Sidebar

Where GS1 Item Alignment Is Now and Where It's Headed

Commerce - Other
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

GS1 US and 1SYNC have made remarkable progress, and much more is yet to come.

 

This article provides an update on the status of GS1 standards-based initiatives from January 2011 to February 2012 and also looks at plans for the coming year. Special attention is given to the broadening focus of 1SYNC, which is now not only the world's leading Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) certified data pool, but also a leader in the area of Product Data Management. In line with this shift, I note the important improvement of GS1 US's capabilities in helping industries and enterprises benefit from the real world implementation of standards.  

 

As this article went to print, GS1 US announced with GS1 Germany that they had signed a letter of intent to combine 1SYNC with GS1 Germany's SA2 Worldsync in a joint venture. The two companies together serve more than 15,000 companies in more than 40 countries.

GS1

GS1 US is an information standards organization. At the time of my last article, GS1 US had recently hired CEO Bob Carpenter. Carpenter had just undertaken ambitious plans to upgrade the executive team at all GS1 US companies and bring clear, concise focus to the world's most important commercial standards organization with his "Focus Five" plan: Community Enablement, Sector Focus, Data Quality, Fresh Food, Breakthrough Projects.  

 

Carpenter reviewed advances against last year's Focus Five and this year's "Five Strategies" in an interview with me on February 9, 2012. Much of the information in this segment of the article comes from that interview.

 

At a high level, GS1 US is performing well. Against the backdrop of a tough economy, GS1 US increased membership 5%, experienced its highest client-retention rate in history, grew its 1SYNC subsidiary's revenues 13%, and created and implemented a new Advisory Services practice to better help customers and industries drive and adopt GS1 standards in their companies and supply chains. This Advisory Services practice is very important because it takes the idea of standards and brings the implementation and benefits to life in real companies. GS1 US came into the year with a goal of running 15 major projects in 2011 and ended up delivering 32, which indicates the market's desire for this real-world expertise.

 

There have been significant advances in most of the Focus Five areas. 1SYNC's Data Quality Scorecard has helped advance best practices across these areas, with major participation from leaders like Walmart, Heinz, and McLane (several case studies are available on the GS1 and 1SYNC sites). Community enablement has never been better. Organizations like GS1 Healthcare and GS1 Foodservice are working to ensure industry-specific needs are met with a base of GS1 standards. In many cases, local U.S. efforts are being coordinated with worldwide standards activities.

 

Nowhere is this more visible and more important than in healthcare, where GS1 is working closely both with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support the Unique Device Identification (UDI) initiative and with state governments to support their initiatives relative to serialization and pedigree. These important initiatives will impact the safety of healthcare consumers worldwide in a very positive way—i.e., the abilities to effectively track devices implanted in the human body and know the pedigree of the medications we use.

 

For 2012, Carpenter has outlined key strategic areas called "Five Strategies" and "Five Industries" for GS1 US focus. This article examines these industry initiatives.

 

The five strategies include the following:

  • Identification—Product and Location
  • Traceability and Safety
  • Inventory Efficiency
  • Data Quality and Data Management
  • B2B2C

 

The five industries GS1 US will be focusing on are these:

 

Apparel/General Merchandise—The Electronic Product Code (EPC) to enable item-level RFID has been discussed for years, but it's really happening now. Technical issues surrounding tag reads of liquids and metals are largely resolved. Gen 1 tag prices are down, as are reader prices. Volumes will grow fourfold over the next three years.

 

EPC-enabled RFID now provides a great business case. At a recent presentation at the National Retail Federation Show (January 2012, NY, NY), Macy's CIO Tom Cole reported that the time it takes for an associate to take inventory using RFID compared to normal bar code scanning is 95% less. This allows a retailer to keep inventory accuracy at or above 95% by doing inventory 24 times a year.

