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Posted by John R. Rymer on March 8, 2010
We all need to revisit our understanding of Progress Software. On March 4, I was introduced to the “new and improved” Progress at the company’s annual briefing for industry and financial analysts. The company is a new enterprise software vendor with 25 years of experience. If you know about Progress, it is likely through an ISV solution based on the OpenEdge database/4GL. Or perhaps through the Sonic enterprise service bus ... or the Actional SOA management product.
How you should think about Progress Software now (see Figure):
First, Progress Software has a new mission, which it calls“operational responsiveness.” To achieve this mission, Progress will primarily seek to help enterprises develop real-time, event-based architectures that extend existing systems. Real-time, event-based systems let companies see what’s going on in their business processes at any given moment, and to act while transactions and interactions are in flight to fix problems, ensure compliance, add revenue opportunities, and/or cut costs. Example scenarios:
Second, Progress is betting for growth on two collections of middleware to achieve its new mission. These are:
Third, Progress will manage its OpenEdge, Orbix, and ObjectStore legacy platforms as annuities, expecting low growth compared to its other two lines of business. These products will get sustaining investment, while the Enterprise Business Solutions and Enterprise Data Solutions lines will get the lion’s share of the company’s investment in organic development and acquisitions.
Fourth, Progress is now being managed as a single company rather than the loosely connected product groups of the past. Progress will need coordinated product development and delivery to sell the new software suites and industry solutions for financial services, telecommunications, and travel/transportation.
Progress’ transformation is a work in process. We see four gaps:
Despite these gaps, Progress’ direction is both interesting and useful. Don’t overlook the company when you are looking for an enterprise partner to help you drive innovation. Progress Software is a new option for real-time, event-based applications and architectures.
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