Announcing the 2016 Micro Focus Innovation Award winners at iChange2016

Ashley Owen announces the 2016 Micro Focus Innovation Award winners from the recent #iChange2016 DevOps event in Chicago. Who delivered Value to the organization that enables dramatic improvement in the delivery of IT services? Which technical mastermind Innovated by deploying a Micro Focus solution in a way that pushes the technology in new direction? Who scooped the award for the Satisfaction created in IT or the business as a result of making use of a Micro Focus solution? Find out by reading on……

It was my pleasure to announce the winners of the 2016 Micro Focus Innovation Awards at the recent #iChange2016 event in Chicago. This year, the categories were:

  1. Innovation in deploying a Micro Focus solution in a way that pushes the technology in new direction.
  2. Delivering Value to the organization that enables dramatic improvement in the delivery of IT services.
  3. Satisfaction that has been created in IT or the business as a result of making use of a Micro Focus solution.

We received some exceptional customer presentations this year, making the choice particularly difficult. However, after much deliberation I was delighted to announce the winners and welcomed them onto main stage to tremendous applause by conference attendees. The winners were:


Matt Northrup
Great American Insurance Group
Implementing Enterprise Release Management

Transitioning from simply automating deployments of specific components and applications to fully orchestrating the enterprise release activities using Dimensions CM, Release Control, and Deployment Automation. This solution has become central to supporting an organizational initiative to expand the implementation of ITIL based processes, accommodating the increasing demand for Agile and DevOps practices and innovations.


Delivering Value:

Martin Skala
LBMS s.r.o
Key IT processes Implementation within 10 months in Allianz

Implementing Demand, Change, Incident, Problem, Development, Test, Defect, Release, Config & Release management integrated together within the SBM Platform. All processes and practices were implemented within 10 months and evaluated as “Project of the year 2015’ by the IT Service management forum in the Czech republic delivering so much value.



Prakash Balakrishnan
Ramping up ChangeMan Migration

Migrating from one Change Management product to another traditionally presents many challenges, including cultural, technical and project schedules. Nationwide overcame these challenges and successfully migrated from Endevor to ChangeMan.


Many congratulations again Matt, Martin and Prakash and thanks to all the other entrants! See you next time…..


Ashley Owen

Micro Focus: In good company

Did you hear about Micro Focus winning big at the UK Tech Awards last Wednesday? Well, here’s your chance

It’s never dull on the IT show circuit. A few days after Micro Focus touched down from SUSECon in Amsterdam, on Wednesday it was time to revive the dinner suit in preparation for the UK Tech Awards 2015 in London.

And it’s just as well that we reclaimed the company tuxedo from the dry cleaners, as we won – and won big. Micro Focus is the 2015 ‘Tech company of the Year’.

Since 2000, the TechMark Awards – as they were formally known – has recognised the achievements of UK public and private companies in the technology sector.  This year the field was as competitive as ever with the other nominees representing a strong field.

What a difference a year makes

This time last year Micro Focus and the Attachmate Group (TAG) were two separate companies and COBOL was regarded in some quarters as yesterday’s language.

Since the turn of the year, so much has changed. COBOL has moved up 11 places in the TIOBE Programming Community Index and is now up to no11, while Micro Focus has completed the merger with TAG and is now one company operating two product portfolios: Micro Focus and SUSE.

The Micro Focus portfolio includes identity access, security, COBOL development and mainframe solutions, development and IT operations management tools, host connectivity and collaboration/networking solutions.

The SUSE portfolio includes leading enterprise-grade open source solutions including Enterprise Linux, OpenStack private cloud, software-defined storage and other IT infrastructure management and optimization solutions.

But the awards are not about who has the best products and solutions. That is for the marketplace to decide. Neither is it about which companies represent the best investment opportunity – although analysts have already nominated Micro Focus as a ‘top pick’ for Q4.

Tech Comp

Movers and shakers

Instead, the judges – who include some of the industry’s major players – have recognised Micro Focus’ bold move to create one of the industry’s biggest infrastructure software companies, and the dedication of the management team and staff that have made it happen.

