Lisa Partridge on Hiring Young NonStop Talent and What's Next for XYPRO

Posted by Mandi Nulph on Wed, Jul 26, 2017

In our most recent contribution to The Connection, we chatted with Lisa Partridge, CEO of XYPRO, about her journey in the NonStop space and how XYPRO’s diversity helps them be an innovative and successful company. In this follow up, we discuss XYPRO’s commitment to NonStop and the new technologies becoming available in the space, as well as what is coming up next for XYPRO.

Edited Headshot -  (1 of 1).jpgMandi: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your history and the NonStop space for The Connection. To get deeper into the industry, what is your take on the direction you think NonSop is heading right now, especially with virtualized NonStop (vNS)? What does XYPRO hope to do in the future?

Lisa: Well, the commitment by HPE with the NonStop platform should be indicative to everybody that they believe in the platform and its capabilities. The fact that XYPRO has grown more in the last five or six years shows that there's a market for the NonStop because nobody buys our software if they don't have a NonStop server. So, our growth, just looking at that, and should show people that there is a market for the platform and a market for the capabilities that it provides.

vNS is very exciting because it opens a whole world that wouldn't otherwise be inviting for a NonStop salesperson to come by and make their pitch, so the possibilities are limitless. We've been working very closely with HPE since the announcement to ensure that our product line and the way we do business is going to support their direction as well, because that's where the customers will benefit. If the software partners and HPE work together to make sure the entire solutions are there for what the customers need, everybody wins. 

Mandi: Recruiting young people into the NonStop space, specifically, seems to be a challenge in some cases. What does XYPRO do to get and keep young talent?

Lisa: Well, I think the problem is that young people aren't necessarily considering the NonStop space. As business leaders, and people responsible for finding the staff, at XYPRO we've embraced our responsibility to identify engineering candidates who would flourish in the NonStop space. There are a lot of areas in technology to work in, so it’s hard to pitch NonStop and have someone put up their hand and go, "Oh yes, I would like to work on that technology I've probably never heard of." So, the way that we've gotten more young people interested is that we have an internship program here that's a very prominent part of our company.

XYPRO-1.jpgWe’re a company of approximately 100 people, so at any time we've had 10-15 interns working here in all areas, and obviously engineering is a large group that we have. So, we've put a lot of effort into ensuring that when they take a job here, we make sure they are getting paid properly. You want to make sure they are going to make more than if they had just taken a job at the local Starbucks, for example. You want people who are interested in learning, but also have a certain skill set, because we like to put them to work right away, on real work. So, if you're going to tempt them away from other jobs that might be easier or that might pay more, you must be competitive in addition to providing them the opportunity to work on the type of projects that will benefit their schooling or something they've had a curiosity about. Once they're here, we try to expose them to a lot of different parts of the company and explain to them what a NonStop server is, and how integral it is to the financial community, globally. A lot of light bulbs go on and we have quite a few internal learning sessions, lunch and learns, and special team building events that educate new employees on why we have focused our expertise and our company direction in this space.

We do it very successfully. We have a lot of permanent hires based on people who started out here as interns. It's very rewarding and it also rejuvenates the company a little bit to have a whole group of people now in their early twenties joining us old farts who have been around for 25 or more years. It excites the people who have never worked before in a proper software company. It also lights a bit of a fire into the people who might have just been getting a little bit complacent or getting a little bit too comfortable. 

Mandi: What's the next big thing down the pipeline for XYPRO?

Lisa: Oh wow, you know some of those things are top secret R&D projects, which is another thing for us to be quite proud of: our success over the last five or six years has allowed us to dedicate a significant budget to R&D projects and figuring where the next product development dollars should be spent.

But the next big thing is the general availability release of our XS1 security intelligence analytics platform. That is very exciting. We've had some very involved customers participating in the early adoption with that, and the data that we've gotten back has helped us turn this into a well-rounded, useful product right out of the box. It is another indication of the community in which we all are members and our customers are right in there with us. When we talk about some projects we're thinking of going into and they're right there saying, "We would love to help you test that out, that sounds like something that can benefit our organization," or, "We were just talking about that," and, "Are you guys making sure you do A, B, and C, because that's what we've identified as being important to us." They have been very forthcoming in sharing that information back and forth at boot camps, at regional TUG meetings, and at special focus groups that we've started conducting. All of that strengthens the offering and the long-term viability of the platform.

Mandi: It seems like XYRPO has some great things coming in the future. What else are you working on?

Lisa: We’re also doing a lot of hiring, and like I said in the Connection article, bringing on interns. We are growing, always trying new things, and there’s some wonderful new things coming down the pipeline for us. We are very excited and can’t wait to share them with the NonStop community in the future.

Mandi: Thank you so much, again, for taking the time to talk NonStop with us!

Lisa: Always a pleasure!

To learn more about Lisa and her history in the NonStop space, check out the "Women in NonStop"series in the latest issue of The Connection.