David Hurwitz Archive

After an entertaining couple of months, we are pleased to announce the winners of Serena Software’s latest Twitter contest. The PlusIs contest generated hundreds of creative “Plusisms” from a variety of submitters. It was a difficult decision to narrow down to the category and Grand Prize winners.  However, it was an enjoyable exercise, especially because the Grand Prize winner receives an iPad 2 and a $500 donation towards the charity of his choice, while the category winners receive $50 gift cards and $250 donations to their favorite charities. 

Donating $1,000 to charity is always gratifying! 

The Twitter-based contest called for contestants to submit Plusisms for three categories: Technology, Holiday and General. Inspired by Serena’s very own Plusism of “People + Process = Business In Sync,” we saw a little bit of everything from the hilarious to the bizarre. 


Grand Prize (iPad 2) and $500 to Charity of Choice
Technology Category:
Poor Release Management + Frazzled Service Desk = Pain Management @Serena_Software #PlusIs

Runner-ups and Winners of the Cash Prizes and $250 Donations to Charity of Choice
Holiday Category:
NBA + Lockout = 7 Christmas Day Knockouts YEA! @Serena_Software #plusis

General Category:
Creative Tweets + @Serena_Software = A Win Win Situation for my Favorite Charity & me! #PlusIs

Winners were selected based on creativity, humor and relevance and announced via Twitter on January 20th, 2012. Judges also verified that all submissions adhered to the published contest rules and guidelines. 

Thanks to the multitude of entrants and our judging panel for another great contest!

2012 imageChange is coming to both application development and IT operations. Organizations that recognize and embrace it early will stand to benefit most.  Based on Serena’s extensive interactions with leading IT executives and analysts, we are making five predictions for 2012. 

  1. Agile grows up. 
    Agile development will no longer be defined by sprints alone. In 2012, Agile will move from a development practice into an extended business process. This leads forward-looking organizations to adopt more modern release management solutions that alleviate the agile bottleneck that still exists at the point of application.
  2. Release management becomes a CIO priority. 
    As its importance to the software organization grows, release management will no longer report to the apps or ops teams. Always struggling to “serve two masters” – apps teams prioritize velocity while operations wants stability – release management actually serves the business and therefore will increasingly report directly to the CIO.
  3. IT Service Management (ITSM) gets a facelift. 
    Innovative new approaches to service management will gain a foothold in the enterprise and challenge ERP-like ITSM providers. Mergers and acquisitions within the market will also add to the dynamic nature of the space this year.
  4. Outsourcing becomes survival of the fittest. 
    New ways to measure outsourced IT performance shift the balance of power from the outsourcer to the CIO, encouraging competition for outsourced IT (highest performance at the lowest cost). New demand management systems help CIOs identify and predict high performers and outsource accordingly.
  5. New DevOps teams emerge. 
    Executive leadership will push for more collaboration between application development and IT operations. This transition results in the formalization of DevOps, while also giving these teams a stronger leadership position within the IT organization (in ITIL, known as “Service Transitions” organizations).

These and related trends make an orchestrated approach to IT a new enterprise priority. While most software delivery organizations today have many of the right tools in place, the biggest challenge will be orchestrating these disparate elements toward gaining new efficiencies across all of IT.

I always love the start of a new year.  There’s so much promise and excitement to look forward to.  I, for one, am very interested in how the application development landscape will change with Agile and DevOps being such big influencers.  One thing hasn’t changed though – the #1 application development priority for 2012 is still delivering applications faster to the business.

At the Gartner AADI Summit in December 2011, we surveyed IT executives about their top application development and delivery priorities for the coming year and discovered some notable results.  68% of respondents confirmed that faster delivery of applications is the top priority.  Expanding the use of Agile and reducing application development costs were the second and third highest priorities, coming in at 52 percent and 49 percent respectively.

We found that delivering applications faster is also growing in importance, up almost ten percent from the 2010 survey.  Interestingly enough, performance has outpaced cost as a priority, according to the survey, as the reduction of application development costs dropped in importance in this year’s survey—replaced as the number two priority with Agile use.

While most software delivery teams today have the right tools, roles, and functions in place, we see the biggest challenge in finding a way for these elements to effectively work together from initial request to release into production, so the entire IT organization can be as efficient and cost effective as possible. By putting effective processes in place, even the largest global enterprises can better orchestrate, measure, predict, and accelerate the overall software delivery process.

