Rocket Software’s Susie Siegesmund Looks to the Future

After 20 years in the MultiValue market, most recently as vice president of the U2 and D3 Business Areas of Rocket Software, Susie Siegesmund is retiring. In an interview, Siegesmund – who intends to travel with her husband, spend more time with her three grandchildren, and renew her interest in golf, bridge, and stained glass projects – reflected on the changes that have taken place in MultiValue and the emerging opportunities in this sector of the IT market.

Prior to her two decades in the MultiValue sector, Siegesmund devoted 19 years to caring for her two children and volunteer work. Before that she worked for 5 years as a development programmer. When her children were grown, she updated her skills with a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, before taking a position in 1994 at UniData Corporation in technical support.

As the years progressed, Siegesmund’s responsibilities grew as the company went through changes in ownership. UniData merged with VMark Systems, which had developed UniVerse, to form Ardent Software, which was later acquired by Informix. IBM acquired the database division of Informix in 2001, making UniVerse and UniData part of its database product family, along with the associated tools, SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA), U2 Web Development Environment (U2 Web DE) and wIntegrate. In 2009, Rocket Software purchased the entire U2 portfolio from IBM. The U2 portfolio is grouped under the name Rocket U2. In November 2013, Rocket expanded its MultiValue product division with the purchase of the MultiValue database business including the D3, mvBase, and associated technologies, from TigerLogic Corporation.  The business unit is now referred to as Rocket MV.

The Rocket acquisition has given the U2 group the support and stability it needed, and will do the same for the D3 group said Siegesmund. “Rocket is really good at acquisitions. They know what they are doing and the business has grown with Rocket. They invested as they said they would. The partners and customers are all in agreement that things are much better.”

U2 software is mainly sold through partners because it is always bundled with their software, although there are also direct users who bought the software years ago and hired their own developers to maintain and update their products.  Today, there are installations of U2 database products at major companies around the world as well as in smaller shops.  “It really cuts across all industries, from SMBs to the enterprise,” said Siegesmund.

According to Siegesmund, a key to expanding the franchise and interesting more potential partners in MultiValue will be the addition of the Python programming language. “By adding Python not only can we have the database technology appeal to brand new partners building whole new applications, but partners can build extensions to existing applications in Python.”

Currently, there is an early adopter release of UniData that is Python-enabled and the company is working with a group of partners and customers to get feedback, said Siegesmund. “By adding Python to Basic we have a very scalable, performant database option for people to use to build new applications, as Python is what the kids coming out of school today know.” UniData 8.1 will have Python support and then it will be added to UniVerse as well, said Siegesmund.

Although she stopped actively working just after the interview in early August, Siegesmund said she will continue to be available to Rocket until the end of the year.  As she leaves, she is confident that she is leaving the group in good hands. P. Gary Gregory, senior vice president and general manager, Database Servers and Tools Business Unit of Rocket, is heading up both the M204 Database Unit and the MultiValue Unit. “All the personnel are in place and we have been working at coordinating the hand-off,” she said.

“This job has been a lot of fun. I love the products, love the partners and we have great employees. It’s a great team – it’s almost like a family.  But the time has come for me to move on.  I would like to think that there is another 20 years out there for me, for just having fun.”