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Your Community Needs You

Posted By Jonathon Wright, Thursday, June 13, 2019
Updated: Thursday, June 6, 2019

By Jonathon Wright
Vivit Board President

“My fellow Vivit members: ask not what your community can do for you – ask what you can do for your community!” Compared to the historic words borrowed from JFK, my inaugural address may or may not inspire you to see the importance of taking action and becoming more involved. I hope that I can help you re-ignite the spark that leads you to join this community of 40,000 users in over 120 countries.



When I began my own career back in the 90s with X-Runner from Mercury Interactive, the community around me played a massive part in my own personal development. Connecting with like-minded users on a similar journey provided me with the support and guidance needed to succeed at ‘Automation Awesomeness’. Founded back in 1993, Vivit continues to boldly embrace the next chapter of the independent Micro Focus community with a rich heritage of world-leading products. (and yet, did you know that apparently “Three quarters of all daily business transactions are still processed in COBOL”?).

One thing does hold true in our industry more than most others, rapid change is inevitable. Whatever the future may hold, the Vivit community will be here to provide users with a voice to help expedite change. Together we are stronger! The community has always been at the centre of everything Vivit does, with over 80 active local user groups (LUGs) meeting face-to-face creating opportunities to not only network but to share our individual experiences and knowledge. However, I appreciate that the time involved traveling to meetings may be difficult for many of you. Therefore, this year it is my privilege to introduce Vivit Virtual Days. Our plan is to provide two-day online conferences - totally free, featuring the very best from the Micro Focus R&D and product teams combined with real users and interactive Q&A hosted by the one and only Joe Colantonio.

The newly elected Vivit Board of Directors have big plans for the community - so stay tuned and together we can make the Vivit Worldwide even greater!

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Welcome New Board Members

Posted By Richard Bishop, Thursday, June 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, June 5, 2019


By Richard Bishop
2018 Board President

As many of you know, Vivit holds annual elections for board members each April. Shortly after new board members are announced, the board meets either face to face or remotely, to decide upon the roles that each board member will fulfil for the coming year. I’ve been a member of the Vivit board since 2011 and have been privileged to hold the post of Vivit President for the last four years. These years have been particularly interesting for Vivit as it transitioned from being the HPE Software user group to the Micro Focus user group.

Before the elections started this year, I discussed my desire to step down from the role of President with other board members. I was particularly keen to ensure that any incoming President had my support during a transition period to reduce any disruption in the day-to-day running of Vivit. I’m delighted to report that fellow board member, Jonathon Wright, has been appointed as the new Vivit Board President and will lead the software user community moving forward. Jonathon and I were already working closely and I’m looking forward to working with him, other Vivit leaders and Micro Focus to bring new ideas to our user community.

The new board is as follows:


President

Jonathon Wright

Vice President, Operations

Mark Ford

Vice President, Strategy & Innovation

Todd DeCapua

Treasurer

Christopher J. Scharer

Secretary

Richard Bishop

Advocacy Director

Mark Herbert

Community Director

Bob Crews

Education Director

Chris Trimper

Communications Director

Chris Carpenter

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Micro Focus Universe 2019 Updates

Posted By Richard Bishop, Friday, April 19, 2019


By Richard Bishop
Vivit Board President

From 26th to 28th March 2019, Micro Focus held their annual Micro Focus Universe conference in Vienna. I was fortunate to be asked to attend along with two colleagues from Lloyds Banking Group as well as two other Vivit board members (Bob Crews and Jonathon Wright) and our EMEA liaison, Annemarie Stuiver.

This year’s event was focused on five key themes:

  • Application Delivery Management (ADM)
  • Application Modernisation and Connectivity (AMC)
  • End User productivity (EUP)
  • IT Operations Management (ITOM)
  • Security, Risk and Governance (SRG)

Track sessions were a mixture of customer presentations as well as presentations by Micro Focus product managers and their R&D teams. Attendees learned about Micro Focus future product direction as well as hearing innovative customer stories both in track sessions and in discussions throughout the week.


Micro Focus Global Vice President, Marketing/Enablement, Genefa Murphy (center) joined the Team Vivit (Left to Right), Jonathon Wright, Richard Bishop, Annemarie Stuiver and Bob Crews.