See complete results from the survey in the graph below.

Enter your #PlusIs on Twitter.We’re officially one-third of the way into our #PlusIs contest and are very impressed with our participants’ creative submissions! Hoping to encourage even more “PlusIsms,” we wanted to share some of the top submissions so far and to remind everyone of the great prizes.

The #PlusIs contest is a chance to use Twitter + your imagination to get creative, have fun and win great prizes, such as a leading tablet computer or a donation of $250 to the charity of your choice. Three category winners will receive $50 gift cards and the $250 charitable donations, and one Grand Prize winner earns a leading tablet computer.

The contest will officially conclude on January 19, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so get your submissions in now for your chance to win. To be a part of this contest, write and submit a PlusIs about your favorite combination in the Information Technology, General or Tis the Season categories. All entries must be submitted via Twitter to @Serena_Software, and include the hash tag #PlusIs.

Leading contenders (so far) include:

Russian protestors clash with police + ballot box “stuffing” = Dis-Putin @Serena_Software  #plusis

SBM + ARMY = ITIL in place @Serena_Software #PlusIs

Employees + Christmas Party = Gossip filled next day! @Serena_Software #PlusIs

Teenage Libido + Internet = Security Nightmare for you @Serena_Software #PlusIs

Creative Tweets + Serena_Software = A Win Win Situation for my Favorite Charity & me! @Serena_Software #PlusIs

A panel of judges will select winners based on creativity, humor, relevance and frequency of submissions. The winner will be announced via Twitter on January 20, 2012.

For official rules and prize information, please visit: www.serena.com/PlusIs

I recently sat down with Enterprise Systems and discussed the great debate:  Can developers and admins co-exist and improve the enterprise?  Can the gulf between development and operations be bridged?

The questions came from all angles, probably ones that you’ve even asked like:

  • What exactly does it mean for DevOps convergence to take place?
  • Cloud and virtualization have muddied the DevOps waters even more. Can you explain where these two environments fit in?
  • Where does automation technology fit into DevOps?
  • Does adoption of ITIL v3 within the enterprise impact DevOps and co-existence?

The answer to the overall question of bridging the gap is yes.  Development and operations can work together, with the right mindset and processes in place.  Get all the insight and the solution by reading the article, “Q&A: Can Developers and Admins Co-exist and Improve the Enterprise?

We at Serena Software love PlusIs statements. Our latest Twitter contest idea was spawned by our own mantra of “People + Process = Business In Sync,” the PlusIs that describes how the innovative new Serena Service Manager orchestrates IT Service Management.

Now it’s your turn. The two-month-long PlusIs contest is a chance to use Twitter + your imagination to get creative, have fun and win great prizes, such as an iPad 2 and a $250 donation to the charity of your choice. Three category winners will receive $50 gift cards and $250 charitable donations to the charities of their choice. With three categories to submit for—technology, general and holiday—there is something for everyone in Serena Software’s PlusIs Twitter contest.

Together we’re awarding $1,000 to the charities of the four winners’ choice!

The contest will kick off on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 12:01am ET and end January 19, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To be a part of this contest, write and submit a PlusIs about your favorite combination in the Information Technology, general or Tis the Season categories. All entries must be submitted via Twitter to @Serena_Software, and include the hash tag #PlusIs.

For example:

People + Process is Business In Sync. @Serena_Software #PlusIs
Rip + Replace is Expensive. @Serena_Software #PlusIs

Mistle + Toe is Kiss @Serena_Software #PlusIs
Turkey + Stuffing is Reason for a Nap @Serena_Software #PlusIs

A panel of judges will select a winner based on creativity, humor, relevance and frequency of submissions. The winner will be announced via Twitter on January 20, 2012.

For official rules and prize information, please visit: www.serena.com/PlusIs

After an entertaining month of poetry-meets-help desk, we are pleased to announce the winners of our first ever Serena Software Help Desk Haiku Contest. The contest pulled in more than 200 creative haikus and we are pleased to have decided on a winner of the iPad 2 Grand prize as well as a couple of honorable mentions worthy of cash prizes as well.

The 100 percent Twitter based contest asked contestants to reveal their best or worst help desk experience in the form of a Haiku.  From the hilarious to the bizarre, we saw a little bit of everything. The judging panel had an extremely difficult time choosing a winner and therefore decided to not only award the grand prize winner with the iPad2, but award the runner-ups with cash prizes and honorable mentions. 