This is a volatile industry and no-one can predict the future. However, it is likely that certain trends will endure – chief among them is good customer service and access to solid portfolios that enable customers to achieve the innovation needed to meet tomorrow’s challanges.

By offering the full range of services for those looking to create and maintain business-critical applications and software, from the initial build through operate to securing those business systems against disruption, Micro Focus and SUSE have the product spread and solution portfolio to help an installed base of more than two million license holders meet a broad range of challenges.

In this industry to spend too long in self-congratulation is to invite hubris. So we won’t be doing that. Once the dinner jacket has gone back in the wardrobe, the sleeves will be rolled up and we’ll be back to work. Albeit with a nice trophy for the reception area.

Come on Developers – make something super!

Visual COBOL just won big at the Tech Hero Awards – and no dodgy FIFA-style brown envelopes were required. Because this is a product that speaks for itself (and our customers help out, too…)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or a modern development environment for re-energizing enterprise COBOL applications on distributed platforms? Actually, make that an award-winning development environment. Because as of Tuesday 19 May, the waiting was over.

Click on our Visual COBOL page. You’re looking at the winner of ‘Best Developer Tool’ at the inaugural Tech Hero Awards, hosted by UK tech publication The Inquirer. We saw off stiff competition, with the likes of Raspberry Pi, Canonical Juju, Imagination Technologies and Progress Software all adopting a fixed grin as we galloped up the steps to pick up our gong.



But as we said in our gushing acceptance speech, it’s also thanks to our customers and partners who use Visual COBOL every day, the social soldiers who spread the word among the dev community and Inquirer readers who all voted for Visual COBOL. Mwah! Mwah!

So why the award?

Simply because while other companies use the word ‘innovative’ as a marketing buzzword, we build it in to Visual COBOL as a feature. The integration with Eclipse and Visual Studio gives development teams the means to re-invigorate decades-old COBOL applications with modern features and functionality. It’s innovation in action.

Every day, hundreds of organizations across the verticals use Visual COBOL to realise their new business requirements. Integrating long-established COBOL systems with funky new Java and .NET technology, our customers take their applications to new heights, using cloud and mobile computing to unlock new value. Visual COBOL is the phone box that turns a mild-mannered newspaper reporter into the man of steel.

ZAP! Acciona Trasmediterranea felt the superhero effect, slashing costs and boosting uptime by taking their ticketing system into Azure. POW! Zucchetti reused a two decade investment in COBOL systems to deliver the application codebase onto both .NET and the JVM platforms.

INQUIRER Editor Madeline Bennett said: “Micro Focus was up against tough competition in the Best Developer Tool category at The INQUIRER Tech Hero awards, going up against organisations such as Canonical and Raspberry Pi. The fact that Visual COBOL got the award is testament to the firm’s calibre in the developer environment space. And as the awards are voted for by The INQUIRER readership, with 5,000 casting their votes overall, it shows that Micro Focus customers, developers and IT professionals highly rate the firm’s products.”




That’s right – COBOL. The decades-old language just picked up the 2015 award for best development tool. But COBOL is everywhere – busy running more than 85% of the world’s business transactions, $2 trillion worth of mainframe enterprise applications and supporting almost all the Fortune 100 companies’ core systems. Pretty damned super, I’d say.

And it is COBOL’s ability to not just keep the wheels of industry turning, but also to adapt and evolve over the decades that has caught the eye of the voters in Tech Hero awards. Businesses like the reliability of COBOL and developers love what they can do with Visual COBOL.

It is this new-found flexibility that is helping to reinvigorate COBOL in the eyes of the dev community; COBOL has reached the dizzy heights of 16 in the TIOBE index – yet another indicator of COBOL’s stickability and versatility. Thanks to Visual COBOL, companies with older applications can see a pathway to the future.

We’re certainly pretty heroic as far as Michael Purser, the President of Canadian application development specialists Bedford Systems, is concerned. “With our new Visual COBOL environment we can see how easy it will be to move our application onto future platforms such as mobile – a great advantage for our clients.”

underneath the mango tree

Another one for the mantelpiece

Micro Focus understands what our clients need and deliver products that meet those needs. Our customers and partners already know this – that’s why we have more than 20,000 customers across the globe. But every so often the industry recognises it too. Perhaps that is why a Micro Focus product was the first software to win the Queen’s Award for Industry. That was a COBOL product and our faith in is reflected in our continued R&D investment – currently $55m – mostly in COBOL. So anyone realising the potential of Visual COBOL today will be still seeing benefits long into the future.