 

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)/Grocery—The advance in CPG is the continued adoption of GS1 Item Alignment via the GDSN. More major retailers are coming on board in a big way (Walmart, Kroger, Sears, etc.), driving adoption even deeper in this industry. From a global perspective, it is my opinion that major international corporations like Tesco and Sainsbury's are seriously looking at GS1 Item Alignment via GDSN. There is significant activity in the area of measuring data in the GDSN against Cubiscan data to look more closely at data quality, resolve errors, and develop best practices that all industries and participants can benefit from.

 

Foodservice—The foodservice industry started adoption of the GS1 system and synchronization of product and trading partner information well after CPG did. Recently, due to issues of food safety and the difficult economy, participants in this industry have become more focused on the issue of Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) quality. Because the basic elements of the GS1 system—Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Global Location Number  (GLN), GS1 keys in EDI transmissions—are less widely adopted here, there is significant opportunity to improve SKU quality by deeper adoption of the GS1 system and use of the standardized identifiers in the ordering and distribution processes.

Consolidation of market participants continues in foodservice. Thus the size, complexity, and technical capabilities of industry participants are increasing, allowing more rapid and broad adoption of GS1 standards and GDSN-based synchronization. One of the most exciting opportunities here is the broadening use of "Phase Two Nutritional Attributes." Increasing adoption of these attributes is clearly beneficial to consumers—i.e., they know exactly what's in the food they purchase in restaurants. This trend offers not only better purchasing capabilities for operators (restaurant chains) because they know exactly what's in the meals they prepare and serve, but also enhanced marketing opportunities as they can accurately present, advertise, and market things like "gluten-free," etc.

 

Hardlines—The focus here is on enhanced Product Master Data Management. Key industry participants want a single item file of product information for both brick-and-mortar stores and online e-commerce requirements. Efforts are around streamlining the introduction of this capability. Lowe's has deployed 42,000 mobile devices, including iPhones, to more than 1700 stores. These devices require truly accurate product data for in-store staff to add value to the consumer buying experience. I read in an article in Retail Information Systems News that Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock said, "Our goal is to make home improvement simple for customers and for our employees. Leveraging Apple's iPhone technology, our employees will check inventory availability, access how-to videos, and utilize lowes.com from the aisles of the store."

Healthcare—Healthcare continues to advance with deepening adoption of the GS1 system. The GLN has become the virtual standard for identifying trading partners. Adoption of the GTIN as the unique identifier for products has continued to move forward with many endorsements from key industry participants, which are available for review on the GS1 Healthcare Web site.

The biggest event in this industry is the likely release of federal regulation regarding UDI. The UDI initiative will make the ability to track devices implanted in the human body much easier. This is not an RFID/EPC type of application or implementation, but rather a database that will provide critical information in the event it is needed for recall or consumer safety issues. The basis for this database is likely to include the use of the GS1 standards, such as GTIN and GLN. Regulations for serialization and pedigree that take effect in 2015 are also driving significant advances in GS1 system-related adoption in this industry.

Carpenter says, and I agree, "If I was a healthcare manufacturer, distributor, or medical service provider (hospital), I would think hard right now about how to use standards to control costs and meet likely-to-come regulatory requirements in the USA and around the world."

About Unique Device Identification (UDI)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site says this about UDI:

 

"On September 27, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 was signed into law. This act includes language related to the establishment of a Unique Device Identification system. This new system when implemented will require:

  • the label of a device to bear a unique identifier, unless an alternative location is specified by FDA or unless an exception is made for a particular device or group of devices
  • the unique identifier to be able to identify the device through distribution and use
  • the unique identifier to include the lot or serial number if specified by FDA"

 

The most recent conference on this topic was November 30, 2011. Shortly thereafter, GS1 Healthcare held an excellent Webinar on December 8, 2011, hosted by John Roberts, Director, GS1 Healthcare. In the Webinar, Roberts presented the steps to developing a UDI system, the anticipated UDI database key elements, the expected implementation schedule, and the likely limitations of UDI. This information is subject to change based upon the final FDA regulation.

