Industry Leader Q&A with Susie Siegesmund

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Just days after Rocket Software completed the purchase of the UniData and UniVerse Servers and Tools assets from IBM, Susie Siegesmund, now vice president and general manager for the U2 brand under Rocket, took time to talk about why the timing was right for this move and what customers and partners can expect under the new ownership.  Here, some excerpts from that interview. Read the full interview in the December issue of Database Trends and Applications.

Why was Rocket interested in U2?
Siegesmund: Their initial expertise is in the database arena. They started off building products that ran on the mainframe for IMS and DB2. They have been an IBM partner for 15 years, building tools that run on other data servers.  In the last decade, they have started growing the business by acquiring other technologies and they have technologies in different spectrums. They have products in the database tools space, BI space, SOA and application modernization space, security, telecom. They have got products in a variety of areas, but I think what they saw is that the ability to have some synergy by having a database - to have the reach that it gives you into a customer base, to find new uses, and be able to sell more of some of the other products that they have today-greatly expands both their partner base and their customer base, and adds a whole new area of go-to-market.

Is there synergy between Rocket's CorVu business intelligence product line and the U2 group?
Siegesmund: Definitely. That is what we are planning on. As a matter of fact we just had a partner summit in Newton, Mass., and had representatives from 14 entities of our U.S. partner base and we had short demonstrations of some of the other products that Rocket sells that might play in our space. The partners who were there were very interested in this Rocket CorVu product that is called Shuttle. We have already provided a data set and version of one of the data servers to the people who do the engineering for that product so that they can look at how well it performs today against our products and then we be will looking to whether we need to build an XQuery integration path for them in order to make it perform better.

With the functional advantages MultiValue database technology provides and the low cost of maintenance-and with Rocket's strength in SOA-do you see synergy in that area with the U2 products?
Siegesmund: One of the things about becoming a Rocket brand is that we can leverage the different things they have to offer. I mentioned the business intelligence up front, but from an SOA standpoint, we have added a lot of functionality to the U2 servers over the last several years-web services capabilities, and things to move us into that SOA space and Rocket can probably help get the products adopted more readily by people looking to build that type of application.

Does MultiValue technology particularly bring advantages to SOA?
Siegesmund: Really, I think more than just SOA - because SOA is really a methodology and an architecture more than it is a delivery mechanism. When you talk about cloud computing, or ASP, or software as a service, rather than SOA, people don't see the data server.  And indeed the rapid time to market and the ability to very quickly build an application with our technology is one of the things we will also be leading with when we go to the software houses in other countries now.

One of our recent successes is with a Japanese company. They found UniVerse and our U2 Web Development Environment on their own. What they were looking for was an XML data store, but when they did their investigation they found that the ones that are pure XML data stores don't do high transaction volumes, and so we turned out to be the perfect hybrid because we have very high transaction volumes and we do three layers of nesting naturally and we also provide interfaces that allow you to read something that is XML and write out to XML without doing all the mapping yourself. You do the mapping once at the dictionary level and we do it for you on the fly. So they built an application and went to market for an opportunity they saw and captured that market because they delivered their application in 3 months. That is the type of place that I see a real opportunity for us to grow. And that particular application is being run as an ASP or software as a service type of model.  That is the situation when you log on and use some of the different online services that are available today-you don't know what they are doing for a data store but when you think about it they must have something out there.

Look for expanded versions of this article with more answers from Susie Siegesmund in the December print and e-editions of Database Trends and Applications magazine.