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A project concept can be implemented in a matter of weeks, or it can be a complex concept that will require a monumental engineering feat and a few years to accomplish. The concept describes either a problem that needs to be solved or a solution to a problem. 

Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from chapter 3 of Fundamentals of Technology Project Management, by Colleen Garton and Erika McCulloch.

The concept may be presented verbally or as a Project Concept Document. In some companies, the concept is considered part of the Project Proposal process while in others it is a separate step, with a formal document, which is used to attain initial approval prior to creating a Project Proposal.

The Project Concept Document, also referred to as a Project Mandate, should, ideally, contain the following elements:

  • Business Case

The business case describes the reason that the presenter believes the project is necessary. For example, the presenter could use facts about where the business is currently compared with where it needs to be in the future or financial statistics showing negative trends that can be reversed by implementing this project.

  • Benefits

This is the value that the project will have to the organization. This should be described in terms of how it will help the company meet its business goals and objectives. If there is a company strategic plan in existence, the concept could be mapped to a specific goal, for example increasing client satisfaction, reducing call center costs, and increasing development team productivity.

  • Description (Problem or Solution)

A description of the problem that needs to be solved and the proposed solution (if there is one). At the concept stage, it is not always possible to know how a problem can be solved. If it is critical that the problem must be solved, it can be presented as a concept, and the solution can be developed during the proposal stage.

  • Initial Estimate

If the concept is still vague, it may not be possible to include an estimate. If this is the case, then it is good practice to decide on a “not to be exceeded” figure for what is considered a reasonable amount to spend to fix this specific problem.

The estimates will be as vague as the description. If the description is really well defined, the estimates will be much more accurate. In this section of the document, the costs to prepare a Project Proposal should also be included.

 

A Project Concept template document is included in the download file associated with this book (available at http://www.mc-store.com/5131.html).

Companies often use brainstorming techniques to come up with concepts for projects. Brainstorming is an excellent way for a group of people to bounce ideas and thoughts off each other and work on them to come up with well-defined concepts for projects.

The Brainstorming Process

Brainstorming is the process of formulating ideas that can be refined into a concept for a potential project. Brainstorming can be done with small or large groups of people. You can have a successful brainstorming session with as little as two or as many as 100 people. Ideally, for the best-quality results, limit brainstorming sessions to groups of five to twenty people. More than twenty people can be difficult to facilitate as there will be too many people wanting to contribute ideas and comments at the same time. If people are waiting too long to contribute, by the time it gets to their turn, the conversation may have gone in a different direction. They will either feel that it is too late for them to contribute to that particular topic so they pass, or they will attempt to bring the conversation back to where it was previously, thereby losing the natural flow of the brainstorm for that topic.

There are many different techniques and tools for brainstorming. Below is one technique that works well. Experiment with the process, refine it, and customize it to fit your specific needs and the needs of the group that you are working with. You may decide to set up the meeting in a less formal way. If you have only two topics and they are clearly defined, you may want to skip some of the early steps in the process and jump right into the discussion about them.

You should use a facilitator for your brainstorming process. It should be a person (or persons) who will not participate in the brainstorming. The role of the facilitator is to run the meeting, keep time, and ensure that the brainstorming process is followed. The facilitator will keep things moving along so that the team does not get stuck on one point or digress into areas not relevant to the brainstorming session.

Define the Purpose of the Meeting

The purpose should include the goals and objectives of the brainstorming and, very importantly, the scope of the brainstorming. If the scope is too broad, you will find it almost impossible to focus on a limited number of specific topics! If you have a lot of topics that you need to brainstorm about, divide them into categories and schedule separate meetings for each category. Some examples of brainstorming topics may be:

  • Product A: increase revenue
  • Product B: reduce costs
  • X: decrease “run the business” (RTB) costs
  • New product ideas

Communication and Preparation

Let the attendees know how to prepare for the meeting and what to bring with them. If you want them to think about the topics in advance, schedule the brainstorming session a week or two in advance to give them time to think and to prepare notes. If you want the team to brainstorm “cold” and to attend the meeting with no preconceived ideas or notions, do not tell them the purpose of the meeting in advance. Tell them at the start of the meeting.

If your meeting includes remote team members, you can conduct the brainstorming session using a web-based conferencing tool, a webinar, or a virtual classroom.

Rules

It is vitally important that you have rules for your brainstorming process. The following are some typical rules for brainstorming sessions; however, you should customize them for your particular session.

  • Both problems and solutions will be
  • You do not have to have a solution in mind to suggest a problem that you know needs to be
  • You cannot name people or blame people for
  • You cannot defend yourself or others when problems are being
  • Everyone’s opinions are
  • All comments are welcomed as long as they are relevant to the topics under
  • Everything discussed in the meeting is confidential and should not be discussed with others.
  • The facilitator is in charge of the If she asks the attendees to move on from a topic or discussion, they will do so. The facilitator will capture any ideas or suggestions that are important but not relevant to the session so they are not lost. Discussion around those topics will not continue in the brainstorming session.