 

These are the four steps Roberts identified toward evolving the UDI system:

  1. Develop a standardized system to create the Unique Device Identification (UDI)
  2. Place the UDI in human-readable form and/or AutoID on a device, its label, or both
  3. Create and maintain the UDI database
  4. Adopt and implement

 

The key elements that Roberts identified for the UDI database include the following:

  • Device identifier type/code—GTIN or Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC)
  • Make/model, brand/trade name, size, description
  • Device model number (or reference number)
  • Unit of measure, packaging level, quantity
  • Control method: lot and/or serial number, expiration date
  • Contact name, phone, email
  • Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) classification code/term
  • Storage condition, single use, sterility
  • Presence of known, labeled allergen (e.g., latex)
  • FDA premarket authorization (510k, PMA)

 

The anticipated UDI implementation schedule is based on pre-market risk class: Class III (implants) 12 months after final rule, Class II (equipment) 36 months after final rule, and Class I (disposables) 60 months after final rule. The plan allows stakeholders to jointly learn about and prepare for mid-course corrections. The current national numbering system (NDC/NHRIC) will be phased out. A robust alternate placement and exception process will be in place.

 

It's important to understand the differences between UDI and UDID. UDI is a foundational element. It unambiguously identifies a specific device (at its unit of use). Benefits accrue only if it's used by all stakeholders. UDID contains only "static" identifying and product information. It does not contain production information, such as lot or serial numbers, and is not for tracking, tracing, or other similar purposes requiring the full UDI. UDID provides a link to product information. It's not a replacement for recalls/adverse event databases.

 

Worth noting is the January 2012 release of the case study "Perfect Order and Beyond." This document shows how BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and Mercy (along with its supply chain company, ROi) implemented GS1 standards at each step—from manufacturing to patient bedside. The paper details significant benefits, including those associated with patient safety and an optimized supply chain. The paper claims, "This end-to-end global data standard integration represents the first known instance in the United States that a healthcare provider and manufacturer used the Global Location Number (GLN) and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) in both supply chain and clinical processes, achieving fully automated, accurate electronic processing of order transactions known as Perfect Order."

1SYNC

1SYNC now operates under the executive guidance of president Bill Voltmer. Voltmer has a deep ERP background and a strong management background, which has proven to be a major benefit for 1SYNC's customers. He has strengthened 1SYNC by putting the right people in charge of business development, customer management, and marketing (Ruben Castano, Luiz Martins, and Dan Wilkinson, respectively) and bringing on a talented new executive (Ali Moosani) to lead Professional Services.

 

1SYNC continues to be the world's leading GDSN-certified data pool, accounting for the vast majority of GTINs in the GDSN, more than all other GDSN-certified data pools combined. That said, 1SYNC is being transformed to meet the overall product data management needs of their thousands of customers. Changes include enhanced product and service offerings for new product introduction, improved data quality, and consumer-centric views of the structured and unstructured product data. It also means the creation of a significantly enhanced technical architecture/platform that provides the infrastructure needed for the development and management of consumer-centric views of product data keyed to GS1 Identifiers. This represents a major investment by 1SYNC to meet the needs of their customers in this rapidly evolving discipline.

 

It's interesting to note that a recent research report identified the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) as opposed to the CIO as likely to be the person with the highest IT spend in most commercial organizations by 2017. Thus, the importance of the consumer-centric view and 1SYNC's investment in this area seems to be validated. 1SYNC is committed to being a world thought and practice leader in the area of product data management, not just a data pool. They are actively moving in this direction with not only new technical developments, but also major investments in professional services staff capabilities.  

 

I interviewed Voltmer on February 9, 2012. He told me that a few years ago, a data pool was little more than the choreography of data movement between trading partners. What the community has told 1SYNC they need is a vision and path for making product data an asset to their businesses. They need to see how they can use all areas of product-related data to impact top and bottom lines. To do so, this data must move beyond the traditional logistics-related data associated with the GDSN. It must even move beyond the rich content data associated with B2B, B2C, and e-tailing requirements to a consumer-centric view of product data that includes social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), types of information that provide consumer-centric views keyed to products by GS1 standards, and the technical architecture to allow organizations to effectively gather, manage, and use this data.

