June 1999

Tivoli officially sold Maestro and other Unison products to Roc Software

RS Tech pulled the covers off its deal to take over the Unison products from Tivoli, including the datacenter management product Maestro. The arrangement will about double the number of MPE customers the Austin, Texas company is handling, after close to a year of managing the upkeep and enhancement of the Formation forms package. RS Tech is becoming Roc Software as it takes on Maestro responsibilities, with a 60-day transition period ending in the first week of August. Officials at the the firm said they’re adding at least 10 engineers to take on the substantial work of making Maestro, Spoolmate and Tapes Plus Y2K compliant. Also being acquired in the transaction is the MPE/iX version of backup product RoadRunner.

“We have a 60-day window to transition the product line and let Tivoli maintain support,” said president Jerry Rankin. “As in when we took over Formation, we’ll start taking calls immediately, because people were looking for someone to be responsive.” The phone number at Roc is 512.249.9294, and Rankin expects the phones to heat up quickly once word gets out about the acquisition. “We’re certain we’ll start to touch all the customers starting today,” Rankin said on June 7. The deal was officially signed on June 1, after Roc watched to see that the Maestro customers were continuing to renew support contracts for software that’s fallen behind its HP-UX version in features and compatibility. Rankin said he understands that some part of the market expects his firm to simply collect the revenues and deliver little, but added that’s not the game plan for the new owners of the widely-installed 3000 datacenter solution.

Rankin pointed out that Roc now owns all the MPE products in the former Unison stable, including RoadRunner. “We can now control how the MPE products move forward, and not just one of them,” he said. “We have to maintain compatibility with the Unix products that [Tivoli] holds, but we do hold the MPE line now.” The deal gives complete ownership of source code to Roc, but it had to grant a sublicense to Tivoli so the IBM division could continue to sell the Unix version of Maestro, now being called Tivoli Workload Scheduler. That’s because the MPE code came first, and the Unix products are derived from it. Roc Software also “has intentions of putting [the Unix] functionality into the MPE version,” Rankin said. DCM Pak (the collection of Maestro, Spoolmate and Tapes Plus) has a version A.10 that’s reported to be shipping this month, allegedly resolving some of the Year 2000 issues with Spoolmate. “Tivoli had versions of Y2K fixes that were to be ready to go,” Rankin said. Tivoli wouldn’t commit to doing a full push of all of the products to the customer base of the new version of DCM Pak, he added, so customers should contact Tivoli support for the updated version.

The first task for the new company will be listening to comments and complaints from a customer base that Rankin knows has been frustrated. “We want to let the customers know who we are and what we are doing, and let people scream and yell and feel like they have a sounding board, and that we care,” he said.”We can take that, because in the long term we’ll quiet those fears and get this thing rolling again.” Overseas customers will have to make do with e-mail and Web-based support in addition to calling the North American phone number around the clock, until Roc establishes arrangements with other firms to help in overseas support and distribution. Source code will arrive in mid-June. “If people have issues that involve source code, we beg they would understand for at least the 60-days [of transition].”

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