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CEO on the state of Micro Focus

Two years after the undoing of its merger with Merant Inc., Micro Focus has returned to its roots just in time to take advantage of rampant IT cost cutting, said CEO Tony Hill.

"As an independent company, we've been able to stay a bit more passionate and focused," Hill told eADT. The strategy of helping IT operations to include legacy systems in new development can work wonders in a flagging economy with little spending on new technologies.

United Kingdom-based Micro Focus, which made its name selling desktop Cobol compilers and development tools, maintains its "commitment that Cobol can be a first-class system in any company's vision of the new world," Hill said. Micro Focus tools can make Cobol a "central part of .NET and J2EE," he added.

Hill maintained that the Micro Focus offerings today follow a vision articulated by company management shortly after the firm split off from Merant. "We've added support for J2EE Web services, we're about to deliver .NET support, and we support all of the 64-bit platforms and IBM platforms."

The firm's plan is to take advantage of current corporate IT efforts to minimize risk and costs, Hill said. "Three years ago, [corporate IT] would respond to needs by saying 'Throw out what we've got and rewrite everything in a new language like Java or C#.' Now the question is how to extract more value from existing assets -- legacy assets, applications, processes, people and infrastructure."

Hill maintained that the privately held firm has been profitable for a year with 10% revenue growth, but would not disclose figures. He also said the firm claims R&D expenditures sit at about 18% of revenue.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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