By Richard Bishop
Vivit Board President
Earlier this month I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Micro Focus Universe conference in Monte-Carlo. I can’t recommend this type of conference enough to anybody who wants to meet other users of Micro Focus software to share their experiences and learn about the latest trends in the software world.
In my “day job”, I work in software testing, so naturally my attention leant towards the ADM (Application Development and Management) tools that were showcased as well as the ADM tracks sessions. There were also tracks related to “application modernization, connectivity and end user productivity,” “IT operations management,” as well as “Protect – (IT security but with a significant focus on GDPR)."
Upon arrival at the conference every attendee was given a small token made by a company called LOOPD. This tiny device acted as an electronic business card as well as tracked your movements through the conference space. Every time people met others with whom they wanted to share contact details, they simply touched their LOOPD device to another's, and the devices logged that contact. After returning home I received an e-mail summarizing every track session that I visited as well as all the people that I met in chronological order. This was a great way of remembering people that I met as well as the context in which I met them. (Presumably it is also a great way for Micro Focus to gauge the relative popularity of different track sessions).
In between track sessions, there was a large area known as the “Discover The New Zone.” This maintained the theme launched last September when Micro Focus merged with HPE Software. As well as the usual booths where attendees were able to see demonstrations of various software products, this was also a large communal area where people could meet other delegates and eat. There were also booths for various user groups such as Vivit and Open Horizons which provided convenient meeting places for delegates.
As well as attending the conference, I was invited to attend a customer advisory board session the day before the conference started and also to deliver a presentation describing the changes that Lloyds Banking Group is making to accommodate increased test automation due to DevOps adoption. I would recommend speaking at a conference like this to anybody. My audience was very friendly, and speaking at a conference is a great way to get to know other people within your industry. If you haven’t joined the Vivit speakers bureau, join today!
I would recommend taking every opportunity to join in either by speaking or attending customer advisory board meetings and workshops. These are the best opportunities to meet other people who are facing the same day to day problems that you are. I came away from the conference with a list of ideas and initiatives to try as well as a list of people who are keen to meet up and discuss our use of Micro Focus software regularly either face to face or via WebX/conference calls.
Immediately after the conference, I received the surprising news that Chris Hsu was leaving Micro Focus. I was fortunate to meet Chris on three occasions and admired the “customer first” vision that he promoted. Since this news, I’ve spoken to numerous people at Micro Focus and have been reassured that his mantra is still foremost in their minds. There was a significant focus on obtaining customer feedback from delegates at the conference, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with fellow users of Micro Focus software through Vivit.