A: Phil and I have known each other for a very long time, and I always kind of hoped that one day I got a chance to get to work with him professionally. I got talking to him about a year after I retired, and Phil had some things that he needed done. I was kind of bored and saw it as an opportunity to use my skill set and to do some things that are fun and challenging. Now I get to sit down and work on Nonstop systems for customers like Papé, which is exciting and fun for me. At TIC I get to focus on the things that I considered the fun parts of my job when I was at HPE.
Q: What is unique to TIC’s corporate culture and client services approach?
A: TIC is composed of a team, which shares a common approach to providing the best services for its clients. The culture is very much like the old Tandem culture. If you spoke to somebody who worked for Tandem Computers 30 years ago, they would know immediately what I'm talking about. There's a sense of independence, and a sense of, you know, whatever needs to be done, you just do it rather than think about, “is this really my job to do this?” That’s the kind of company TIC is: come in, see the issue, make your system work better.
I think that TIC customers appreciate that attitude. It gives a sense of trust in the TIC personnel because the customer knows that if there's something going on with their system, the TIC folks will look at it and either do or recommend what needs to be done to fix the problem. TIC is trusted to have their customers’ interests at heart. I think that's fairly unique in a competitive technology marketplace.
Q: What are some of the most memorable projects on which you worked and/or defining client experiences while at TIC?
A: One of the projects I really like is the performance work that I do for Papé. I collect data weekly, and I analyze that data weekly, and I'm able to create trending charts on the system that help us with capacity planning for the future. We are able to help Papé figure out when its system is going to get to the point where it needs to be upgraded or where capacity needs to be added. Since I have access to all this data I collected, I can identify if a program is misbehaving, and say “Hey, take a look at this, because you have something wrong here.” Usually we determine the issue quickly, but it’s a lot of fun to be able to set up the data myself and analyze it. Previously, when I was working at HPE, the customer would do the data collection and I would simply analyze it. Now I can sit right down and set up the collection and take a look at what's going on.
And the other project that I'm enjoying at the moment is working with another customer, Cass. I’m currently helping to set up Cass’s transaction monitoring environment, otherwise known as TMF. In this case, I get a chance to lead this customer through the process of getting this whole subsystem set up properly. So, it's rewarding to be able provide a customer with the help that they need
Q: What do you enjoy most about working for a NonStop focused company and the greater NonStop community?
A: The reason that my career has been built around NonStop systems is that I really like the systems. I like a computer that's not going to go down. Think of it as the air that you breathe. When you walk out your door in the morning, you don't wonder if it’s going to be there. “Can I take a breath?” It’s going to be there, guaranteed! And the NonStop system is the same way. When you put your credit card into the ATM, you don't think to yourself, “gosh, is the mainframe going to be there?” It's going to be there. Why? Because it's a NonStop. It will be up and it will be running -- it hasn't crashed somewhere, and it doesn’t require a two-day database update, or something like that, to get working again. It is working 24-hours a day, seven days a week. So, you know, it’s a pretty cool thing, especially to understand how it all works and the components of that computer to make it possible. I'm a bit of a tech geek, I admit it.
Q: Outside of your professional focus on NonStop, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: One of my big passions is fishing. I’ll fish for anything, anywhere, by any method. Most of what I do these days is kayak fishing. I get to go places in a kayak that you can't reach in a boat, which means there's not very many people around, just a lot of wildlife. And it's always very pretty, so even if I never catch a fish, it doesn't really matter because the experience is just really cool.
My other passion is growing orchids. I got into growing about 20 years ago when I first bought one and it didn’t die. After that I became addicted. I currently have about 270 of them, growing all around my pool in Florida. They range from little tiny ones with flowers that are a millimeter across, to the huge ones that have, you know, the big fluffy flowers about six inches across that everybody thinks of when they think of an orchid. There are currently about 25,000 known species of orchid, and something like over a quarter of a million registered hybrids. They are the largest group of plants, in existence, and there’s still more being discovered! It’s a lot of fun growing them and being a part of the orchid-growing community. I'm a member of a couple of orchid societies, and I've served as vice president of a handful of these organizations.
Matt recently retired from HPE and is now part of TIC's consulting team. About four years ago he moved from New Jersey to Florida, where he enjoys fishing, growing orchids, and of course working on NonStop systems.
A small sample of Matt's orchid collection
About Transaction Innovation Corporation (TIC) Software:
Founded in 1983, TIC Software was created to address the challenges of keeping Tandem/HP NonStop legacy systems current with ever-evolving “modernization” technology – providing consulting expertise and software solutions designed to keep mission-critical applications up-and-running. Today, we continue to meet these modernization challenges – as well as offer migration solutions to organizations looking to explore other technological options.