We’ll be previewing the latest enhancements and success stories at our upcoming #DevDay events. Over 700 people around the globe have already attended one – so book your place if you’re interested in shaping the future of COBOL.  Not making the trip? Join the community or download a free copy of Visual COBOL integrated with Eclipse or Visual Studio here.







Melissa Burns

Senior Marketing Programs Manager

#MME15 – Viva Las Vegas!

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there! Mark Plant from Micro Focus reports back from Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience event in Las Vegas 2015. What did he learn and what should you take away from the event?

Bright light city gonna set my soul….

Being totally honest, Las Vegas doesn’t really set my soul on fire (presumably because unlike Elvis’ Lucky Jackson character I’ve never had a whole lot of money to burn). Vegas played host to Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience between March 31st and April 2nd this year and I’ll always remember that I had a swingin’ time. Over 3000 Modern Marketing & Sales professionals gathered, talked technology, celebrated success, educated themselves and had some fun in the Social Media Lounge and bars…

So what happened in Vegas?

Should of course stay there but surely I am allowed to spill the beans on why I was there, what I was doing, who I was with and some of things I took away? Here goes.


An extended Micro Focus Field and Corporate Marketing and Sales team attended the event with me to take advantage of the superb technical education available. We’ve been an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer for a little over 4 years and it’s been a real honour to talk at this (and previous Modern Marketing Experience Events) about digital marketing, the growing importance of Social Media, digital data and how web performance powers Modern Marketing success.


On the subject of success, it’s well worth mentioning that Micro Focus has made Markies finalist in twice in the past two years. Despite not scooping the big prize on either occasion, seeing Micro Focus in the Markies Hall of Fame for ‘Best Social Campaign’ fills us with pride which is a reward in itself.  Our 2 Markie Finalist plaques are now proudly displayed in our Newbury HQ reception.


This year too I was both delighted and a little surprised to scoop a personal Oracle MVP award during the Advocates Party.  Many thanks to the Oracle Customer Success team (namely Adrian Chang and Jenny Berthiaume) for presenting me with this considerable honour.


Looking forward optimistically to next year’s event I am sure Micro Focus will be a Best Social Campaign finalist again (and get recognition in some additional categories too). Micro Focus’ mainframe tribute to big iron, namely IBM Mainframe’s 50th Birthday in 2014 and #COBOLRocks 2015 campaign are pretty tough acts to follow. Maybe it’s finally time for the mighty Frank Borland to pull on his cowboy boots, Stetson and get busy backing himself in 2016? We’ll have to wait and see….


My colleagues and I attended quality education, talked the talk, walked the miles of Vegas walk between sessions, learned heaps about lots and rode a mechanical bull for a few manic-inner-thigh-bruising seconds each.  I also discovered it’s a really bad idea to present at exactly the same time the band OneRepublic are warming up next door. No amount of A/V wizardry can overcome that volume. Everyone present was counting stars.

Cashing Out – so what did I take away with me?

Summarising all the amazing content and sessions is extremely tough but here are the key things I took away from this year’s extravanganza. Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

  1. Data is the lifeblood of digital marketing. Lots of fresh accurate data is required and the humble web form is still the best bet. Content needs to be good enough to encourage people to exchange their email address for it – a rapidly rising bar.
  2. That’s why Content is king. Without amazing content someone is prepared to exchange an email address for there’s a gaping hole below the water-line. If the content on the CMS isn’t up to scratch invest in it now and ensure it covers a buyer journey.  Remember that without gated content unknown web visitors can’t convert into known ones to nurture.
  3. If no one can find the great content it can’t be generating much return. This makes digital Reach the Queen for your content King. To improve reach a decent SEO strategy is required. It’s not just keyword and content, don’t forget SEO has a technical side that can’t be ignored.
  4. As soon as influential people find your content and like it then you’re cooking with gas. The more your content is shared and linked to the higher it’s ranked by the search engines – each link to it counts exactly like a vote. The greater someone’s online Influence the weightier their ‘vote’ becomes. A decent investment in Social Media is the only way to make this happen effectively.
  5. Working on Content, Reach and Influence is hard. Prepare to invest lots of time and keep an eye on meaningful metrics! That way you’ll know what works and more importantly – what doesn’t! That’s how you’ll earn enough Data to oil your digital revenue engine and transform Google and Bing into a front line sales team for your business.

