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Changing an airplane engine while in flight

Changing an airplane engine while in flight

May 11, 2011 0 Comments

There were some words we heard over and over again throughout yesterday’s 11th annual financial and industry analyst event in New York City. Those words were: “easy”, “fast time to market”, “visibility” and “leverage” and they were spoken by all of our attending customers (and even some who weren’t there via video).

The Progress Analyst Day, attended by some 80 analysts from many of the most respected firms in the US and EMEA, focused on responsiveness and how we at Progress Software can assist our customers achieve the goals they describe using these words.

First: “easy”. The world has changed; few business executives today want to spend time and money developing software that will need to be supported and changed continually in order to keep up with an evolving competitive landscape.

There is a widespread aversion to inflexible packaged applications. As Liam Hudson, M.D, Global Head of FX Ecommerce at Bank of America Merrill Lynch put it: “We are not an IT shop. Spending time on IT is a distraction for us. Alpha generation is the only bit we want to write ourselves.”

Second: “fast time to market”. Ozlem Demirboga, Head of Customer iInformation Management at mobile communication services, Turkcell, said: “Fast time to market is important. It has to be quick and easy for us to create new location-based campaigns.”

Jim Winburn, CTO at clinical research organization, PRA International, agreed and noted that speed to development would help his firm to drive new drugs to market faster. As did Julian Self, CIO at commercial real estate analysis firm, IPD. According to Julian his clients’ performance (and bonuses) depends on IPD gathering, analyzing and reporting back - as it happens.

Third: “visibility”. Seeing business processes from a high level, in a single view is a common goal. Eric Gooley, Head of Business Process Engineering, Operational Reporting and Metrics at communications firm, Level(3), said: “With the increased visibility we now have we can drill down to director and manager level and hold them accountable for bottlenecks and processing issues.”

Demirboga simply wants to be able to see if Turkcell’s location-based sales campaigns are getting results, and: “to make sure the system is working.”

And finally: “leverage”. Rip and replace, the act of starting over completely, is no longer an option. The complexity of IT infrastructure differs from industry to industry and firm to firm. What they have in common is that they need to keep the technology they have built or bought already; it is part of the business, often critical, and expensive.

Progress customers want to keep most of what they have, to continue to use the technology and leverage that investment, while adding technology that can sit on top of it and bring in quantifiable results.

As Progress President and CEO, Rick Reidy said in answer to a question posed: “You can justify the investment by extracting greater value from legacy systems for exponential return.”

When you put our customers words together they go a long way in describing our vision for Responsive Process Management (RPM). It leverages existing software, avoiding costly rip and replace strategies; provides easy-to-use visibility into all of your business processes; and offers quick time to market for initial deployment and on-the-fly changes.

Julian Self likened RPM to an airline engineering team replacing an engine - not using RPM is like trying to switch out the engines while flying. We like that analogy.

John Stewart

View all posts from John Stewart on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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