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Suprtool/Open (new)
Suprtool
Suprtool for MPE
Suprtool for HP-UX
Qedit Qedit for MPE
Qedit for HP-UX
Client/server Qedit for Windows
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About Robelle

Robelle is a small software company that has attained a world class reputation in its niche. We create and market software for HP servers (MPE and HP-UX) that is widely considered essential to the professional and productive operation of those sysems. Namely: Qedit and Suprtool.

What Has Been Happening at Robelle

We started business in 1977 with our first Qedit version for Hewlett-Packard's 3000 line of computers, followed shortly by our first release of Suprtool. Since then we have upgraded our product line every year to keep it in line with customer expectations of functionality and HP compatibility.

HP stopped selling the HP 3000 and no longer support it, but Robelle continues support for MPE, as well as HP-UX (including the Eloquence database and the AMXW migration platform). We now have Suprtool/Open to protect your Suprtool investment on almost any platform.

Suprtool and Qedit: still enhancing, always backward compatible
Homesteading: we will support MPE as long as needed
Migrating: same powerful commands on HP-UX

Bob Green
Bob Green, Robelle President

The Company

The Products

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Responding to a Shrinking HP 3000 Market

When HP announced the phase out of the HP 3000 on November 14, 2001, we at Robelle were not totally surprised.

We had been watching the market prospects for MPE decline for years, although the 3000 continued to be one of the easiest IT platforms to develop for and operate. Starting in January 2001, we set as our goal to be "the best HP 3000 vendor possible", even if that meant that we would grow smaller over the years. In anticipation, we began cutting back on expenses and simplifying our in-house procedures.

Outsourcing

Our strategy was to keep key R&D skills in-house at Robelle, but to outsource as many other functions as possible, on terms where the cost was related to volume. By moving the functions to more specialized firms, we could keep the same, or even higher, level of quality, while allowing the expense to reduce in the future.

We outsourced technical support to Allegro Consultants (www.allegro.com). This gives our customers access to a highly-qualified group, with backup for vacations and holidays. And the Robelle R&D team is still available for tricky questions. A side benefit of this permanent relationship was that it gave Robelle access to the skills of senior people at Allegro, especially Stan Sieler, Steve Cooper, and Gavin Scott. This has been extremely valuable with our own tricky technical problems!

Migration Experiences

Robelle ran all of our in-house operations on complex 3000 IT systems developed over a period of 12 years. Considering the small volume of our business (compared to say an auto parts dealer), it seemed silly to have our own custom invoicing and accounts/receivable system, when commercial packages would do those functions much more capably and hopefully at lower long-term maintenance cost.

Therefore, we converted the financial portion of our homegrown IT systems from MPE to a standard accounting package on Windows. This unexpectedly ugly and time-consuming migration gave us a much more sympathetic attitude toward customers' migration woes! We would also like to try migrating one of our in-house applications from MPE to HP-UX with Eloquence, but we would have to justify the time/expense as a learning experience, since it makes more sense financially to leave the applications on MPE for another 5 years.

Small Team Actually Produces More!

The Robelle staff has been reduced to a lean and efficient team who are getting more work done, more quickly, than we have in the last ten years. In fact, as the size of the staff declined, we produced ever more software and ever more technical information on our web site, with faster and more accurate turnaround on order processing and invoicing. It seemed that the large size of our organization was holding us back.

Small and Nimble - Able to Grab Opportunities

Our year of preparation for a declining HP 3000 market put us in a good position after HP's End-of-Life announcement. We were able to move ahead immediately and quickly make Suprtool work with the Eloquence database (IMAGE look-alike). In fact, we were the first MPE vendor to ship an Eloquence product for HP-UX. Version 4.6 of Suprtool/UX with Eloquence is effectively a new product, enabling easier migration from MPE to HP-UX by our customers.

Ten years before HP killed the 3000, we had ported our products to HP-UX, so we are ready to support migrating customers. But we still have a warm spot in our hearts for the HP 3000 and we intend to support it as long as customers are willing to pay us.

The Robelle Staff

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without our extremely hardworking and efficient staff. So I'd like to introduce the members of the "Robelle Band":

On "Sales and Admin" is Tammy Roscoe in B.C., also known as the Energizer Bunny. Backup singer for Tammy is Fran Glasgow who works part-time but can fill in full-time when Tammy takes vacation. Together this team handles sales questions, product delivery, invoicing, receivables, and lots more.

On "Suprtool and Qedit" is Neil Armstrong, who has been doing the R&D for Suprtool for the last 12 plus years. Neil also does much of the back end technical support and co-ordinates Qedit and Qedit for Windows development. He ported all the Robelle software to C and did the port to x86 Linux and has been steadily porting Suprtool to other platforms and is still adding new features.

After working closely with Bob for some years in the Anguilla office, Neil has returned to the Niagara Region and spends his spare time working out and learning new technologies.

Our "Leader" is Bob Green, founder of Robelle and sole owner. Bob tackles challenging programming projects for Qedit and Suprtool, dreams up marketing ideas, writes papers, reviews and approves legal issues, leads the band, generates our web site and manages our relationships with other vendors, customers and suppliers.

Bob works out of an office on the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. He keeps in touch with the team in Canada and our worldwide customer base via email, instant messaging, and some use of the telephone.

Robelle is well prepared for whatever the future brings and we would like to thank all the customers who have supported us through our restructuring.