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If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

See
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=9835
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
66 REPLIES
Martin Johnson
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

OpenVMS is the best OS I have ever worked with. It would be a shame to allow it to follow the way of the dinosaur.

:-(
Marty
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Alas, I think the reality is that the revenues HP gets from VMS are used to:

* include TRU64's magnificant filesystem and (VMS-based!!!) clustering into HP-UX (in stead of rebranding TRU64 and get some HP-UX stuff into it...)
* Port HP-UX to Itanium-2
* and keep defecit of ESG as low as possible....


Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Keith Parris
Trusted Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

At HP Enterprise User's Week in Amsterdam, Mark Gorham informed the attendees that OpenVMS generates between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion in revenues annually for HP, and $500 million in profits.

Like printer cartridges, OpenVMS contributes to HP's overall profitability in these tough economic times.

It's not surprising that OpenVMS was designated as "a keeper" very early in the clean-room process of the merger with Compaq.
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

VMS is the best critical-mission OS over the world.

The question is "VMS is profitable?" and my answer is:
a) No advertising made in last year: look for linux in same period.
b) VMS was not open OS as declared. It's very difficult found software.
HP must encourage develpment of software.
c) Some pricing could be changed (i.e network and user access).

The way pathed by HP is very good: this forum, new software avaiable.
Now we, all together, could advertise VMS and this forum: first step to make profitable VMS and than help us.
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

keith,

I know, I was there as well.
I also posted the question what HP should do if a (medium sized) company, currently using OpenVMS, is reconsidering it's future use (for whatever reason). His answer was more or less: Try to talk them into HP-UX, in stead of keeping them on OpenVMS. Between the lines: "I don't think they need it." So the impression I've got from his explanation is that OpenVMS is just for those BIG customers where HP wants to get a foothold. No more, no less. When you are a small company (or a non-profit organisation) and _HP_ thinks there no need for you to run VMS, it's NOT what they go for. They'd go for HP-UX, eventuaslly Linux. If you explicitly stated to require VMS, you would get it eventually but not after HP will have tried to prevent it.
But they NEED the money - as I stated before.
And just a minor part is used for VMS.....

Therefore, I agree with Antoniov: if HP doen't do the advertaiseng, the users should do. Perhaps HP doen't like it, I don't care untill HP (in casu: M. Gorham) changes his mind....
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

I agree with WIllem.
VMS is just for BIG customer and little customer as me are difficult to use.
But I could carry in VMS a few user and new customer and many other VMS user can do it.
VMS is very stable, very hard and do not have problems as Windows platform. There are a lot a little customers that are ready to use a stable OS (linux is an example).
I am avaiable offer a little of my time to advertaiseng VMS if HPgive any little tool; now I'm advertise this fourm to other italian user.

HP could help VMS user and VMS user will help profits of HP.


Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Well, BIG users: HP seems to think so. But only in terms of revenue, I think.
But what about small exchange-companies, trading houses and organisations that deal with security (e.g. police)? These do NOT bring in a lot of money but require first-class stability and security in all aspects. Do THEY have to rely on HP-UX/TRU64, Linux or Windows? According Mark Gorham's (HP's?) statement, they do. So they will not use VMS (or even know abouit it), or turn away from it (by lack of knowledge.
I know HP marketing has prove of VMS's top-of-the-bill security and stability but seems to be reluctant to use it. Why make cost in more marketing if the money comes in by itself...
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Keith Parris
Trusted Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Perhaps the person answering the question at Amsterdam interpreted it as meaning "what should HP do if a company was planning to move off of VMS, for whatever reason" and of course the answer would be that if the customer really wanted to move off of VMS, HP should try to keep the customer on ONE of HP's platforms, rather than going to a competitor. I don't think the size of customer is an issue; while most smaller customers work through a distributor rather than directly with HP, that doesn't mean they are not valued.