Customer Advisory Board (CABs)

Prior to the conference, I was invited to attend a Customer Advisory Board meeting (CAB). This was a really good opportunity to share experiences (and grievances) with other customers who use Micro Focus software. People who attend CAB sessions tend to be large customers and this meeting was no exception. In my CAB there were customers from large financial and manufacturing organisations, government departments and large technology consultancies from across Europe.

CAB sessions are designed to help Micro Focus to receive unfiltered feedback from customers, deepen customer relationships, improve customer service and validate their long-term plans for product development and future software releases. The round table format which provided the confidential discussion forum for customers worked very well. From my point of view, discussions with other banks, in particular, were really useful and gave me an insight into how other organisations are handling the problems that we face when testing software. After the meeting, I agreed to work with two other companies to help develop reporting software for testing using an “open-source” model.

The Conference

The day after the CAB sessions, most customers start to arrive and the registration desks were busy as people arrived ahead of the afternoon keynote sessions. My attention was drawn to the ADM topics in particular. Of particular interest were announcements related to mobile device testing which is an area of interest for me as well as the imminent release of AI-based testing software which should take much of the drudgery away from testers who struggle to maintain test scripts in rapidly changing Agile development labs.

Break Out Area

In common with other conferences, there were demo booths hosted by Micro Focus and their partners where it was possible to ask questions about the use of MF software and see demonstrations. I found the mobile and functional testing demonstrations particularly interesting, as well as having the opportunity to join in several ad-hoc meetings with other Micro Focus software users at the Vivit booth.

Vivit “Ask ADM Anything” - Breakout Session

On the last day of the conference, I was asked to host a session on the ADM stage, asking Micro Focus ADM executives including; Raffia Margaliot, Tali Levi Joseph and Archie Roboostoff to field questions from Vivit members. These questions came from Vivit members on a wide variety of topics and this will be available via Micro Focus “Universe On Demand” shortly.

This open Q&A format seemed to work well and Bob Crews repeated it at the ADM Summit in Chicago last week. We also plan to host a similar session at the ITOM summit as a way to help our members communicate with Micro Focus openly and directly.


Vivit Board President, Richard Bishop moderates the Micro Focus Expert panel, Archie Roboostoff, Raffi Margaliot and Tal Levi Joseph.

Take-Aways

After taking some time to merge the former Mercury businesses acquired from HPE software Micro Focus now seems to be increasing the pace of innovation. Product updates and releases are happening more quickly after a switch to Continuous Application Development and there are plans to introduce much simpler licensing models, making it easier for customers to use software on a “pay for what you use” basis.

Micro Focus seem keen to use their Vertica analytics platform to provide deeper insights into test results, helping customers to make better-informed decisions about their software deployments.

Significant investments in AI should help to reduce the workload for testers maintaining automated tests. In the future, testers will be able to write scripts in natural language, for example by, asking test tools to login as user X, check an account balance, then logout, rather than struggling with object identification and xPaths!

Simplifying the license model and software upgrade path for ADM software also seems to be important. Allowing customers to test and use the latest software before making major purchasing decisions should help customers to stay up to date, rather than lagging behind the development curve for new software releases.

If you want to stay up to date with developments, Micro Focus will be hosting a series of follow-up events later this summer which are worth attending if one is in an area near you. As well as this, Vivit, the Micro Focus software user group will be hosting webinars and local meetings over the coming months, stay in touch if you want to hear more.

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A Look Back at Vivit and Micro Focus in 2018

Posted By Richard Bishop, Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2018


By Richard Bishop
Vivit Board President

As the year draws to a close, it seems appropriate to look back on a year of change in both Vivit and Micro Focus. Throughout 2018, Micro Focus has continued to work on the merger with the former HPE software division and admitted that the merger was taking longer than anticipated. As with all mergers, there have been staff changes and Vivit has had to build relationships with new faces at Micro Focus. These relationships are now growing and we’re looking forward to working more closely with Micro Focus in 2019.

Through 2018 we have experimented with a series of SIG Talks, these represented a change from our usual hour-long webinars by giving multiple speakers a chance to share their knowledge, in 15-minute slots describing their “real world” experiences with Micro Focus software, sharing best practice advice and demonstrating best practice. If you missed the SIG Talks in 2018, recordings can be viewed on our website.

Major topics at conferences and our user meetings this year have included Application Delivery, Security, IT Ops and GDPR. In 2019 we expect to hear more about continuous integration and deployment, IoT testing and monitoring as well as increased adoption of AI in platform monitoring and testing. Mobile test automation and device monitoring appears to be of interest to our members so we’re likely to arrange sessions to cover these topics. If you have any topics that you’d like us to cover, please get in touch and let us know.

