July 2014 Webcast Transcript

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Michiel Helder:

Thank you and good evening, afternoon or morning, everyone.  Welcome to the July Webcast for the I.M. Community.

Today, we have John Smith, who is general manager, and Kathy Hickey, Vice President of Product Management for I.M., with us to give an update on the vision and strategy for the infrastructure management portfolio.

But before I hand it over to them, I just wanted to go over a few quick things.  First of all, C.A. World - C.A. World 2014, the preparations have started.  The new Web site is online and you will be able to see there that there's a slightly new approach.

One of the big changes is that there's now a different setup with Cineplex theatres on the main conference floor where some of the sessions will be held, but don't worry.  That doesn't mean that you won't have all the regular breakout sessions.

There will still be all the technical sessions, some hands-on labs, there will be the free pre-conference education, product demos, there's media experts, which is also set up in - on the main floor.

The network center where you can meet one-on-one with C.A. staff and there's free Web-based training during the conference.  And, of course, there will be the usual things like event night on Tuesday and a lot of networking.

If you are a community member, you can get a $200 discount on top of the early bird registration, which is open until September 1st currently.  By the end of August, they will expect to have the agenda build their own line, so you can see all of the sessions to make a more informed decision.

The next community update, which posted earlier today, we just wanted to make you aware - well, since you are here, you probably have noticed that there is an issue with exporting calendar events on the new community platform.

Just make sure if you want to have it in your calendar any events that are on the platform they will be exported in the specific time zone, which means that if you're in a different time zone, please use the ICS file that's attached to the event that will include local time zone information.

Then we had decided to extend the survey software defined networking.  We didn't get as much response as we were used to or we're hoping for.  So if you haven't taken it yet, you will find the link in the community updates.

Please give us some feedback, even if you don't know what software defined networking means, that will help us understand where people are getting that implemented or researching it.

So with that, we had some questions about strategy and vision for the I.M. product portfolio, some worries, some rumors.

Because of that, we have invited  John Smith and Kathy Hickey here today to give you an update on that.  And with that, I would like to hand it over to John.  Go ahead.

John Smith:

OK.  Thank you, Michiel.  Yes, this is John Smith, General Manager of the Infrastructure Management Business Unit.  I've been in this role for about 10 months now, been in the networking system management industry for about 25 years.

So most of my career has been spent in this space.  With the - with the first 10 months me being the general manager for this business unit, what we wanted to do is give an update on what we've been doing during the past 10 months and what - an update on the status of the products and then also our future vision for those products, and then be able to, you know, address questions at the end.

Now, the - I should start with the - you know, the first thing that we've been working on is building out what I consider to be a world-class software development organization and methodology for developing software.

So we've made a lot of personnel changes within the organization with respect to product managers, leaders of engineering teams, et cetera, to get the right people in place.  We've done a lot of hiring in the last 10 months.

We've hired over 120 people and it's all around the methodology of safe, which is a scaled agile framework, which I consider to be a world-class methodology for software development.  So it's all about agile development coupled with the way to do what they call program management or managing your roadmaps and your product releases combined with business strategy and really managing the portfolio of products within the business and looking forward into the future to see what should we be working on so that we are bringing the right products to the market at the right time with very high quality and predictable on-time delivery.

So that's what it's all about.  We've made these changes.  We're quite happy with where we are at this point with respect to getting the organization in place and the methodologies in place.

Now, with that, what we'll do next is I'm going to turn it over to Kathy and (Kathy's) going to talk about where - you know, where - what the current situation is with your products and then she'll turn it back to me to talk about the progress that we're making on another product, which we're finally unifying infrastructure management.

So Kathy, over to you.

Kathy Hickey:

Great.  Thanks, John.  And thanks, everyone, for joining us today.  I know this is a hot topic for many of you.  So what I'd like to do is just at a high level let you know what we're - what we're going to talk about, and to be quite honest with you, we've kind of changed the agenda around a bit specifically to meet what we expect to be the needs of the community.

We're going to start with very specifically what's going on with your products, so the products that you currently use, that you invested in, you know?  What's going on with those products and then we'll talk about in parallel with what's going on and what this means for you and then we'll open it up for some questions to the Q&A panel.

So what's going on with your product?  So we'll start off with spectrum.  So I'm going to run through the products one-by-one and share with you what's going on with those particular products, what's our focus and what are some of the things that you can anticipate moving forward.

So in the case of spectrum, we're continuing to invest in this what we consider to be a very strategic product within our portfolio.  Spectrum has a very large and passionate customer base that's gaining a lot of value out of the solution.

So we're very focused in on continuing to invest in this solution.  So our spectrum 9.4 release I'm putting in there, it's coming soon.  It's eminent.  It's actually you're going to see an announcement very, very shortly.  So I know a lot of you have been tracking the content of spectrum 9.4.

I know that Kiran Diwakar, our product manager, has been sharing a lot of this great information with you.  So stay tuned on the community.  It's - it'll be available for you to download very soon.