 

As a result of these needs, 1SYNC is expanding the vision, detailed implementation, and advisory services around what GS1 standards and 1SYNC can offer a business. This has caused 1SYNC to start an ambitious project: to build a platform of other product data types that are nonstandard into a common environment so organizations can gather a holistic view of the product based on the consumer. Voltmer says that, because the consumer is demanding this, companies need it. 1SYNC is thus expanding its existing platform and will provide a set of tools that allows retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to provide this "big data" view of consumers that the market demands.

 

Digging a level deeper, Voltmer says 1SYNC is developing the infrastructure that enables the gathering, consolidation, and movement of non-traditional data (nutritional, sustainability, consumer viewpoint, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, consumer commentary). 

 

Voltmer says this data allows companies to more quickly see and react to trends that indicate pleasure or displeasure with a product. This consolidated view can really help brand owners. 1SYNC's effort to develop this functionality in a community/industry-based way lowers the cost of entry for members and reduces risk for each participant. Once consumers start to see trading partners react more quickly and accurately to their wishes, they will more actively participate in the process. Participation by the brand owner or retailer helps enable the brand owners and trading partners to respond to the needs of the consumer.

 

What 1SYNC has heard from the industry is they need to build the platform through which this data can flow from many sources, with the ability to tie it to unique GS1 identifiers and have the services to help companies with implementation. 1SYNC is committed to working closely with industry and communities to help define the data needed, the best methods for movement and transformation, and the best practices to implement the new model in companies. This will include a modern architecture via Web Services that allows the different pipes of data to feed into it as well as carry away widgets that can be used by 1SYNC clients. An example of a widget would be a real-time graphic of a product, showing the number of views it has received over a period of time, with the ability to be drilled down into or refined relative to a category or a geographic region so that a marketing professional can judge whether the SEO campaign has been effective.

 

The world of product data is changing rapidly. Voltmer stresses the importance of having a standardized platform any participant can access via generally accepted technical methods. GS1 and 1SYNC want to reduce complexity and syndicate risk.  He says the key is to approach this as a platform, not an application.

Focus Sector Update for Healthcare, Foodservice, and Retail

Healthcare

GS1 Healthcare US was formed in January 2008 to support the U.S. healthcare industry's goals to improve patient safety and increase supply-chain efficiency through the adoption and implementation of global GS1 standards. GS1 US Healthcare now has 134 member companies and 459 participants representing most key participants in their supply chain. The main focus is now on standards adoption and implementation. Standards development work will continue, but it is GS1 Healthcare's view that the industry has reached a point at which local healthcare user groups and GS1 Member Organizations are driving adoption in their local communities.

 

To accelerate wide-scale adoption and implementation, industry-accepted "sunrise" dates were established to standardize location and product identification throughout the U.S. healthcare supply chain.

 

2010 GLN Sunrise called for the adoption of GS1 GLNs in lieu of custom account/location numbers to standardize healthcare location information by December 31, 2010. In late 2010, five of the nation's most prominent healthcare systems formed a partnership, Healthcare Transformation Group (HTG), to share best practices and accelerate the implementation of GS1 standards. Charter HTG members Geisinger Health System and Mercy Health System use Omnicell solutions to implement the GS1 standards for improved supply-inventory monitoring and efficient care.

 

2012 GTIN Sunrise calls for the adoption of GS1 GTINs in lieu of custom product numbers to standardize healthcare product identification by December 31, 2012. The 2012 GTIN Sunrise initiative also includes the use of the GS1 GDSN to store and communicate the associated product attributes of each GTIN.

