Yves Colliard was born in 1962, so he can be considered one of the youngest mainframe pioneers.
The Swiss native has dedicated more than thirty years to the z/OS platform, and early on the clever entrepreneur discovered a niche that he has been occupying with his products.
The exclusive sales partnership with Beta Systems is a win-win situation in three regards: For his company YCOS GmbH, for Beta Systems as well as for both companies’ customers. The following interview with the IBM expert provides insights into his business model.
Mr. Colliard, you have been programming and developing applications since 1981, and in 1990 you became Managing Director and proprietor of YCOS Yves Colliard Software GmbH – what are your key areas of expertise?
Yves Colliard: I started off as a developer and then project manager for VM, OS/VS2, MVS, Cobol, CICS, DL/I, JCL and Librarian. Later, I strongly focused on IBM product conversion and system programming for VM, DOS/VSE and MVS. Before founding my own company in 1990, the focus had shifted to providing training and consulting (as an employee of Amdahl) on all IBM-related topics – including public and in-house training at numerous German DAX companies. At the same time, I also developed special add-on products for the z/OS platform.
What is the purpose of the individual add-ons?
Yves Colliard: There are three major products: Operlog Viewer, now called Operlog Manager in the Beta Systems portfolio, is the central product. At major companies, the z/OS operating system generates several million messages each day, ranging from simple informative texts and user registration notices through to essential error messages. In this context, Operlog data, a special log stream format, plays a key role. Operlog Manager significantly simplifies the way users handle these messages, how they filer and retrieve data. This allows administrators to rapidly pinpoint the cause of a fault hidden in a flood of logs. YCSLOG, now called ‘Beta Systems Logstream Manager’, and YCPlex (Sysplex Communicator) are complementing Operlog Tools utilities.
What about those who do not utilize your solution?
Yves Colliard: …they can naturally draw on IBM’s own tools such as SDSF. However, this feature can only access online data. If you want to analyze logs that have already been archived, you need a separate tool such as Beta 92. Operlog Manager, in contrast, manages both online and archived logs via a simple and powerful interface that makes it easy to filter and select individual messages, store previous selection criteria for reuse, etc. There are hardly any comparable tools on the market, or those that exist are poorly established in the IBM community. Basically, anybody working with z/OS will benefit from the product since it results in enormous savings and efficiency gains when handling large volumes of data. Consequently, key users include major companies that have traditionally been working with IBM infrastructures: insurance companies, banks, health insurance providers as well as government agencies.
How did you get connected with Beta Systems?
Yves Colliard: In 2014, I presented the solution at a conference. The Beta Systems representatives and I struck up a conversation. This led to the realization that my Operlog Manager perfectly addresses a gap in the Beta Systems portfolio. It didn’t take us long to agree that a collaboration would be of mutual benefit. In the context of the partnership we just forged, Beta Systems will first take over sales, and in the future the products may be added to the Beta Systems solution portfolio.
How will you benefit from this partnership?
Yves Colliard: I am more of a hand-on kind of guy, so I only sell my products to customers I’ve accumulated over the decades. With Beta Systems as a partner, sales will be taken to a whole new level. This greatly widens the reach and potential of the solutions – including international markets – where they are now being sold as ‘Operlog Tools’. And apart from sales, (existing and new) Operlog Manager users can expect that the integration of the tool set into the Beta Systems portfolio will result in increased development. New features will be added more quickly than before, when I was the only person implementing them. In addition, future extensions may include the integration of Beta products with Operlog Manager (e.g. launching Beta 92). These are good prospects for z/OS admins across the globe!