In this release, we focused in quite a bit on just, you know, what were those - you know, what were the customers asking for, the existing customers?  And so we've got a hundred - over 120 new and updated device certifications within that release.

We're also - we are also focused in on just making sure we're staying up-to-date with new technology support.  So you'll see some additional support within 9.4 for things like virtual switching and link aggregation, LECP support to make sure that we're staying up-to-date with the new technologies that you're rolling out within your infrastructure.

We're also introducing a new mobile interface that you should see a couple of kind of screenshots there for in support of this, as well as, an enhancement (soft) integration.

So we're recognizing that our spectrum customers will continue to be using spectrum for quite some time to come and how we'll be leveraging some of the newer components within our portfolio including the Nimsoft platform.

So you'll see with this release as well as with 9.4.1 and future releases as well, that we'll continue to enhance that integration between Nimsoft and spectrum to enable spectrum to be able to receive directly from Nimsoft and from the probes the C.I.s that are under management and pull those in, model those appropriately within the topology be able to then eventually be able to do, you know, event correlation, root cause analysis, and as well be able to do things like contact sensitive launching from within spectrum, you receive an alert, you'll be able to right mouse-click and contact sensibly launched into Nimsoft appropriately to show you that from a historical performance view.

Some of the things that we're looking at from a futures perspective, so we're looking at technologies that will significantly enable us to increase scale while reducing footprint.  So this is something that's been - there's been talk about it for years and to be quite honest with you, it's - we haven't committed to looking at this.

We've taken the step back and said spectrum is so widely used.  A lot of - a lot of customers are gaining a tremendous amount of value out of it.  We need to take a look again at ways in which we'll be able to significantly increase scale while reducing footprint.

So we are currently investigating, looking at ways in which we can release a 64-bit version that will enable us to achieve this.  So be on the lookout for that.  We're - the initial investigations are very, very, very positive and we're pretty excited about this.  So be on the lookout for that and hopefully you'll recognize that's a way in which we're demonstrating the fact that we recognize that our customer base is gaining value or wants to continue to gain value and be able to kind of continue to increase the infrastructure under which you're managing with spectrum and being able to do this at a - at a rate of meeting the increased scale of your environments while reducing the footprints and the costs to run the solution.

So next, we're going to move onto e-Health and in the case of e-Health, our focus is we want to continue to ensure customer success with R.E. Health Solutions.  So again, we know that we've got a large customer base here and we continue to focus in to make sure that our existing customers are successful with e-Health.

And as evidenced by the releases that we've been - that we've been releasing, which have been running roughly about quarterly, our 63205 released back in June, just a - just a few weeks ago, 63205 release had over 130 new and updated device certifications.

And we're up over 250 for the last 6 months and I believe it actually might even be closer to 300, new and updated certifications in the last 6 months alone.  We also with this release introduced support for Red Hat 65, and then as well focused in on a series of security updates.

And so from a security update perspective, we're - sure that you're able to continue to run e-Health in a secure fashion meaning, you know, the security needs in addressing vulnerabilities as they're brought out either by, you know, our - the third parties we leverage or through our security scans.

So from a futures perspective, what are we focusing in on for e-Health?  We're - we've got a pretty heavy focus right now on our certification process and the efficiency of the certification process in ways in which we'll be able to decrease the turnaround time.

So when you're requesting certifications, being able to get those turned out to you in a more rapid fashion.  So again, be on the lookout for some announcements in that area, but rest assured, we are very focused in on that.

And we will continue right now for the foreseeable future to turn out these releases, again, targeting these quarterly releases to make sure that we're staying up-to-date with the technologies that you're rolling out within your infrastructures, making sure we're staying up-to-date with platforms and platform support, as well as, you know, addressing security concerns, vulnerabilities and those types of things that we know, you know, you have - that you're required to address with the solutions you will allow within your - within your infrastructure.

Next, let's talk about C.A. performance management.  Many of you may know this as infrastructure management 2.X or this is the - this is the performance management solution that's made up of CAPC, C.A. Performance Center, visualizing data that's been collected by our data collectors, aggregated by our data aggregator and stored now data repository, the vertical database.

What our focus is on this is we're continuing to leverage the strength that we have with the solution which is very much focused in on those mega scale and carrier grade network performance management.

The solution was custom-built to be successful in those types of environments and we're continuing to focus in on that.  So if you take a look at just some of the things we recently released, again, within the C.A. Performance management solution in our 232 and our 233 releases, both of which came out roughly in the last 6 months, we're very focused in on on a couple of different areas including enhancing our user experience.

So making sure that users are able to quickly gain value from the which data and the expansive data that's been collected through our solution.  One of the things worth noting is a new feature called on-demand reporting, which is a way in which users can very easily go in and learn on-demand trend-like reports whether it's on a particular single item or in a group of items, single metric group of metrics with some flexibility as well, but enabling users to quickly gain access to that historic data that's been collected.

Another area that we're very focused in on is - you'll see us continually focusing in on increasing our scalability, our performance and our resiliency as we recognize those are three very critically important things to address in these extremely large mega scale carrier grade type networks.

