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Death of IONA Edition - Sep 2008

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Progress

My Fellow IONAians,

Like many of you, I was, at first, scared of the joining the Progress Software family. I know how you all feel. Progress's adherence to a pro-revenue agenda represents a big change for us here at IONA, and everyone can be frightened of change. Times will be tough in the months to come.

For instance, if you're among those who will have to work from the Progress headquarters in Bedford, MA, you may be unaccustomed to having your company take up the whole building. You might miss those people from other floors with no greater purpose in life other than to slow down your elevator trip. And no amount of human food could replace the culinary creations of the Waltham cafeteria.

We'll especially miss Peter Zotto's earnings calls, internationally acclaimed as the most accurate renditions of Gregorian Chant. And of course, we will miss the rapt anticipation of waiting to learn whether the most recent quarter ended in a loss or in catastrophic failure.

But look at all we stand to gain: new colleagues, new experiences, the world's most successful ESB product line named after a hedgehog. Now, I know some of you are concerned about your job security. Job security is a thorny issue in our business – it's the only kind of security Fred Dushin can't hack together in the time it takes his lunch fruit to darken to a scrumptious shade of jet black.

Like IONA, Progress believes in a distributed strategy, so they will likely distribute some of our employees among other employers. And if you're among the ones laid off, perhaps this thought will be of some consolation: aren't you glad that it's you and not me? I know I am. Unless it is me, in which case I hate you and everything you stand for.

But we do need new directions. Let's be honest — for the past few years, Orbix sales have kept us in business. Orbix is like a cash cow that's been milked so much, its mammaries are longer than its legs and drag on the ground as it walks. When we tell prospective customers about Orbix's small footprint, they say "Yeah, but have you seen its mammary print?" Enough is enough – we need to stop leeching off one single product, and start leeching off another single product. OpenEdge, I extend my open hands before you.

Let's face it - industry consolidation is just a fact of life. It's old news, unless you've been living on an island, so let me explain for St. John's and Dublin people. It works like this: as products become commoditized, smaller companies get bought out by bigger companies, which get bought out by yet bigger companies, which get bought out by Oracle. And don't get fooled by Joe Alsop's fish diagram – anyone who eats a fish that big but stays that small has to be bulimic (maybe that's why we regurgitated the Beijing office).

But Joe's right in saying we have a lot to contribute to Progress, and I don't just mean tripling Progress's average blood alcohol level (and that's just by adding Frank Lynch). We have the best and the brightest minds in the industry, at least among those didn't leave for JBoss. And we have the most compelling product marketing — look how effectively it has compelled companies to use the competition.

So let's stop sulking and whining. Let's meet the future with open arms and open minds. I know I'm as eager about my future at Progress as my recruiter is about my future outside it. I hope you are too.