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Skynet RC – Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) vs. Business Process Automation (BPA)

Posted By Jonathon Wright, Thursday, October 17, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The year was 2008, the same year Bill Gates stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft. I found myself in a situation that was best described as a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street. I sat in a glass meeting room located on the 30th floor of Bank Street in Canary Wharf where I was being interviewed by a couple of “suits”. During the interview, I was questioned “so ... how good are you with WinRunner?” I responded with the default contractor answer of “well it depends, what you are trying to do?”. The next question shocked me, “do you see all the people on this floor?” I nodded, “well ... we are about to let them all go… and we need automation” someone then walked up onto a stage and announced that everyone on the trading floor had been let go.

As people started to leave, they continued to explain that they had bought millions of mortgages and loans from various organisations/providers and needed them to all be boarded/migrated onto their target platform (see above) so they could be serviced.

Six months later, my time at Lehman Brothers had taught me a valuable lesson on the importance of Business Process Automation (BPA) and the potential value of enterprise RPA to an organisation. This could be driven by Operational Efficiency, Speed to Market or even traditional ROI / cost saving:

  • Operational Efficiency - What do you think the percentage is of Human error when you have 100+ mortgage agents boarding loans 24/7 and what is the impact of missing a zero or keying in the wrong number?
  • Speed to Market - How long does it take from purchasing subprime to be able to underwrite/service the loan? (i.e. when they could start making money)
  • ROI / cost saving - Reducing headcount by 100+ mortgage agents (or redeploy them to better use as SMEs) and replacement with robotic agents (WinRunner VMs).

One of the major challenges around replacing humans with robots is that they lack the context-sensitive validation that human SME has many years of experience in each industry, both vertical or domain. For example, what happens when one of the mortgage platforms categorizes the property as a studio apartment and the other system categories it as a one-bedroom flat?

This is where Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) comes in by factoring in the decision making based on a domain / context specific model of the solution (i.e. modelling derivatives and providing the associated data sets). This topic was explored at the RPA Tech Day in London on Wednesday 26th September (see above photo).

Additionally that week, I had finished recording a podcast with Joe Colantonio which explored this subject in much more detail around ‘Shift Right’ and learning how to model the behaviour of systems from production. In turn, this highlights a challenge with modelling. What happens when a journey is not discovered (an edge case) or a decision tree is not executed by the system? This is another challenge with process mining or node discovery (discovering every possible path through a system).

Forget adding additional Chaos Engineering approaches of ‘what if’ scenarios to handle systemic failure. But, are we saying that RPA is destined for failure (similar that of early digital transformation efforts) because the systems that humans have built are too complex or are we saying that the lessons that we have learned from the past can help us avoid making similar mistakes when it comes to Enterprise RPA adoption?

The RPA Tech Day at the Micro Focus office in London which was very similar to the workshop that I attended in South Africa last month. The messaging had again evolved taking another step toward differentiating Micro Focus within the RPA industry. The key differentiator being Business Process Automation (BPA) capabilities and augmenting intelligence through SME and the autonomy of the dissecting the process targeted for RPA.

I’d swap activities and interactions around as an activity can be made up of several interactions with potentially different systems (i.e. context switching). Another observation was the importance of Digital Experiences (DX) over User Experiences (UX) I.e. focusing on what the human does instead of the cause and effect modelling of what upstream and downstream activities are being triggered (check out my chapter in the Digital Quality Handbook for further detail).

Another challenge is how many possible flows through the above process, is it 5, 10, 25, 100, infinite? At the time of publication, the simple process flow above (taken from the Experiences in Test Automation by Dorothy Graham) I had estimated 25 flows, unfortunately, I was completely wrong. I remember running a workshop in California on code coverage techniques on LCSAJ (Linear Code Sequence & Jump) with only a single loop, to cover all paths with all data permutations results in the nearly infinite possible path.

I recall when I was based in Silicon Valley as the product owner for the market-leading model-based testing (MBT) tool, we used various techniques and graph theory to optimize the best coverage possible. It was only when dealing with companies like Apple & PayPal when we realised that modelling the data of the flows was as important, if not more important that all paths through the system.

Let us take PayPal as a simple example. My PayPal balance is £100 and I’m in Dubai and I want to pay for my Uber which is 450 Dirham which is fine based on the current financial exchange (FX) rate of 0.22 but it is the end of the month and suddenly Brexit happens and the FX rate suddenly changes at the end of the day and I’m left with a negative balance (which is not possible on my account). This is known as an edge case that may have not happened before in production or have been negatively tested. So, who is to blame? The customer, they had enough money at the time when the transaction occurred but after the FX spike, they didn’t? PayPal, who should be able to make real-time payments and not overnight batch things up? Uber, for sending a debt collection letter as they were not able to collect the fee to pay the third party driver?

You may be asking what has this got to do with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? The short answer is everything. Replacing a human with a machine may catch 85% of the Business Process Automation (BPA) flows, but who is left to pick up the other 15% which fails? Augmenting Intelligence with skills SMEs and providing RPA as a Service (RPAaaS) seems like the only logical way of successfully navigating the challenges of Business Process Automation (BPA) to establish Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

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Cognitive Engineering - Intelligent Enterprise RPA

Posted By Jonathan Wright, Thursday, September 12, 2019
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2019

Should I be excited? I started my career back three decades ago with XRunner > WinRunner > QTP and now Unified Functional Tester (One). Does that automatically qualify as a certified RPA engineer?

