Musicians tend to posses great logical, analytical, and methodical skills that the best coders around the globe also possess. Musicality seems to be a powerful predictor of coding success. “The greatest scientists are artists as well,” words of genius Albert Einstein. But why are musicians uniquely suited to be software developers? Waltham-based Rocket Software’s CEO Andrew J. Youniss has the answer, “The relationship between software and music is unparalleled. The integration and connection about finding meaningful links into building something long lasting, and something that makes a difference is the underlying concept in both music and programming.” At Rocket Software, the company’s team follows the same strategy—finding meaningful links based on the market requirements to develop a long-lasting and innovative software solution. Rocket Software began its venture on April 16, 1990, when Youniss and Johann Magnusson-Gedda decided to lay the foundation of an innovative software business where engineers could shape the product roadmaps as well as company strategy, and where customers are treated as partners. From clothes to cars, Rocket Software’s innovative solutions are the backbone of thousands of world-class brands to run their critical infrastructure, business processes, and data.
For over two decades, Rocket has been a strategic and trusted IBM partner, covering a wide array of IBM brands and platforms. The company’s 800 plus engineers develop and support products for the IBM ecosystem and OEM products. “Together, Rocket Software and IBM have brought a number of recent innovations to market, including open source languages and tools such as Git, R, and Python, analytics solutions including Apache Spark, data virtualization, and hybrid cloud connectors for IBM Z and IBM i series systems,” says Youniss.
Solutions Tailored for IBM
Rocket’s modernization approach is focused on helping organizations better manage and evolve their IBM applications and infrastructure. The company’s solutions make it possible to take advantage of modern technologies and improve user experiences, helping organizations meet the growing business demands without bringing in any change in the existing IT investment.
Rocket’s application lifecycle management (ALM) and DevOps solutions enable organizations to meet their growing business requirements while dramatically improving software quality and developer productivity. The solution can automate an entire software development and delivery process, from the time a request is received through deployment. The company’s advanced solution can automatically track and document processes from offloading to time-consuming administrative tasks and enables continuous process improvement.
Together, Rocket Software and IBM have brought a number of recent innovations to market, including open source languages and tools such as Git, R, and Python
The real-time insight into ALM data allows IT teams to seamlessly collaborate and deliver exceptional software and services.
The highly advanced IBM i system works as the base of most businesses requiring 24/7 availability. While any downtime can lead to business disruptions and lost revenue resulting in unhappy customers, the iCluster disaster recovery solution from Rocket Software ensures uninterrupted operation for IBM i applications. Moreover, it offers continuous access to the applications and data by monitoring, identifying, as well as self-correcting replication problems.
While explaining the company’s unique value proposition in the software development space, Youniss recalls an instance when Rocket assisted Fujifilm Specialty Ink Systems (FSIS) in optimizing the productivity of warehouse operators engaged in put-away and pick. FSIS ERP, back-office, and warehouse systems are powered by the IBM i solution. With over 17 forklift truck operators in the warehouse, they continuously received check-in as well as moved product instructions from the factory, external suppliers and shipped out customer orders. Though the forklifts are equipped with terminal emulators which can connect operators to the ERP system, most of the user interfaces for various warehouse picking functions were menu-based. This limits to a series of options that needed to be entered manually which further increased the need for heavy use of the keyboard. Connectivity represented an even greater challenge. Initially, the forklift operators used tablets to link to the core applications via their WiFi network, but they couldn’t always sustain a connection, leading to productivity issues as well as delays. By adopting Rocket’s API and LegalSuite Web, Fujifilm reduced support calls by 90 percent within a few months of operation, enhanced employee experience and retention stemming from a cleaner UI, and streamlined processes while increasing their productivity by 15 percent during a recent “wall-to-wall stock check.”
Under the guidance of Youniss, the company continues to grow and expand its presence through strategic technology investments and partnerships, including actively managing Rocket’s long-standing relationship with IBM. As a software engineer by profession, Youniss understands the importance of building software that matters. Music being his passion, Youniss always values connections and meaningful links between music, software, entrepreneurship, and business. The fact that struck Youniss in his career with Rocket Software is the simplicity and power of seven notes of music, which can be used to play anything, whereas computer programming is about just zeroes and ones. “Software and music, programming and playing guitar, logic and creativity, analytics and art, they are just two sides of the same point. When you get the right balance, that’s when the magic happens. That’s what I have been trying to do for 25 years with our company,” adds Youniss. He continues, “We call ourselves the Rocket Band. Music impacts how people feel, and it’s the same thing with software that we write— good software and service make people feel good.”
A New Beginning
Over the years, the Rocket family has grown to include more than 1,400 Rocketeers and nearly 10 million customers across the globe. As part of its expansion strategies, the company is stepping into India. “Rocket Software has been building technology for nearly 30 years and we are really excited to enter the Indian market,” says Youniss. “There is so much incredible talent here, and we are already seeing great results from our teams in India. We look forward to expanding our operations here and to cultivating leaders not just for our Indian operations, but for the entire company,” concludes Youniss. Moving forward, the company’s core focus is on helping companies around the world solve their most challenging business problems.