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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Micro Focus Talks Unique Approach to Digital Transformation, Challenges and Company Vision


By analyst accounts, indications are high that digital transformation is a top priority for organizations in 2019.  And digital transformation is forcing organizations to look at IT from more perspectives than ever before.  Through a concerted effort that combined M&A and an aggressive R&D agenda, Micro Focus says they are now in a position to deliver on that priority.  To learn more, VMblog sat down with Joe Garber, Global Head of Strategy & Solutions at Micro Focus.

VMblog:  It's been a little more than a year since Micro Focus acquired the Hewlett Packard Enterprise software business.  Looking back at the company you were then versus where you are now, what have been the striking differences and successes?

Joe Garber:  We are certainly bigger and more far reaching than ever before. Today, we are one of the ten largest pure-play enterprise software companies in the world with about $4B in annual revenue and 40,000 customers worldwide. This size and scale matters to our customers who are looking for a long-term partner to assist with their long-term IT challenges.

Perhaps the greatest success over the past 12-18 months has been the integration of products. The addition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Software's assets supplemented an already-strong portfolio, and now we have more than 300 products that touch on our customers' most-important needs. For instance, predictive analytics was an area we knew would be critical to our customers as they transition to a digital enterprise, and there were obvious assets we could tap into with HPE's intellectual property. In other cases, the acquired assets complemented our portfolio so we could deliver even more value to our customers. 

VMblog:  What is Micro Focus' vision for the future?

Garber:  Micro Focus is now focused squarely on addressing the emerging requirements of digital transformation, which is a top priority for our customers and partners. No longer are organizations looking at their IT strategy from just a single lens, but instead are looking at how they can evolve through a series of inter-related initiatives that touch on four core aspects of digital transformation:

  • Enterprise DevOps - Solutions that unleash the power of DevOps across the hybrid IT landscape, bringing innovative ideas to life to securely deliver high-quality software and services faster.
  • Hybrid IT Management - Solutions that help organizations run IT Ops at the speed of DevOps, delivering services on demand and generating operational and business insights, all while helping organizations address security, compliance and governance requirements.
  • Predictive Analytics - Solutions that leverage machine learning to transform unlimited volumes of data into accurate, actionable, automated insights - to ultimately make predictions and influence business outcomes quickly and efficiently.
  • Security, Risk, and Governance - Solutions that safeguard an organization's most-valuable assets - identities, applications and data - to mitigate risk that can come in the form of expensive breaches, fines, sanctions and lost shareholder value.

Micro Focus is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of digital transformation because of the breadth of our portfolio, the ever-growing depth of our analytics that underpin these solutions, and the domain expertise that we have developed over dozens of years in business serving many of the world's largest and most-complex organizations.

VMblog:  Of the four key pillars of digital transformation, which do you think present the biggest challenge for organizations in the next couple of years?

Garber:  It depends. Naturally, each organization has its own unique IT needs and challenges. For some, speed and flexibility will be the top priority as they enter into this new era, which means they might prioritize DevOps or Hybrid IT respectively. Others are looking at how they can better drive the top line with added insights into their customers and new business models, which comes from more-effective use of predictive analytics. And of course, protecting the organization from risk is always important, but perhaps even more so when an organization is going through a period of transformation.

Micro Focus's goal is to offer a holistic set of solutions that can be implemented individually, to solve an organization's most-critical needs first, but that can also be integrated together over time. Instead of asking our customers to take a ‘boil-the-ocean' approach to digital transformation, we are giving them the tools to progress on their own terms.

VMblog:  We hear about 'digital transformation' a lot.  How is your approach unique?

Garber:  There are three key things that make our approach to digital transformation unique. 

  • The breadth and depth of our portfolio: in a market largely dominated by point solutions that are often not interoperable and only address a specific portion of collective IT needs, we are able to deliver an integrated, holistic set of solutions.
  • An alignment to our customers' IT reality: Our technology bridges the gap between existing and emerging technologies-to protect customers' investments and enable faster time-to-value, with less risk.
  • An R&D philosophy that puts customers first: Many software vendors prioritize chasing the next new thing, which is often not in their current customers' best interest. Micro Focus prioritizes customer centric innovation, which puts our goals in line with theirs.

VMblog:  What advice do you have for organizations struggling to keep up, especially with movement to the cloud?

Garber:  Think twice before adopting a rip-and-replace approach to digital transformation.  In the vast majority of cases, organizations have invested a good deal in current technology, and the processes that support them.  While it can at first seem appealing to start from scratch, often this approach will break down processes, compromise security measures, and put revenue at risk.  Instead, look to modernize core business systems.  This can apply to all aspects of IT, but certainly is applicable as organizations formulate their cloud strategy. By bridging the old and the new, you will be in a much stronger position to run AND transform the business at the same time, to achieve lasting success.


Published Wednesday, March 06, 2019 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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