Does anyone apart from Lucky Jackson have a whole lot of money to burn?

I certainly don’t. I suspect most Marketing departments the world over don’t either. Marketing budgets are under significant pressure and increasingly tasked with pipeline delivery. Investing in content, reach and influence without a weapons-grade digital infrastructure is a sure fire way of piling bundles of budget dollars straight onto the proverbial fire. Everything I’ve mentioned in this blog is underpinned by a website that’s up and performing 365 days a year 24 hours a day.

That’s where some of the Micro Focus / Borland products help. Best-in-class tools that monitor websites, test the applications and functions your website serves for performance and load and ultimately help you avoid any embarrassing hiccups. How do websites and apps look on different devices and browsers? Silk Central Connect enables you to test this out so you can ensure the major bases are covered.

Modern Marketing is digital in nature, a perfect blend of art and technical science. A scientific approach to website performance is the only way to ensure your digital revenue engine is firing on all cylinders.

Please feel free to visit or find me on Twitter to talk further. See you at MME16!



Visual COBOL: Innovative, future-proof – and award winning?

Melissa Burns at the Micro Focus HQ explains why we’ve got the champagne on ice. The Inquirer has shortlisted Visual COBOL for ‘Best Developer Tool’ in their Tech Hero Awards 2015 and SUSE Linux has scooped a prestigious Network Computing Awards award.

Visual COBOL shortlisted for Best Developer Tool 2015

Here at Micro Focus HQ, we’ve got the Champagne on ice because UK technology website The Inquirer has shortlisted Visual COBOL for ‘Best Developer Tool’ in their Tech Hero Awards 2015.

It’s been a good year so far: our #COBOLrocks social media campaign is up  for a Markie and our SUSE colleagues won Enterprise Storage Product of the Year at the Network Computing Awards.


Happy birthday!

This month, Visual COBOL is five years young and more than 100 customers are already modernizing their COBOL applications with the ‘Best Developer Tool’.  So why do we think it is a worthy winner?

  • Development efficiency gains of up to 30%
  • Cost savings of up to 80%
  • Improved application performance of 75% by uniting development teams
  • Integration with industry-leading IDEs such as Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse
  • Short learning curve ensures availability of COBOL skills now and in the future
  • Integration with contemporary business languages such as C# and Java
  • Support for modern tech and disruptive innovations such as Cloud and Mobile
  • Multi-platform support​
  • Nearly $55m investments in continued R&D

Have you met Developer Dave?  He thinks Visual COBOL is the best developer tool too.

Vote for Visual COBOL!

Those already working with Visual COBOL are already enjoying these benefits. If you already know that Visual COBOL really is the best developer tool, then please take the time to vote. You’ll be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad mini. Voting closes on 17 April and winners will be announced on 19 May. We’ll be sure to pass on the details of the winners.

Check it out

If you have yet to experience the best developer tool in town, then why not take a free trial and see for yourself?

Thanks for your support!


The Markies. 1st the worst – 2nd the best…..

For someone whose personal motto is often along Yoda’s lines of ‘Do. Or Do Not. There is no try’ making it through the heats to the Markie finals again is an emotional experience. ‘What happens if I don’t win this time?’ ‘How can I make sure I win it now?’  mixes with commonly dished out paternal advice like ‘ it’s the taking part and having fun that really matters’ (thanks Dad – it’s still ingrained!)

Making it as a Markie finalist twice in successive years for ‘Best Social Campaign’  brings mixed feelings along with an overwhelming sense of pride. Social Media is a relatively new frontier for business, participating in it professionally is a sign that a company – however old – has recognised seismic shifts in the industrial landscape and grappled with the concept of going to market in a different way. Who wouldn’t want to win recognition?


