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Proposed HPE Software & Micro Focus Merger

Posted By Julanne Rutten, Friday, September 23, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Message from the President:
Proposed HPE Software & Micro Focus Merger

by Richard Bishop, President
Vivit Worldwide Board of Directors

Most members of Vivit will by now have heard Meg Whitman's major announcement from her quarterly market update earlier this month.

Speculation about a potential "sell off" of the HPE software business to established software businesses or technology-focused venture capitalists was rife in the weeks leading up to the merger announcement. I was initially surprised to hear that Micro Focus was the company in negotiations with HPE because that name wasn't amongst the many rumours that I heard. Over 24-hours, the news wires buzzed with more and more information describing the transaction as a merger, rather than a straightforward sale. HPE shareholders will retain 50.1% of the new company through equity and several HPE execs including Robert Youngjohns and Chris Hsu are moving to Micro Focus as part of the deal. I think that this bodes well for HPE software users, this represents an ongoing collaboration, not a fire-sale.

Press Releases: HPE | Micro Focus

Many Vivit members may appreciate some background information about Micro Focus:
Micro Focus was founded in Newbury, England in 1976 and initially focused on software products based on COBOL. Micro Focus specialises in bridging the gap between modern and legacy systems, either by assisting in the migration from mainframe to newer platforms or by introducing newer concepts such as DevOps to the traditionally slow-moving world of the mainframe which remains key to many enterprises.

Over recent years Micro Focus has grown organically as well as by acquisition, notably in 2009 with the purchase of Borland and in 2014 when it acquired Attachmate. The Borland deal gave it access to the ALM marketplace and Attachmate added the Novell, NetIQ and SUSE product lines to its portfolio.

Micro Focus has a good track record of taking ownership of established software businesses and improving their profitability by simplifying business processes and strategy, consolidating similar business units and slimming down management structures. This could help to reinvigorate the HPE software business which has market-leading products, but has been in the shadow of the much larger hardware business units.

Micro Focus tends to retain the established brand names of the companies that it acquires, this is why SUSE, Borland, Novell and Attachmate brands are still in existence. Since it would be impractical to retain the name "HPE", this may mean that brands such as Mercury Interactive, ArcSight, Vertica and Autonomy could make a comeback. (This is speculation on my part).

How will this affect the user group?
As HPE's independent software user group, Vivit will obviously be affected by these changes. Over recent years we've grown significantly, gaining members at the HP and HPE Discover conferences and by running webinars to complement our traditional face-to-face meetings.

Vivit's last "re-invention" came in 2007, when following the acquisition of the Mercury Interactive business, it was no longer appropriate to use "OpenView" as part of the name of our user group. We chose the name Vivit to represent "living IT" and it has served us well.

As a thriving community with over 30,000 members, we're looking forward to working with Micro Focus and continuing to support our members in our three core areas:

  • Advocacy - providing customer feedback to the vendor
  • Community - providing opportunities to share best practice
  • Education - helping to educate software users to get the most from their investment

Over the coming months we'll contact our counterparts in the Micro Focus user communities to find out whether there are any opportunities for co-operation and collaboration.

What next?
The HPE press release includes these two statements which I feel demonstrate that the future remains bright for those products that Vivit members have built their careers upon.

"As part of the transaction, HPE software assets – including Application Delivery Management, Big Data, Enterprise Security, Information Management & Governance and IT Operations Management – will join a more focused portfolio better able to serve you as part of a company that’s purely dedicated to software. We believe this is absolutely the right move for HPE, our Software business, and most importantly you, our customer.

Micro Focus’s proven track record of managing both growing and mature software assets will enable higher levels of investment in growth areas, while maintaining a stable platform for mission-critical software products. Together, HPE’s software assets and Micro Focus will have global reach and strong go-to-market capability with nearly 4,000 salespeople and deep R&D resources – ensuring that our customers continue to receive best-in-class software solutions."

Vivit has always been focused on the needs of our members. We will continue to help you get the most out of the software that runs your business throughout the transition to the new organisation. Assuming that the merger is approved by the regulators and shareholders of HPE and Micro Focus, we expect that the merger will take place in Q3 2017. Until then, we'll do all that we can to keep you informed as other announcements are made.

