Micro Focus ALM Octane platform enables enterprise Agile collaboration

Founded in 1976 by Brian Reynolds, Micro Focus has grown as an innovator in technology throughout the years. It has participated in several mergers and acquisitions, and in 2017, it merged with HPE Software to form what is now poised as one of the largest pure-play software companies ever.

The company’s focus is on helping its enterprise customers to maximize their existing software investments and leverage the world of hybrid IT — whether it’s mainframe, mobile or cloud to drive business goals. Micro Focus offers solutions in critical areas including DevOps, hybrid IT, security, risk management and predictive analytics.

Silvia Davis, product marketing manager of lifecycle and portfolio management solutions at Micro Focus says the ALM suite of solutions manages not only Agile teams but also Agile in the enterprise. If a developer runs Run ALM or Quality Center in parallel with ALM Octane, it provides optimal lifecycle management for their organization’s Waterfall, hybrid, or Agile projects. Octane gives teams real-time status into CI and CD ecosystems. They can view committed changes, identify possible root causes of failures and track commits associated with specific user stories and defects. She explains, “This means managing teams of teams. ALM consolidates non-Agile teams too, for example, Waterfall or hybrid teams and brings the information to executives to help them prioritize their investments based on the business needs.”

The solution provides collaboration at each point of the Agile process, as well as collaboration with different teams, both internal and external. It also handles governance, testing quality and management, and assists with both traceability and predictability.

Micro Focus is committed to embracing enterprise hybrid IT and sees its ability to help its customers as one of the company’s strong points, linking the older, existing technology with the new mobile and cloud landscapes. Davis qualifies it into developer terms and says, “Basically when you think about Hybrid IT, it’s companies that are in transformation. There are companies that are moving away from Waterfall to Agile teams, and because we support Waterfall too, we are able to transform them to the new environment.” The company synchronizes its entire solutions portfolio and embraces its customer’s tools, whatever they may be. It then integrates, consolidates the information and provides the customer with full visibility. It also allows customers to share licenses between its products. She adds, “Micro Focus was identified as a ‘strong player’ on the hybrid IT scene according a well-regarded analyst firm.”

Davis describes their competitive landscape as being mainly made up of point solutions and Agile-only solutions and says their strength is being able to provide more of an end-to-end solution. “An example of this is CA Technologies Agile Central. It is Agile-only and they don’t have the pipeline management capabilities with predictability that we have. There are others that focus on quality and they don’t do the Agile traceability, providing visibility into the entire pipeline. We differentiate ourselves because we have an integrated solution that manages Agile projects, testing, automation across the entire application delivery pipeline.”

Davis sees the state of Agile as being healthy and growing although she says they’re struggling a bit in the enterprise when it comes to meshing hybrid IT with Agile teams. As an example she points out, “Getting executive support and sponsorship to move the whole enterprise development environment from Waterfall to Agile is expensive, complex, and time-consuming.” Even with challenges, she says it is here to stay.

“Agile is going to bring flexibility to the development process because teams are getting more mature nowadays. They’re developing faster. But this process needs to be improved in the enterprise. The application delivery pipeline needs to be analyzed to determine where the lead times are, the gaps and challenges are, and then improve upon that, make that faster.” To accomplish this, automation, collaboration and strong inside data gathering capabilities are required.

With good inside data comes better predictability and more accurate product delivery planning. Gaining insight means understanding timelines and learning from what has happened in the past, whether it was from an error or a breakthrough, goes a long way toward accelerating successful, and rapid app development and delivery. “You want to make sure that you launch that product fast and be first before your competitors,” she says.

Enterprise Agile is only going to become stronger as it makes use of Agile, DevOps, machine learning and artificial intelligence according to Davis. Micro Focus has plans to incorporate ML and AI into its products in the future.

Content provided by SD Times and Micro Focus. 

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