Modern marketing is digital

Sales, Marketing, Technical Support and IT departments are now brothers in arms – learning new digital skills daily as the increasingly Internet-savvy consumer educates themselves about our products and services. Modern marketers need to work hand in glove with other departments to create content that aligns to buyer journeys. Our inbound engines need to be firing on all eight cylinders to ensure people find that content. Outbound engines must be ‘oiled’ by fresh digital data which offers improved insight into what prospects and customers are interested in, which types of content work best – and when. Attaining that data is an increasingly complicated exchange with suppliers providing assets of increasingly significant value in order to get good email addresses. ‘Content is still king’ is bandied about with annoying frequency – but if that is the case then a digitally savvy consumer is an emperor.

Content and consumers of the content

Talking to customers and prospects in ways and places that they want to be spoken to is business critical, so it follows that digital performance over a variety of channels is fundamental for success. It doesn’t matter how old the product is as long as you can align that value with prospects and customers in an effective way. It’s a fairly sure bet that they are out there on Twitter or LinkedIn or YouTube or Slideshare (this list could almost stretch on forever these days). Investing in engaging with content consumers in the right place is the right thing to do.

The Micro Focus modern marketing journey and Markie hall of fame

Making the short-list twice is a sure sign in my mind that we are now addressing Social Media in a consistently excellent way. Great news for us on our journey to becoming truly modern marketers – a journey we started relatively recently.


In 2014 it was our Mainframe 50 Campaign which cut the mustard and made the hall of fame, helping IBM celebrate 50 years of the Mainframe  and making some seriously positive waves along the way. This year it’s our COBOL Campaign that’s made the grade. The IT literate among you will realise that there’s nothing new about this technology apart from the ongoing product releases adding value for increasingly demanding modern technicians. It’s the way we are communicating the value that has changed. Now #COBOLRocks with a hashtag, and ‘millennials’ who are engaging with this fundamentally critical technology for the 1st time are no doubt mixing it up with the less youthful on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Is this community first phenomena on Social Media increasingly the key to solving what the industry has known as the Skills Crisis? I have a personal feeling that YouTube ‘how to’ videos are playing a bigger part in this resolution than any formal education or training courses. The proof will be in the pudding – timeless words of wisdom.

I’ve said it before – digital performance matters

What is abundantly clear without the need for formal proof or benchmarks or metrics is that your digital performance seriously matters. Not just the content either – content is vitally important but if your infrastructure is flaky, unreliable or your ‘legacy’ apps don’t go mobile  you may have a difficult ride ahead. To make it through the heats and start to compete against the winners you need to create better software faster and breathe new life into older technology.

In concluding it strikes me that my dad was right all those years ago, winning really isn’t everything,  taking part in ‘the game’ is fun and it does really matter. We won’t stop wanting to win a Markie anytime soon – but at least we know we are holding our own against the best in the industry as a team. A prize in itself. Sometimes words of advice and wisdom, just like technology can continue to add serious value for decades. The vehicles that carry the words will be evolving digitally for years, and modern businesses need to keep up.  If you’d like to learn more about modern marketing, register yourselves for the MME15 event and don’t forget to cheer Micro Focus on during the awards……


Winning isn’t everything – but wanting to win right now is!

Micro Focus Marketing Operations Director Mark Plant reflects on making the final cut in the #MME14 Eloqua Markies awards – Best Social Campaign @MicroFocus @Mainframe50

In a galaxy far far away and almost 3 years ago….

It seems like only yesterday that we nervously clicked ‘Activate’ on our 1st ever Eloqua campaign flow. It was a Corporate newsletter – who’s name I actually cannot mention – and we watched expectantly – waiting to see something. We saw nothing hugely exciting so we raced to Eloqua insight and delighted in the fact that the send stats were rising – but hold on a second:

  • Why haven’t all of our customers opened our email immediately?
  • What are soft bounces actually?
  • ……….and how do these dashboards actually work again?

That was then

Our Eloqua account manager called prior to the 2013 Eloqua Experience (where I was speaking) to ask whether we’d entered any Markies.

