Explore the Universe with Misty

by in Application Modernization & Connectivity

universe image_912x456.jpgThe Launch

Talk about great timing!  Just four weeks after starting with the company, Micro Focus held their largest event of the year – Universe.  I was too new to be a presenter and everyone else was incredibly busy, so you might say I was left to take full advantage of the Universe by myself.  I hope you’ll enjoy seeing what the Universe looked like from my perspective.

Let’s start our tour with CEO Stephen Murdoch’s opening keynote featuring Jaguar Racing’s Formula E.  Of course, he spoke about the effects of the pandemic, but I was most impressed with how he turned the challenges into opportunities for Micro Focus and our clients.  Businesses already knew that they needed to transform their technology, but the timer had run out.  The pandemic made adapting to the immediate issues and preparing for an increasingly “dynamic” future simultaneously urgent.  The time for digital transformation is now.

My Galaxy: AMC

Neil Fowler (VP and GM of AMC) mentioned two things that really stood out to me during the Application Modernization & Connectivity (AMC) keynote.  First, he explained how there is no one best destination for clients looking to modernize their applications.  How often do salespeople start the conversation with “what everyone needs to do is put it in the cloud/automate it/use our software”?  It’s not surprising to hear them say their solution will solve all your problems.  But Micro Focus’s solutions are ALL ABOUT flexibility and giving you options.  COBOL applications can be run on a mainframe, on x86 or in the cloud – and even on all of them at the same time!  Newer employees can use modern IDEs to access the mainframe but your senior employees can continue using what they’re proficient with, while Micro Focus makes sure everything operates together in the backend.

The second thing that I loved about Neil’s session was the Modernization Maturity Model.  It really helped me understand all the pieces of modernization in one easy to read format.  You can modernize the What (applications) or the How (processes) or the Where (infrastructure) or even all three.  The maturity model helps you identify and prioritize what to pursue.  An underlying thread to all of this is the human element, which really speaks to me.  Any change is going to fail if the people don’t agree that change is needed, or they aren’t sufficiently prepared.

The Planets:  Key Topics

There were many other fascinating sessions (see the list of my favorites below).  I found that Micro Focus has products that add modern access security and RPA features to your EXISTING mainframe environment but also integrate with the non-mainframe security.  They even included a real-world testimonial of the Italian textile company EMiroglio that was able to do just that.  Then I learned that Standish Research proved what I had heard for years; completely rewriting applications tends to fail but modernizing existing applications tends to succeed.  Then they introduced a concept called Infinite Flow where modernization is not a project but a regular part of the business. 

I saw lots of examples of application modernization including DXC, SDWorx, Laboral Kutxa and CVS Health.  FIS talked about how they were very successful in modernizing their existing applications, processes and infrastructure to take advantage of new business opportunities while simultaneously innovating their internal operations (seriously impressive).  I saw how COBOL applications can be refactored, given APIs, converted to micro-services and even deployed in a cloud.  It all ended with an Ask the Experts session that went a bit deeper into the technology under all these amazing strategies with lots of great examples.

Bottom Line:  There was so much to learn, you would need to read at the speed of light to see it all.  Explore the Universe on your own with the map I provide below.

Misty’s Map of the Universe

Note:  To access these resources, you need to:

  1. Register for the conference (no worries, it’s free) for one of the 3 regions. 
  2. Stay logged in and then click on the link below for the appropriate region.
  • Universe Welcome Keynote:  CEO Stephen Murdoch and Jaguar Racing Team Director James Barclay
    EMEA   AMS    APJ
  • Track AMC Keynote: Application Modernization and Connectivity
    EMEA   AMS   APJ
  • Closing Keynote:  Ask the Experts - Application Modernization and Connectivity
    EMEA   AMS   

Application Modernization (COBOL, Mainframe, Enterprise)

Accelerate Mainframe Delivery (ChangeMan ZMF)

Mainframe Access and Security (Host Connectivity)


Host Connectivity
Cobol Analyzer
Enterprise Developer
Enterprise Analyzer
Visual COBOL