Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence of Michigan’s 14th Congressional District with Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley

Today, Compuware was honored to host at its Detroit headquarters Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence of Michigan’s 14th Congressional District.

Before she was a member of Congress, the congresswoman had a notable 30-year career with the U.S. Postal Service. She also served as the mayor of the City of Southfield for 14 years, was a member and president of the Southfield City Council, and served on the Southfield Public School Board of Education.

A lifetime of hard work helped the congresswoman reach a position where her opinions could be heard as a Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior.

Clearly, Congresswoman Lawrence knows a thing or two about grit and determination—something she shares in common with her hometown of Detroit and with Compuware.

Touring Compuware and Discovering the Mainframe

During the congresswoman’s visit, Compuware executives and employees showcased the company’s ability to modernize the mainframe with the Agile culture, processes and tools necessary for success in a constantly shifting digital age.

The congresswoman participated in a sprint standup underway for Compuware iStrobe, and a sprint planning meeting for Compuware Abend-AID. The Scrum meetings provided the congresswoman with tangible evidence that Compuware is constantly innovating the mainframe with Agile and DevOps practices that many people still mistakenly consider out of reach for the mainframe.

The meetings also gave the congresswoman an opportunity to see how Compuware’s collaborative multi-generational workforce of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials shapes the outcome of Compuware’s innovative products by way of a range of skills and experience levels.

Later on, a stop at Compuware’s x86-less datacenter gave the congresswoman her first glimpse of the mainframe and how many distributed servers are needed to meet the compute capacity of one mainframe. As the congresswoman learned, by replacing 91 server racks and 1,000 servers with a two-platform IT strategy of XaaS (cloud services) in combination with one IBM zEnterprise EC12 mainframe, Compuware reduced its overhead by $1 million.

Common Characteristics

Congresswoman Lawrence and Compuware share a few things in common. For one, Compuware is headquartered in Detroit, where the congresswoman was born and raised and where she now represents constituents. But there are more ties between the congresswoman and Compuware than geography alone.

Over the course of a few years, Detroit has achieved deserved recognition as an increasingly stable and adaptable city in which to work and live. Detroit continues on a path of improvement rivaling other American cities, and proof of its rebound is found in its entrepreneurial denizens, its creative atmosphere, and its transforming urban landscape and inventive land use—things Congresswoman Lawrence specializes in as a member of the House Committee on Small Business and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security; Agriculture, Energy, and Trade; and Contracting and Workforce.

Because of leaders like Congresswoman Lawrence, Detroit is becoming a new city. But Detroit’s rebound is also a result of being home to some of America’s most innovative companies, including Compuware.

Like Detroit’s proven adaptability and determination to measure up against other cities, Compuware has leveraged its grit and determination to prove the mainframe can be just as Agile and adaptable as any other computing platform.

Compuware’s story is like Detroit’s. Longstanding negative perceptions of the mainframe generated an air of mainframe apathy. But Compuware believed in the mainframe’s vital role to the future of the digital economy. Today, the company is helping the mainframe become a new Agile computing platform able to adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. Compuware was fortunate to have an opportunity to show Congresswoman Lawrence that adaptability, especially as she is someone representing a city forging its own new place in the world.

Photo: Jason Heien