As well as hosting SIG Talks and webinars, we’ve attended numerous conferences and summits with Micro Focus. These are great opportunities for us to meet our members and other software users. Vivit leaders are regularly invited to talk at these events and in the last 12 months we’ve spoken at TEDx, Micro Focus Government Summits, ADM and ITOM events in the US and Europe as well as at Micro Focus Universe. We’re already working on plans to get involved in similar events next year. If you’re running or attending a Micro Focus event next year, please let us know so that we can share details with our other members.

Please let us know if you hear of an interesting concept for events, we’re contemplating podcasts, lightning talks as well as other ways of engaging with our membership and we’d love to hear of other ways to increase member involvement in our community.

Best wishes for the festive period and 2019 from Vivit!

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My Micro Focus Universe Experience

Posted By Richard Bishop, Thursday, April 5, 2018
Updated: Friday, March 30, 2018


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.

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Happy New Year from Vivit

Posted By Rhonda Quaranta, Monday, January 15, 2018
Updated: Sunday, January 14, 2018


By Richard Bishop
Vivit Board President

I’d like to wish all of our members a very Happy New Year from Vivit. We are already looking forward to our first full year as the Micro Focus user group following the 2017 merger between HPE Software and Micro Focus.

2018
The new year is likely to bring more opportunities for Vivit as we work closely with existing Micro Focus communities and build new relationships between Vivit members and Micro Focus. We’ve already started talks with user groups representing SUSE, Attachmate and Novell and look forward to close working relationships with these areas of the Micro Focus business.

In the meantime, it is “business as usual” for Vivit. Our existing relationships with the former HPE Software ADM and ITOM business units are showing growth in members around the world, and we now have more than 41,000 members in over 150 countries. We will continue to offer local user group meetings as well as global webinars to keep you informed and educated about changes in the world of Micro Focus software.

SIG Talks #VivitSIGTalk
In my review of 2017, I described how Vivit is reinventing itself to meet the demands of our expanding user community. As well as the usual webinars and local user group meetings, we recently introduced SIG Talks. As we’ve grown, members have told us that although they value face to face meetings when possible, it is often easier to view webinars than travel to remote meetings. Unfortunately, traditional webinars are a less immersive experience than face to face meetings. To counter this, we’ve introduced SIG Talks. These monthly events are designed to encourage more interaction and Q&A than traditional webinars, and we’d like members to help us to choose suitable content. An imminent upgrade to our webinar platform means that soon we’ll be able to switch between video discussions and live product demos. This will help us to bring the “live” meeting experience to remote viewers. The schedule for 2018 SIG Talks as well as links to recorded content is on the Vivit website, please take a look and let us know what you think.

SIG Talks involve 3 or 4 short presentations (less than 15 minutes each) with an opportunity for Q&A. These short presentations will be available for download so they can be used to provoke discussions at your local user meetings or even in your place of work.

So far we have SIG Talks planned for our ADM-focussed special interest groups, and we’re working on a series of ITOM SIG Talks. Over time, we expect to develop SIG Talks for Lifecycle planning, Big Data and Business Intelligence as well as software development. Please let us know if you have any ideas for SIG talks; we’re keen to hear from you with ideas for SIG Talk sessions as well as offers of help. If you’d like to help out by providing a short demo or discussion topic, please let us know.

Be sure to join a #VivitSIGTalk in 2018!

Micro Focus conferences
Vivit has always attended Micro Focus conferences when possible to meet members as well as our colleagues at Micro Focus, and 2018 will be no different. Last year we attended the EMEA Customer Forum in Dublin, ITOM Summit in Dallas , ADM Customer Forum – NYC, ADM Customer Forum – Las Vegas, and Protect Conference in Washington DC . I also attended the Discover the New event in London where it was great to hear the vision for Micro Focus directly from Chris Hsu.

If you have a customer story to share with the community, be sure to contact us at info@vivit-worldwide.org.

If you’d like to share your experiences of Micro Focus software, share best practices, or get involved in our new SIG Talk sessions, please register for our speaker’s bureau. Whether you’re a seasoned conference speaker or a “newbie”, we’d love to hear from you if you have a story to tell.

