2022: Making business performance a priority
One year in as MD, Emile Burger unpacks growth during a pandemic and some key technology trends that are shaping the future of Micro Focus in South Africa.
In the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, Emile Burger became the Managing Director of Micro Focus South Africa. Taking the local reins of one of the world’s largest software providers during a once-in-a-century crisis is not for the faint-hearted, but Burger saw potential far beyond COVID-19. “A great opportunity at a great company is something I believe everyone enjoys,” he says. “In my career I’ve worked on the customer side, partner side and distribution. This was a great opportunity to round the picture and join the OEM side.” Even though Burger’s new position was far from the reality he was once familiar with early on in his career, the Micro Focus team was incredibly supportive. “The way we embed and engage has changed forever,” says Burger. “Overall, I feel blessed. I had what I call pivot people – leaders in the organisation that are part of the South Africa-based group that sit in global roles, gave me great support. People like Gary de Menezes, Allyson Towle and Kobus Robinson.”
Burger adds that making business performance a priority helped to make his first year a success. "There is obviously great potential in Micro Focus, given the scope we have to increase market awareness, knowledge and appreciation. But it does also present a challenge – we often start conversations explaining what Micro Focus is before we even start understanding what the customer needs. That does make the solution cycle a longer one, but we are starting to make headway.”
Burger pinpoints six key trends that are driving Micro Focus going forward:
A renewed focus on SaaS: As a company, we’ve expanded the availability of our solutions into SaaS in the application delivery management and IT operations management arena.
Cloud platforms: We remain the market leader for the modernisation of customers’ core business systems. We have big projects under way with big financial services players in South Africa.
Automation: What makes Micro Focus unique is that we have automation as part of all our solutions sets. That gives the technology an advantage – not looking at automation as an afterthought, but as primary while using the technology.
Working global: All of our solutions run from anywhere, link in anywhere and allow for working from anywhere. It is a design philosophy that has been part of Micro Focus’ fabric for many years.
Fit for purpose: We did not just look at the big and expansive technologies, but also at those that are suitable to customer-specific environments:
- OpsBridge Express (SiteScope), for example, is designed to monitor environments that are smaller or neglected or newly constructed like APIs.
- Micro Focus Data Centre Automation ensures perfection in patching across all platforms and capabilities – avoiding downtime and compliance gaps, backup and recovery with immutability.
- Micro Focus Hybrid Cloud Management X optimally manages cloud consumption and cost.
- Micro Focus Universal CMDB maps service uptime.
Total experience focus: We’ve worked hard at ensuring that our technologies integrate into a value offering and seamless interfaces. For example, in our IT Operations and Management portfolio, from any device to any end point, we integrate to give a single view. That wasn’t always easy and some hardware OEMs had challenges, but no great victory comes without great effort.
Going into 2022 and beyond, Burger’s focus as the MD will be dedicated to Micro Focus customers: “Trying to really understand customer pain points and new business growth trends, to see if our technology can play a role in making that easier. And try and assist with that journey to success,” he says. “I believe in our team; I believe in our partners and most of all I believe in our customers – both current and future.”