Go Ahead, Ask Me Anything About Broadcom & Mainframe Software

June 23, 2021


I'm often asked the same questions. Of course, that's typical of any industry, organization, or even government. After all, it's our job to educate our consumers. So building ongoing awareness and understanding is always important.

The same is true of Broadcom's Mainframe Software business. So, in that spirit, I'd like to answer the most commonly asked questions I've heard over the past few years. I hope my responses bring clarity to mainframe users and IT and business leaders around the world. 

  1. Why did Broadcom acquire the world's leading mainframe software company?
    When Broadcom acquired CA Technologies at the end of 2018, many people rightfully wondered why one of the world's largest semiconductor and wireless hardware companies got into the software business, let alone one that specializes in mainframes. Here's why: Broadcom makes infrastructure devices that touch over 90% of the global internet traffic, including many mainframe components.

    Contrary to popular belief, the value of the mainframe in today's world continues to grow. For Broadcom, it made strategic and financial sense to bet on this bedrock technology that continues to power 70% of Fortune 500s along with the digital growth of society as a whole. If mainframe was actually a bygone or dying technology, Broadcom would have never made this bet. We've learned a thing or two as a 60 year-old, $25 billion dollar company!
  2. Why are you supporting costly and outdated technology?
    We're not. We're supporting tried and true technology that's still being updated and strategically leveraged by the world's largest companies, financial institutions and governments. Although the mainframe is often seen as one of the most expensive single pieces of equipment an organization uses (looks can be deceiving), that doesn't mean its total cost of ownership is always more than server farms and cloud computing.

    When I first moved to Texas from Chicago, my new neighbors were perplexed by my career path. They had no idea that mainframers (my very livelihood!) powered so much of their lives, everything from banking to retail, and much of the backend technology that makes their front-end mobile computing possible. Nowadays, some of them are even asking if I can help their children get a job in the industry. If that's not job security, I don't know what is.
  3. What makes Broadcom Mainframe Software different?
    To our knowledge, no one is investing more in mainframes than Broadcom. Since our acquisition of CA, we've hired several hundred mainframers. In fact, we're now in our third year of triple digit hiring -- and that's despite the global challenges of the past year. We've doubled down our financial investment in the platform too because we predict continued growth, reliance, and demand for it. As part of our investment, we now cover most of the education, training, migration, and onboarding expenses as added value to our customers. We do this because we believe a rising tide lifts all boats. 
  4. How can I find tomorrow's mainframe skills?
    This is a great question. As our Vitality Program has proven over the last two years, tomorrow's mainframers are already here. We're helping to identify, train, and mentor them for our customers up to a full year. And we're doing it all on our dime. Our educational and training tools are also free to customers on a self-service or virtual basis. In instances where on-site training is a better fit, we ask our customers to cover the cost of in-person instructors and travel accommodations. Together, we believe we can overcome the perceived "skills shortage" as effectively as we have the "I thought mainframes were dead already" belief. 
  5. How can I better manage my mainframe cost?
    This is a two-part answer. First, we hope you'll consider newer ways of licensing now available on mainframe, such as our Mainframe Consumption License, which allows better visibility and understanding, and helps make your costs more predictable and controllable. Secondly, we hope you'll consider simplifying your environment. While a diverse set of tools from multiple vendors can help you avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, it can also increase costs in some cases. For example, by requiring skills to manage and maintain such a varied environment and the complexities around upgrades and maintenance.

    Our proposition: Let us help you identify overlapping points and become a one-stop shop for administration, ongoing support, and even innovation. While our software does play nicely with other vendors, many of our customers have reduced their total mainframe costs by limiting the number of vendors they work with. Believe it or not, there are times when I recommend that a customer stay with competing products alongside ours. But when that's not the case, I encourage them to take advantage of our Win No Fee program, in which we cover the cost, help mitigate the risk, and accelerate the ROI. That's pretty cool, no?
  6. What are you doing to support mainframers battling similar stigma?
    In other words, how can experienced or modern mainframers convince their bosses, procurement teams, and decision-makers of the mainframe's ongoing significance? If you're fighting to keep this powerful platform onboard (or actively considering it against competing platforms) with a new CIO who is unfamiliar or still struggling with negative perceptions, what's the best approach to ensure the platform gets objective consideration?

    Our response: Focus on value. With the help of our Executive Insights program that takes place about every six weeks, we've helped dozens of executives make informed decisions about future mainframe use and how it can fit within their organization's unique hybrid cloud strategy. Consequently, many organizations that prioritize the mainframe have since realized as much as 6x return on their investment, as described in a recent IDC study. In other words, hard numbers tell a big story. Use them to your advantage.
  7. Is the mainframe right for my organization?
    In our experience, the real question should be: is mainframe right for your specific workload? If you need the most secure, powerful, and reliable platform, mainframe remains the ideal tool for the world's most trusted organizations. But it's not right for everything.

    For example, we'd never recommend running HR software or similar applications on the mainframe. Either way, our experts can help you identify what's right for you. But if you're basing your decision on outdated information (i.e. "This is old, costly technology"), you're probably missing out. 
  8. Any other questions I can answer?
    Actually, I have a couple of questions for YOU, attentive reader. Which of the above (or other challenges) is your organization currently facing? How might Broadcom work together with your team to get more value from this incredible platform? 

    Our growing team of experts are available to speak for free about your specific workloads and how Broadcom can help you get the most from them in an open, cloud-compatible, fast-performing, and "more affordable than you think" way.

    Go ahead, ask me anything! Engage with me by commenting or asking your questions on this LinkedIn post.

    Like what you read? Join our Mainframe Insights group to collaborate and ideate with us as we grow our Mainframe ecosystem together:
Tag(s): Mainframe

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