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“Discover the New” – My First Impressions of the New Micro Focus

Posted By Richard Bishop, Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Updated: Saturday, October 7, 2017

I was pleased to be invited to the Micro Focus “Discover the New” event in London on the 7th of September. This was an event that Micro Focus had billed as an opportunity for partners and customers to meet the Micro Focus leadership team. After the merger of the HPE Software and Micro Focus businesses, the new Micro Focus is the 7th largest software company in the world with an extensive portfolio of software including brands such as SUSE, Attachmate, Borland, Novell, and Serena as well as the former HPE owned brands including Mercury Interactive, Shunra, Peregrine, and the HP Operations Management products.

 

 

The first thing that I noticed was the apparent lack of familiar faces. I’ve been attending Mercury, then HP, then HPE events for some time, and so I expected to see lots of people that I knew. However, many people that I met were traditional “Micro Focus” customers including Novell and Serena software users. This reminded me how much of a “game changer” the merger is. Rather than a simple “lift and shift” of HPE software into another organisation, right from the start there seems to be a desire to mix fellow customers together, allowing them to learn from each other. One conference attendee told me how Serena software helped with his release management and I was able to advise him on how LoadRunner could help him with his IoT (Internet of Things) testing. I can already see the potential benefits of merging these two software companies as well as expanding Vivit to allow us to collaborate with existing Micro Focus user groups.

 

 

After a chance to meet other attendees, we were called into an auditorium where Chris Hsu explained his vision for Micro Focus. As well as highlighting the facts and figures of the merger, this informative session also gave insights into the future direction of Micro Focus.

Key points for me were:

  • Micro Focus is now the 7th largest software company in the world.
  • All the companies larger than Micro Focus have small software portfolios (typically fewer than 5 core products). Micro Focus by contrast has a very broad portfolio with good opportunities for them to “cross-sell” or build on the strengths of one product by introducing another.
  • Chris Hsu, stressed that the new company now has over 2,000 support people and highlighted the need to ensure that valuable software investments did not become “shelf ware”.
  • Chris has a military background, and he stated the fact that for him the “mission is everything”. He expects all his staff to be able to identify how each task that they undertake is helping towards that mission. He reiterated the fact that putting the customer at the centre of their strategy was key.
  • A key strategy is to target complex organisations who benefit the most from enterprise-grade software. Embedding features from the former HPE “big data” tools into all software is a key part of their strategy.

 

 

After the main session, Chris Hsu took part in a question and answer session with the audience and one person asked him what the greatest threat to Micro Focus was. Chris responded by saying that the biggest threat to all tech companies was "forgetting the customer". He said that it was all too easy to become wrapped up in “tech” and lose touch with customer’s needs and wants. He also went on to say that showing customers how to use the tools properly is vital to prevent them from being discarded when problems are encountered.

I’m really pleased that this re-connection with customers is a priority for Chris, because this aligns well with Vivit’s strategic direction for the user group. We’re working on several initiatives which will help us to encourage mutual support and knowledge sharing to help members to get the best value from their financial and technical investments in Micro Focus software.

After the main session, Chris and his team mixed with the attendees, demonstrating that the new Micro Focus is very keen to hear from customers and help them with their challenges. I had a very interesting conversation with Chris, who has agreed to help with one of my clients, and I would urge anybody attending the “Discover The New” events to take time to talk with the Micro Focus team as well as their peers at these events.

 

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HPE/Micro Focus Merger Officially Complete

Posted By Richard Bishop, Tuesday, September 5, 2017
It’s an exciting day for all of us at Vivit Worldwide and that includes YOU!

After months of anticipation, preparation and planning, the spin-off from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and merger with Micro Focus is now officially complete.  Newly appointed Micro Focus CEO, Chris Hsu rang the NYSE bell this morning. This merger unifies two companies with a proven track record of leadership in the software industry. 

On behalf of Vivit, I would like to welcome you to the new Micro Focus user group with an assurance that we’ll keep doing what’s right for our members and the wider Micro Focus software user community. We believe that there is great potential for a business, 100% focused on software and that the changes will benefit us all.

We’ve been working behind the scenes to make sure that Vivit stays relevant to our members. We’ve incorporated ideas from our recent member survey together with suggestions from our leaders and board of directors and we’re working on new plans for the future. We’re hoping to deliver more of what our members want, such as knowledge, sharing webinars and special interest groups focusing on our member’s needs.

