital community.

So, as 2019 draws to a close, 2020 is on the horizon, and I reflect on what’s been and what’s to come there is only one thing left to say THANK YOU. Thank you to our customers and partners for engaging with us across all of these events and more and thank you to the entire Micro Focus team who put our customers at the centre of everything that we do and will always continue to do so for many more years to come.

Here’s to 2020.


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