So some of the things that we've done within the last couple of releases, we've significantly increased our dashboard performance by leveraging certain capabilities that are available to us using our big data vertical database technology.

We've also - another example of this is we've enhanced the data collector to data aggregate communications not only to increase performance in scale, but also to provide some resiliency in that area as well.

From a futures perspective, what we're focusing in on - so 234 is the release that's currently under development, as well as beyond, you'll see this theme over and over again increasing scale performance and resiliency.  So there's quite a bit that's being done within the 234 release and beyond to continue to increase the scale of the solution.

We've also - we are also planning to introduce a new scorecard view, which is actually a very nice way for users to be able to have a visual representation of - think of it as kind of an aggregate - of things that are under management, very easy to be able to take a look at these score cards, identify where potential problem areas are within the environment and drill in to get the needed details to most accurately understand what's going on and troubleshoot potential issues and to some extent even proactively address issues.

We've also - we'll also be introducing a new feature that's on-demand data collector load balancing to be able to look at and manage and administer the data collectors that are distributed throughout an environment and be able to load balance across, to move the polling load from one data collector to another to pick and choose what you want to move from one data collector to another, to ensure both availability within your environment, as well as, ensure that you've got, you know, your load balancing and planning for future growth - potential future growth as well.

We also will be introducing things like enhanced rule controls, to enable organizations to basically feather out - federate out administration of the solution, being able to federate certain functions and roles and things within the system that you want to basically assign to certain roles so that you have finer grain control over who has access to do what within the system.

And then finally, being able - some of the other things as well is we'll be focusing in on updating and introducing new and updated out of the box content support specifically for CSP technologies for the Communication Service Provider technologies for GLT, wireless tech technologies that are in-demand within the CSP market.

So for NetQS, so our NFA, ADA and UCM solutions, we're continuing to invest in these strategic products.  We certainly do recognize the value of bringing together (EFN) polled performance metrics within a network and coupling that with net flow data understanding the types of traffic that are consuming resources, utilizing resources within the network environment, and then being able to take it a step further to understand the responsiveness of those different types of traffic, bringing that network management closer to the application realm and enabling organizations to better understand how well services are being delivered to end users.

So with this, what we'll - some of the things that you should be looking for in the upcoming - we have an upcoming soon to be released 9.2.1 and 9.1.4 release recognizing that in looking at our customer base, we know that we still have quite a few customers still running the 9.1 code stream, as well as, customers jumping on-board with the 9.2 code streams.

So what we're - what we're doing in this particular release is we're actually going to be releasing support for both the 9.2 code stream and the 9.1 code stream.  Some of the areas of focus for these - for these releases include, you know, updated technology support, so making sure that we are supporting the most recent technologies that you're rolling out.

What - with this particular release, although historically in a previous release we had - we had introduced our Cisco ABC support, what's different this time is we've actually - we have the official certification from Cisco for this ABC support.  So we're actually pretty excited about that in getting that certification from Cisco and passing through the particular tests and lab certifications that needed to be done.

We've also - we'll also be introducing support for our - for ASA firewall technology making sure that we're staying up-to-date again with these new technologies.  And as well, we have an investigation under way into enhancing the Nimsoft integration that we have today.

So today, we do have a flow probe that exposes some flow data through our Nimsoft to our Nimsoft customers and we're looking to enhance that, to provide richer flow, visibility and forensics and analytics to those particular users.

So we have an investigation under way and stay tuned for our plans in that area.  From an ADA perspective, we have an upcoming release of 10.1 release.  We've had a very significant focus on performance and increasing scale and capacity with our ADA solution.

So with this particular release, you'll see significantly approved data collection rates.  So speed and scale of what we're able to collect with our ADA solutions, and as well, significant improvements and the reporting capability as well across that increased data collection.

And then what we're also doing is expanding our data retention to be longer-term data retention with the solutions.  So there's some pretty big updates there that we're very excited about specifically to specifically in support of our ADA solutions.

And then as well, what we're doing is we're focusing in not only on performance and scale and capacity, we're actually focusing in as well on increasing the time to value and enabling customers to be able to more rapidly deploy, configure, implement, instrument and gain value.

So we're focused in on that and one of the things you'll see in this release is there's a faster time to value through updated out of the box configurations for that - for the different types of traffic.

So again, another way in which, you know, we're very focused in on ensuring our customer's success with these solutions.

And then finally, with UCM, we have an upcoming release of 3.8 release where we'll be updating, we're kind of focused in on updating some vendor support.  We've been staying pretty up-to-date with those for the previous releases, but we're making sure that we're supporting those latest versions as well within your unified communications environment.

So with that, John, I think I'm going to turn it over to you to talk about, you know, in parallel what's been going on while we've been making, you know, these investments in the solution (inaudible) portfolio?  What are some of the other things in parallel that are going on/

John Smith:

OK.  Thank you, Kathy.  So before I get into that, fully as you - as you can hear from (Kathy's) presentation, the impact of all the changes that I talked about at the beginning of the Webcast, right, with respect to the methodology changes around agile and specifically the scaled agile framework, the changes we made around personnel, the additional hiring that we've done, et cetera.

