It’s 6:02am, a cool winter morning in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It’s dark night outside. My friend Richard Luft, our partner at www.bytec.eu, told me he would pick me up at 6:00am at the hotel. I looked out through the window and while I couldn’t see the Lake Constanze, I could see his car right there, of course, and I knew I was very late now. I rushed up and by 6:04 I sat in, apologizing for my tardiness. “No problem” he said, “I used this time to buy a ticket online for a show that I saw advertised in one of the major TV channels, by the way, did you know that the biggest online ticket sales in Germany runs on Informix?”, I quickly replied “and did you know that that TV channel is part of the biggest TV group and it also runs in Informix?”. Smiles.
Then he made me go for the “morgen kaffe” at a local town shop, pushing me to learn more German every time, and we were hitting back the Autobahn, once again. Very fast.
On the ride, we kept talking about the future, bouncing ideas on how to maintain and even accelerate the significant growth that we are now experiencing in Informix, and that he is directly perceiving.
Thinking ahead on new initiatives.
First stop: Munich, where we met with www.agione.de the specialized ERP used by all major carton box manufacturers in Germany.
Then we flew to Graz, Austria, for a meeting with www.softline.at another specialized ERP used by most of the milk and cheese processing and manufacturers in Austria and Germany. Of course, both run on Informix and are plenty of new ideas that we are eager to implement.
It is great to be in the Autobahn, and we’ll keep it going.
Earlier in the year, before going to Germany and many other places, went to Mexico City to visit top Informix clients with my friend Aquiles Lloranca, a well-known Informix advocate and academic. We spoke in Spanish, of course, but enjoying the different versions we have of it.
We are proud that in Mexico, most of the country’s “big names” run their entire operations on Informix. They keep benefiting from our legendary uptime, highest OLTP, low administration, highly distributable and replicable, supporting complex architectures at the highest levels of performance, natively fully hybrid SQL/NoSQL, with an overall low TCO. That even fits on a Pi.
We met the ISSSTE (the Mexican Social Security), Nacional Monte de Piedad (the biggest cooperative financing), Telcel (the major Telecommunication company), and many others.
With all of them, we were talking about the future, Thinking Ahead on how we can better leverage their own digital transformation journeys, with their now reinforced confidence about the future of Informix.
While we had a packed agenda, Aquiles and I committed ourselves that this time we would save one hour to visit the Museo Zumaya, right outside of Telcel’s Headquarters, it is a free access art museum where the Slim’s art collection is exhibited.
Coincidentally or not, one of the Rodin’s trials of his infamous “The Thinker” was right there.
It is an admirable “opus master” and I don’t know why most of the people arguably say that “The Thinker” is on struggle, going through the past in every thought.
In the contrary, I’m convinced that he’s not, that he’s looking at the future. Thinking Ahead.
The Volvo Race - Alicante
After Mexico, to Alicante, Spain. For enabling the HCL Europe Sales and Delivery leadership. Alicante is the home of the “The Volvo Race” and we HCL are their technology partner, as we also own Volvo IT. This race of the most challenging competition in the world: a 9-month regatta around the globe, where the “elite of the elite” of sailing endure to crossing all oceans through the most dramatic and challenging situations that mother nature can throw to sailors.
One of these super-humans (that also served the Volvo Race as its CEO) came to address us and share his stories and experiences. When asked what is the most important thing that you need to do to win or stay at the race, his answer was as simple as this: Think Ahead.
“You should Think Ahead, have a vision and endure to execute it whatever the challenges, adapting to each new situation, but always Thinking Ahead”.
Too many coincidences, I thought, but I agree with that vision. Whatever happened, it already happened, and you can’t re-live it to correct it, so you better adapt quickly, using your energies to move forward and stop lamenting about the past. Success always comes from a “future” state of mind. Sometimes we can call it luck or coincidence, but it comes from preparation. Think ahead, like the pilots do.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Then to Sao Paulo, Brazil, with “meu amigo” Miguel Carbone, head of www.mcsoftware.com.br, after visiting competitive prospects, we had a brainstorming session with hardware and software vendors on new approaches for faster hybrid OLAP+OLTP combining and leveraging their NPL “Miguelito”, plus Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics. Keep tuned on this.
After Germany, to Barcelona, for a weekend meeting with Xavi Escoté and www.deister.net senior team (Vicente Salvador, Pablo Eslava and Salvador Cuadras) and our Heads of Engineering (Pradeep M), P&P Solutions from Rome Lab (Luca Landi) and Informix Lab Services (Joseph Veleeparambil).
They hosted a workshop on their beautiful installations and we went deep on their “Axional Studio”, a set of advanced and intuitive solutions for Graphical DB Application Rapid Development, IWA configuration and visualization, DB and Services Monitoring, etc. that can be enabled very quickly in the cloud, unlocking any DB Application development roadmap dead-end while reducing TCO of competitive platforms. Jointly thinking ahead on new solutions.