We hope that you can join Micro Focus and Vivit at one of the “Discover the New” events starting this September – 14 events in 4 weeks, worldwide:

EMEA AMERICAS APJ
7-Sep | London 11-Sep | DC - Protect 11-Sep | Sydney
10-Oct | Paris 11-14 Sep | ADM Forums LV/NYC 13-Sep | Singapore
12-Oct | Frankfurt 20-Sep | Ottawa Government Summit 3-Oct | Tokyo
18-20 Sep | Dubai & Abu Dhabi 26-Sep | Dallas 5-Oct | Mumbai
27-Sep | Toronto  
  28-Sep | NY Roundtable  


If you are unable to join these events in person, we hope that you will be able to join an upcoming webinar, local user group meeting or stay updated with the Vivit newsletter in the months to come.

Happy Micro Focus Day!

Richard Bishop
Vivit Board President

Micro Focus website

Discover the New webinar series: HPE Software joins forces with Micro Focus

Message from Micro Focus Chris Hsu

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Presidents' Blog

Posted By Rhonda Quaranta, Thursday, April 6, 2017
Updated: Monday, April 3, 2017
 
Richard Bishop, President
Vivit Worldwide
Board of Directors
  Mark Herbert, Vice President
Vivit Worldwide
Board of Directors

Despite uncertainty and industry speculation about HPE Software’s future, we’ve been as busy as ever working with HPE to bring you information and updates about HPE software in general and hot topics such as DevOps, BigData, ITSM and Cloud Computing.

Since the last President’s blog we’ve continued to grow dramatically and have increased our membership by over 20% in less than 6 months.

As HPE restructures in anticipation of the merger with Micro Focus later this year, we’ve seen some changes in people at HPE that we deal with on a day to day basis. We’re delighted to be working more closely with John Jeremiah who is one of the founders of TechBeacon. John has a passion for sharing insight and advice on key industry trends and it’s great to be working with him to bring more information to our members and help HPE Software to remain engaged with their customers.

This isn’t the first time that Vivit has faced a period of change. Vivit started as OVFI and was focussed primarily on the OpenView toolset. As HPE software expanded through the acquisition of Mercury Interactive and other software companies, we reinvented the user group to cater for the expanding customer base. The merger with Micro Focus provides us with an opportunity to re-evaluate what we do well and look for areas to improve to ensure that we remain your trusted software user community.

Until details of the merger are announced in greater detail, all we can be sure of is that we face a period of change. After all, nothing stays the same for long in the technology industry. Ahead of the merger, we’ve already had conflicting requests from our members as well as our sponsors at HPE. Some people want more webinars, others want more face to face meetings. Faced with these conflicting viewpoints, we’re doing our best to keep everybody happy. We’ve invested in a new webinar platform to help make our web content more engaging (we can now include live and recorded video as well as screen sharing in our webinars). As well as this we’re working on a Vivit mobile app to help members stay up to date with the latest news and view on-demand content.

Vivit will have a presence at the US ITOM summit, ADM summit in Dublin, HPE Protect conference and other events and conferences throughout 2017. It is likely that we will attend a larger number of smaller conferences rather than a small number of larger ones. We hope that this will allow us to become more engaged with our membership and continue to work with you and HPE / Micro Focus to help you get the most from the software that you use and the user community as a whole.

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Introducing Vivit's New Logo and Website

Posted By Richard Bishop, Tuesday, November 29, 2016

by Richard Bishop, President
Vivit Worldwide Board of Directors


We are proud to announce the launch of the new Vivit logo and website as part of the ongoing development of our brand and improvements to the services that we provide to our members around the world. In response to requests from our members we’ve made the site more usable on mobile devices and we’re working to improve the usability of the site.

Vivit has grown dramatically over the last decade and continues to evolve, consequently, we felt it was time for an update. The new logo represents the three foundation pillars of our user community; Advocacy, Community and Education. Despite changes over recent years and the changes yet to come, these have always been and will remain our core principles.

We are proud to be working on your behalf and provide our members with the opportunity to share information, collaborate, exchange ideas and develop their careers.

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Contact Us

Vivit Worldwide
P.O. Box 18510
Boulder, CO 80308

Email: contact-us@vivit-worldwide.org

Mission

Vivit's mission is to serve
the Micro Focus User
Community through
Advocacy, Community,
and Education.