 

Having attended GS1 US Healthcare meetings every six months for about the past five years, I would say the most significant news is that all indications are that FDA regulations on the Unique Device Identification (UDI) initiative may be coming sometime after the next U.S. Presidential election. This development is likely to move major healthcare manufacturers, distributors, GPOs, and providers (hospitals) to take real and concrete steps to clearly identify products in the medical and surgical supply chain using GS1 standards and to exchange a significant portion of this information via the GDSN. There are many other advances in healthcare. I have outlined these below. It is my opinion that, depending on what is in the regulation, this could be the biggest driver leading GS1 systems and GDSN adoption in healthcare.

 

To support the business needs for adoption, the GS1 Healthcare US Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) Workgroup has adopted the following strategy and plan:

  1. Develop a strategy for GDSN attributes that reduces barriers and drives increased usage.
  2. Finalize the subset (approximately 15) of the 35 global healthcare attributes to be utilized to drive early uptake.
  3. Work with the GS1 Global Office to develop and implement a technical solution that makes select mandatory attributes optional.
  4. Work with GS1 Healthcare to globally standardize healthcare attribute definitions.
  5. Modify the list of attributes based on UDI and GHTF announcements.

The 2015 Readiness Program for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is a program that helps companies prepare for upcoming changes. Based on simulation methods, this program provides organizations an opportunity to prepare for product serialization and 2015 drug pedigree regulations, gain insights into the benefits of supply chain visibility with GS1 standards, drive industry practices, and make the decisions needed to be ready for 2015.

 

For more information, download the GS1 Healthcare Reference Book.

 

Foodservice

Industry organizations and founding members of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative cite three main objectives and industry-wide benefits as a result of companies choosing to adopt and implement GS1 standards:

 

  1. Drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain.
  2. Improve product information for customers.
  3. Establish a foundation for improving food safety and traceability.

 

Within the foodservice industry, GS1 standards have been endorsed by industry associations such as the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), and the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

 

According to GS1 US Foodservice, the FDA supports the foodservice industry efforts to define product information using GS1 standards and exchange the information via the GDSN. The business reason for the initiative in foodservice is the ability to get data records electronically. Using global standards to identify products and tracking products globally fit with the FDA's efforts to effectively track and trace food products and address food safety issues.

 

Approximately two years after the initiative's launch, GS1 US says the industry is at about the 40% mark, with a goal of 75% voluntary adoption (measured by revenue) of GS1 standards by 2015. Since the initiative launch in October 2009, the number of foodservice companies subscribing to the GDSN has grown eightfold—from 191 in 2009 to 1,430 today. (Read the full story.)

 

051412HolzmanFoodserviceReadinessScorecard

Figure 1: GS1 system readiness continues to grow in the foodservice industry.

 

The foodservice industry is moving forward toward adopting GS1 Standards. As shown in Figure 1 above, the readiness scorecard reporting continues to grow. The readiness scorecards provide foodservice companies with a means to voluntarily share their GDSN activity status and to see which trading partners are ready to send and receive Phase 1 and Phase 2 data. Participation in scorecard reporting is voluntary. Companies are asked to update the scorecards quarterly.

 

Current results show that 223 manufacturers are now reporting their status. This is a 22% percent rise in the last 60 days. More than 500 manufacturers are currently involved in standards adoption, but not all of them have started participating in the voluntary scorecard process. GS1 US asks manufacturers not yet reporting to consider doing so to accurately depict activity in the standards initiative. Currently, 92% of manufacturers that submitted scorecards are "Ready to Send Phase 1 Data" and 81% are "Ready to Send Phase 2 Data."

 

At this time, 54% of distributors that submitted scorecards are ready to receive both Phase 1 and Phase 2 data. Foodservice distributors are finding that industry standards provide safer food and also remove waste and costs to produce a more efficient supply chain.

 

Retail

Item-level tagging in apparel is heating up. In the past 18 months, the clothing and shoe sector has seen an upsurge in full-scale deployments of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and the benefits are starting to become very clear. These industries provide large ranges of sizes, colors, and styles, with short product lifecycles due to seasons and fashion. Production is often in Asia for sale in the U.S. and Europe. Trading partners in the apparel supply chain struggle with inventory nightmares: out-of-stock crises, shipping and receiving headaches, shrinkage issues, and tight go-to-market timelines. RFID can provide excellent solutions to all of these pain points.

