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The Bangalore Technical Conference 2018 – travel letter from Ragnar

Dagfinn and I have attended the The Bangalore Technical Conference 2018 in India. This is a conference held every year by Micro Focus for academic institutions and selected technical partners. Good training in relevant products and solutions, as well as useful technical discussions with developers and other participants, characterized the five days the conference lasted.

Ragnar Storstrøm

The conference, also known as the Technology Transfer Partners conference, TTP, is an exclusive conference for invited partners only. It is limited to 50 participants and has an agenda focusing on products and solutions developed by Micro Focus in India.

You can give feedback on a completely different level – directly to both product managers and developers. A big part of the conference is precisely about them wanting feedback from us, and they include it in the further development. That in itself is extremely motivating and means that the products we use for our customers have the opportunity to be even more optimized for what we need them for. When presenting a product or a solution, the entire development team was often present. For some products, it was more than twenty people present when we gave our feedback!

Courses in Access Manager with great support

The conference started with courses in either Open Enterprise Server, ZENworks or Access Manager. We chose the latter and got a review of the product by the product manager. Then the developers taught us the part they were responsible for in the product. The instructors helped us through the exercises, so everyone completed what they were supposed to. There were no questions left unanswered – and all our suggestions of improvement were noted.

Micro Focus Indian Development Center

One of the days we went to Bagmane Business Park, where Micro Focus is located. We were welcomed by one of the heads of the Indian Development Center and he told us a bit about India, Bangalore and Micro Focus:

  • The number of people working in the IT industry in India is 4 million + 15 million working indirectly with IT
  • There are 11 million residents in Bangalore, of which approx. 1 million work in IT
  • Micro Focus has approx. 40,000 customers worldwide, of which 3,500 are academic institutions
  • 99 of Fortune top 100 companies are customers of Micro Focus
  • The company has over 15,000 employees spread over 50 countries. Of these, approx. 1,600 from HP Enterprise acquisition and approx. 850 from NetIQ employees sin Bangalore. A total of 1,500 of them are developers

This day was especially valuable for us since we got a review of the roadmap of the security products that we for our customers in Cloudworks. We got the opportunity to get a more in-depth explanation of some of the parts we were wondering about.

Java and Tomcat

One of Micro Focus’s partners talked about Filr installation for a customer. Filr is a tool for gathering files from multiple sources in one place, making it easier for users to find them. We also got a lecture in NetStorage – a feature that was introduced in NetWare 6.0! At one point, NetWare was the world’s most widely used network operating system. This lecture proved to be incredibly useful for us, as it included tips on tuning of Java and Tomcat – technology several of our customers use every day!

Continuing the dialogue with the IDM team by email

One of the highlights of the conference for us was additional information about the next version of NetIQ Identity Manager, as well as access to the entire IDM team. We were well prepared for this session and spent the entire hour at our disposal asking questions, suggesting improvements and we got a bunch of advice. Since not everything could be answered, we have made direct contact with the developers to continue the dialogue by email.

We also went through an overview of which security products that support cloud services. This is particularly interesting to us because it allows us to create services ourselves, and here we had some inputs as well.

Vertica for Analytics

We got some information about how Micro Focus plan to use Vertica for Analytics in their products, which is one of the most exciting features to come. Vertica is a product that converts data in databases into a different format, making it faster to search through huge amounts of data even with very complicated queries.

A demonstration of eDirectory’s new REST interface and iManager’s new user interface was also part of the program. On the the latter we had a lot of input we hope they will take into consideration. It did, however, already look fantastic and will represent a clear improvement.

Ransomware attacks

One of the days we were contacted by the product manager of Open Enterprise Server. In a previous session, someone had asked for a feature to limit the extent of damage caused by ransomware attacks. We had told about a fuse we developed for IDM drivers that prevents the execution of unintended changes on many users. The product manager was eager to get information about it.

Funny that something we have developed for our customers may also be used by Micro Focus!

Test and development laboratory

We also visited the former office of HP Enterprise, which is now a part of Micro Focus. There we were shown into the test and development laboratory. Here we saw row after row of racks containing servers, data storage, network devises, etc. I do not know how many suppliers are represented, but at least several thousand servers were running around 145,000 virtual machines and used about 40PB of storage. Everything to support the development of 89 products. I felt awe, and I also envy the 100 people who are allowed to manage all of this. Imagine having so much cool hardware to play with!

Social and professional discussions with other participants

Some of the evenings there were arranged joint dinners, as well as a welcome banquet with entertainment. This gave us the opportunity to get to know the other participants. We did not let the chance go from us to having good and professional discussions about what we had learned with people just as interested in this as we are.

India as a destination

Neither Dagfinn nor I had been to India before. With two good colleagues from India, Nancy and Gaurav, and the whole Cloudworks team often talking about India as a destination for a future company trip, we had looked forward to experiencing this exciting country. We did, however, not have much time to spare for exploring, and we left with a feeling of wanting more. We jumped on the opportunity to drive in an motorized rickshaw, visit various temples, buy custom shirts, watch a local Kabaddi match in a bar and enjoy Indian food – and beer. Also, on a few occasions, we were welcomed extra by getting the typical red mark on our forehead.

During the conference, we updated the Cloudworks team with some of our new learning and experiences, and the details we saved until we were back at home. Our leader, Alexander, started the process of getting us to the next year’s conference even before we were home from this one. I hope that others from Cloudworks will be allowed to experience the same as us. For it was a truly unique experience – one I would not have been without.

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