Insight Empowered: An Interview with Scott Richards

by in Information Management & Governance

While many industries today face unprecedented upheaval, Scott Richards – General Manager of the Information Management and Governance (IM&G) business at Micro Focus – suggests a focus on insight and empowerment that offers a positive outlook.

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Scott thanks for your time – can you quickly introduce yourself?

I’m Scott Richards, General Manager for the Information Management and Governance business here at Micro Focus.

Scott, as many organizations turn their attention to planning for a new year, how would you characterize Micro Focus’s value to our customers?

Defining value is something you should always do in the context of the recipient of that value. People often ask me what matters most to our customers. Fundamentally, it always boils down to two things: the data, and the people that need that data.

The data an organization holds can provide insights into every facet of that organization. Micro Focus knows a thing or two about helping our clients manage their data. In fact, did you know within the Micro Focus IM&G organization, we archive, backup, manage, protect, and analyze over 300 petabytes of data for our customers. That’s right: 300 Petabytes. Micro Focus’ solution covers email, files, structured data, unstructured data, social media, laptop storage, endpoint management, archiving, security, and backup for just about every type of data you can imagine.

I think it is fair to say our focus is squarely on making the lives of the people that use and access that data easier – it is that simple.

That is a significant operation. Is our position widely acknowledged in the marketplace?

Aside from our work with thousands of customers, many in the analyst community have expressed their positive perspectives. For example, IDC says about our Unified Endpoint Management portfolio, “The suite-based approach and multifunction capabilities of ZENworks allow small IT teams to manage large numbers of endpoint devices. The company had customer references of three- and four-person IT teams managing hundreds of thousands of devices.” (IDC MarketScape: Unified Endpoint Management Software 2019-20 Vendor Assessment, Doc #US45355119, Nov. 2019)

Elsewhere, Forrester positioned Micro Focus’ IDOL product as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: AI-Based Text Analytics Platforms (People Focused), Q2 2020, saying, “Micro Focus IDOL remains a spaceship of unstructured data analytics. …Organizations ready for one platform to address all of the unstructured data analytics should shortlist Micro Focus IDOL.” 

With the ability to protect that all data types through backup and more importantly timely and efficient restore, Data Protector has been recognized as a leader by Ovum in their analysis for “Selecting a Software-based Data Availability and Protection Solution for the Cloud Era, 2019-20” report where they stated: “Overall, Micro Focus has a very good solution that delivers a well above average performance, with some category-leading capabilities.”

Finally, the Radicati Group Information Archiving Market Quadrant ranked Digital Safe as THE Top Player in the space and has done for several years now.

Thinking back to our customers, what are the major changes you are seeing in the marketplace, and how is Micro Focus looking to support our customers with that change? 

Our customers’ world has altered immeasurably since the pandemic’s arrival. The fact is, people are working differently, and critical data utilized and accessed in different ways. With a newly distributed workforce, secure and streamlined access to apps, systems, and data is more important than ever before. Our IM&G solutions offer the flexibility that empowers the workforce of this “new normal”.

Meanwhile, the necessity for smart decisions based on accurate data continues, and the amount of that data and data sources continue to grow. IDC is predicting a steady growth of data volumes in the near future[i]. By staying at the forefront of meeting all data lifecycle requirements, we are looking proactively to support those expanding requirements.

How would you characterize the key areas that require the most support?

In fairness, many situations are unique, and challenges vary across a range of topics, but they will often fall into two key areas.  

First, back to the “new normal challenge” – we are either working from home or, at the very least, our office work pattern has been entirely disrupted. This changes things: what is on your desktop, how you get access, how you collaborate. We are looking to Empower Users and Protect Sensitive Data by enabling remote users to access their data and applications when and where they need it. Our solutions also automatically protect the data end-users create and improve the support and IT service desk experience, which will include a new workspace and application streaming facility.

On the data side, we are hearing more about the explosion of the volume and variety of data our clients need to manage. In addition and at the same time, the regulatory treadmill is speeding up. Managing data across its life cycle, from the point of creation through to effective management, insight, and archiving has become an always-on, mission-critical solution that organizations must have. By continuing our innovations in user experience and performance, plus a modern, cloud-based architecture and SOC and ISO compliant service, the Micro Focus data lifecycle story in products like our new Digital Safe 10 update, meet market demands perfectly. And to ensure continuity of access and work with the data, it needs to be protected and recoverable no matter how much it grows or where it is stored.  As well as providing security and meeting compliance needs for data backup, its instant recovery and automated restore minimizes any interruption in our always on workplace.

By providing ongoing customer-centric innovation, we are looking to continue to support our clients in ways that work for them.

How are we getting in touch with our customers, Scott?

Aside from our numerous regular contact points, a great set of online resources to learn what is going on immediately include the Micro Focus IM&G Communities pages, Website, and Twitter feed.  

Additionally, we are providing a monthly summary of our latest developments, in the form of a new-look IM&G Customer Newsletter (here is October’s edition), to keep everyone fully up to date.

Furthermore, a key date for everyone’s calendar is the forthcoming Micro Focus Universe 2021, which takes place in late March. A free-to-attend virtual event, Micro Focus Universe will feature an entire track dedicated to all things information management and governance. Our events team will be formally announcing this soon.

Thanks for your time, Scott. Any final words?

The global economy is undergoing major upheaval – but it should not divert our focus on what matters most to our customers. They need to empower their staff to meet the changing needs of the business while deriving the insights it needs to shape their future. To support that, we are adopting a simple mantra to articulate the value we can provide:

Know your data, empower your people, drive your future.

Keeping this belief central to our discussions with our customers will, we believe, support them in achieving their aims. We look forward to working closely with our customers in the coming year.

 

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[i] IDC, Worldwide Global DataSphere Forecast, 2020–2024: The COVID-19 Data Bump and the Future of Data Growth, Doc # US44797920, April 2020

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