The port to Itanium has been very helpful in raising awareness of both HP's long-term committment to OpenVMS and to its bright future. We still have some confused people, both inside and outside the company, who think OpenVMS will go away with the last Alphas like they see Tru64 as doing, or get it confused with MPE, but we're making progress. OpenVMS was demonstrated on a SuperDome as one of 4 OS's at the Intel Developers Forum recently. And I note that all of the new Itanium-related presentations and press releases coming out from HP now include OpenVMS on an equal footing with HP-UX, Linux, and Windows, so that is good progress.
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Keith,

I was citing Mark Gorham. I don't have the whole speech in Amsterdam in my mind (I'm not a datacentre) but the main points were, if I remember well:
1. HP's aim for OpenVMS is:
- the CURRENT installed base (that is: the areas where VMS is in use already: health, finance, governement and telecom)
- Perhaps (!) new BIG accounts
2. Smaller business would be offered HP-UX, or even Linux or Windows. OpenVMS would NOT be mentioned there. If they asked for it, they would get it, no doubt, but on my question on this, he was quite unclear.
3. If a company would like to stop with OpenVMS, it would be offered help in the transition to another HP-based platform. There wqould be NO attempt to keep them on OpenVMS.

What you mentioned is point 3. I have no trouble in that, but I doubt most of the advisors know virtually nothing about OpenVMS (and NSK), jusr HP-UX, Linux and Windows. Actually, the _could_ also offer to stay with OpenVMS.
What _should_ be done first is porting big stuff like ERP, CRM and financial packages to OpenVMS (and done properly!). We lost a VMS customer to another (non-HP) platform just because the business solution he would like to use was not available on VMS. Otherwise, he would have stayed there!
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Willem,
if you are right, me and my customers will become off of VMS, because little customers. Where do you find this information?
I hope you mistake!

@Antoniov
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Keith,

I really have to support Willem in this.
Mark definitely was creating the suggestion that HP would rather have small customers on a NIX (of even M$!) than on VMS.
I DO have to admit that in the november TAF that was different.
I also remember Sue's starting remark at the TAF: anything TECHNICAL, present, future, wishlist, was definitely ON-topic, but anything marketing had to be OFF-topic.

... Maybe another idea should be repeated here as well:
On comp.os.vms there recently was a (brilliant!!) idea for flash marketing.
And it looks quite feasable, and cheap at that.
The idea is more or less 'DEFCON 9' in big.
Set up a (sufficiently large capacity) VMS system on the Internet for a break-in contest. More or less the DEFCON rules apply: if you so desire you can get a non-priv'd useraccount, to look around, have the full help available, some playing room, some nice examples.
Of course Apache (maybe showing the ongoing results of the contest).
Have a nice prize for anyone (or a big one for the first) to be able to compromise the system.

not-literal quote:
"think about your free publicity. CNN and every self-respecting news channel will bring it each half-our for at least a day, and probably intermediate results any time they are short of items."

Would that be anything to get the word out or wouldn't it?


Jan
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

I foud it again:
look at William Webb & John Smith in:

http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=&hl=en&lr=lang_en|lang_de&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=4080A316.A8851E8A%40NeOaSrPtAhMlNiOnWk.net&prev=/groups%3Fdq%3D%26num%3D25%26hl%3Den%26lr%3Dlang_en%257Clang_de%26ie%3DUTF-8%26group%3Dcomp.os.vms%26safe%3Doff%26start%3D25

I took the liberty of copying the relevant part. I'm sure they will not object:

,quote>


> The idea of offering a $1 million (USD) prize for anyone who could
> successfully penetrate an OpenVMS system connected to the Internet has
> been mentioned in this newsgroup previously as a way that HP could
> generate huge amounts of free publicity in venues that would be
> visible to the nontechnical.

Actually that's a pretty good idea. It would probably be picked up by CNN
Headline news and repeated about 48 times the first day (once each 1/2 hour
'news' cycle), and by other 'mainstream' news media (tv, radio, & print).

As long as HP had a link on the www.hp.com home page to the contest,
everyone who heard about it on CNN et. al. could find out the details. It
would behoove HP to have as many 'contestants' as possible hacking at the
system.


