Vision Solutions Forges New Partnerships

These are flush times for Vision Solutions. The Irvine, Cal. high-availability software developer is forging formidable new partnerships and adding new wrinkles to its Vision Suite software solution. In addition to scoring a big win through an agreement earlier this year with J.D. Edwards (Denver), Vision made its presence during the release of V4R4 by participating in the AS/400 Systems Management Partner Group.

Vision's SOLO/400 backup/recovery solution was selected for inclusion in IBM's Software Sampler II for Systems Management CD, shipped with every copy of V4R4 since its debut in May. SOLO/400 is designed to provide a lower cost and more efficient approach to backup and recovery strategies by enabling an automated real-time means to capture business transactions.

J.D. Edwards' selection of Vision in February of this year to develop high availability software for the application developer's Denver and Dublin, Ireland, offices provides both data and object replication for J.D Edwards worldwide software group, thus increasing responsiveness to customers while lowering the overall distribution costs, according to Dennis Fletcher, Vision Solutions director of marketing.

"Edwards held a technology 'bake off' back in late 1998 between us, DataMirror and Lakeview," explains Fletcher. "It was real hands-on testing." Critical factors in J.D. Edwards' decision were Vision Suite's ability to support the mirroring of new libraries created in real time and the capability to synchronize libraries automatically.

"We were convinced as a result of our evaluation that Vision Suite provided the strongest foundation for our worldwide product distribution strategy," says Treasure Diehl, director of technical foundation and product delivery at J.D. Edwards. "Its demonstrated performance and ease of use were clear advantages as we expand the support for our international customers."

While the Edwards deal was a nice feather in Vision Solution's cap, a potentially bigger deal was later struck with IBM that recognizes the company as a Big Blue high availability business partner (HABP). Vision Solutions is one of the first three HABPs, along with DataMirror Corp. (Markham, Ontario) and Lakeview Technology (Oak Brook, Ill.), according to Fletcher. "Since we're locked into a vicious battle with the other two companies, IBM high availability software customers should really benefit as a result," he says.

Under the terms of the IBM deal, Vision Suite high availability software for the AS/400 provides the key technologies for IBM's Continuous Availability Clustering featured in V4R4. The two companies were hard at work at Vision Solution's Irvine development center and IBM's Rochester laboratories developing and testing the new clustering tools. The result: the ability for IBM to gain key elements of cluster management, like mirroring objects and data between AS/400s in the cluster, and the intelligence to detect and manage the rapid transfer of applications from one AS/400 to another.

The deal is a big one for Vision Solutions, which hopes cash flow will increase as a result. "With the IBM deal, we expect significant growth in our high availability business," notes Chris Turner, CEO and co-founder of Vision Solutions.

According to company President David Peterson, over the past five years Vision Solutions has sustained a 70 percent revenue growth rate, continual doubling of the number of licenses sold, and is averaging 50 percent growth in maintenance revenue.