With 2016 now in full force the expectations for Idera to start getting aggressive for Embarcadero product line. It has been highly speculate what is currently happening but this is without any written notice from Idera. This opens nothing but hearsay or smoking guns on the demise of Delphi which is further from the truth. Delphi is alive and doing very well all over the world, you may not hear many developers speaking about Object Pascal but there is a underlining amount of developers using either the Delphi or Free Pascal compilers.
These developers are designing applications for various operating systems and devices, you just do not hear anyone parading these accomplishments. This is largely due to the developer who does not think it is cool to work with this type of tool and has a lot to do with the college/university they have attended. The university provides free software tools so that the cost to the student is kept low. Microsoft and Apple are huge in the educational areas giving away free applications such as Microsoft Office or discounted Macs. As we know the student no longer is taught Pascal or C but have adjusted to where the job market is driving and that tends to be Java.
As a developer you cannot beat something that is free and that is where Idera will have to make a huge advancement towards whether they want to step into the educational market again to build the developer base to use their product, Delphi.
With that all being said I am listing what I consider are the business targets on getting the merger completed and building the Delphi community confidence that the product will continue and blossom into something even better.
- Create a Rad Studio roadmap before the end of January on what is expecting in the next release. Something simple as this provides a full boost for the community in general. Not everything has to be done based on the roadmap but gives a developer the rough idea of what to expect.
- Reduce the overall product cost. This tends to keep new developers from the purchasing since the cost is extremely high.
- Create an educational or hobbyist package that does not include everything in the professional / enterprise package but gives a new path for people who may wish to try the product.
- Throw out the current EDN web site. This is one of the ugliest web sites around and tends to break. The search capabilities are terrible, the time it takes to enter the product area is long and plainly it sucks.
- All external web sites that were part of Embarcadero need to have a proper SSL and not one that is outdated or fails. For a company that charges top dollar this is embarrassing. Finally the last piece is that web sites such as the community cannot be broken for days. This is just sad.
- Database tools such as ER/Studio, DBArtisan, Powerstudio need to be evaluated and the big question is how Idera will merge these products into their database product line. Should a person continue to pay the subscription if they do not know what is happening even in the next few months. A plan has to be announced and pretty soon.
- Major release should be held to once a year with updates as done in the past. Creating 2 major releases a year was cool in the beginning but after a while it became insane. I know Embarcadero was trying to justify the subscription cost that kept going up but how many developers moved release to release. With Seattle (Delphi 10) just released this is one of the strongest releases in years where the software bugs were held to a minimum.
- Competing against Visual Studio Community. Microsoft released a full blown developers package that no longer requires anyone to purchase the professional package. Now Idera cannot compete against this since the Microsoft world is huge and thanks to the Borland/Inprise/Codegear days is next to impossible to give away the Rad Studio but if they go with step 2 to come up with a reduce package pricing then there will be new markets.
- Idera has to get behind the Delphi developer. No one bothers with the certification testing and the developers day conferences have become a small event. Idera needs to promote the developer because those are the customers and the more you get the bigger the profit. The MVP program is extremely small and that is also not promoted like it should be. There needs to be a strong grass roots program for all developers using and promoting what they use.
- Mergers mean layoffs. There is nothing else you can say, a merger is ugly and the employee that is being laid off will know it, slow it down and prepare to leave with the utmost of not caring any longer about Embarcadero. This is a reality, certain people will be given packages to leave and certain people will remain behind to keep the product going.
- The VCL/Firemonkey Rad Solution Pack is overpriced. Sometimes you wonder whether Embarcadero was giving Ray Konopka a send off when they purchased the Raize tool kit along with Codesite and then charging top dollar along with a subscription. The funny thing was that this was done so late it makes you wonder what was in the Embarcadero business plan for 2015.
- Idera has to promote the component maker. Simple listing on any web site that goes thru a testing can be listed if it works. A hyperlink and the version it supports is more effective then not knowing where to find software that supports the Rad Studio.
- Keep the sprint skills alive and any other technical webinar. This promotes the product, gives free tips and also allows products to be shown.
- Customer surveys by Idera should be done now to get the developers mind set. This alone will provide Idera will so much important information on what is expected.
- Idera has to reduce the distrust and worries that tend to accompany the Delphi developer. This occurred after the demise days of Inprise/Codegear where the product was almost thrown away and thanks to Embarcadero bringing it back to life, the product has gotten better.
Idera is a pretty strong company and it was surprising that Embarcadero was sold to them but this is the new age where equity firms look at the profit and want to reduce what they have to put into the product. Now changing the corporate page on a web site is important but communication is golden. Keeping a low profile, no news releases, no road maps, no announcements tend to create a muddle view of what to expect.
Idera has to understand what Delphi developers have gone thru since 2005 and how to help ease their worries. Now, the new year is here and Idera has to step up.