So the common theme of what you heard from Kathy is a - first of all, quality is king.  Quality is number one.  We have got to have our products be higher quality than they are today.  So we put a big emphasis on that and we will continue to do that and quality will always be the number one priority.

In addition to that, a - something I'm a big believer in, kind of related to quality as well, is making the product much, much easier in terms of easier to install, easier to deploy, easier to use, et cetera.

So you heard a lot about out of the box content, you know, a lot of work on installers to make them easier, et cetera.  So that'll be a continued theme.  Once we - and then you also heard, you know, that there's a big emphasis in terms of accelerating our velocity.

So right now, an example of that is accelerating the velocity of doing the certifications of devices.  Going forward, not only will we be doing that, but as we continuously improve, which is a main theme of mine, it's all about continuous improvement, you'll start to hear more about capabilities that'll be coming into the products.

One example was a 64-bit support on spectrum, right?  So that was, like, the number one customer request enhancement for years, you know, prior to me being in this role.  So, you know, since it's a team, OK, we've got to - we've got to figure this out.  We've got to find - you know, figure out how we can do this and as Kathy said, the engineering team has it working in the labs in the prototypes, and that's the - so just one example, right?

So you'll continue to see more and more of that from us on those products are going forward.  OK.  So now, in addition to that, I'm going to talk about our unified infrastructure management project that we've got going on in parallel with everything else we just covered.

So this slide kind of tees it up here in terms of the, you know - the vision for our unified infrastructure management offering is we want to be the most powerful, comprehensive and unified infrastructure management solution in the industry.  That's our vision.

And you can kind of see the journey that C.A. has been on, you know, over the years where it started off as a collection of best in breed products and then that involved into doing some point to point integration of those products, primarily care user interface or perhaps, you know, bidirectional event passing, those types of things.

And then we moved into a converged stage and that was with the CAPC, you know, being able to bring multiple products through the CAPC and really focus on network management.

The next stage in our - in our evolution is really how they truly unified infrastructure management offering that will cover a wide spectrum of technologies not just network management, but systems management, database management, Cloud management, packaged applications, et cetera, and have it truly be a single product with a single architecture that all the data is coming into a common data model and a common data repository where we can apply, you know, the analytics on top of that data and provide actionable information in a role-based view to the different users of the - of the overall system.

So that's what we mean when we talk about unified.  And then you can see the heavy, heavy emphasis in terms of focusing on easy, right?  So not only do we want this to be the most powerful comprehensive and unified infrastructure management solution, but I want it to be the most - the easiest solution as well.  OK.  Let's go to the next slide.

So the way - the way that we're doing this, and this project has been under way for a while now and I'm, you know, very pleased at the progress that we're making on this mission, so the - what we're doing is we're starting from a starting point using Nimsoft Monitor as the foundation for building out the unified infrastructure management offering, give this a nice buff architecture that's - works very well in today's modern infrastructure environment with, you know, Cloud environments, hybrid environments, works very well for MSP scenarios, et cetera.

So with that (method) busts architecture and the ability to easily expand the breath of monitoring capability either from C.A.'s engineering team or customers or partners, et cetera.  We're able to build out that breath and today, we have over 140 probes available covering a wide sort of technologies as to be able to bring that data into, as I said, a common data repository common database.

And this allows us our customers to, number one, start small, you know, with a modular, very fast time to value solution.  So, for example, if our customers wanted to start from, say, monitoring their systems, you know, they could start there with a small number of systems, and then they can scale up, that the system will be highly scalable so they can scale up to tens of thousands - tens of thousands of systems in that example, and then be able to scale out, so then be able to add the additional domains, be able to add in network monitoring, they will add a database, package that, Cloud monitoring, et cetera, for storage.

It's a very wide range, very comprehensive setup of capabilities.  And then from there, our unified infrastructure management offering will have analytics built into the products and there's a lot of different analytics there to be able to provide actionable information to our - to our users.

So the analytics will cover a wide spectrum of types.  So, for example, there would be predictive analytics, so being able to - performance or availability problem in the future.  That's one type.  another type is being able to do a log analysis, so being able to, you know, take information from - over the various log files through the analytics on that logged data.  That'll be another form.

You know, another form in the derived metrics being able to derive a new metric, make a business service management type of a metric like business service health, for example, from a collection of data that we're collecting, being able to do prescribed analytics, a - you know, the action that we think you should take and then have integrations with not only C.A.'s automation tools, but also the home and automation tools in the industry like (Puppet) or (Chef) to be able to take the action necessary to correct a problem.

That's just another example.  So lots of different aspects to the analytics team.  And then from the user interface point of view, the user interface is going to be a port hole based Q.I. where the U.I. content is portless, which makes it very easy for not only us, but also customers and partners to be able to develop the U.I. content as portless in this portal environment, everything being in HTML5.