Additional Sources: Computing | CNBC | Reuters | BBC

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Wrap Up of HPE Discover

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Thursday, January 7, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Richard Bishop

Vivit Board President

In December, Vivit joined over 13,000 HPE customers and partners at the ExCeL in London where the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise was hosting its Discover event. This first "post HP-split” conference allowed the new HPE to "set out its stall” and describe how the restructure had left it in a position to respond more quickly to customer demands. As Meg Whitman said, "Success in the world favours companies that can invent and re-invent at warp speed”.

HPE Discover
The conference is an opportunity for HPE to meet customers and partners and share their ideas for the future. For me, it’s a great place to meet fellow users of HPE software and pick up "best practice tips” as well as getting the latest information from the product management and R&D teams.

As well as the keynote and general sessions, HPE and Vivit host technical breakout sessions and roundtables at the conference and as a result, the conference really has "something for everyone”. My only complaint is that there never seems to be enough time to see all the people that I’d like to and I often leave the conference wanting more!

If you missed the conference, the links below will take you to some of the highlights and general session presentations:
HPE Discover 2015 London - Highlights
HPE Discover 2015 London - General Sessions

Key themes
The split was a major theme (HPE was only one month old at the time of the conference). HPE was keen to share their experiences of the reorganisation and now consider themselves to be experts in the business of large scale transformations. HPE is keen to build on the legacy of Hewlett Packard to deliver more, faster with their new, leaner organisation.

As well as HP’s separation into multiple businesses there were four key business themes, running through the conference.

  • Transformation (to a hybrid infrastructure)
  • Protection (of the digital enterprise)
  • Enablement (of workplace productivity)
  • Empowerment (of a data-driven organisation)

Each of these themes boiled down to using IT to do more for business, at a higher speed and a higher quality than before. Whilst maximising the value of company data and ensuring the security of digital assets.

Vivit news
Over recent years, Vivit’s membership has been growing rapidly and each conference is an opportunity for the Vivit board to give HPE and our members an update on our growth and plans for the future. I’m delighted to announce that our membership has doubled in the last 2.5 years and we now represent over 33,000 members from more than 31 countries.

Get the most from your Vivit membership
As our membership grows, it can be hard to keep track of our members’ areas of interest. We know that we have an almost equal split of members who use HPE QA/applications products and HPE operations management products and a similar split of managers and practitioners. We’re keen to ensure that each of you receive relevant, timely information from Vivit. You can help us to ensure that you receive the right information from Vivit by updating your profile on the Vivit website. If you let us know the products that you use we’ll do our best to ensure that you receive only the most relevant information. Update your profile now!

Vivit has 80 Local User Groups (LUGs) in 31 countries and 19 Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Each LUG and SIG has its own focus and personality. Members of LUGs meet face to face to share best practices, tips, and tricks. Members of SIGs meet online and can participate in blogs and webinars.

To join a group relevant to you, log into the Vivit website - Find the LUG and SIGs that are most relevant to you and select the "Join group” icon which will appear at the top of the group page. If you can’t find a LUG or SIG that’s relevant to you get in touch and we’ll help if we can.

We’re looking forward to the next Discover conference in Las Vegas in June 2016 and beyond that, to the next EMEA conference which will be at the ExCeL in London in December 2016.

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A Message from Vivit's President

Posted By Richard Bishop, Monday, November 2, 2015
Vivit is your Hewlett Packard Enterprise software User Community

On November 1 Hewlett Packard separated into two companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP, Inc. Vivit is excited to be a part of the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise team. We continue to be your unbiased, trusted and field-tested HPE software user community that will provide you with an infrastructure of support through programs centered around education, community-building, and advocacy for members. Welcome HPE!

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A Message from Vivit's President

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Monday, June 29, 2015

This year I was once again fortunate to attend the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas. As a Vivit Board member, I’m invited to these conferences for meetings with HP executives as well as meetings with the rest of the Vivit Board the two days immediately before each conference.

I was pleased to be able to attend this year after successful re-election to the board, and I was delighted, when during the pre-conference meeting, my fellow board members voted to elect me president of the Vivit Board.

Each HP Discover conference is a great opportunity for all Vivit members, not just Board members or Local User Group leaders, to meet HP executives and product managers. It can often be difficult to find the right person to talk to in an organization as large as HP, but at conferences such as this, you’re never far from the person with the answer to your question, whether this is an HP specialist or fellow conference attendee.