 

Jones Apparel Group, Macy's, Dillard's, JC Penney, Gap, Banana Republic, Marks & Spencer, Bloomingdale's, and Gerry Weber are among the companies that have already begun RFID deployments. These businesses are finding that RFID greatly helps reduce the time their staffers spend searching for a certain size or model in a storeroom. RFID also reduces time spent receiving goods at the store and the time required to perform cycle counts. Finally, RFID brings huge improvement in inventory accuracy, bringing accuracy to over 95% compared to an industry average of 62%. And with RFID deployed, stores can take inventory as often as they wish. Sixty unique business cases for RFID in apparel have been identified by the University of Arkansas (download the free report).

 

GS1 US RFID leader Pat Jarvik says, "Apparel and footwear companies are turning to Electronic Product Code (EPC)-enabled RFID to make their supply chains more agile and provide better service and selection to their customers. Suppliers and retailers alike are using the visibility gained by item-level RFID to improve inventory accuracy and management, reduce shrinkage, improve forecasting, and take unnecessary time and cost out of operations."

 

GS1 US notes that with this technology, companies can accurately determine the status of every single product, from production to point-of-sale. Thus, EPC-enabled RFID is a great fit for the apparel industry (and assumedly many others) because it helps keep the right products at the right inventory levels and helps move them quickly onto sales floors. This in turn helps apparel manufacturers, retailers, and their logistics partners to more accurately forecast customer demand and quickly get products to market. The combination of the GS1 System and RFID technology gives apparel companies the tools needed to profitably integrate EPC-enabled RFID into their business operations.

 

The GS1 Retail and Consumer Goods Newsletter recently published an article titled "What's ahead for RFID in Retail & Consumer Goods?" The article noted that RFID Journal founder and editor, Mark Roberti, said that retailers and manufacturers of consumer packaged goods were among the leaders in exploring the benefits of tracking cases and pallets using RFID systems based on EPC standards. Those pioneering efforts didn't bear fruit; the technology was perceived as too costly and challenging to deploy and didn't get the backing of enough retailers. However, Roberti pointed out, things are changing, and retailers and CPG companies are taking another look at RFID. "Mass merchandise retailers, department stores and specialty chains have been deploying RFID to track clothing items," Roberti said. "The big benefits are improved inventory accuracy and better replenishment, which leads to more sales. Clothing is ideally suited to tracking with RFID because it is RF-friendly so read rates are extremely high, and there are many sizes, colors, and styles, which makes tracking inventory with bar codes a challenge."

Roberti feels the adoption of RFID to track clothing is driving the cost of tags down and improving the sophistication of readers, which makes it easier for CPG companies to deploy the technology. Most are looking at tagging the more expensive items, items that are often out of stock (such as razor blades and batteries), or items with high shrinkage rates: "But this time, as companies go to deploy, the technology is better and they have more experience about how and where to use RFID to drive business benefits."

Conclusion

My last four articles have been about the advances in GS1 Item Alignment via the GDSN. There have been a lot of graphs and charts showing advances in adoption in terms of numbers of GTINs, GLNs, subscription matches, etc. There have been sections covering focus areas such as data quality. I intended to do a similar update this time. I even started writing the article in this manner, gathering statistics, etc. After reading it several times, it became clear this was not the real story here.  Yes, the prevalence of GS1 standards as the language of business is broadening, as is the use of GS1 methods for communicating and synchronizing this critical business information.  But what became clear to me this time was that the real story is how GS1 US has changed from a traditional non-profit organization to a dot-org run by strong, commercially experienced professionals  who are developing meaningful new capabilities and programs to bring the benefits of standards to life in major companies and critical supply chains. The advances in healthcare, foodservice, and retail are all exciting to see. The development of a new platform that will allow a consumer-centric view of products could change the lives of product managers and consumers alike. GS1's efforts to bring the benefits of standards to life with new advisory services can have real benefits for companies and consumers alike.

