Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The song remains the same – major events of importance to the NonStop community

Embracing virtualization, integrating analystics and turning to clouds may be all part of the plan but it may be the messages coming from industry and user events that influence us most. And the more technology appears to change, in reality, we stay the same!

In the coming weeks I will be attending numerous events but perhaps for me, the most beneficial of them all will be the two held on opposite sides of the continent. In late September, I will be travelling to Chicago, IL for the September 19-21, 2016, 2016 Bank Customer Experience Summit and then in November, I will turn around and head in the other direction, towards San Jose, CA, for the November 13-16, 2016, 2016 NonStop Technical Boot Camp. These two events will feature networking with customers from financial industries as well as interacting with HPE executives that will provide me with the ideal backdrop for the numerous stories and posts that will follow.

The 2016 Bank Customer Experience Summit, originally branded as the The ATM & Mobile Innovation Summit, is dedicated to exploring next-gen self-service, the reinvented branch, digital banking, mobile payments — and the people who use them. An August 11, 2016, post to the ATMmarketplace web site, by Suzanne Cluckey, 7 reasons why the Bank Customer Experience Summit should be on your fall travel calendar is well worth reading if you are looking for more information about this event and shortly my own post will be published on this site – look for it as well. For those NonStop users running payments solutions that would like to attend, simply follow this link, Register now and to save 30% off the price of registration, enter the promotional code, PYALLA30. If you would like to check out what will be taking place at the event you can follow this link, Agenda.

It is a reality today that in our always-on world we rarely think twice about how our communications works – for me it’s still close to magic as so much can go wrong between a client end-point and a services delivery end-point. People should be pleased when anything at all simply works, but yes, it’s very much magic by my books. The same can be said about mobile devices today as very few users of smartphones and tablets are aware of all that transpires whenever they text or download a picture. Streaming songs and movies? Unbelievable!

And yet it all happens with little consideration being given to just how it all happens. People have now reached a point where mobility is the new norm and so when it comes to an event on ATMs and Mobility, changing the name of the event to Bank Customer Experience just seems natural – why wouldn’t we assume mobility is a key factor in banking today and just part of any experience we may have when it comes to oversight of our financial affairs?

The HPE event on the other hand, plumbs the depths of technology. The essential plumbing that so many of us are simply ignorant about and where we always assume, it just works. From the introduction of the first ATMs to the general populace, Tandem Computers gave the world the potential to operate ATMs 24 X 7 and some of the earliest payments solutions targeted the Tandem Computer platform. Today, Tandem Computers is no more. Instead, renamed NonStop systems and a key part of HPE’s Mission Critical Systems product portfolio, they still account for the processing of much of the world’s ATM traffic. According to the latest figures from HPE, $3.6+ trillion in debit card (including bank cards and ATM cards) and credit card charge volume passes through NonStop systems each year and the largest retail payments processors in the world run on NonStop. 

Among the more popular solutions is OmniPayments and I have known Yash Kapadia, the OmniPayments, Inc. CEO, for many years. He has been a very good source for updates on how people worldwide interact with financial institutions. His products run exclusively on NonStop systems and he has become one of the largest users of the latest NonStop X systems having already populated three of OmniPayments data centers with NonStop X systems underpinning the new OmniCloudX services – yes, payments on NonStop from out of a cloud. At this next Boot Camp event Yash is throwing a reception mid-evening Monday night, specifically for the purposes of giving event attendees an opportunity to network among themselves following the sessions that day and if the past is any indication of what to expect, this reception is among the liveliest all week! I hope to see you in the Gold room Monday evening, the reception will start at 8:30 pm.

HPE and the Connect organization are now working through submitted proposals for presentations and this should be resolved shortly. If you want to keep abreast of who will be the keynote speakers and whose papers made the cut, then check the Agenda page on a regular basis and make sure you complete the Registration as early as you can. It will be tough to top last year’s program but I know that over the past year so much progress has been made with NonStop X, with perhaps the biggest news of all is just how committed HPE itself is to anchoring its own IT on NonStop with virtual NonStop (vNonStop) in support of NS SQL/MX running as a DBaaS at the very heart of HPE’s operations. Like many who will be attending I am more than interested in hearing all the details of how this has been helping HPE transform to a hybrid infrastructure.

Where I suspect the intersection between these two events will more than likely occur will be on the topic of Big Data and Data Analytics. Everything that takes place today is being influenced by companies understanding the ever-changing behaviors of people and this includes financial institutions as much as it does those vendors providing the underlying plumbing. We need to know what’s on the minds of people from the time they sit down for a coffee to the time they swipe or insert their card to purchase a product just added to their shopping cart.

I am finding that analytics is permeating almost every discussion I have had in the past couple of months – from security to application monitoring and SLA validation to the monitoring of the physical data center itself (Power, HVAC, Fire-Suppression, Communications and Networks, etc.). As my good friends at Striim Inc. so often remind me, providing “an end-to-end, real-time data integration and intelligence platform; ingesting data in real-time from a wide variety of sources; making it more valuable while it's streaming before loading it to common data targets” is all critical today for better interaction with people whether end users, business partners, or simply their IT staff.

We write and talk so much about our customers and about consumers but in the end, it’s all about people. What I particularly liked about the post by Suzanne Cluckey on the 7 Reasons to attend 2016 Bank Customer Experience Summit were her opening sentences. “The new Ikea catalog arrived at our house yesterday. I haven't thumbed through it yet, but I doubt anything in it will grab my attention the way the cover did,” Cluckey began. “It wasn't the photo that got my attention, with its predictable assortment of ultra-hipster types looking uber-cool around a Norråker dining table. It was the tagline above: ‘Designed for people, not consumers.’” The upcoming events may differ in agendas even as they differ in the networking opportunities that arise but the people attending the events, well, we remain people and not just clients, customers, prospects or users. And as people, we are the lifeblood that keeps all such events lively and yes, keeps us all coming back for more!

It was while I was travelling country to country in the 1970s that I first heard Led Zeppelin perform The Song Remains the Same:
Oh, yeah
Crazy dream, uh-huh
Anything I wanted to know
Any place I needed to go …

This was Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant's tribute to world music, reflecting his belief that music is universal. And the aspirations of people are universal as well. Even as we are witnessing a revolution in the way people interact with all that is around them – other people, commerce, news and in general, the environment each person moves through – staying connected to friends and family and being informed about what’s happening in the world at large, has changed very little. Furthermore, as what is around us is subject to the seasons - if you compare the photo above with that included in the previous post published just a week or so ago, you can see the changes taking place - so the ebb and flow between centralization and distributed continues unabated even as we continue to behave much the same way we always have.

We may carry less cash but we still shop. We may wear our computers and we may be constantly on the move but we still find time to stop by a coffee shop and take time to check out all that’s happening. And the oversight of our financial affairs is now something we do 24 X 7 even as we are less likely to pull out our bill fold or purse preferring instead whatever gadget of the day has captured our attention. While the instruments of commerce have changed dramatically of late we have remained essentially the same through all this change – something few of us will likely ever forget. Looking forward to seeing many of you at these events and should you see me passing by, don’t hesitate stopping me. I’m always open for any discussion you may want to have! 


Anonymous said...

Hi Richard, I just bought a glass from a thrift store with your name on it! It says "Southern African Tandem User Group", so I got curious what that was and who you were. Funny connection, I don't really have anything else to say. Have a nice day!

Richard Buckle said...

Ouch - almost sold our Colorado home and had to rush to pack; this glass shouldn't have made the pile I gave to GoodWill! But enjoy ... and thanks for the note.