So it's all focused on not only the desktop, but also learning it on your tablets, and then, of course, the mobile application to go along with it.  So that's the, you know, perspective from the U.I. and then being able to integrate in these other tools.

Like, I mentioned over C.A. tools or third-party tools, other products with MCA that are very close to agencies, to infrastructure management like application performance, management products like our Cloud service management, which is a service desk, right, as examples.

So that's the overall vision for where we're - what we're building for your Cloud infrastructure management.  Let's go to the next slide.  OK.

So what you need to know about this in terms of the benefits of that solution is it's extremely adaptable and extensible.  As I said, we already have 140 probes covering a wide range of technologies.  We are going to open this up so that to make it very easy for customers and partners to be able to build out your own probes to - and then have those available to everybody.

So stay tuned for an announcement on - around that concept so that we can rapidly increase the breath of monitoring capabilities.  The solution will scale - will horizontally and vertically support many different business models.

I talked about the modern flexible user interface using (1805) - like I said, it's all based on HTML5.  And then - but we are focused on currently in terms of the kind of the big investment areas at the - at the - at the moment is, number 1, big focus on network performance management, really kind of beefing up that vertical aspect, also advanced default management.

So sophisticated event correlation, root cause analysis, topology, et cetera, and then also beefing up the kind of the service operations aspect of it doing the service modeling, you know, built into the solution, as well as, math analytics including analytics for capacity management and data center infrastructure as well.

So those are the things that we're - the engineering teams are working on right now.  OK?  Go to the next slide.  Now, what does this mean for you?  So you've got, you know, one of our products that Kathy, you know, covered.

And so what does this mean?  Well, first of all, it means that if you want to continue to stay on those products that you have, that's great.  We're going to continue to invest in those and have Kathy explain, and we're going to get better and better for continuous improvement on those products.

On the other hand at some point in the future, we can take a look at the unified infrastructure management solution and if it's compelling to you and it's something that you're interested in and you want to make a move, you'll be able to do that, too.

So the first thing we'll do is we'll protect your investment in the product that you have.  So we'll - you'd be entitled to an appropriate lifetime swap, you know, in terms of the capabilities that you currently have on the size of environment you have.  We would match that, you know, going forward.

In addition to that, this would be your decision to move at all and if you did want to move and as to when you want to move to that unified infrastructure management offering.  And then if you do want to make that move at the time you do want to do it, then we provide migration assistance through quick start tools they're building right now to ease that transition.

So, for example, with e-Health, the way that that will work is we will have - we would deploy the unified infrastructure management solution, you would shut down at that point in time everything, all the e-Health components except for the database server that has the historical data in it.

And then we have an API that we're building our automatic.  We pulled that data out of that database server from the new unified infrastructure management products, but then when you see a graph and your user interface and you're looking at the historical data, that data would be coming from the e-Health database server.

All the new data would, of course, be coming from the unified infrastructure management offering, but it would be a single line, right, a continuous line that you as the end user don't even know that data's coming from - to a repository.

And then after a period of time when you no longer need that historical data, you go shut off that e-Health database server.  In addition to that, we'll have a configuration migration tool that includes attributes like group definition users and so on to assist with that whole migration effort.

So that's an example around e-Health, what we're doing to ease that whole transition.  OK.  Next slide.  All right.  And now, my final slide here is just to really focus on the guiding principle that I've got for all of these products, not just the unified infrastructure management product, but all of our products, is really getting to a point where we're focused on easy and trying to make these products significantly (easier).

So that starts with an easy download, an easy install, making it easy to deploy and also easy to upgrade because since we're in agile developed methodology now, the releases will be at a - at a more frequent cadence.

Many of our products will be on a quarterly cadence.  Some of our products will not be that fast.  Some will be six months, nine months, but many of them will be on a quarterly cadence.  In order to do that, you know, we don't expect our customers to upgrade every quarter, by the way.  They could be selective in terms of which ones you upgrade to, but it's very important to us for us as a vendor to make that upgrade as easy as possible so that it's not a painful process to go through.

But that's the first aspect of it.  Now, at the top, there's the user interface, you know, in addition to having these - you know, using modern technologies like (inaudible).  We're putting a lot of emphasis in terms of our U.I. designers, our usability engineers to really make the U.I.s as simple as we can so that the number of mouse-clicks that you have to do to get (root cause analysis) is minimized making it much, much easier to use the products.

Also in orange circle there speaks to all of the out of the box content, right?  So there's a lot of the out of the box settings that we can do like thresholds, for example, (other locked) views, reports, out of the box integration like at the various service desks.

I talked about the integrations with automation products, I think, as another example.  So really, trying to have as much out of the box content of the overall solution as possible.

And it also speaks to auto discovery and auto configuration making it very easy to apply and monitoring to a large group of devices, for example, you know, making that as easy as we can.  Also, you know, having the community integrated into the products, integrating and learning, which is a (concept that's) called, the (Direct user) experience, where if you're at a point in the - hello?

