NonStop Insider

job types

Site navigation

Recent articles



For monthly updates and news.
Subscribe here
NonStop Insider

DataExpress – when it comes to migrations, it’s all a matter of core competencies!




After all these years we still find NonStop users debating the relative merits of build versus buy. Even within the biggest financial institutions there is always an argument to be made to continue developing software, but ultimately, the question also arises, “Are we a software house?” Which is almost always followed by, “Is this, or should this be, our core competency?” In other words, is being a software company helping meet our business goals that today are mostly centered on better serving our clients?

These questions are coming up once again as the NonStop community considers migrating to the new NonStop X system. With tight budgets, we are hearing more about whether or not this or that utility or tool could be acquired in a cheaper manner if we implement it ourselves or conversely, we have built it already so why look to buying something that performs the same function? However, as you pull the covers back the ultimate question is not so much about build versus buy as much as it is a question about allocation of resources. Is this the best use of our resources when it comes to bettering the services we offer our clients?

The Finanser – a blog written by financial industry consultant, Chris Skinner, that is popular with members of LinkedIn, included in his page, The Finanser’s Week: 17th September – 23rd September 2018 the post, Why banks have armies of developers

“The first question in our Build/Buy decision was always ‘Is this core to our business? Does the system support and extend a business capability for which we already have extensive knowledge? Is this new system, which we are about to build or buy, so important to our business and our mission that we want to invest not only money but also people, vision, and focus into the area for many years to come?’

“A typical follow-up question would be: ‘Is there something out there that we can buy or integrate with?’ Maybe we cannot buy all of the functionalities, but maybe some parts have actually been produced by someone else, requiring us not to start from scratch. This question touches upon a core question: where is it that we want to differentiate and where can we accept to integrate with a third party or off-the-shelf solution?

“We often ask ourselves: ‘can we implement the new feature or capability, using a third-party provider or third-party software while still staying true to our mission?’

“If the answer is ‘yes’ we actually choose to buy/partner with someone over building it ourselves.

At DataExpress we know what our core competency is and we have been building and rebuilding products to manage the secure movement of files for many decades, in many cases we have built custom modules that plug into our core products to satisfy very specific customer requirements. With DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP), we have built a customer base that has opted to buy rather than build and they are leveraging the decades of skills we have accumulated working with some of the biggest financial institutions in the world. This is what we do and we do it well. So yes, it continues to surprise us that building their own tool to manage the movement of hundreds and sometimes thousands of files a night is even under consideration. Do they really want to be in the software business and do they fully understand all the steps involved in testing, releasing and then maintaining a product that can be bought on the open market?

Migration was the subject of the September 24, 2018, post to our NEWS BLOG, Migration? We may not like them, but we all do them!  and no story about migration would be complete without a reference to reigning in costs and taking a second look at the products that have been bought. In that post we wrote of how:

“When it comes to system migrations involving NonStop, we have seen price creep happening across the board,” said (DataExpress CEO, Billy) Whittington. “But there are occasions where the value of the product being provided is hard to dispute. Our customer considered at one point writing their own utilities but ultimately, they realized that they weren’t in the software business. There was a real reason why they were running DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) in support of over forty copies of the file transfer product, ConnectDirect. In their case, simply contemplating building their own equivalent to DXNS and providing continued support/enhancement etc. to reduce costs just didn’t make economic sense.

Should you be contemplating a migration to the L-Series operating system, whether you are planning to migrate to a NonStop X or are considering going down the path of virtualization, be sure to look long and hard at the utilities and scripts you may have to manage the secure movement of files and yes, ask the question, “can we implement the new feature or capability, using a third-party provider or third-party software while still staying true to our mission?” If the answer happens to be “yes” then by all means give us a call. Just email or call us; we would be only too happy to discuss the right way for you to manage the secure movement of all your files with DataExpress.