About Jane Rimmer

Virtualization marketing veteran, CTXS & VMW, 2010-2016 London & UK VMUG Leader, vExpert 2011/12/13/14/15/16, owner of hiviz-marketing, 2 kids, 4 horses, 3 dogs & husband.

Acquiring Technology vs Squandering Dollars

 

It continues to amaze me how companies acquire technology and then either do not a lot with it or, in many cases, just kill it. This blog from 31st Oct by Citrix caught my eye https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/10/31/the-future-of-octoblu-and-citrix-workspace-iot/ and I started to think about the multitude of tech that has been acquired during my tenure in this industry, the list is truly endless. For this post, I thought I would focus on some of the acquisitions that have occurred on my “watch”.

  1. The one that makes me most sad is Vizioncore vRanger. In its heyday, it was the leading 3rd party VMware back up solution – it was the dominant player in the mid 2000’s prior to Veeam’s dominance. I was proud to be a consultant to Vizioncore and the team from early 2006 to mid 2009. Quest acquired it (and the company) in 2008 and that was the start of a its downward path. New versions that were developed had significant issues and there was much market trashing going on in 2010 IIRC. Quest still sells vRanger, and has ported it to HyperV, but its decline is vSad to me and I don’t hear of it being used by customers or being mentioned anymore in the circles that I move in.
  2. During my tenure at Citrix, many companies and technology were acquired. The acquisition of Insignia took place in early 1998. Some of the tech was integrated into WinFrame, but the key assets were the developers in my opinion, plus the opportunity to rapidly build out our UK presence. We went from a serviced office in Bracknell to Insignia’s offices just outside High Wycombe. So that acquisition was actually fruitful! Others were not so successful! There was video technology from an Israeli company, there was the Sequoia acquisition that was going to make us a leader in portal technology – NFuse was the product outcome and I attended a launch of it at the Nasdaq in New York with a number of European journalists – and, of course, there was the eye-wateringly expensive XenSource acquisition (I’d left by then!) A list is available on Wikipedia of all 49 acquisitions/mergers – I’d wager that the majority of them have disappeared into oblivion!

  1. VMware too has made many acquisitions, some are now bearing fruit (NSX via Nicira) but some have either fallen by the wayside or have been sold back out – Shavlik and Zimbra to name but two. I’m a bit perplexed as to why the CloudVolumes acquisition in August 2014 doesn’t appear on VMware’s own list – have I missed something?
  2. Whilst the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle in 2010 wasn’t on my “watch” having been a Sun employee back in the good ol’ days, it is one that matters to me. A good friend was pretty senior in Sun at the time of the acquisition and what followed was the epitome of how not to integrate people. I won’t disclose details but it was a nightmare for them and resulted in a nervous breakdown, it was that bad 🙁 But it would appear Oracle has now shutdown SPARC and Solaris according to this article by ZDNet in September. So, despite spending over $7bn, Oracle let the sun set on a great set of products in my humble opinion.

Of course, many mergers and acquisitions are successful but I still wonder about the many unsuccessful ones – how on earth do companies’ executives get away with spending so much money only to discard the technology in time? Answers on a postcard please!

 

Disclaimer: I’ve not personally used any of these products in production either now or in the past (apart from a SPARC workstation back in the day!), this post is just my view of the situation, so please feel free to correct any misconceptions I may have 🙂

 

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Fragility of life

 

Wow, just realized I’ve not posted since August 🙁 Time certainly has flown by these past few months. The reason for my absence is not a good one; I’ve been helping a very close friend through grueling chemo treatment and very sadly she lost her valiant battle on September 21st.

I was given the honor to deliver the eulogy at her service on October 25th. It was the hardest speech I’ve ever had to give; yet it was the first and only time I’ve spoken in public and not felt a little trepidation beforehand – quite bizarrely. These moments in one’s life bring home the fragility of life itself and makes one grateful for every single second. Sometimes the daily grind of work makes you forget about the important things in life – health, happiness, family, friends, etc. – so we must all take time out once in a while. Take a deep breath and just relax, remembering all the good things that life can bring and try to forget the sadness and harsh reality of it at times………..

To say I’ve been a little down is quite an understatement, so to read this blog post last night from the “Snark as a Service” man himself, Mr Trevor Pott has buoyed me so much!

For him to have taken the time out of his busy day to write this post – despite it being filed under pointless posts and idle ponderings! – not only made me feel very chuffed but also underscores the necessity to say good things at times. I think we’re all too quick to be ‘keyboard warriors’ these days on social media and a little kindness can go a long, long way.

So, on the scariest day of the year, I wish you all good health and happiness – and may all your tricks be treats!!

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VMworld – EUC and Analytics Recommendations

Regrettably, I won’t be at VMworld this year, Vegas nor Barcelona 🙁 Instead I will be in Hawaii, so not a bad trade-off I guess 🙂

In advance of the events, though, I want to share with my readers news about two of my clients’ presence and activities at VMworld Vegas.

Let’s start with Liquidware. If your responsibilities include EUC/VDI in any shape or form, then Liquidware should be on your list of “must see” vendors in the Solutions Exchange. They’re on booth 1126 and will be demoing the last versions of their award winning UEM, App Layering and Visibility solutions; ProfileUnity, FlexApp and Stratusphere respectively. They’re also giving away some pretty cool t-shirts:

Prior to the show opening on Sunday, they’re hosting, in conjunction with IGEL and NVIDIA, The Inside Track – an exclusive, invite only EUC event. If you’re an EUC/VDI influencer or VIP and haven’t received your invite, ping me and I’ll get you on the guest list.

 

Liquidware has been sponsoring VMworld ever since their market entrance back in 2009! For more details, read this interview with their Founder and CEO, David Bieneman, with VMBlog.