>
> If they're not willing to put that much at risk, offering an iPod
> (with the matching Volkswagen accessory) to the first successful
> intruder would gather just as much publicity and display a sense of
> humor at the same time.
>
> It would also greatly enhance HP's "coolness quotient" which seems to
> have become a matter of extreme importance of late.


Perhaps even throw in a carly(tm) matching hairstyle and manicure for the
winner's (if any) publicity photo in the VW.

Of course if nobody wins, then HP would have to follow up with a picture of
an Alphaserver holding the iPod while resting jauntily against the VW,
proclaiming OpenVMS as the winner.



Jan
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

You know this one?

http://deathrow.vistech.net/

Just let'm try.....
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

I think a hp backed VMS system placed on the internet for a hacking competition is a fine idea.
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Sad I couldn't respond from my current location (refuses SSL), but I'll add this ASAP:

It has been done: DEFCON-9. Winner (in terms of non-penetration): VMS

"Our" VMS-Ambassador has spoken about this, and I asked "What is HP marketing planning to do with this info?". The answer: "NOTHING"...That's the point!
OTOH: In another meeting it was told that a customer didn't want the successtory be advertised - for security reasons.
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Hi,

while DefCon 9 has been a really nice success for John, this mainly is a geek event. Having a competition backed, branded and advertized by hp would be in an entirely other dimension. But pretty much any advertising for VMS would be an improvemnet really :-(

Do not get me wrong, I appreciate the efforts of Sue tremendously, but for all its worth it looks like she is an army of one and there is just so much you can achieve this way (and she achieves 150% of that).

Greetings, Martin
John Eerenberg
Valued Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

I read the article (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=9835) when it came out and re-read it upon finding this thread today.

I did not agree with the article when it was published but I do agree with it now.

I work in Charlotte, NC which is the #2 financial center in the USA (New York is #1). Along with numerous small and medium banks, two banks here are ranked in the US top 5.

Both of these banks run huge finanacial applications and in one bank, a particular financial app is tied for #1 in the USA and ranked as in the world's top 5.

I worked for Ditigal in both VMS pre-sales and as a VMS performance/capacity planning consultant for a long time. I left Digital to work at a bank (turns out literally one-third of the former Digital office is working at one of these two banks). When an upgrade need came along Digital sales was reasonably responsive; later Compaq sales had to be asked; and for the most part begging was, past tense, the norm to get HP sales involved.

Presently, one of these banks (maybe both?) is looking at a large VMS upgrade and sales is, present tense, not interested (I don't mean "not interested" as in being dramatic, I mean "not interested" as in regional HP sales is encouraging other HP platforms). The application vendor no longer promotes VMS and is gently pushing for another HP platform too.

I have a few more things I could say, but I think you can understand what is going on. I look at the reality that regional HP sales is not neutral and likewise the app vendor is moving away from VMS. While promotion of other HP platforms over VMS might be a US southeast situation, I can probably make the case that, at best, the northeast is neutral on VMS. So the way I see it, neutrality is probably a slow cancer on VMS due in part to the press and HP sales bias/press against VMS is a fast cancer in the southeast. Just my opinion in my little neck of the financial woods.

I don't think too many of the issues cited in this post and in the originating article are all that relevent; many of the issues discussed are symptoms. Forget about the lack of OpenVMS advertising being an issue, forget about VMS profitabilty, forget about VMS technical excellence and security, forget about the road maps. Very simply, VMS is a vehicle, a bridge if you will, to other HP platforms -- at least within the #2 financial center in the US.

I am pretty much a VMS bigot (actually TOPS-10 ;-) and I don't mind this reputation and my peers on the other platforms accept this and even respect it. I take it as a complement to be called a VMS bigot and hope to keep this "honor" the rest of my life. I have nothing to appologize for; I have achieved several financial industry technical/technology firsts; and it is a blast to be associated with some of the best VMS and technology people in the country.

But reality bites. From where I stand, to correct the HP VMS situation would take an HP culture change. That is the central issue. As much as I don't like it, VMS cannot recover from this non-technical hurdle. Sad, very sad.
It is better to STQ then LDQ
Dave Gudewicz
Valued Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Interesting comments all.

