Today’s email brought a reminder of an old, valued data format: RMS. When I posted about Attunity earlier this year, I noted the value of its replication and changed data capture (CDC) technology as the major software infrastructure vendors continue to look at ways to consolidate the management of their customer’s data assets. Attunity is in the rare position of having its software OEMd by many of them somewhere in their portfolios; IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft [edit – removed Sybase, listed due to my error] all use and sometimes resell Attunity’s technology. RMS is a more recent addition to Attunity’s CDC portfolio, and its win at Southeastern Freight Lines bodes well for a new addition to its revenue stream.
One of HP’s legacy assets as part of the OpenVMS family, RMS is still used in several markets, including its presence in ATM processing networks where if often begins its life in ISO 8583 transaction streams. (If you really want to geek out, see the spec for those here.) The folks at Information Builders’ iWay division, whose gateways are often used to read RMS data, have had decades of experience with it as well.
Attunity has added another twist: real-time data integration. Southeastern Freight Lines is continuing its use of RMS on new HP Integrity systems as it replaces Alpha servers and migrates 1200 legacy RMS files to a relational database. You can find the story here. I see this steady cadence of legacy replacement more and more; from a business perspective, it’s another reminder that living in the present means dealing with the past so we can move into the future, a topic I discussed recently in a post about how often we forget the enormous economic value – and inertia – of legacy assets. The inertia surrounding them has often lasted decades, but the generational shifts in platforms, OSs, and vendors is likely to move things forward a bit faster as the economy recovers and IT begins to spend on things other than its most pressing backlog. Attunity’s business seems secure for years to come; there are plenty of legacy systems to move into newer relational ones, and even the latter will need solutions for mobilization, real-time feeds, and developments we haven’t seen yet.
Disclosures: HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP/Sybase are clients of IT Market Strategy; Attunity and Information Builders are not.