Rocket Software is a privately-held company and a leading global developer of software solutions, particularly in the mainframe space, that maximise the business value obtained from the investments in IT made by large corporations and government agencies. Its LegaSuite solution, for example, reduces the potential for waste from failing to exploit legacy investments effectively; and it owns the U2 multivalue database (acquired from IBM); and Aldon, which is an application lifecycle management tool.
Rocket concentrates on five solution areas currently, covering: Intelligent Infrastructure; Mobile Solutions; Mainframe Solutions; Cloud Solutions; and Big Data Solutions. Its large range of products cover some 39 categories ranging from governance and security; though application lifecycle management and DevOps; to both relational and non-relational database management systems; and business continuity and high availability.
It is very much an engineering company with a focus on R&D: it spends 24% of total revenue on R&D and about 61% of its employees are in R&D. It has a strategic acquisition policy that endeavours to keep the people behind its acquired products, to further develop them. It is also building up considerable in-house expertise (it calls its technical consultants “rocketeers”), particularly in the enterprise-critical mainframe technologies such as IMS and CICS. As well as with IBM, it has similarly strong relationships with Hitachi Data Systems and Fujitsu; plus many smaller partners (such as Embarcadero Technologies and RSA Security).
Rocket started off as an OEM software tool provider, largely for IBM, which means that it has had a comparatively low profile in the past. However, it has grown both by acquisition and organically and is now a large company, with many products.
The company was co-founded in 1990 by Andy Youniss, President and CEO. Before founding Rocket Software, Youness was the development manager for DB View Inc., a DB2 database tool vendor. Johan Magnusson Gedda is Director and Co-Founder, and is actively involved in the company’s financial management and business strategy. In addition to his involvement with Rocket, Gedda was a partner with the Vitol Group of Companies, a privately held Swiss trading partnership. Rocket Software is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA; has 14 regional offices in North America (USA and Canada); has a European Headquarters in Dordrecht, The Netherlands; 2 offices in the UK; an APAC Headquarters in Sydney, Australia; 2 offices in China and 3 in Russia.
Customers include The Alaska State Legislature, Nintendo, Fidelity, Gucci, Skoda, Yamaha, and several banks and insurance companies. It claims to have 10,000 customers and partners, and five million end users, worldwide. In areas such as legacy modernisation, it sees its main competition as the ‘do nothing’ or ‘DIY’ options and tends to find some of its customers by taking over and finishing failed DIY products.
As mentioned above, when we first met Rocket Software, it kept a low profile, despite its size, and wasn’t well known outside of its customer-base. Over the last few years this has been changing and it is now a lot more visible.
It has made several interesting acquisitions of late, including:
- Uniface, which adds a low-code capability and more large customers of the sort Rocket Software is already used to dealing with, according to P. Gary Gregory [Uniface joins Rocket Software]. Gregory also points out that: “In this instance, we’re welcoming 81 new team members to the Rocket family, each with skills and experiences that will help improve the products and services our customers and partners depend on”.
- Rocket Software has also announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ASG Technologies. According to Andy Youniss, CEO, Rocket Software: “We know ASG well and are pleased to add their competencies and expertise in and around structured and unstructured data, content management, and systems management to our combined company. This is an important milestone in our journey of investing in global enterprise IT solutions and in our ongoing commitment to our customers”.
Both of these are companies that Bloor likes, and has covered in the past.
Rocket Software has an active society involvement program. It says on Twitter: “We celebrated our 31st anniversary this year by spreading kindness and volunteering with charitable organizations we care about during Rocket’s annual CommunityDay. Over the course of just one day, Rocketeers committed time both virtually and in-person, to over 30 organizations across 6 countries. We cleaned up our neighborhoods, mentored students, donated clothing & furniture, and more”. Bloor welcomes recognition of all stakeholders in IT, not just customers, and society as a whole is increasingly being recognised as an important stakeholder in the Future of Work