Kathy Hickey:

John, I can still hear you.

John Smith:

OK.  Not sure...

Kathy Hickey:

Yes, I'm not sure what that was as well.  I guess I'll ask Matt or Kiran, can you still hear us?

Matthew Storman:

Kathy, this is Matt.  Yes, I can hear you guys.

Kiran Diwakar:

Yes, Kathy, we can hear you.

John Smith:

Maybe someone's connection got dropped and we (inaudible).

Kathy Hickey:

OK.  All right.  Sorry, John.  Keep going.

John Smith:

OK.  OK.  So I was talking about the direct to user experience.  So this is a concept where - that we want to add into the product where let's say you're at a - you know, a configuration screen and you're not quite sure what to do, you'd be able to, you know, click on a - like a light bulb icon and a tool kit dialing box would come up and give you further explanation, that's quite - not quite enough to answer your - you know, get you going, then you can click on a URL inside the - that toolkit box and bring up a video of somebody who explains, you know, what to do.

So that's trying to make it easier and easier to use the product.  OK.  That was the last thing I wanted to cover and now, we can go to the questions.

Kathy Hickey:

Great.  Thanks, John.  So I - there were several questions that came in through the Q&A panel and I'd encourage everyone as well if you've got questions, feel free to put them into the Q&A panel.

So we're going to start with just a few of them that have actually already been answered, but I think it's probably worth, you know, repeating them for the group.  So (Leslie) had asked are the spectrum device certifications already on the device cert Webpage or is there somewhere we can check where which device port is - device deport is coming?

So Kiran had replied back that the latest name - so he corrected me - is actually around 200 new and updated device certifications within the spectrum 9.4 release, and the cert's Webpage will be updated right after G.A., but Kiran did send out the cert list on a community up last week.

So go take a look out on the I.M. community.  Kiran Diwakar) did make a post where he actually released and published the list of what's been supported.  So go take a look - go take a look at that.

And then as well, there was a question regarding spectrum, any hot fix updates that will be released for spectrum 9.2.3 or 9.3 and Kiran did reply to that that 9.2.x is being called out as end of service.

So the actual end of service will be effective from April 2015.  So we don't have any planned updates for the 9.2.x.  For 9.3, we have 8.2.2 planned for end of the year.  Some of the other questions that came out as well, someone asked when is NFA 9.2.1 release planned, so we can talk in half ears.

So the 9.2.1 release is planned for the second half of this calendar year, which we happen to be in right now.  So you can kind of make your assumptions from that, but it's the second half of this calendar year.

Some of the other questions that came in, (Jackie), you asked about, you know - about net buoyant and, you know, is it - is it still being supported and enhanced.  So with the - with the case in net buoyant, which happens to be the (SAP) collection mechanism that comes with - that came with our acquisition of net Q.S. as part of the net Q.S. portfolio, we still continue to support net buoyant.

It has not been, you know, end of service, end of life, and we continue to support customers on that, (Jackie).  You won't see a whole lot of enhancements there as, you know, our focus has been on some of the newer components within the portfolio as it pertains to addressing (SAP) data collection, but, you know, we still continue to support the customers who are running that while we build out the future unified infrastructure management platform as John had outlined and will work with those customers at the appropriate time, again, as John described when they see the compelling value there and want to make the move, we'll actually help them make that move.

And I know, (Stewart), you asked specifically about will we be building out migration tools for net buoyant as well over to the new platform and it's definitely something that's under investigation, minimally looking at things, like, as we talked about, that kind of configuration data, grouping, those types of things.  So it's definitely something that we're looking into.

John, there's a question here that I actually may not be able to answer, but I think you may be able to.  So will - where we talk about UIM and UMP, will it be built on top of life fray?

John Smith:

Yes, so the - in fact, that is our new life platform, so to speak.  Yes, so that's for portal technology.

Kathy Hickey:

OK.  Good.  Good.  OK.  And then there were a couple of other questions as well for specifically one of the questions that was asked was, you know, we're not a mega carrier.  We just went through the process of switching to performance management 2.0, and the question is now, we'll have to switch to UIM and, you know, what's the upgrade path, what's the licensed path?

So let me - let me answer that in a couple of - a couple of different questions there.  So specifically, with performance management as I - as I described, our focus is on those mega large carrier grade, you know, infrastructures particularly focused in on network performance management and as you saw the - a lot of our focus is in scalability, performance, resiliency in support of those particular environments.

Now, if you're running performance management today, you've made the switch over there and you're, you know - and you're getting what you need from that, then there's - as John described, if you're happy with what you're running, there's no need to make the jump.

Now, if you do see that there's compelling features and functionality and things that you're looking for as we build out the unified infrastructure management platform that John described, then, you know, certainly let's have that conversation and we will as John described our intention is to make sure that as customers your - you remain whole and we protect your investments.

So we'll work with you to kind of migrate or swap those licenses appropriately when it's time for you to move or if you - you know, if you so choose to move.  So again, it's - you know, a lot of this is up to you from a - from a feature functionality perspective in what your specific requirements are, and as we build out more and more value on the new platform.