Additionally, now that I’m cognizant of how business processes work and the associated mapping to enterprise architecture through to orchestration, does that mean I’m also an RPA architect?

Naively, I would love to say yes, but unfortunately based on my experience of implementing Enterprise RPA solutions for various global organisations, it is not that straightforward.

Last week, I attended the Micro Focus RPA workshop in South Africa, which initially let us address the elephant in the room. Why are Micro Focus entering so late into such a mature and established RPA market that has been around for decades? I guess the simplified answer is most RPA platforms were born in the IT Operations space (ITOM) and primarily focused on IT process automation. (Think when you first join a new company and all that configuration that happens to get you set up on all the various backend IT systems?)

What makes Micro Focus RPA different from the rest? First off, IT Operations Orchestration (OO) is extremely established within the IT Operations (ITOM) market and it already supports enterprise-grade IT process automation capabilities.

Moving swiftly onto the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) where the test automation tools have been around us since the early 1970s. My good friend Dorthey Graham was one of the first to write test automation for Bell Labs (check out the experiences in test automation book).

Micro Focus has had a market share of Test Automation tool Unified Functional Testing (UFT) which has always had Enterprise-grade support for SAP, Oracle (Java) or bespoke application, instead of Selenium W3C standard, which only supports elementary Web Browser automation.

So why is this important? By combining best in class Application Delivery Management (ADM) platform with the best in class IT Operations Management (ITOM) platform, you have Enterprise RPA platform. The other market-leading RPA solutions just don’t have the IT Operations Orchestration capabilities (except for IBM, but they have recently handed over tool development to HCL so are unlikely to penetrate the market).

This protects your organisation's current investment in both ADM and ITOM toolchains. Combined with 8,500 prebuilt enterprise workflows and identify management and security (data encryption), that can be easily extended to support third-party platforms, mainframe, bash shell (such as power shell) or REST APIs (by importing a Swagger spec).

By truly bridging the GAP between Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) the possibilities are endless, but this capability alone does not make an Enterprise RPA platform.

The capability to enable Business Process Automation (BPA) combined with Runbook Automation (RBA) allows for end to end business processes to be encapsulated no matter how complete the IT ecosystems. However, this requires Subject Matter Experts (SME) who understand the individual systems that make up the end to end a critical business process that you are trying to target for RPA.

The market differential for the Micro Focus RPA solution is the 80/20 rule around the amount of effect required to develop vs. maintenance effort. The fact that it does not require specialist RPA resources, due to proprietary coding skills required by the market leaders, the Micro Focus RPA solution can leverage existing resource pools i.e. SME, ITOps & UFT.

Everyone who I spoke to at the Micro Focus RPA event was extremely excited around RPA opportunities and how the Micro Focus RPA could be onto a winning Enterprise RPA solution.

Tags:  Cognitive Engineering  Intelligent Enterprise RPA  RPA 

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SMAX - Lean Engineering - Don’t Throw Away: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Posted By Jonathon Wright, Thursday, September 12, 2019
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2019

In our personal lives do we advocate our social responsibility to encourage and become smarter to reduce our individual contribution to global warming? When it comes to waste, we at least try to adopt lean practices to avoid duplication (lean thinking) and our recycling management (like all our waste packaging from Amazon). So why in IT do we find ourselves continuously replacing old systems heritage with shiny new systems? Not look at retrofitting our classic systems with a shiny new UI or support for the latest greatest technologies (mega/multi-cloud, containerisation or predictive analytics).

My previous blogs have mentioned that the messaging from Micro Focus is to protect your investment in IT systems and business smarts. Use the example of your our car. If you are lucky enough to own a classic car, it may not be the fastest, most reliable or have the latest technology, it may be an endangered species and you may struggle to get parts any more, but you have formed a bond with the product (whatever car you may or may not own).
For a lucky few, you may swap your car every couple of years and never have to worry about the potential MOT test failures (I.e. maintenance window & downtime). This seems to be the approach for enterprise business products as quoted by that 1/3 customers will typically swap out enterprise software every three years. But how can this be cost efficient over the total cost of ownership?

You may be asking what does this have to do with SMAX? Unfortunately, due to my limited knowledge around ITOM, I’ll have go back in time circa 1990 to my final year dissertation on “Automation IT Based Helpdesk” which shared similarities with some of the capabilities of SMAX.

The idea back then was the ability to develop dynamic personas which allowed automated service desk tickets to provide different responses based on the end user’s knowledge level based combined something similar to hot topics analytics:

  • Example A - Limited IT knowledge - Local Printer not working - turn it off and back on again.
  • Example B - Geeky IT knowledge - check bios for ECP / EPP settings for conflict of possible IRQ issue

However, it shows how far technology has come with the flagship SMAX platform. In the May release, they introduced MAX, the intent learning virtual agent.

Combined with an industry leading approach to smart asset management through the CMDB discover along with ticket auto-categorisation capability.

With all this next-generation technology and analytics, SMAX is embracing the lean engineering mantra. Additionally, with the introduction of MAX, the bot and the upcoming SMAX SaaS offering Micro Focus will continue to be a clear leader in the Service Management segment.

Tags:  SMAX 

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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:


Jonathon Wright

Vice President, Operations

Mark Ford

Vice President, Strategy & Innovation

Todd DeCapua


Christopher J. Scharer


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.


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.

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

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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