Brainstorming Topics and Categories

This is where you start the actual brainstorming. You should have one or more brainstorming topics that you defined in the purpose. Use those topics to create a list of categories. You may already have a list of categories prepared, or you may wish to brainstorm with the team to come up with categories before you start. The brainstorming does not have to be limited to the categories you define; they are designed to help the attendees get their creative juices flowing and think of ideas.

Using the examples of “Increase Revenues” and “Reduce Costs,” for instance, you may define the following categories:

  • Increase revenue per customer
  • Attract more customers
  • Create incentives for existing clients to order more product
  • Expand product range
  • Offer accessories and related products (one-stop shopping)
  • Reduce call center costs
  • Reduce facility overhead

Using the categories as a general guideline, you can either use a method where the group verbalizes problems or ideas and the facilitator lists them on a physical or virtual whiteboard/flipchart, or you can use the “sticky note process” (as described in the lessons learned process in Chapter 13, “Project Closure”). For this example, I will use the whiteboard process.

Capturing the Ideas

There are a couple of different approaches to this. If everyone is in the same room, you can have a free-flowing discussion where ideas and suggestions are captured as the discussion continues. If your meeting includes virtual attendees, you can still have a free-flowing conversation, but you need to include the ability for virtual attendees to participate. This can be accomplished by having them submit ideas electronically to the facilitator, who relays them to the team or asks the group to pause in their discussion while the virtual attendee speaks. Virtual attendees will not be heard if they try to cut in to the conversation verbally while others are speaking. Alternatively, one person at a time can be asked to speak to submit his or her ideas. This process will not work well unless you have asked attendees to prepare ideas before the brainstorming meeting. Regardless of which process you use, the facilitator will capture the ideas. If virtual attendees are participating, all ideas should be captured using a virtual whiteboard so everyone can see the same list of ideas. As mentioned before, the ideas can be problems or solutions. Both are valid in brainstorming sessions. If you have a large brainstorming group or the discussion is expected to be fast moving, it is a good idea for the facilitator to have one or more assistants to help capture the ideas in writing. If there is only one person scribing, either the discussion has to stop to wait for the scribe to catch up or the ideas will get lost if the scribe cannot keep up with the pace of the group.

Categorizing the Ideas

Once all the ideas have been captured in writing, they need to be categorized. Some will fit into the categories that you defined at the beginning of the meeting, and some will require new categories. If there are ideas that are clearly outside the defined scope, capture them in an “out-of-scope” category. Those ideas may come in useful later for meetings or projects where they fall within the scope.

Summarize and Prioritize Categories

Each category should be summarized by the facilitator or a group member. The out-of-scope category does not need to be summarized.

Select Categories for Further Brainstorming

The team will need to prioritize the categories and ideas to decide which ones will move forward into the next round of brainstorming. Prioritization can be done using a voting system, or it can be accomplished by group discussion. Depending on how much time you have available and how many ideas have been chosen for

further discussion, you may need to schedule additional brainstorming sessions to discuss them. If the team is “brainstormed out,” you may decide to end the initial brainstorming session and continue the individual ideas discussion in a subsequent meeting or meetings.

It is advisable to not discuss more than two or three ideas in one session. Brainstorming is a mentally intense process, and it is easy to get burnt out and lose focus if you try to push the group too far in one session. For some brainstorming sessions, one idea per meeting will be sufficient.

Brainstorm Individual Ideas

Brainstorming the individual ideas (problems or solutions) can either be done by the whole group or be given to separate subgroups (brainstorming focus groups) to develop further. It may be that to fully explore a specific idea, the group will need some specialized technical or subject matter knowledge not available in the initial brainstorming session. It may also be that the initial brainstorming group was a large group (of, say, twenty people), and it is generally more efficient to have smaller subgroups for the detailed discussions.

The brainstorming focus group takes one idea at a time and has an open discussion about the idea. If the idea is a problem, the group will need to come up with some potential solutions before they can brainstorm them. If the idea is a solution, the team should ensure that it fully understands the problem that the solution is designed to solve before brainstorming the idea.

Each focus group should be assigned a team lead and a note taker. As the focus group works its way through various scenarios and comes to conclusions about what will and will not work, it is imperative that the note taker captures the key points and accurately summarizes the discussions. The brainstorming focus group should conclude their meeting(s) with a fully documented concept that is ready for presenting to the authorized approver and decision maker.

Prioritize Concepts

Once all the ideas have been brainstormed and developed into project concepts, the concepts may need to be prioritized. The prioritization may be done by the original brainstorming group, or the concepts may go to a separate business or product management group for prioritization.

Finalize Concepts

When the list of prioritized concepts is complete, the development team may be asked to create some initial estimates for them. The business groups will then estimate return on investment (ROI) and other benefits before presenting them as concepts for approval to the senior management team.

Brainstorming can be used for more than just project and product ideas. It is a great tool for identifying process improvements, ideas for team events, and ideas on how to implement specific features or code during the design phase of a project.

