*This post originally appeared on the Wavelink blog prior to the rebrand in January 2017, when Wavelink, LANDESK, Shavlik, AppSense, and HEAT Software merged under the new name Ivanti.

$500 million. That’s a whole lot of money. It could buy you any super yacht on the market today, or a whole lot of tacos on Taco Tuesday.

That’s also what some of our customers told us it would cost if they decided to move from a telnet interface to a more modern touch-enabled interface on their Android devices. Let that sink in for a second. $500 million. For an HTML UI.

These large project costs stem from the fact that these customers were faced with migrating their mission critical host applications, including having to employ legions of developers (and all of the other costs that entails), having to maintain and enhance their code, having to manage a massive project, and so forth. All for an HTML UI.

Clearly, if the only benefit is a more modern interface, then half a billion dollars is a hard sell to the board.

The vision of Velocity

Wavelink has a rich history of allowing our customers to change the user experience dramatically, while at the same time minimizing the risk and cost of this type of project. It’s this rich history, coupled with this new Android opportunity, that led us to the vision of Velocity.

As we sat and brainstormed about the problem our customers faced, we saw that we could help them modernize the device experience and also maintain their back end host applications.

No risky data or server migrations involved, no legions of developers to employ, no massive projects to manage, and most importantly, more money left over for Taco Tuesday.

The initial goal of the project was to allow a customer to install the client on an Android device and connect to their existing telnet host application, whereby the user would see a modern, HTML, touch-enabled UI on the device instead of the green screen application they had before. All of this had to be achieved without a single change to the host application.

At the same time, we wanted to provide a toolset that would allow the customer to change the UI to meet their specific needs.

A modernized user experience

Velocity is a constantly evolving platform that allows our customers to move to an Android device and modernize the user experience at their own pace. Some customers will choose to maintain the green screen experience, while others may choose to only reformat a few screens or a single process. Some users will want a soup to nuts modern UI. All of these are possible with Velocity.

You may have also noticed that I’m calling Velocity a platform. This is because we do a lot more than just connect to telnet servers. Customers who have web-based host applications can connect to those using Velocity.

Additionally, retailers who use Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (Oracle SIM) will be using Velocity as their mobile client. Shortly, we’ll also be releasing our Speakeasy product on top of Velocity to provide a voice-enablement solution for our customers. For those keeping count, that’s three different types of host applications that can be connected to, and a layer of voice on top.

During this time, LANDESK also acquired Naurtech. This was an interesting acquisition for our group, because Naurtech had a rich-scripting engine in their client that allowed a customer to have a lot of very powerful capabilities and customization possibilities at their fingertips.

This concept is something that we also wanted to include in Velocity, and this is where a lot of the power of the platform resides today, and where a lot of the value will continue to be driven. In every release, we’re adding more and more Javascript APIs that our customers, partners or field engineers can leverage, in order to deliver a tailored solution to our end users.

This also highlights the benefit of the platform, because many of these APIs are equally applicable to telnet, web and SIM. Furthermore, the fact that all of this is supported through a single client and console means that, as we add support for more and more device, all of those devices can be used with any protocol.

Velocity has been an exciting project to work on these last couple of years and, as a product manager, it’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to take a product from the drawing board all the way through a number of releases.  We have a lot more exciting stuff coming that we can’t wait to show you.