ROC builds on Seay open systems solution
One year after acquisition, products aid Unix
The acquisition of Seay Systems drove datacenter vendor ROC Software further into the
open systems business one year ago. But ROCs HP 3000 customers
might be among the most grateful for the companys purchase of
Seay in the years to come.
Thats because many 3000 shops on their
way to Unix dont know how little the native HP-UX spooler will
do for them at least compared to HP 3000 spooling. An
enterprise-grade solution emerged from the acquisition.
With the January 2004 purchase of Seay, ROC
added more than 1,000 customers to its rolls. Most of them use
EasySpooler, the product that built Seay into the company ROC
acquired. During the year after the acquisition closed, ROC
re-engineered Seays work which had given EasySpooler
enterprise-level features. ROC now sells this superset of EasySpooler
as Rhapsody, offered for Windows, Linux and the Unix environments
from HP, IBM and Sun.
ROC recommends Rhapsody to its migrating
customers. Rhapsody adds centralized monitoring and administration of
multiple servers, end-to-end encryption all the way to the printer,
and a degree of fault tolerance for customers who dont use
products like HPs ServiceGuard. It also adds high volume
printer support, EasyDispatch for bursting and routing large
documents, auditing, and SAP integration.
ROCs new CEO Janet Slack and CTO Mike
Broadway said that integrating Seays solutions with ROCs
solutions and the company support system wasnt as important as
delivering enterprise-level spooler abilities for open systems.
Integration is easy, Broadway
said. The significant thing is functionality.
Rather than settle for just a new Web
interface for EasySpooler and Rhapsody, the company has spent the
year bringing the message of 3000-class spooling to Unix and Windows
systems. Its important to a 3000 customer base being prodded
toward those platforms.
Its a shock to customers,
said Slack of their clients migrating to open systems. You tell
them theres really no spooler, and they say something like
Seays products were aimed at the same
segment of the IT industry as ROCs products: Customers looking
for software to improve on the less-than-complete tools in the
operating system. In the same way that BackPack makes for a better
3000 backup solution than STORE, Rhapsody makes an alternative open
systems output as useful as MPE/iX.
ROC merged the support facilities of the two
companies by May of last year. Seay customers can continue to log in
to their Support Central resource with the same IDs. ROC settled in
at a headcount of about 40 after the acquisition.
Slack said adding Seays products gives
the company three main bases of datacenter solutions for its
customers: scheduling, spooling and backup. ROC has spooling
solutions for its HP 3000 and open systems customers in Spoolmate and
Rhapsody, and scheduling options with Maestro for MPE and Maestro for
Backup remains an exclusive HP 3000 focus for
the company. Weve chosen not to be in the backup market
in open systems, Slack said. But the companys ROCPort
provides flexibility in planning backup futures.
ROCPort enables data migration of MPE
BackPack archives, so IT staff can transform BackPack backups using a
Unix or Linux system. Conversion to text, binary, or Eloquence
formats is performed via a command line. Visually designing a data
conversion allows transformation into more than 100 other formats.
ROC continues to be a resource for HP 3000
sites after its acquisition, but the company is also working on
expanding capabilities through open systems environments.
One of the great things that people
moving from MPE discover is that Unix is very flexible,
Broadway said. That flexibility can smooth transitions and make
opportunities for vendors, too. EasySpooler has a large customer base
which ROC will continue to support with new releases. Over time
we expect many but not all of these existing customers to upgrade to
Rhapsody, Broadway said.