And then some of the other questions:

Do you have a tool for migrating from e-Health to Nimsoft?  So as John had described, we are looking at building out these kind of quick start tools that we talk about that will provide you with, you know, some examples in the case of e-Health as John described the - an API that will enable you to kind of keep your e-Health repository available, start collecting and pulling data with the new platform, with the new UIM and sub platform, and there'll be an API that you can run a report from UNP that will enable you to kind of span the two repositories and have that be transparent to the users.

So the first two months of data for that particular port could come from e-Health repository and the last three months could come from the Nimsoft repository and, again, will be transparent to the user and then eventually that data within your e-Health repository will reach out.

So as well, we're looking at ways in which we can provide you with tools that will look at your e-Health configurations.  So think of things like (gloops) and goop definitions, those types of things and be able to migrate that over to the new platform as well.

And, of course, the next question is are those tools available now?  So they're under development.  There are some configuration kind of migration type tools that has been used by the field in the past.

So I'd suggest, you know, if there's something where you have an immediate need, then I would suggest - I think most of you know how to get a hold of me and contact me around the community through e-mail.

There's a couple of more questions.  So there's some - so there's some questions regarding, you know, specifically information, you know, with e-Health features will be covered by Nimsoft and (WIN).

So here's something that I think, you know, we had done.  Previously, and I don't know, Michiel or any of the other board members if you remember how long ago it was, but (Ken Adamson) did do a presentation on this community regarding Nimsoft and the Nimsoft roadmap and some of the things that were coming up and potentially something we could look to do again, but specifically some of the things that you're asking here from a health reports perspective, that's, like, analyzed tech reports, that is absolutely on the roadmap from a - from a Nimsoft perspective as John illustrated.

Not only, you know, health reports, think even beyond that.  We recognize the importance of lairing on analytics on top of the rich data that's been collected and health reports is just a way in which we're exposing the results of those analytics.

So that's absolutely on the roadmap.  And then you also ask about Live Help.  So there are capabilities already existing today in the releasing version of Nimsoft providing some baseline and capabilities, and there's absolutely ongoing work over the course of the next couple of releases to enhance that as well.

Then you also mentioned, you know, out of the box device support.  So what Nimsoft is doing, what we're doing within the Nimsoft portfolio is we're leveraging, again, from an efficiency standpoint as well as just a value standpoint, we're leveraging does the metric family definitions that have been defined in support of performance management, which, you know, largely was spent quite a bit by e-Health device certifications, and we're working towards building out of the box support for, you know, those (SN&P) metric family certifications within the Nimsoft platform.

Very rapidly with each release, you'll see more and more of those performance - the metric families released out of the box from a Nimsoft perspective, and then with the upcoming releases, you're going to see that gap diminish greatly to where we'll have comparable support for metric families across performance management and Nimsoft.

And then what we're also doing is we're going even further than that and saying, OK.  So now, what does e-Health support?  What are those device certifications that perhaps we hadn't built out metric family support for in the next generation platforms and we'll be working towards those as well based upon our knowledge of customers and their usage, discoveries of those devices?

So there's a - it's - what I talked about on e-Health with the laser focused in on certifications, we're looking at this as kind of a joint effort across the components in the portfolio that require those kind of (SN&P) certifications to be able to make that more efficient, more rapidly be able to support those and share them amongst that so that we're being consistent across the components in the portfolio.

And, you know, (Wolfgang) had asked when will the first e-Health functionality available within UIM, so I missed that (Wolfgang) it's already there today with - there's quite a bit of functionality supported within Nimsoft today with, you know, the (SN&P) data collector as I just described in support of those metric families.

So there's quite a bit there and, again, I think what we'll probably do as a follow-up is maybe try to schedule another Webcast to go through details on what's supported from a Nimsoft perspective and we can kind of share that with the community.

Some of - I'm just...

John Smith:

Kathy, (inaudible).

Kathy Hickey:

Go ahead.

John Smith:

So Kathy, I think there's definitely one for (EnShim).  I think we should definitely (inaudible).  We haven't talked about that.  So there's a question from (two other people), Where's the plan for (reemphasis)?

Kathy Hickey:

OK.  So what's the plan for virtual insurance for I.M. and systems performance for I.M., which also known as (beam) spam or (SisEdge), so the plan is, again, today, we're - we continue to support our customers who are - who are running those solutions particularly in the most use cases.

They're using those with spectrum and e-Health and potentially even performance management.  So we're continuing to support those customers; however, as many of you may already know, maybe you don't know, that the Nimsoft portfolio provides today support well beyond, you know, particularly from a platform perspective and functionality perspective well beyond what virtual insurance for I.M. and systems performance for I.M. or systems edge we're providing.

Particularly as it pertains to agent-less monitoring as many organizations are trying to move away from agents and leveraging more agent-less technologies and so forth; although, you know, Nimsoft provides both agent and agent-less options.