Grand Prize (iPad 2)
@Kaizeneer (See picture to the right.  Winner Dan Lafever, on the right, is pictured with Serena VP of Product Marketing Carl Landers at the FUSION 11 Conference.)
Help Desk horror flick:
rogue tech kills main router in:
“Silence of the LANS”

Honorable Mentions (cash prize)
Help desk sent a hunk
Man I didn’t get his name
Oh look, broke again!

Called from hospital
Help told me to pull the plug
Grandma almost died 

Winners were selected based on creativity, humor, and relevance and announced via Twitter. Judges also made sure all submissions adhered to the contest rules and guidelines. 

Thanks to the multitude of entrants and our judging panel for a great contest!

xChange took the night off last evening.  The xTravaganza at Studio 54 was a rollicking party, with a crowded dance floor, fun food, Andy Warhol, John Travolta, the Village People and happy xChangers.  Want to see pictures?  Check out my Tweets.

End-to-end breakouts make up today’s final day schedule, some three dozen sessions in all.  Most attendees will then head home, while many will stay for the intensive training sessions occurring here the rest of the week.

Unfortunately I have to jet off to Boston today for the Forrester Application Development & Delivery Forum tomorrow and Friday.  While I’m looking forward to learning a lot there, I’m sad to leave xChange early.

But I fly off knowing that xChange is well and truly back, and so is Serena.

Tags: xChange

xChange 2011 has now passed the halfway point, far enough along to be declared a success.  Serena’s Global User Conference is notable for the good feelings it engendered and for the great ideas exchanged between users and Serena staff.

The good feelings were evident last evening in the Solutions Showcase.  With the ever delightful Bella Electric rocking out in the middle of the joint, a dozen demo stations were humming around the perimeter.  I guess this proves that IT types get inspired by both great software and great music.

The great ideas came fast and furious.  For instance, a Six Sigma Black Belt informed me last night “My biggest epiphany today was…”, going on to describe how he could use the new Serena Request Center to bring his thousands of business users into revenue generating workflows.  Come to think of it, I never got around to asking him what his other epiphanies of the day were.

This morning was devoted to customers.  But first Doug Troxel transfixed the audience telling Serena’s founding story.  Everybody loves Doug.  (Hey, that could be the title of our next demo skit!)

Then he and maestro Kevin Parker gave out the Serena Innovation Awards to three very deserving customers: Carefirst, Nationwide and AgustaWestland.  Their stories were inspiring.

I then led a fun and surprising Fact or Fiction roundtable with Dale Clark of Carefirst, Sheila Stephens of QBE First and Ken Vane of Navy Federal Credit Union.  These three good humored and extremely wise IT leaders responded to a series of ten provocative statements by declaring each as Fact or Fiction and then explaining their answer.  The results were insightful.

All of the above took place in the first two hours.  The next six hours included countless breakout sessions.

Tonight is the xTravaganza party at Studio 54.  Wonder what’s going to happen there?

Wow.  Terrific first morning for xChange, our Global User Conference.  After a layoff of some three years, it would have been reasonable for attendance to have been sparse, or customers to be confused.

Instead we had well over 300 people packing a large room at the brand new MGM Grand convention center in Las Vegas.  Customers came from all over Europe, Latin America, Asia and North America.

The day began in beautiful fashion, with the four beauties of Bella Electric strings playing beautiful concertos while attired in long black concert dresses.  xChange Maestro Kevin Parker then orchestrated the assembled throng into humming the five note theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  This summoned Bella Electric back on stage, this time in their Vegas outfits and playing their hot set.  Michael Jackson, Journey and even Led Zeppelin sound great when performed by four electric string musicians.

John Nugent, Serena’s President and CEO, then described a powerful vision for Orchestrated IT, talking in detail about several Serena customers who are already reaping the benefits.

Then some fun: a skit entitled “Doug Serena, CIO.”  This day in the life production used a case study of modern IT challenges and showed how Serena’s ability to orchestrate application delivery and IT operations can go a long way to solving them.  (Hint: I played Doug Serena.  So now I can say that while I’m not a real CIO, I once played one in front of almost 1,000 people, the total who were in the room and watching the live webcast.)

All of the above came in the first 90 minutes!  After the break, we delved into the substance of our vision and roadmaps for dev and ops, and took time to invite a couple of customers on stage.

Great morning.  More later…