‘Urmmm no I mean why would we do that – we’ve only really started recently in Eloqua terms and I mean urmmm – we’re too busy right now’ was along the lines of my response.

I pretty much instantly regretted it.


I would have loved to enter – the Markies are something! I read about them on people’s resumes and CVs and LinkedIn profiles. For the Marketing Automation crowd – Markies are a BIG deal. Plus I am a competitive kinda person – not overly so – but competition is something I greatly enjoy.

This is now

We did take the plunge this year (encouraged by our new and very digitally focused CMO Chris Livesey). We worked together – a team in unison (wow right!) – Micro Focus and Borland marketing operations, programs and the field teams united in nominations.

And you know what? It did us all a lot of good. We took stock, looked back, laughed a lot and took a big gulp of collective pride in our accomplishments.  This process actually felt really good. We submitted the campaigns and things we felt proudest of – we ignored the categories we didn’t feel all that strong in (a great goal setting indicator for next years’ personal development plans.) The Markies were being discussed with a buzz and in team calls – but was anything we’d done actually good enough?

The email

Customer Marketing Manager for Oracle Marketing Cloud, MBA, skee-baller, craft beer enthusiast, music fanatic, Austinite (according to Twitter *- ) Ann Davis sent us an amazing email – amazingest bits highlighted as follows:


The Campaign that made the grade

Micro Focus has been building complementary products for IBM platforms for more than three decades. Our current range of application development products enable mainframe owners to efficiently build and deliver core zEnterprise systems so we celebrated the 50th Birthday of the IBM Mainframe is some style. With it’s very own @Mainframe50 twitter account, blog posts, time machines and even a cake or two! We conservatively estimate (using analytics) that by the time our submission had hit the judges desk – we’d more than helped #Mainframe50 on it’s way towards 100,000 impressions on Twitter alone! Because it’s social in nature you can see it all out there – go have fun with google and Twitter and #Mainframe50!



We generated buzz that hit the headlines too:Mainframe50press

The Now

Well – it’s hugely rewarding to have made the shortlist for starters! We’re out there as a whole corporate team (sales, development, marketing, field folks, corporate folks etc.) on twitter – follow hashtag #MME14 for proof – we’re all extremely proud.

We can collectively reflect on what made this campaign and execution ‘stand-out’ enough to have made the grade, a real and practical way to improve future campaigns and outreach. As a competitive guy all I can say is good luck to the other finalists and re-iterate the blog title: winning isn’t everything – but wanting to win is! I’ll see you all there and look forward to meeting with you all.

And if you haven’t registered for #MME14 yet follow me on Twitter to find out how you can get a discount on your entrance fee if you still need a ticket! Seeya there.

Beyond Terminal Emulation: Rumba+ looking good with Award-winning usability

We always said it – and now we can prove it. Rumba+ really does represent a class-leading Terminal Emulation and User Interface modernization solution. . Good enough to have won a 2014 Product of the Year Award from Mobility Tech Zone.

rumbachampionFrom who…?

Mobility Tech Zone is the go-to web resource for the mobile broadband industry. It’s a rolling feed of news, analysis, product info and downloadable resources for mobility and communications professionals. It has a clear focus on the innovations they need to overcome the challenges of disruptive technologies like BYOD and the rush to mobile.

Mobility Tech Zone is sponsored by TMC and Crossfire Media and TMC’s remit includes call center technologies, just one area where Rumba+ is proving to be a game-changer. It’s likely that the judges recognise the potential of Rumba+ to make a real difference to their specialist area. Maybe that’s why they were “very impressed” with Rumba+….

Award-winning mobility

Carl Ford, CEO and Community Developer, Crossfire Media, explains. “As leaders in the evolution to mobility we feel our award winners are delivering on enabling users by making carriers and enterprise networks capable of supporting our exponential data demands.”

In other words, Carl was looking for products that genuinely enable mobility in data transfer. That could almost be a product description for Rumba, which is bringing mobility to business applications and enabling a new view on established applications, bringing a fresh perspective on the world of green-screens – and all without changing a single line of code. Now that’s innovation.

As the Mobility Tech Zone award has recognised, Rumba delivers on the ‘enabling users’ aspect –major players like Allianz are accessing their core applications with user-friendly home tech, such as iPads, Windows and web browsers to slash ‘on-boarding’ times and boost business efficiency.