So that's where you'll see as John talked about a strategic focus with this new unified infrastructure management platform.  So we'll continue to support you as you're running those, as we're building out this new UIM platform, but we eventually see that from a systems management perspective, particularly as it pertains to physical and virtual systems in addition to wide majority or wide variety of other technology Nimsoft probe, so over 140 probes being able to provide it on the UIM Nimsoft platform leveraging those probe technologies versus virtual insurance for I.M. and systems performance for I.M.

And then as well a couple of other questions regarding just timing and I think it's just extremely important to be really clear there's already a lot of what I talked about and a lot of what (John's) talked about already exists today and in the shipping version of the Nimsoft solution in our 7.6 release, which is the current chipping version, and as we continue to build that out.

So again, I think we'll get into certainly based upon the number of questions we're getting certainly makes sense that maybe perhaps we have another Webcast to kind of share more of the details regarding not only what's already existing today and shipping today in Nimsoft, but also what's coming up in the future.

So I think one of the last questions here that I think here's - that we can address is so - so we have someone here, a couple of other questions as well, that are kind of stating the obvious.  So obviously you can't indefinitely support multiple products that provide the same functionality.

So say, you know, what are the long-term plans?  Well, I think that - I think that (inaudible) start here as John described what the long-term plans are is to be able to have our customers leveraging two unified infrastructure management across fault and performance, across the technology silos, and it is a journey.

So we're looking towards making customers successful on that - on that platform.  But as John described, we're really - we're - you know, we know it's - our intention is that we're going to make this a very compelling solution for you as our customers to want to jump to and leverage these kind of quick-start migration tools that I talked about.

So with that said though, you know, in perfect - honestly, I can't give you guys dates on, you know, end of - support end of life on many of these components because we're not ready to even announce it because we're not going to do that until such time as we believe that we've delivered on this unified infrastructure management platform, a very compelling solution that you'll want to move to as John talked about on your - you know, on your timeframe.

So I think that's the best I - the best way I can answer that and I don't know, John, if you - if you have anything further to add to the - to that one.

John Smith:

Yes.  Yes, just to add to that, the timing of when we get to that point is based on you, install based customers.  So we will just continue to monitor this and someday in the future, who knows, 5 years, 10 years, I have no idea when this is, when, you know, the, you know, (inaudible) customers have made the choice to move and haven't done that and we don't have any new customers buying the products, then, of course, it wouldn't make sense per se to continue to invest in them.

But until that day comes, we're absolutely committed to those products, investing in them heavily, increasing the velocity, improving the quality, et cetera.

Kathy Hickey:

Great.  Great.  And then one last question.  One last I'm just squeezing in here, it's at the bottom here, (Stewart) was asking specifically, John, do we - and I don't know that we have this - do we have usage numbers around which probes they use most often?  What do you see is the most popular probes out of that, you know, state of 140 and, you know, trying to understand, you know, how many of those would be enterprise customers using extensively?

John Smith:

OK.  Yes.  So, first of all, all of the probes are being used by multiple customers, OK, so we don't have any probes that are unused.  But if you look at the parade on chart, it kind of goes as you would expect where, again, I have the big three areas of systems monitoring, and that's physical as well as virtual, by the way, so that will include, you know, your hypervisors.

But those are heavily used.  And then you have network device monitoring also heavily used.  Storage also heavily used, right?  So those are kind of the big three areas.  And after that, you know, the bars on the parade chart, you know, get smaller and smaller as you work your way out looking at the estate of probes because when (inaudible) the probes are more - you know, more specific to different types of customers.

But (inaudible), you know, like I said, are very, very wide, you know, comprehensive (inaudible) kind of interesting to see on a customer by customer basis which ones they choose to use.  So even though a lot of them will use, you know, the kind of common infrastructure that is talked about in terms of the big three, then they'll also add other, you know, probes to that next based upon what it is they're trying to do.  So maybe it's around Microsoft Exchange, for example, or maybe it's around SAP application monitoring or, you know, maybe it's a database or, you know, what have you.

So it's just kind of interesting to see how people choose to deploy it.

Kathy Hickey:

That's good.  So Michiel or (Mary), should we - should we turn it over to you from a closing perspective?

Melissa Potvin:

Yes.  Unfortunately, (Michael's) line dropped, so this is Melissa Potvin.  I'll close the call.  He - if you asked a question in the Q&A panel, we will make sure that the answers are posted into the transcripts.

We'd like to thank all members of the infrastructure management community for taking the time out of their day to listen to this presentation.  We'd like to thank Kathy Hickey and John Smith for delivering this presentation today.  Thank you very much.

And also to Michiel Helder, our community board president for all his efforts as well.  This Webcast was recorded and we will post the recording to the global I.M. community no later than by tomorrow.

And when you're in the community, please go to the events calendar and that's where you'll learn about future Webcasts, as well - as well as other events that we would love for you to participate in.

So thank you very much for your time today.  That concludes our presentation for the day.  Thank you.


This concludes today's conference call.  You may now disconnect.  Presenters, hold the line. END