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Dear IIUG members:

As I imagine, you have all heard about the recent IBM / HCL Partnership. This partnership was first announced on the IIUG web site a little over a month ago. In the past several weeks I have received a number of questions pertaining to this deal and specifically what I think about it.

First, we all need to understand IBM HAS NOT SOLD INFORMIX. This is an Intellectual Property and Licensing agreement between IBM and HCL. HCL is a major worldwide company with offices in 30 countries, 110,000 employees and over $7B in revenue ( www.hcl.com ). Hence, it is not a sale or an acquisition. This agreement stands for 15 years and it is automatically renewed after that period.

Second, as per the agreement, while IBM retains ownership HCL takes over all development and Level Two and Level Three (L2 and L3) support. HCL will be in charge of the product development and its roadmap and will continue to coordinate with IBM. Each company will deploy its own marketing, sales and distribution organization channels, also coordinated. Existing contract and licensing terms of actual IBM clients under IBM contracts will not be affected.

This is quite important; it┐s a business commitment for continued growth of Informix to make it more competitive in the market! No longer will I hear the question ┐Is IBM going to kill Informix?┐ Fifteen years is a lifetime in the tech world, making this is a MAJOR positive.

Third, the IBM Informix Development and support staff have voluntarily transferred to HCL as full-time employees. The majority of the IBM USA team has completed this transfer and others around the world will join HCL in the upcoming weeks and months. I can comment that additional staff is being hired by HCL to reinforce the Development team. Also, there will be a newer, larger location for the Lab in Lenexa, solely devoted for HCL Informix. No outsourcing to anywhere and actually growing bigger!

What will this partnership do for the product IBM is a great company to work with and has been nothing short of an outstanding friend to the IIUG, but all companies they have their rules. One of rules that many of us have struggled with was why IBM did not really advertise or market (yes there were exceptions) their products but rather IBM the company. They also have just under a million products (inside IIUG Board joke, but they do have a lot more than one primary product) and although Informix was most important to all of us, it was just another very successful product to IBM. IBM has many children (stealing and slightly modifying a famous quote from former IBM General Manager Ambuj Goyal) and Informix came from a company where the main product was Informix. Informix will now settle into this very large tech company, HCL, under the new Products and Platforms division headed by Executive Vice-President Darren Oberst. You can read Darren┐s Welcome letter on the IIUG site or click here ( www.iiug.org/en/2017/05/01/conference-welcome-letter-posted-may-1-2017/)

So, this new partnership between IBM and HCL in my words: "Takes the handcuffs off" HCL is free to market the product and it becomes part of a multi-billion dollar company┐s portfolio that contains JUST ONE database. It is also a key strategy for their future!

Before this deal was even announced, HCL reached out to talk to me to get a feel for the user base. HCL immediately dispatched their top people to attend the recent IIUG conference to do the most important thing possible: meet and get to know many conference attendees. I actually believe the HCL people may have talked to every attendee who wanted to talk, even multiple times. They made a significant investment in the Informix product with IBM and believe this was a great investment for all parties (I definitely agree!). IBM is still part of this team, so as I see it, this is a ┐win-win┐ for all current and future customers, users and partners.

On a related note, I have taken a full-time position with HCL and will be part of the Informix team. My position at HCL is part of the global "Go To Market" team, and my main objective is to work with current and new Informix users and partners around the world helping them leverage and expand the use of the best database platform! In addition, HCL is committed to reinvigorate the Informix community and reintroduce Informix to the academia. It\'s going to be very busy!

We are entering a new period and traveling down an unknown trail together with many changes. A new IIUG Board was elected and began their term together May 15, 2017 (they were sworn in over the original manual for Informix V1.00). You can meet the new Board at www.iiug.org/en/about-iiug/board/ . Another change, the 2018 IIUG Conference looks like it will be moving. Recently, IBM announced plans to merge two of its Las Vegas conferences, one of which was held in late October and the other usually held in the February / March time frame, into one new event. THINK 2018 ( www.ibm.com/events/think/ ) will be held March 19-22, 2018 in Las Vegas. The IIUG Board "THINKS" (OK, I could not resist) that we should move IIUG 2018 to the fall of 2018. We are currently looking at the last few weeks of October 2018. For those of you who were in Raleigh, you know two of the cities being considered are New Orleans and Houston. They remain on the list, but we now have a few additional months to consider other possible locations for a fall IIUG 2018.

With all these changes, we are all off on a brand new path together. As always, I can be reached in many different ways. If you need to reach me regarding IIUG business, please do so at www.iiug.org/president . My new HCL email is below with the emails of many IBMers who have transferred to HCL. I thought it was a good idea to list their email addresses for you to update your contact information. Until we all meet again, tonight please raise a glass to the NEW state of Informix as we journey down this new path together and HCL shows us the way. A road I personally think (there it goes again) will be beneficial to all.

Any other questions about the IBM / HCL deal, here is an FAQ created by HCL: www.iiug.org/en/2017/05/01/explaining-the-new-ibm-and-hcl-partnership-on-informix/

And finally the new home of Informix - www.hcltech.com/products-and-platforms . Yes the information is limited but everyone is just getting their feet wet. So stay tuned for more to come. Everyone I have met at HCL is eager, willing and able. It takes time to run and this is all being worked on by a very energetic group of people.

Oh yes, just today as I was finalizing this letter someone made a comment to me: ┐Wow, an Indian company. So Informix development will be outsourced to India?┐ My answer is, this product has been outsourced to Lenexa, KS currently in the same old building that was once IBM until they move to their new location in the same local area. Don┐t let those false rumors run rampant. I am sick of false rumors so let┐s shut it down. Informix is not dead. Informix is alive and well, with a stronger future and bigger roadmap with much of the same staff continuing development. I have been around this product since 1984 and will continue to be around Informix working and watching on the inside for the benefit of all the customers/users for the future.

Stuart Litel
President
International Informix Users Group - I.I.U.G. Inc.
Reach me via message at www.iiug.org/president

Some important HCL Informix family email address.
NOTE that since this will be posted on IIUG Site, I am replacing the "@" smbol with the word "AT"

Pradeep MuthalpuredatheDirector - WW Informix Engineeringmpradeep AT hcl.com
Karen QualleyProgram Director - Informix Offering Managerkaren.qualley AT hcl.com
Shawn MoeInformix Architectsmoe AT hcl.com
Pradeep KulkarniInformix Engineering Managerpradeep.kulkarni AT hcl.com
Pradeep Natarajan Informix Engineering Managerpradeep AT hcl.com
Mike O\'Dwyer Informix Engineering Manager/Support Focalmichael.odwyer AT hcl.com
Marcelo CarbaneSales Director, Global Go-To Marketmarcelo.cabane AT hcl.com

Remember to contact support; please continue to use you existing method.

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