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OutlookInterview Part Five: Conclusion and iTKO Overview

Here is the final installment of my recent interview with host Mike Lippis of the Outlook Series. We have broken the 45 minute podcast interview into five parts for easier reading. This section covers ITKO and concludes the interview.

Mike:  “Can you share a little background with the audience about iTKO’s general ecosystem, and as part of that could you give us have a use-case that you could share with us about how a given company may have used this LISA solution and benefited from it?”

John:  “I can even try to tie both of those together for you. 

“Our product LISA is especially suited for these complex heterogeneous type environments where there’s a variety of technologies at play, and the demands on these applications are extreme. That’s obviously companies like the financial sector and the insurance sector, and so we’ve done really well there, and in logistics and travel and a number of industries.

“For example, as in the US Department of Defense where they have the ‘everything’ problem, you layer in security and you layer in a lot of complexity there obviously, and a variety of different technologies and lots of legacy integrations.  We do really well when the problem gets harder and harder.  You know, any time your testing and your validation tool are trying to dumb-down the problem so they can get it tested … you should realize that this is signing you up for the harder part -- so that’s why we’ve gone to the approach that we have. So what’s that done from a customer base, has given us the most difficult areas of the largest companies and that becomes our target market. 

“We get partnerships from two different types of companies.  We get partnerships in the system integrator types, like Accenture, and Perficient who resell our product in areas, or any number of the largest outsourcing companies like Infosys, TCS, Patni, Satyam, Cognizant, Wipro, Mindtree, and I apologize to those listening who I haven’t mentioned -- I love every one of you guys so please don’t get me wrong… 

“From the services side:  we get a lot of help and that’s a major piece of our ecosystem because, quite frankly, those are the folks that are responsible for making something work for their customer and they are looking for the best practices way of doing this, and so they seek us out in many cases to do that. 

“Then the final part of our ecosystem is the actual ISVs -- the vendors who produce these SOA platforms, people in the integration space [e.g. TIBCO, Software AG, SAP, Oracle, Progress, etc.]. Of course that’s been a really good area for us as well, because again we’re uniquely suited in many cases to be able to do the proper testing, validation and virtualization of their platform.

“Just as an example of that:  TIBCO themselves use LISA throughout R&D in TIBCO to do the test and validation and virtualization work, so that they can decouple the independent components -- all of these different products that can be put together to create TIBCO solutions. They need to test them independently, and they need to validate them independently and so they do that and use us in all three ways.  Of course that helps TIBCO customers in many ways. 

“A number of our customers are on TIBCO, and on webMethods [Software AG] and on and on (here I go again when naming one I better be careful – (I love all of you guys so please don’t get me wrong) -- and a number of software companies are our partners because of that.”

Mike:  “Is there anything else that you would like to add to our discussion before we wrap up for today?”

John:  “If there was just one thing, it would be:  let’s bring it all the way back to the beginning and realize that this is really about a very key condition and that’s RISK.  That’s business risk and production outage. 

“I have yet to see the customer who is dramatically reducing their level of production outage, in fact it’s going up in many cases and this is a serious concern. Many companies that didn’t even measure risk as much in the past are now obligated to, through compliance regulations.  Because of this they are seeing that so much of their budget is caught up in maintaining the things that are already running, and the expense in keeping it limping along is so great they need to do something about it. 

“That is what we mean by this risk of failure that has been introduced; by so much more complexity and so much more rapid change.  That is why we are in the space that we’re in.  Every time you go SOA -- or every time you introduce some large-scale integration project -- or every time you bring in a new ERP system or you merge with another company -- you are agitating both the complexity and the pace of change.  If you do that without a consummate reaction on the risk mitigation side, that’s why your failure rate is going up, that’s why the cost of maintaining systems is going up.

“So for every one of those activities you are doing, you need to respond with a better, more appropriate, best-practice driven test, validation and virtualization process.  With that you’ll accomplish the change you are trying to make, and you’ll do so without increasing that level of production outage or cost of maintenance.”

Mike:  “Where can our audience go to learn more about iTKO and your LISA initiative?”

John:  “All things LISA and access to white papers and stored webinars and all sorts of things you can find at our web site which is: www.iTKO.com.  And I blog quite frequently and a few other folks with me blog on: blog.itko.com.  You can certainly look at what we’ve been talking about there and you can comment; we’d love to get back to you.”

Mike:  “I certainly appreciate your joining us today, and wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.”

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