Mainframe

From Acquisition to Acceleration: A Look Back on Some Amazing Leaps Forward

November 11, 2020

Wow, what a journey it’s been!

The fall is a great time to pause and reflect. Something about the change of seasons and all that colorful foliage seems to invite us to stop for just a moment and think about the passage of time – where we’ve been, where we are today, and where we might find ourselves a bit further down the road. This year that reflection brought to my mind the fact that it’s now been two years since the Broadcom acquisition of CA Technologies -- a new beginning that’s launched a world of amazing growth and progress!

Not that long ago I was closing in on 30 years at IBM. It was the summer of 2017 when I took a leap and moved back to Long Island to join CA Technologies as the Head of Mainframe Engineering. There were some family motivations that prompted that change. My parents were aging and had lost some loved ones in recent years. My dad was slowing down and needed some help. It was important to me to be near them. The move made that possible. CA Technologies was just down the road from where my folks were living … and from where I had grown up in Patchogue, NY. I was grateful for the opportunity that my new job with CA afforded me to be close to family. I didn’t realize the full extent of it at the time, but that move also kicked off a season of change – and growth – on the professional front.

Just seven months after joining CA I became General Manager of the Mainframe Division. Three months later Broadcom announced its intent to acquire CA. That was July 2018. By that fall, November 5, 2018 to be exact, CA officially became part of Broadcom, and I started my new role as the SVP and General Manager for the Mainframe Software Division. I was joining a new “family.” One that was clearly on the move. By the time CA joined the company, Broadcom technology had been part of the Mainframe ecosystem for decades – including enterprise storage controllers, ASICs, and optical transceivers – but the past two years have seen an astounding amount of change in that ecosystem. 

There’s something about the fall . . . and something about family too. I moved to be closer to one family and found myself very gratefully a part of another family as well. A work family. A Mainframe family. 

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan announced during an earnings call in 3Q 2018 that he saw the CA acquisition as an opportunity to “double down for future growth.” Shortly after the acquisition was completed he went further, announcing on the 4Q 2018 Broadcom earnings call that “[w]e want to expand our efforts on Mainframe and make sure that we are realizing the full value that our Mainframe tools are delivering to our customers.” He and the company have put money, focus, and commitment behind those statements ever since. Over the past two years, the Broadcom Mainframe Software Division has hired more than 400 new people; triple digits both years. That would be an impressive feat during normal times. It’s an even more powerful testament to Broadcom’s commitment to the Mainframe when you consider the fact that we’ve continued to expand this investment during a global pandemic!

These new employees have added strength to our ranks. Nine new executives are now driving our progress across multiple segments. This growth also positioned us with nine Distinguished Engineers, including 3 of the new executives we hired and 1 promotion from within, successfully extending our technical leadership. 

We know this leadership is as much about sustaining and improving upon what we’ve built as it is about looking toward the next innovation. Throughout our growth, we've continued investing in the core products that our customers have known and loved for years, simplifying and automating their processes, modernizing UIs with improved visualizations and analytics, expanding open access to data through APIs, and much more – all to increase the value our customers get from their existing technology investments. 

Leveraging the technical strength of our teams, we’ve also firmly established ourselves as a leading force driving some of the most exciting and innovative advances for the platform. We’re at the forefront of key initiatives for the Mainframe, embracing an “open-first” approach across all areas of our business. We’re opening the Mainframe up to develop and deploy apps on the platform with the same agility as the cloud, harnessing insights and automation through AIOps to optimize IT environments end-to-end, offering freedom and choice of tools for Mainframe developers, launching a Security Insights analytics platform to mitigate risk from breaches and protect against enterprise data loss, expanding and empowering the next generation talent pool through customer-oriented education and training, and on, and on. And throughout all of our efforts we’ve grounded ourselves fully in a commitment to partnership – with our customers and with forward-looking technical communities who together make up the Mainframe ecosystem.

Which brings me back to family… I’m proud of the capabilities and solutions we’ve brought to market. And I’m proud of the community-based projects where we’re a major leader or contributor, like the Open Mainframe Project’s open source software framework for the Mainframe, Zowe. But I’m most proud of how we’ve gone beyond products and technology to partner in creative ways that support our customers’ overall business success. We’re continually seeking to deepen and expand our relationships with our customers at all levels, committing ourselves to be true partners. In short, working as part of the ecosystem family.

Take for example our Vitality program that recruits and trains candidates on Mainframe and then sends them to work on-site with the client – all on our dime – as a way to directly address the challenge many organizations face building a sustainable Mainframe workforce for years to come. This program provides tremendous value to our customers and has grown to nearly 60 residents representing a wide range of cultural and professional diversity. We’ve also opened up our web-based education and made it available at no cost, enabled our customers to train their employees through our Associate Software Engineering program, and offered an open, credentialed Digital Badging program to recognize those who’ve achieved skills proficiency on the platform.

In addition to these skills development programs, we also go the extra mile to help our customers with product adoption. Broadcom’s Win-No-Fee Program is an investment we make to accelerate our customers’ success with portfolio rationalization, reduce the risk of migration, and help them significantly save on conversion costs to accelerate ROI. 

Though I have an obvious soft spot for our partnership with customers through these “beyond code” offerings, I’ve got to admit, our advanced technology offerings are also a source of real pride. Our solutions for DevOps, AIOps, Security, and Infrastructure Management help enterprises embrace open tools and technologies, securely integrate their mainframe into their cloud infrastructures, and get to market faster with the next generation of cross-platform innovations. Take, for example:

  • CA Brightside, a dynamic DevOps solution that offers innovative extensions and enterprise-class, full lifecycle support for open source tools like the Zowe framework so developers can use familiar tools to access mainframe resources and services;
  • CA Mainframe Security Insights Platform, a security analytics platform that helps ensure a trusted environment by easily identifying and reducing risk from threats, and helping to build remediation steps;
  • CA Mainframe Resource Intelligence, an assessment tool that reveals data-driven insights to help customers optimize operations and investments across their mainframe environment; and
  • Automic Automation Intelligence, a predictive analytics workload platform that provides the necessary visualization, adaptability, and intelligence to successfully manage complex workloads across mainframe and distributed environments with a single-pane-of-glass.

You see what I mean about this journey in just the last two years? It’s remarkable! And there’s much more to come as we continue to expand our investment!  

Take care, be safe, and be well.

Greg Lotko is the General Manager and Senior Vice President for the Broadcom Mainframe Software Division, with more than 30 years of experience in application development, application outsourcing services, software development and infrastructure. Email: Gregory.Lotko@broadcom.com

Tag(s): Mainframe

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