How Initial and High-Level Cost and Time Estimates Are Generated

The initial and high-level cost and time estimates for projects are estimated using historical data and from information gathered both internally and externally from employees and outside vendors. Initial costs are generally required when submitting Project Concepts for approval to move forward to the Project Proposal stage. High-level estimates are needed for the Project Proposal stage of a project. For external and outsourced projects, many of the initial costs are estimated during the creation of Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) Documents.

To estimate time and cost resources for a project before a Project Charter or Project Plan is created, you will need specific pieces of information and preferably access to people with some historical perspective on development time and costs. Initial costs are used when deciding whether to propose a project. The estimates are not expected to be 100 percent accurate at this stage. It is likely that you will be asked for ballpark, or rough, estimates, but bear in mind that the estimates need to be based on some realistic foundation. Alternatively, you may be required to submit an estimate with a low and a high threshold ($120k to $160k, for example).

To estimate project costs, you will need the following information:

  • Approximate development time (hours or weeks) for project and cost per hour per developer
  • Management team required and costs
  • Approximate size of project team required
  • Approximate cost for hardware, software, development, and testing equipment and tools
  • Approximate quality assurance (QA) testing time (hours or weeks) and cost per hour
  • Support staff required (client support, technical support, operations team) and cost per hour
  • Consulting or contractor time required and cost per hour
  • Time needed for research, requirements, and design, including costs for resources
  • Deployment, delivery, and manufacturing costs
  • Advertising and marketing costs
  • Time and costs to produce estimates (initial, high-level, and detailed)
  • Project kickoff and project completion party!

As a new project manager, you may have no idea where to start when trying to estimate these costs. With experience, you will find it becomes easier and easier to estimate the cost of a project. In fact, you can get to the point where you can do the calculations in your head and come up with a ballpark figure of say, $10,000 to $15,000 or $400,000 to $500,000. The closer you get to the project being approved, the more accurate the estimates need to be. You will continue refining the initial numbers as more information becomes available and as the project scope and definition become more developed.

If you have an experienced technical lead or senior engineer available to you, he or she will be able to furnish most of the above information. Your senior technical staff has in-depth knowledge of the technology, architecture, and design of the products as well as a great understanding of the skill sets of the other team members. Do not underestimate how useful they can be to you when you are trying to put together initial estimates for projects. They will often be hesitant to give you information if you have limited requirements (they are engineers, after all, and they like to have lots of details), but by presenting your questions in the right way (as hypothetical problems, for instance), you will be amazed at how much valuable information can be gleaned. Remember that no developer ever gets to spend 100 percent of his or her time on development tasks. Taking the estimate and adding a 20 percent buffer to allow for meetings, unit testing, technical issues, setting up equipment, support for other team members, design, code reviews, and so on and ensuring that time has been allocated for writing requirements, specifications, and designs should give you a pretty good starting point for initial estimates. A sample Estimate document is shown in Figure 3.2. An estimate template document is included in the download file for this book.

Tech Project Management - Project Conception - Figure 1 

Figure 1: Estimate

Business managers often create initial estimates. Sometimes they are realistic, and sometimes they are not. Do not panic if you see an initial estimate that you know is way off the mark. There will be opportunities to refine estimates before and after the project is formally proposed. It is possible that you will be asked to do a sanity check on an initial estimate. You may think that what you see is a complete joke and wonder how someone could seriously believe that they could develop the project with such a low budget. In this situation, it is not a good idea to be completely honest about your feelings. Remember to be tactful and respectful while being honest about the facts. It would be great if you could keep your job until the project is actually approved!

Concept Approval

A Project Concept is presented either in written form or verbally. Regardless of the method of presentation, it must contain sufficient information for the decision makers (typically senior management/executives) to be able to make the determination whether or not the idea is viable and worth pursuing. The Project Concept will be either approved to move onto the Project Proposal stage, declined, or postponed pending additional information being presented to support the request.

Next time - Project Proposal Process. Want to learn more about project management best practices now?  Pick up your own copy of Fundamentals of Technology Project Management, by Colleen Garton and Erika McCulloch - available and on sale at the MC Press Bookstore today!

Colleen Garton

Colleen Garton is a highly respected and experienced writer, consultant, and speaker. She is the author of two management books: Fundamentals of Technology Project Management and Managing Without Walls. Recognized internationally as an expert on virtual and global management, Colleen is an experienced and in-demand public speaker for numerous events and conferences around the world. She is also author of the blog Working With or Without Walls.

 Colleen has extensive management and training experience in the United States and internationally, with more than two decades of practical experience in traditional and virtual management spanning multiple industries. She is the owner of the Garton Consulting Group. Before founding the Garton Consulting Group, Ms. Garton held senior management positions at some major U.S. corporations.

You can follow Colleen on Twitter at @ColleenGarton and on Facebook.


MC Press books written by Colleen Garton available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Fundamentals of Technology Project Management Fundamentals of Technology Project Management
Master the specific project management issues that technology professionals must face.
List Price $69.95

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    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.