Next up is Runecast. I’ve been working with these guys since February and the feedback from customers and the community on their Runecast Analyzer solution has been very motivating! This is their third appearance at VMworld, having launched at VMworld in 2015. Runecast will be on booth 832 and will be demonstrating the latest version of Runecast Analyzer that is due to GA just before VMworld!

If you’re a vSphere admin, Runecast Analyzer really is a #MustHave for you. Utilizing the VMware Knowledge, Best Practices and Security Hardening guidelines, Runecast Analyzer enables you to proactively protect your environment. So, if you spend too much time troubleshooting your environment, visit Runecast on booth 832 to discover how to decrease troubleshooting, increase security and help your organization to be more compliant!

Great community advocates, Runecast is sponsoring #vGolf on Sunday, organized by Anthony Spiteri. You can read more about the event here. They’re also a sponsor of the famous (infamous?!) CXIParty. Christopher Kusek has been hosting this event for many years, with a hiatus on a couple of occasions IIRC and it’s always great fun. Details can be found here.

Runecast will be giving away some fab Lego “Runecasters” on their booth, so add them to your ‘must visit’ list too.

I look forward to seeing on Twitter and VMworld bloggers’ post how everyone is getting along at VMworld and, if you’re going, enjoy!

Remember, sleep is highly overrated; you can do that when you get home!

 

 

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Citrix UK UG – 21 again!

[UPDATE 12 July] The UKCUG has posted their blog about the event, that includes the link for all presenters’ slide decks.  Thanks also Andrew Wood for the shout out at the end of your post to this post!! Read the post here.

I attended the 21st Citrix UK User Group meeting yesterday with one of my clients, the Diamond sponsor, Liquidware. I’ve know the majority of the committee – Jim Moyle, Andrew Wood and Neil Spellings – for many years and it’s always great to catch up.

Andrew kicked the meeting off with a welcome and recap of Citrix Synergy. Some of the audience had attended the event back in May and I got the impression that, in general, there was a buzz around the event that may have been missing in recent years. There were a lot of new announcements, as you’d expect, a summary of which can be read here.

What I really like about the CUGC UK meetings is they stream the meetings – via Go-to-Meeting – to enable folks to listen in that can’t attend a meeting in Central London.

Tweet from committee member Chris Marks

After Andrew’s intro, Al Taylor delivered a very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and informative session from a field perspective on The Great SD-WAN Bake-Off. After Al, Nigel Woods from FSLogix spoke about their Office365 caching solution. The coffee break – which was held in the boiling atrium at the Barbican 🙁 – was a chance to speak with the attendees before we re-grouped for a fascinating session on GDPR: A Techie’s Perspective by James Rankin and Jim Moyle.

Sessions from Steve Atkinson and Rachel Berry followed on Remote Access and IoT respectively.

After lunch Luke Dynowski of multi-national law firm Clyde & Co LLP shared his trials and tribulations of managing EUC across the globe, always good to hear from a customer!

Mark Plettenberg from LoginVSI then delivered the key findings of the VDILikeaPro VDI/SBC State of the Nation survey. I think the survey yielded some interesting results and, with over 580 respondents, it is statistically viable. However, I also think the folks involved make the data very skewed. I believe if you had a group mainly focused in the VMware space conducting a similar survey the results would be quite different – #justsaying!

Dave Johnson from Liquidware then spoke about their solutions and, specifically, about a great customer story, Informa, who are undertaking a multi-faceted desktop transformation project, including Citrix, physical and Amazon WorkSpaces – fascinating!

Unfortunately I then had to leave – although the diabolical disruption at Paddington meant I should’ve stayed for the Kevin Goodman session and his sponsored beers afterwards!!

In summary, I love the diversity of the Citrix User Group agenda; there really is something for everyone in my opinion, so why not try to attend their next meeting in September, currently scheduled for 27th.

All slide-decks will be posted soon, so check out http://www.citrixug.org.uk/

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Does a Broader Church Impact the Congregation?

I had an interesting conversation with a long time VMUG member at yesterday’s London VMUG meeting. He’d not been to a meeting in a while and felt that some of the content and sponsors weren’t relevant, at least not to him in his role (specifically vSphere focused). In talking to one of the sponsors, BlueMedora, who operate on top of vRops – which this particular member doesn’t use – he said this highlighted the lack of relevance of a VMUG meeting for him.

I commented that perhaps VMware is becoming less relevant in today’s IT stack and he countered that with so many differing solutions, perhaps folks like him are looking at more niche type events.

However, on further cogitation I don’t believe that VMware is becoming less relevant per se, just that other options are becoming more prevalent. What I do think, however, is that whilst the VMware community is still strong and passionate, VMUG itself is, perhaps, becoming less relevant.

With the recent “VMUG Gate” issues surrounding Nutanix and then the communications debacle around the announcement of VMUG becoming part of Dell Technologies User Community, perhaps VMUG itself is at risk of demise due to trying to be a broader ‘church’? I recently spoke to one of my colleagues in the Nordic region about a decline in meeting attendance and with numbers on the low side in London too, especially considering Frank Denneman was on the agenda, maybe VMUG itself needs to adapt and morph to remain relevant?

Perhaps there needs to be different tracks for different interests; one for traditional ol’ vSphere-ites and one for the fanbois of all things new and shiny, and not necessarily just VMware?

Would love to hear other folks’ view on this post and hopefully it won’t blacklist me from a potential 2018 vExpert inclusion 😉

In closing, this tweet from last night’s Luxury vBeers reminded me that whilst there are corporate politics and bureaucracy, the community will always win through!

 

 

 

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