 

I can't wait to write the next article in 18 months or so. If the topic of GS1 and 1SYNC interests you, the reader, as much as it does me, please get involved.

Jeff Holzman

Jeff Holzman has been working in GS1 Item Alignment since 2001. He assists manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and hospitals with the implementation of GS1 Item Alignment programs worldwide. Jeff has worked closely with GS1 and multiple GDSN certified data pools, having articles published and presenting on the topic worldwide. He can be reached at 973-618-1153 or Holzman@concentric.net.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450

    Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting. The ROI that mobile applications can produce for your business is substantial.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • 3 Compelling Drivers for Implementing an HA Solution on an IBM i Cloud with MIMIX

    SB Connectria 5485

    1. Affordable Cloud Solutions

    2. Efficiencies of MIMIX

    3. Rising Cost of Downtime

    This white paper is a collaborative effort between Connectria Hosting, a pioneer in the development of the IBM i Cloud, and Vision Solutions, the leader in High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions including MIMIX®, the standard for complete, scalable HA/DR protection for the IBM i.
    It will provide a review of the core causes and costs of both planned and unplanned downtime and will then provide a detailed discussion of current options for IBM i High Availability and Disaster Recovery in the Cloud.
    Most importantly, as you read you will learn why true HA and DR protection are now within reach of even the smallest of businesses.

    Download your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • 5 Winning Strategies to Combat Information Overload

    SB Halcyon WP 5466

    Today’s businesses must be available 24/7 with fewer people having to manage more complex systems and processes.

    IT departments receive a constant bombardment of information from a diverse variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes and support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.

    With tight resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of IT operational staff to handle this information efficiently. They need to ensure a swift response with appropriate actions, that essential data is received at the right time, prove service levels are maintained, that contingency and high availability strategies are fully operational, and that vital business activities run smoothly and without disruption.

    See More

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericFor the third annual IBM i Marketplace Survey, HelpSystems set out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform. The past two surveys have sparked many thoughtful conversations about this technology and we’re thrilled to be part of such an engaged community.

    Nearly 500 people from across the globe completed this year’s survey. We’re so happy to share the results with you, and hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

    Sections: IBM i in the Data Center | IT Initiatives & Trends | Outlook for IBM i | Demographics | Resources

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476

    PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i today.
    The DR Strategy Guide for IBM i is brought to you by Maxava – innovative global leaders in High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions for IBM i.

  • 2016 State of IBM i Modernization White Paper

    SB Profound 5478

    After surveying 400+ IBM i professionals, we discovered:
      -  The state of IBM i modernization in today's businesses and their goals for the future
      -  The effect legacy applications have on the businesses' internal and external processes
      -  The #1 concern upper managers have with the IBM i, and how to combat it

    ...and much much more!

    Download your copy of The 2016 State of IBM i Modernization today.

  • Virus Got You Down?

    SB SkyView PPL 5418

    Does a virus have your server down? Perhaps it’s the latest worm, Trojan horse, buffer overflow or denial of service attack that’s got you or one of your servers down. While one of these bugs may be affecting one or more of your servers in your enterprise, it is highly unlikely that the server affected is a Power server running IBM i. IBM i may be running your core business applications or it may be hosting your website or running Domino. Whatever its function within your enterprise IBM i has remained unaffected by virus and malware attacks. Why is that?

    Viruses and other ailments spread by infecting a host that is vulnerable. Let’s take a look at how IBM i and the applications running on it can remain unscathed by the viruses and malware that are so prevalent today.

    In this white paper, Carol Woodbury of SkyView Partners defines each “ailment” and then describe the defenses and protection mechanisms provided by IBM i to ward off the attack.

