Thursday, July 25, 2013

How do you know what will make your product fly?


We came back from a particularly lovely dinner, having been invited to celebrate the birthday of our friend Gabi, who is the wife of comForte’s Executive VP of Sales, Dieter Orlowski.
It was a dinner to remember; we said, “Oh, deer!” so many times … As the restaurant is situated on a top of a hill in Boulder, there are always deer coming by, young and old. The photo below is of a deer that came really close.

On our way home we talked about partnerships and about product success – what makes a product fly?

As Infrasoft was forming, we had a lot of discussions on what will be the “next big thing”.  Strong in networking, it was only natural to gravitate to products related to networks. Thinking of what to name our product, we chose uLinga, which means “to fly” in Australia’s Aboriginal language.
When we first planned the uLinga product suite we thought that a new capability to more directly interface with CICS and IMS would be welcome in the marketplace. Preserving APIs on both the IBM and NonStop systems, but connecting via TCP/IP (with its proven security protection) and with minimal to no code change (depending on the CICS release) required.
However, the sales force wanted a that could compete with ACI’s ICE and HP’s SNAX … so, yes, we built it, and now we have a dozen or so uLinga users, all of them replacing ICE and SNAX.

Yet it was particularly pleasing to see uLinga for CICS product going into production.  The customer was close-by to the Australian offices of Infrasoft so that made supporting the installation a lot easier – with the product still in its infancy, just like a fawn, it needs a lot of attention at first.

Why did the customer need it? Well, for better security! Yes, there is an ICE HPR and a uLinga for EE implementation, but they depend upon UDP/IP and need IPSec, whereas our uLinga for CICS (and IMS) uses regular TCP/IP and can be secured by SSL!
We knew our product would be superior to other implementations. After all, the Sydney Team has well over 100 years of combined experience, and since we built the product from ground zero we had a chance to do it right by making all the right infrastructure decisions.

Indeed, creating a solid infrastructure that is reusable proved to be very helpful when it came to creating our newest product, maRunga. Yes, keeping with the theme, we chose another Aboriginal word. This one means cloud, very appropriate considering maRunga is the product that allows NonStop to participate in the cloud story – maRunga allows applications to burst into the cloud without losing NonStop’s provided reliability and taking the scalability to a new level!

And true, what makes uLinga fly is also making maRunga fly, too! Since current talk of maRunga includes support of NonStop as a gateway, who can say there will not be users taking advantage of both uLinga and maRunga.
So, what other than the name makes a product fly? I think having the right, supportable implementation from the “get go”, and understanding the current or imminent need in the marketplace. Having an open dialog with the Sales teams and being open to NIH ideas doesn’t hurt, either!



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