What I'd like to know is how much effort is HP making to train its sales force in terms of VMS.

From my point of view, Compaq dropped the ball on this, thus VMS suffered.

I'm hoping hp doesn't do same.
John Eerenberg
Valued Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

> "What I'd like to know is how much effort is HP making to train its sales force in terms of VMS."
> "From my point of view, Compaq dropped the ball on this, thus VMS suffered."

Point taken and I don't think HP is handling it any better then Compaq. I don't see how training will help. HP inherited a sales culture that is probably beyond change. Just my opinion and I hope I am wrong but my earlier experience/post says I am not.
It is better to STQ then LDQ
Keith Parris
Trusted Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

One thing that's helping a lot in terms of HP culture is that OpenVMS now runs on Integrity Servers, even HP's flagship SuperDomes, and so OpenVMS information is being included automatically in all the sales material going out on the subject of Itanium systems. This is helping greatly in raising the awareness of pre-merger HP people that not only is OpenVMS not dead or gone, it is going forward into the future as an integral part of HP's Multi-OS strategy.
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Willem:
Yes, I DO know VISTECH. It's not too far off from the idea. If it would be possible to make a contest of the "try break the security", and, the main point; put some interesting prize on it AND GET THE WORD OUT TO THE OUTSIDE (non-VMS) WORLD. About the cheapest, most cost-effective marketing conceivable.
And see Anton's post: if only somehow the news gets to the young folks in a cool way (a la DEFCON), they are eager to get their hands on it, and once started, we all know most of them will turn enthousiastic!

John:
I mentioned TAF before. One thing told there was (Mark Gorham): "All commercial staff will shortly go to trainings to get them aware of OpenVMS and how to include it in their sales activities"
I don't know HP's definitions of "All" and "shortly", but apparently those that are your contacts eigther were not so short on the list, or the training was not really successfull.
But unless I start hearing stories where HP actively tries to sell VMS, instead of ONLY reluctantly supplying it if a customer cannot be convinced otherwise, I will remain sceptical.

Jan
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

John's remark:

Very simply, VMS is a vehicle, a bridge if you will, to other HP platforms

is exactly what my feelings were with the merger. "Strategic product" - in those area's. My remark that time: "to stay there or to get a foodhold to get it out in favour of HP-UX". I seem not to be the only one that have these feelings.
Given John's experiences it seems that at least at some offices, there's a LOT to be done.

Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

keith stated:

One thing that's helping a lot in terms of HP culture is that OpenVMS now runs on Integrity Servers, even HP's flagship SuperDomes, and so OpenVMS information is being included automatically in all the sales material going out on the subject of Itanium systems

Who do you think would read it and understand? Still the big idea about VMS is "Old", "Legacy", "outdated", "unsupported", "No appliacions", "Uncertain future", "No main stream", "expensive".

THESE are the terms that need to be addressed. Not only at the CEO's and CIO's perception, but ISP's as well (like John said - ISV's "no longer promoting VMS and pushing 'gently' to other HP platforms" (what would mean HP-UX)). When an application is ported to VMS (as has been the case letyely) it should be notified wider than currently done (Sue, could this be one of the "success stories?"), as well as new(!) customers - and the reasons WHY they chose VMS over other systems. The press may need some brainwash as well, when HP won a contract - on VMS.
I would like that HP-UX and VMS are treated as equals by HP at least, but I'm afraid this will stay a wish....
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: If OpenVMS is profitable, where's the money going?

Dave,
I agree with you "Compaq dropped the ball on this, thus VMS suffered."
John,
I don't agree with you: HP is handling it better then Compaq; but this is not enough for VMS.
There is a few software and price positionament is too high.
I think some software could be avaiable with OS without licensing; it's already happened for TC/IP and DCPS: could be same for Advanced Server/Pathworks and C compiler.
In this way can increase the developers base.

@Antoniov
Antonio Maria Vigliotti