  • When Management Turns its Back on Security: The Business Effects

    SB SkyView PPL 5447

    In this white paper we hope to explain why the decision to secure- or not secure – data on the IBM i needs to be a business decision ... not a technical decision.

    Something is preventing management from understanding the need to secure the electronic data. So let’s explore why we think this happens....

  • 2017 State of IBM i Security Study

    SB HelpSystems WP 5453For every breach that makes headlines, dozens of other organizations have had data stolen or corrupted by hackers—or even their own users. Cyberthreats become more sophisticated every year, raising the importance of proper security controls.
    The 2017 State of IBM i Security Study proves once more that many organizations running the IBM i operating system rely on system settings that leave data vulnerable. This is true across all industries for businesses large and small.
    Weak passwords, lax system auditing, and overly privileged users leave your server vulnerable to internal and external threats. A data breach caused by a cybercriminal or a negligent insider can cause irreparable damage to an organization of any size.
    The annual State of IBM i Security Study strives to help executives, IT managers, system administrators, and auditors understand the full extent of IBM i security exposures and how to correct them quickly and effectively.

    Order your copy of this year's guide here.

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:


    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology

    SB_HelpSystems_WP_5453

    Learn how to combine automation software and IBM i to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences. Download the exclusive Help/Systems White Paper “Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology.”

    This free four-page PDF, written by Help/Systems Director of Automation Technology Chuck Losinski, is packed with concise tips for IBM i. You’ll learn why Power Systems running IBM i are the key to a sound investment strategy. You’ll also discover how automation technologies such as batch processing, agent tasks, interactive processes, backups, report management, and system and message monitoring can save your company money while making your operations more reliable than ever.

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we dissect complex system monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you reduce and simplify your multi-platform monitoring workload.

  • Achieving Business Value Through VIOS

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, virtualization specialist Glenn Robinson joins Ash Giddings to discuss the use of VIOS in today’s demanding Power Systems environments. VIOS can help you realize real business value by reducing IT expenditure and adding the flexibility to grow and shrink resources according to data center demands through virtualization across IBM Power Systems estates.

  • ​Multi-Platform Application Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Make Application Monitoring Easy Across the IBM i, Windows, AIX, and Linux Platforms in Your Environment
    IT departments are constantly bombarded by information from a wide variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes. At the same time, the department must support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.
    With limited resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of operational staff to handle this information efficiently.
    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we’ll dissect complex systems monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you:
    - Ensure vital business applications run smoothly and without disruption
    - Respond swiftly and with appropriate actions
    - Confirm that essential data is received at the right time
    - Prove service levels are maintained
    - Keep contingency and high availability strategies fully operational

  • ​IBM i War Stories from the Front Line

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    IBM i is great at managing varied workloads—the OS offers many built-in work management and system utilities to aid administration.
    But greater customization is sometimes necessary in the line of duty.
    Halcyon has built upon these utilities to deliver a number of advanced functions designed for you to take control of all of your day-to-day IBM i activities.
    During this on-demand webinar, our experts will demonstrate some of Halcyon’s capabilities and describe real-life scenarios that highlight how you can:

    - Reduce your alerting footprint by implementing leading-edge monitoring techniques 
    - Identify both organic growth and spikes in disk space utilization
    - Automate time-consuming housekeeping tasks
    - Take advantage of the powerful IBM i Services
    - Automate literally anything

    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by the newest member of the HelpSystems team: Debbie Saugen.
    Debbie is recognized worldwide as an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability. For decades, Debbie has helped IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications.
    Learn how Agile Modernization:


    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

    SB NGS WC Generic

    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC Generic

    Watch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491


    Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data?
    Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    • Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    • Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    • How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    • High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success in 2018.
    You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Let’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch noted security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    • Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    • Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    • Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    • Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_Generic

    Get actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

    SB_Profound_WC_Generic

    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • 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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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 5413

    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey 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.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

    SB NGS PPL 5130

    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

    SB PowerTech 5422

    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

    SB DDL Systems 5429

    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.