Taking OpenVMS and VSI on a Ride to the Future

During the latest VMS Software Inc. briefing on porting OpenVMS to x86, the future of the owners of OpenVMS swung into view. Questions are rising about VSI’s partnerships. Another asks whether VSI will make universities a resource for new expertise in the OpenVMS community.

“We are in universities today,” says Terry Holmes, chief of sales for VSI. “We have a college educational licensing program. Admittedly, we need to expand it rather than just licensing programs for educational institutions. We need to make sure educational institutions are helping to train up and teach and educate about a new generation of OpenVMS.”

The aging of the knowledge leaders for OpenVMS raises a barrier to its lifespan. COBOL vendors, plus the creators of other development tools, fight to keep courses on college curricula. Holmes says that VSI intends to make genuine efforts to lead new IT workers toward the legacy power of the OS.

Solutions are coming to VSI

The greater question — and Holmes says it’s a great question, near the end of a long webinar — speaks to the future of VSI itself. “Now that we’ve entered the world of virtualization, do we have any alliances or maybe plans for alliances with SAP, Oracle, or other software partners? Or, are we just planning on continuing to give a home base to proprietary developments?”

Chief Technology Officer Clair Grant thinks there’s more future than just getting OpenVMS ready for virtualization hosts. “I think the answer is VMS will always be a proprietary system; but at the same time we aim to expand our horizons, at some point beyond OpenVMS, and become a solutions provider.”

“Customers take us to where our future is,” Holmes says. “That’s where we want to be, where the customers are, and doing what the customers want. We have a number of excellent ISV partners today. Not only from customers do we understand what their interests are. We also gain insight into customers from our ISV partners. Together, that really drives our longer-term and even medium-term strategy.”

Holmes promises the freshest aspirations of VSI will become a topic the company explores further.

Photo by Twitter: @jankolario on Unsplash

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