Informix on AWS is ON AIR
Coincidentally, over that weekend of March 3rd we launched our very first HCL Products & Platforms GA product: Informix on AWS.
It was the result of a plan we agreed and executed from day one since we are at HCL. It involved lots of work and weekends for many people that we’ll keep appreciating.
Think Ahead: Informix on AWS it is not just about product availability, which is quite important indeed, it is also about a complete different concept of usability: you have full access to all of its features while scaling as your business requirements evolve, supported with a straightforward and easy to understand pricing model by monthly subscription at company level.
Meaning: no editions, no limits, no restrictions, and only one dimension for pricing: CPUVP.
As easy as that: Market Public Price. You can see it on AWS marketplace as in a chalkboard.
Hence you can access the full fledge of the mighty and legendary Informix from a small AWS EC2 machine at $0.05 per hour up to a full-scale configuration on the thousands, planning and setting up capacity as you go and as you need. Fully supported no matter its size. Mission oriented, use it when you need it at the configuration you need it at each moment.
If you didn’t try Informix on AWS yet, in minutes and a few clicks you can unleash its full power:
You should start developing on it. I was told that it is an elegant solution indeed. And believe us: this model is not casual. We thought it well ahead.
Who was our first client in AWS?
Deister Software came as our first, enabling a development instance for their own ERP product installation for the Baqueira Beret Ski Resort, which will go live fully in AWS in matter of weeks now. A new age has started. We can see our happiness. Thank you!
IBM Think, Las Vegas
After getting pumped up by our AWS launch, got quick meetings and activities at Stockholm, Copenhagen and London with our eager HCL colleagues that want to help their clients to reduce TCO on competitive DBs with our HCL Informix, to finally land in Vegas for IBM’s Think.
Impressive, thousands of people, “handshaking alley” looked like a highway at rush hour, and we had the chance to showcase many of our HCL P&P Solutions.
IBM Think wasn’t about products but of well-advanced business and technology concepts that a leader of this stature can delineate and beacon to the industry.
It was great to be there and of course, we also took the opportuniy to meet and greet new friends, hosting many Informix encounters.
While there, and among others, we met with www.ciomex.com – our experienced Informix Business Partner in Mexico - with www.burodecredito.com.mx and also an excellent time with www.pronto.net the ERP leaders in the ANZ market, as well as with www.smartaxiom.com who are leveraging Informix for safer IOT on Blockchain. And we met with the team of Worknet Argentina www.wnarg.com.ar a local ERP leader, also based on Informix.
New Laboratory in Kansas City and adding New Talents to The Team
From Vegas to California, and then, back to Kansas City for our new Lab opening, a new and pretty office indeed, with enough room to host the now expanded Development, Support and Lab Services teams. Happy faces all around and that beautiful sensation of growing, which included boarding my friend Dr. Alexander Knaani to our team, as our head of Solutions Architecture, with whom I shared most of my business transformational experiences already.
Dublin, Leeds and London – Pushing the boundaries of DB technology
Finishing up this long blog of just three months, I’m writing this while I’m flying back from London, after investing the first half of the week in Dublin visiting Paddy Power and then to Leeds with Sky Betting & Gaming, immediately after the “Grand National”, the major horse race in the UK, where these online betting sites can intake up to thousands bets per second each, triggering millions of transactions a minute, with gargantuan tables of billions of rows pushing the boundaries of OLTP and OLAP. No surprise it can be only trusted with Informix.
We were there with Rex Carroll, Pradeep Muthalpuredathe and Raj Iyer (our Business Head for HCL Data Products and Platforms), not only to assess actual results but also to Think Ahead on what is expected for next year’s race and the upcoming World Cup in months. Which is going to increase their demand even further.
Informix is the only DB in the planet capable to handle this demand, under OpenBet’s (Scientific Gaming) application platform www.sgdigital.com and they run smooth and fast as if they were on Sketchers www.sketchers.com.
Closing the week, Thursday and Friday, the new HCL Products & Platforms Data organization leadership team we all met in Watford, to discuss and setup our compass in the same way we did for Informix a year ago, but now with our new expanded responsibilities of converging it with the Best Marketing Decisioning (HCL Marketing Suite – Unica) and the Best Data Transformation (HIP – ITX) platforms of the world, while leveraging the new and expanded capabilities that our HCL Infra and Delivery teams put together, with the full sponsorship of its leadership under Ashish Gupta.
Think Ahead Together:
We are in a quite intense journey of sustained growth now, we’re in the right track.
We keep ourselves stubborn on the vision but flexible and adaptable on its execution
You may join us as a client, as a business partner, as a colleague or as a good will advisor.
Keep sharing your thoughts and stay in touch. We’ll go there, anytime, anywhere.
We keep Thinking Ahead, facing the challenges coming from empowerment and growth.
See you on the road, Marcelo.