Middleware – Where the magic happens

Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2015
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By Lance Williams
Portfolio Manager, Cloud and Managed Services


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Over the next few weeks, Softcat will publish 5 guest blog posts covering the most popular areas of open source software and we would love you to join us, even pose some questions, online during our live panel discussion on Tuesday 22nd September at 1pm.

With our live panel discussion happening tomorrow, I’m looking forward to helping deliver the webcast with Softcat and our partners in this initiative – Linux IT and Red Hat, and of course not forgetting our guests from Dell Corporation.

 I’m sure the refreshing nature of this union has not been lost on spectators, perhaps wondering why more businesses with complimentary offerings don’t work together more often.  It’s a brilliant reflection of the community nature of open source code development in many ways, where collective working leads to a better, more suitable solution in the long run.  Enlightened innovation in action one might say.

I’m excited about how we will demonstrate that open source is the pathway to transient, sustainable competitive advantage in an ever-changing world.

Open source is everywhere

Writing this blog post led my mind back to the Red Hat London Forum 2014, when Jim Totton, Vice President Platform Business Unit, reflected on the changing face of the technology that underpins the world in which we work and travel in – and how so much of that infrastructure works on open source technology, accessed and executed from mobile devices.

He mapped his geographical journey from other Red Hat Forums he’d been attending around the world and talked through his ability to organise his schedules, make airline seat reservations, conduct secure online payments, deal with colleague collaborations and client contacts so effortlessly, and all via open source web technologies.

Jim also reflected on the power of the open source technologies powering the regeneration of financial markets and the irony of how fearful the technical teams running major institutions and trading platforms were, back in the early part of the last decade, worried that a crash would surely ensue if they adopted on open source solutions. If only those institutions had worried as much about the sub-prime debt they were peddling!

The secret sauce

The truth is that consumers of the seamless (browser based) services they take for granted have no idea how integrated, automated and accelerated the business process are that make things happen in the blink of an eye.  And it is middleware – the software ‘glue’ that is the nine tenths of the iceberg, and where the magic happens.

It’s middleware that enables legacy infrastructure to integrate with new, bridging all the gaps between databases, apps, your network and the cloud to deliver a seamless service to users, whether inside your organisation or out. 

Tier 2 Consulting supports a number of sector leading clients in harnessing the power of Red Hat JBoss Middleware technologies to help create businesses that out-perform their competitors by doing more for less, in a faster, smarter way. 

Yes, they benefit from the fully supported versions of the products they buy via a Red Hat subscription, but that doesn’t mean they hadn’t already worked through deployment scenarios in the ‘free’ community or as developer versions of these products in the first place.

However, what sets these businesses apart is their appetite to innovate.  We see developers driving real change for the better because their mindset is that of “business is software” and this needs to adapt with every stage of their growth.

They need the agility to test and trash applications continuously, until the optimum deployment is ready for consumption – where ‘applications at business speed’ is the benchmark. They are only able to achieve this through the freedom offered by the open source community.

These businesses cannot afford to be out-manoeuvred by their competitors whilst they do battle with a software vendor locking them in to a license agreement that gives them no access to code and delivers little in the way of services consultancy support.  And then says “the next upgrade is two years away...sorry”. 

Instead, they need to embrace change and chase competitive advantage in a collaborative ‘open’ way that keeps pace with a ‘mobile-first’ world. The developments in hybrid cloud computing, where a mix of virtual and physical servers supports the demands of business units and devops teams is the enabler here too of course.

Arguably, there are few businesses that won’t identify with many of these same desires (and indeed challenges), but are yet to genuinely explore the opportunities posed by open source technologies and the powerful role of middleware in making the seemingly impossible a reality. 

So, our work with Red Hat – as the UK and Ireland’s only Premier Business Partner for Middleware Solutions, and the collaborative approach we have with Linux IT and Softcat is another real world collaboration and a product of innovation.  We think it’s a win/win/win scenario!

 

We hope you can join us on September 22ndto discover more. 

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