Meanwhile Aviva Italia have used Rumba+ to improve the user experience for the people who use their applications – improving their chances of recruiting and retaining industry talent, as digital expert Matt Ballantine notes on his blog. Many other Rumba+ customers enjoy the productivity gains and bypass the accessibility issues plaguing nearly half the companies appearing in the ‘IT Growth and Transformation’ survey recently commissioned by managed services firm Control Circle.

Achievable modernization from Rumba +

Similarly, this Vanson Bourne survey discovered that 54% of CIOs believe their green screens are “negatively impacting end user retention and recruitment”, while 98% of respondents recognise that new features would boost productivity but think modernization is too difficult. Well not anymore!

Rumba+ is risk-free, cost-effective technology that improves end-user efficiency without recoding. Need five more reasons to make the move? Try these.

Delivering modern user experiences is high on the CIO agenda. Rumba + consistently outperforms other products in the terminal emulation space, as Adam Rates, Senior IT Manager at Allianz UK notes in their case study …. and Mobility Tech Zone agree. Try it for yourself right here….


Je suis un rock star

Micro Focus won – and won big – at two marketing awards ceremonies last week.

The annual B2B awards in London were themed ‘Are you a B2B Rockstar?’ and Micro Focus responded with a chart-topping campaign.

The B2B Awards salute the world’s best design, advertising, graphic design and marketing and other headline acts included Oracle, Vodafone and Tata Communications.

Comedian Josh Widdicombe compered a fun evening, but winning awards in fields as competitive as these is no laughing matter. So we were pleased – and very proud – to prove our rock star credentials by blowing our competitors off stage in the headline category.

Anyone visiting our Newbury HQ can’t fail to spot Kiruba the Asian elephant performing her party trick in the atrium and if she threw her weight behind our efforts to win a prize it worked, ‘cause we nailed the big one….

… drum roll …

That’s right, folks – our mainframe solution ‘elephant’ campaign (scooped Grand Prix 2013 Award for ‘Best B2B Marketing Campaign of the Year’, ‘Best Use of Creative’ and was runner-up for ‘Best Product Launch’. As Kiruba herself would say – that’s quite a pile.

The campaign, developed by partner creative agency True, used a ‘balletic elephant’ as an easily-understood metaphor to illustrate how Micro Focus solutions can introduce new agility to the mainframe, an IT resource widely regarded as old and inflexible.

Kate ‘rock chick’ Nichols, Global Marketing Manager for the Mainframe solution at the time of the launch, said “The ‘elephant’ campaign added great visual impact to the launch. The creative and messaging provided exactly the right integrated approach and it successfully re-established brand awareness globally while driving the all-important sales pipeline.” It also kicked ass, she didn’t say.

And for an encore…

Meanwhile, over at the Inspire 2013 awards being held the same evening in Basingstoke, Purple – another Micro Focus marketing partner agency – were also winning ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ award. This time it was for the Borland ‘Silk Performer Door Opener’, known internally as the helicopter campaign, which has already identified and booked many sales opportunities.

As Borland marketing programs manager Christina Langan said, “Global campaigns are never easy to execute but the proposition was strong enough to generate plenty of pipeline and major ROI. We were pleased with the enthusiasm with which Micro Focus offices around the world got behind this high-flying campaign”.

So it’s high-fives all round to our agency partners, but respect is also due to the marketing program managers who kept all that out-there creativity completely aligned with the channels our customers use and the messages they want to hear. Because as any tour manager will tell you, keeping the talent in order, on stage – and away from the rider – at the right time is never easy, so Kate Nichols and Christina Langan deserve the big (metaphorical) bouquets we’re giving them here.

Thank you Newbury – you’ve been a wonderful audience….

The TESTA Awards – where X Factor met the SDLC

Many of those reading this may well have come along and this blog is a wrap-up, both for those whose memories of the occasion may be a little hazy and for those who now realise they should have gone! So here’s what you missed.

Micro Focus were proud to sponsor the TESTA Awards dinner, held yesterday at the Marriot Hotel in London’s Grosvenor Square.