At each conference, Vivit likes to hold a dinner to thank the leaders who put so much time and effort into organizing local events and webinars and leading our various Special Interest Groups. These dinners are a great opportunity for successful Vivit leaders to share ideas on how to arrange successful meetings and keep the Local User Groups active.

Conference themes
This year, there were two key themes to the conference.

There were the usual announcements describing HP’s latest innovations and research such as "The Machine”, their work on "the Internet of Things” and the integration of "Big Data” into many of their software products like Operational Analytics, IT Security, and Application Development and Management (ADM)

HP also described in detail how the transition to two separate business units (HP Enterprise Group and HP Inc.) would take place.

The best bits
Meeting people
For me, the compelling reason for attending HP Discover is without a doubt the opportunity to meet fellow HP Software professionals in a way that is only possible when HP brings its "best and brightest” to a single location.

As well as round-table discussions, technical presentations, and keynote speeches, I find that I learn a huge amount from talking to HP product specialists at their demo booths. This is where I get the opportunity to see all the latest product versions in one place and understand the best way of implementing HP software solutions for my customers.

The keynotes
This year’s keynote sessions were particularly informative. In the first keynote, rather than relying on the traditional "this is our new product X”-style presentation," HP told stories about how it helped to transform its customers' businesses using a mixture of hardware, software, and professional services. This demonstrates how, rather than the traditional "cost centre” that it always was in the past, IT is crucial for the success of any business.

There were some new software announcements, including Grommet, HP’s open source UX framework, as well as LeanFT which was described well in Jo Colantonio’s blog.

The first keynote led nicely into the second keynote where Meg Whitman and her executive team described in more detail how HP will separate into two business units. Some of the statistics that they shared were remarkable: 5,000 people are working on the split and John Hinshaw described how they were migrating 2,800 applications, 75,000 APIs, and 50,000 servers across 6 data centres. During the transition, HP is taking the opportunity to move as many applications as possible to the cloud. Over 1,700 premise-to-cloud migrations are taking place as part of the separation.

The worst bits
There’s very little that I don’t like about the HP Discover conference, although two things come to mind. Firstly, Las Vegas and the conference facilities are vast. I feel like I walk miles at the conference. Secondly, Las Vegas is an awful long way from home. I always find that the 8-hour time difference is difficult to overcome and find jet lag a problem for the first few days. I shouldn’t complain though; the people from R&D in Israel have to put up with a 10-hour time difference.

The good news from my perspective is that the next conference will be in London in December. Next time I won’t be able to moan about the time difference, so I’ll try to be sympathetic to my fellow board members when they fall asleep at dinner.

More information

If you feel you missed out by not attending HP Discover, many of the keynote and track sessions were recorded and are available online. As well as this, Vivit will be hosting numerous webinars as well as local user meetings to help disseminate information about the conference. The links below will be useful if you want to learn more.

HP Discover KeyNote and Breakout sessions from 2015.
Vivit Community Calendar

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A Message from Vivit's President

Posted By Karen Semonson, Thursday, February 27, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014

Vivit Members will Facebook Like Button WIIFM Strategic Goals

As a Vivit member you may ask yourself, WIIFM (what's in it for me)? In 2014, our strategic focus is to help grow you, yes you, and your membership engagement through creating opportunities for you to participate in the relevant and timely conversations that only this community can provide for you, when you need them, usually NOW, or when and what your boss wants, RIGHT NOW!

For the first six months of 2014 leading up to HP Discover Las Vegas, we will be focused on three mediums to create conversations – Vivit Talks with HP, Enhanced Local User Group Meetings, and Freemium Campaigns.

Hearing the Scoop is vitally important when you are being pressed to build your own operational and strategic roadmaps and plans. The first conversation will be with HP Executives or Evangelists in the three portfolios – Service & Portfolio Management (SPM), Business Service Management (BSM) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). These strategists will have the opportunity to give you their vision and the roadmap for HP Products relevant to you. These conversations also give you the opportunity to ask, cajole and challenge the HP Evangelist about what you need as an HP customer. Participate in the power of the conversation.

