Why New CEO Will Keep COBOL A Key Focus of Micro Focus

INTERVIEW: As HPE merger takes effect, MicroFocus remains ground zero for COBOL, which still runs most major at-scale transaction systems

COBOL Sales, Apps Continues to Grow in the Market

The COBOL franchise is literally three times the size it was back in 2001, Hsu said. “This has to do with the fact that they (Micro Focus) continue to make the COBOL applications accessible on newer platforms,” Hsu said.

“While customers are moving some of their apps to public cloud, a lot of their business-critical apps are remaining on-premises,” Hsu said, “and the data is being spread across everything. What our software does is manage and simply the complexity that customers now have to manage across a set of deployment models from mainframe to public cloud.”

Hsu said his No. 1 duty at this time at the beginning of a new regime at MF is “focusing on our customers in that we don’t want to disrupt our customer relationships and what they count on us to deliver. Anytime you’re putting two large companies together, you have to keep everybody focused on the customer, because if you lose sight of that, then you’ll have a stumble–it’ll impact your revenue, your transactions, your people. That’s a real problem.

“As a CEO, the No. 1 thing I have to do is getting people excited about a company that has an exciting future, and that we have a culture that they want to be connected to,” Hsu said.


Keeping the Company Focused is Job No. 1

But how does a company leader get employees excited about a company that largely has roots in old-school IT, such as COBOL?

“Old software, old people–that’s not a bad term,” Hsu said. “We actually embrace it. Micro Focus has been around for 40 years. That COBOL software is unbelievably efficient and relevant today. HPE has had 30 years in network management and data protection.

“While we have a portfolio of things that have been around for a long time, we also have assets like Vertica, which is powering some of the world’s most disruptive businesses in the world, like Uber. In security, we’re protecting data workloads and the files themselves in motion, because protecting the perimeters doesn’t work anymore.

“The beautiful thing about having a large, $4.5 billion portfolio of software that has everything from developer tools for the mainframe all the way to public cloud orchestration and automation tools; we actually can help our customers all the way across that entire spectrum.

“We can help them architect solutions for the future.”

Originally published on eWeek