Many of those reading this may well have come along and this blog is a wrap-up, both for those whose memories of the occasion may be a little hazy and for those who now realise they should have gone! So here’s what you missed.

Hooray for us

Much of the work of testing and development professionals is unseen and unheralded. Like the role of the goalkeeper in football, this work can go unnoticed until something goes wrong. So these awards, a first for the European market, are a rare and welcome opportunity to shine a light on the dedication and professionalism of the people who make so much of what we take for granted possible – and help many of us to make a living from this industry.

And if you’re going to shout about your industry, then do it properly – which is what TESTA had in mind when they hired Peter Dickson, the professional voice-over artist heard on The X Factor and, most recently, Britain’s Got Talent. (And it sure has, as the evening proved.)

We all got to enjoy good food, glamour and the surreal experience of listening to the voice of The Price is Right describing ‘the complexities of deploying innovative tooling within risk-based testing’.

Come on down!

With every table sold out, there was a great spread of attendees. Every size of business was represented, from major players like Cognizant, with all their corporate clout, right through to the hard-working SMEs with agility and imagination on their side.

This diversity was reflected in the spread of winners – there’s a full list here. The background murmur was of intense discussion rather than dinner party chatter, a sign of how determined the guests were to get the most out of a rare networking opportunity.

There was plenty of social media ‘noise’ around  #TESTA with many people contributing by smartphone – a subject dominating the dinner chat of many attendees – as Chris Livesey took the stage for his keynote speech.

The future – a Borland perspective

A memorable twenty minutes followed as Chris gave us the Borland assessment of the state of the nation as it stands – and where we’ll be in a year or two’s time. Using a manufacturing analogy Chris described the challenges of managing complexity within the supply chain and how the fresh challenges of new platforms and the drive towards mobile will force everyone in the room to raise their collective game.

It’s already an industry driven by detail, and Chris foresees the need for a significant percentage increase across the key areas of precision, control and validation if we’re going to keep up with the demands of the customers’ briefs. And as for the unknowns…

We shall fight them in the silos …

It was a compelling speech that clearly, but subtly, positioned Borland as being aware of the need to be reactive enough to create – and then recreate – tooling to meet the fluctuating needs of the industry as it matches the drive to new platforms.

As the final act of the evening, John Lewis IT received the Borland European Software Testing Award and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – although some of this raw emotion could be attributed to those settling their drinks bills…!

It was an enjoyable evening that could prove to be the launchpad of some interesting collaborations and an exercise in taking the pulse of our industry it proved that we’re in good shape and with a healthy prognosis for the future.

Thanks for coming – and see you all next year.

The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA)

The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) is a new, independent awards programme which will celebrate and promote excellence, best practice and innovation in the software testing and QA community.

The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) is a new, independent awards programme which will celebrate and promote excellence, best practice and innovation in the software testing and QA community.

The inaugural awards ceremony, to be held at the London Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square on Wednesday 20 November, will celebrate the best individuals, teams and businesses striving for technological excellence. These awards will acknowledge the year’s outstanding achievements by this highly-skilled and valuable community.

Regularly featured in the industry-leading journal, Test magazine, Borland understands the dedication, commitment and expertise required to succeed in the testing arena and are proud to sponsor these awards. Borland VP Chris Livesey has volunteered to be on the judging panel.

This will soon become a showpiece within the software testing industry, so the rigor of the judging process for this maiden event is formidable. Only the very best have been selected to progress to the finalists stage, where an impressive panel of judges will decide which individuals, teams, projects or businesses merit a prestigious European Software Testing Award. Those on the shortlist currently include Microsoft, Waitrose, John Lewis IT, The Financial Times Ltd and Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Cognizant to name a few.

Anyone within the community, regardless of vertical sector or business size, was eligible to enter.  A fast-growing small business has as much chance as the biggest multi-national – it’s all about meeting the strict judging criteria. One thing’s for sure – every finalist must  be ahead of their game – and the competition – and be ready to benchmark themselves against the very best in European testing.

The tables are booked, the evening clothes are back from the dry cleaners …. let the celebrations begin! More here.

Mark Plant

Director Marketing Operations