The second conversation is an enhancement of what we do best – physical chapter meetings, with the complement of what we also do well – advanced deep dive training. Leaving the office is harder than ever. All of us need professional development to remain fabulous and up to date on our skills. Where better to get some condensed, advanced training on a particular solution or product, then after lunch in the afternoon at your monthly Vivit chapter meeting. Seasoned, field-tested trainers will lead sessions with best practice, "go back to work and apply it” training at the reasonable price of $99. Participate in the power of the conversation.

The third and last conversation will be a new concept that is still in the Innovation melting pot being stirred and meddled. HP is working on releasing Freemiums for key products over the course of 2014. Since we are practitioners at heart, who love the kinesthetic experience of seeing, touching, playing, and breaking technology, Vivit whole-heartedly believes that Freemiums are an important part of the conversation. Vivit is working to build campaigns to encourage the individual member and the thought leadership of the community to grow through innovative applications of Freemiums. For HP Discover in Las Vegas, Vivit is working with HP to provide a Freemium experience that you can zealously add to your conference participation. Get ready to participate in the power of the conversation.

The three conversations are going to happen at a meeting in your city, at a meeting in your virtual community, or at a participatory event at HP Discover. Get engaged in these conversations, because as a Vivit community member, we all become better because of each other.

Keep Smiling!

Karen Semonson
President, Vivit Board of Directors

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A Message from Vivit's President

Posted By Karen Semonson, Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Of course, for most of us, HP Discover starts the summer season, with all attendees being immersed into the 120 degree heat of the Vegas strip, and the thought provoking ideas shared at the conference. For the Vivit Board and organization, we started the summer off hot at HP Discover, but also with a new synergy caused by having four new board members and our new Engagement Director, Lisa Nordhoff, coming onboard. As new talent rolls in with new ideas, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to enhance our foundation of community, advocacy and education. At HP Discover in June, the Vivit Board met for two days on the strategic plan for the next three years.

Vivit is the independent HP Software User Group, with 15,800 members in 75 local user groups in 26 countries and 17 virtual special interest groups covering everything from products, to hot topics, to industry best practices. Over the last year, global membership has grown by 13%, and Vivit has seen a 25% increase in local user group meetings. Our membership is composed of 50% practitioners and 50% IT decision makers. Why is our user group nearly 50% IT decision makers? Our membership has grown up in the IT industry from practitioner to engineer/analyst to management as an engaged Vivit member with 60% of our members having used HP Software for more than five years.

Over the last five years, the Vivit organization has changed, grown and adapted to align with the new style of IT. We are a progressive group of thought leaders who have a passion for leading and participating in the conversation. We are participatory, servant leaders who come together to collaborate through community, education and advocacy.

Vivit's Strategic Focus is to Build a Community Platform Where Relevant Conversations Happen. The Vivit Strategic Plan for the next three years includes continuing to build and enhance our core foundation, the 75 local user groups in 26 countries, where members come together and experience the magic of Vivit - the conversation. Vivit will be increasing the opportunities for relevant conversation by hosting SIG webinars and Virtual Summits, on such hot topics as Mobility, Security and Privacy, Converged Cloud and Big Data. Conversations that are relevant to you as either a practitioner or IT decision maker because each day you are challenged to grow and adapt to the new style of IT.

As a community of really smart people, we are fortunate to be the place where the best and brightest people hangout. Our community is made up of practitioners, third party partners, and HP themselves. This November, we will be launching our first, two Virtual Summits. The first Virtual Summit on November 6 & 7 will be on Mobility and Converged Cloud. The second Virtual Summit on November 20 & 21 will be on Security and Big Data. Each Summit will be kicked off by an HP Fellow giving a keynote presentation on the latest strategic insight coming out of HP Labs on the related topics. Each day will have a Birds of a Feather Session led by the HP Fellow and the Session Speakers, giving you an opportunity to bounce your greatest challenges and deepest questions off of some really smart people for out of the box thinking. I hope you take the time to check out our new Community Platform where the conversations that you want and need to be part will continue to happen.

As the Vivit President, I am proud to introduce to you these new strategic changes that Vivit will be pursuing in the next three years. As always, we welcome your feedback, but most of all we welcome your participation and hope to inspire your collaboration in the community we call Vivit. Come join us!

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