HPE has been very forthcoming about its future plans and in particular, where it is headed. There’s no escaping HPE’s belief that business and technology interests have collided, whereby every business is a technology business. Furthermore, there’s acknowledgment that the new computing model requires accommodation (of technology) as the journey takes business to the next step, hybrid computing and hybrid infrastructure. No matter how good contemporary technology may be or how attractive proposed new models appear there is no escaping the reality that traditional IT will coexist alongside whatever is coming next. For many businesses this includes consideration of clouds – private, managed as well as public. In looking at the headlines HPE is generating along the way, perhaps its message can best be summed up from banners on its web site. The most recent we have observed simply states, “Today’s broad variety of apps and data require different delivery models for each business outcome. A hybrid infrastructure combines traditional IT, private, managed and public clouds, so you can enable your right mix to power 100% of the workloads that drive your enterprise.” In other words, the explosion in data being captured, stored and delivered to somewhere else is driving the need for moving files no matter which offering from the “menu” users select. It’s not just HPE championing hybrids solutions connecting traditional IT to clouds, but increasingly financial analysts are taking a deeper look into IBM’s business pursuits. In an April 20, 2016, response to IBM publishing its most recent financial results, the electronic publication aimed at investors, Seeking Alpha, provided commentary, IBM: Turnaround Isn’t Here Yet. “Data has become a lot cheaper and more mobile recently. Companies don’t need to keep huge data centers on hand anymore, and managers are increasingly apt to ‘rent’ software on demand,” observed writer, Casey Hoerth. Furthermore, “‘the cloud’ is now where most companies get software from. The cloud works for data, too: Companies no longer have to buy the equipment for data storage because they outsource that to cloud-based data providers as well. Sure, that data ultimately gets stored on equipment somewhere,” which is consistent with what we are see coming from HPE. Among the NonStop vendors, based on various exchanges with them following the NonStop Technical Boot Camp, there’s recognition that the new NonStop X family of systems is developing traction. For many NonStop vendors it has become a case of responding to their users’ requests for pricing for solutions and middleware offerings now required for deployment on NonStop X systems. And it’s not just pricing but real orders have begun to appear even as there’s more than one story about NonStop users purchasing multiple NonStop X systems. Already there is one vendor in the payments solutions space that is consolidating its product offered as a SaaS on a cloud populated solely by NonStop X systems. Here at DataExpress, having invested in DataExpress for both NonStop and Open Platforms, we are well positioned to be able to support “data ultimately gets stored on equipment somewhere” even as “data require(s) different delivery models for each business outcome.” However, what HPE and IBM are proposing and what the NonStop vendor community is experiencing is something we follow closely, but more important to us is what our customers are doing right now. With all the discussion centered on hybrids and clouds, there’s still the need to make adjustments to our product to include support for even more data, even as we are responding to additional manageability needs. In an article that will appear in the April, 2016, issue of Tandemworld, we highlight how this is all part of business for any vendor providing value for their customers – being customer driven is a reality, more so today with a new computing model taking shape. It’s quite acceptable for NonStop customers to have additional requirements and we see a steady list of their business needs expressed as requirements generated on a regular basis. Paying attention to the needs of our customers and recognizing when it is DataExpress that will need to address a requirement is all a part of business. Being customer driven is not just a mantra to DataExpress to be repeated at every presentation, but a way of life for everyone on the DataExpress team. Watch for this upcoming article in Tandemworld and if as yet you haven’t read the March – April, 2016, article in The Connection magazine by Richard Buckle, Data integration hooking the big fish!, moving data into Big Data frameworks, many of which are utilizing clouds, is already being addressed by DataExpress. Buckle refers to DataExpress as a vendor who has, “cut their teeth moving files (and) is considering adding features to ensure files on the very HTTP and FTP servers they already read from, can become a source that (DataExpress) taps to move data into Big Data frameworks.” Watching what HPE, IBM and the NonStop vendors are pursuing is always an important aspect of the development process and at DataExpress we are not immune to responding to what we see heading our way. However, it is what our customers’ need today that remains a priority. Fortunately, with all the support being given to hybrid solutions even as businesses are taking their first tentative steps down this road, it’s very encouraging for us here at DataExpress to know that we have customers prioritizing each and every step we take as we continue to walk, right alongside of them. Yes, it’s a journey but not one to be taken on your own and being joined by the right partner makes all the difference.