Sidebar

In the Wheelhouse: Cloud, Services, and Kicking RIM While They're Down (Again)

Analysis of News Events
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

 

This week, I'm trying to make sense of what the heck is going on with Research in Motion and how it will affect BlackBerry customers. Plus, there are some new announcements on IBM SmartCloud and IBM PureSystems you need to know about.

 

IBM Announces More SmartCloud Options

IBM recently expanded on its cloud-based SmartCloud for Social Business portfolio by announcing IBM SmartCloud Notes Entry.

IBM SmartCloud Notes Entry is a product that may go well with customers who've already employed IBM SmartCloud Notes in their organization but would like a lower-cost option for elements of the organization that may not need the full Notes experience. For instance, perhaps you have a nucleus of office users on IBM SmartCloud Notes and you want to extend basic email functionality to places like your shipping dock, production floor, and quality control labs. IBM SmartCloud Notes Entry is browser-based email with basic functionality such as the following:

  • Integrated Sametime Instant Messaging
  • Out of Office
  • Full-text indexing (my favorite feature of Notes, by the way; Notes full-text searching is unparalleled)
  • Antivirus and antispam
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Encryption
  • 1 GB mailbox

There is no data conversion supported for this product, so essentially it's designed for clean, new email accounts. For a pricing comparison, IBM SmartCloud Notes starts at $5 USD per user/month with a 25GB mailbox (and a more feature-rich Lotus Notes client) while IBM SmartCloud Notes Entry starts at $3.75 USD per user/month. As for all SmartCloud offerings, the prices get even less expensive as you add more users.

In the same announcement letter, IBM also announced IBM SmartCloud Archive Essentials, "a cloud-based storage application used for high performance and reliability." The features are listed below:

Native .nsf Data Retention

  • Email is collected at the server level, both internal and external, sent and received.
  • Email is preserved, including user-deleted emails, for a customer-selectable retention period or for as long as desired.

eDiscovery Feature and Function

  • Search, tag, review, and create saved searches (collections) for reuse or modification
  • Apply retention periods on organization-wide basis
  • Apply legal hold to specific emails or collections of email
  • Audit access and use of systems

According to Ed Brill, IBM Director, Product Line Management, IBM Collaboration Solutions, IBM SmartCloud Archive Essentials is an important addition because "customers are increasingly interested in automating compliance and information lifecycle governance (ILG) tasks. Email is still the #1 source of discoverable content for legal and regulatory actions, so an email archive with retention and discovery features has become a logistical requirement for organizations of every size and type."

Essentially, it will give you access to IBM SmartCloud mail in a secure, searchable, and indexed fashion, giving you accurate and rapid retrieval of archived data.

IBM Cuts Prices to Flex Systems Chassis, and IBM Global Services Adds More Offerings to Its Arsenal

IBM is making IBM PureSystems even more attractive for customers. The PureFlex chassis price has been cut from $5,589 to $3,738 USD, a 33 percent reduction.

In related news, IBM announced the following implementation services from IBM Global Services:

  • IBM Implementation Services for Flex System—enablement and configuration
  • IBM Implementation Services for Flex System—virtualization enablement
  • IBM Implementation Services for Cloud—IBM SmartCloud Entry enablement for Flex System

I'm not going to list all the features because it's a big list. In a nutshell, IBM Global Services can help you plan, configure, implement, and test PureFlex configurations. Please check out the announcement for the details.

Research in Motion, Maybe You Should Stay Down This Time. You're Gonna Get Hurt.

Research in Motion is in the news. Again.

It seems like someone at RIM said the word MacBeth in a loud speaker underneath a ladder to an audience of black cats. Maybe even worse.

RIM seems to be in the news the last few years for all the wrong reasons: service disruptions, inebriated (now former) executives disrupting an Air Canada flight, someone getting stabbed at a RIM-hosted event, and dropping support for the 16GB Playbook (arguably the wrong one to drop as 16GB is the most popular size out of all tablets on the market), to name just a few. That's not even mentioning the stock falling from $148 per share in 2009 to $7 last week. Ouch.

I was joking awhile ago that major decisions at RIM must be made by the fictional Douglas, President of Reynholm Industries from the British television show The IT Crowd. Reynholm's decisions seem to keep the company in constant disarray, but somehow it stays barely afloat.

To put it in context if you haven't seen the show, this excerpt is from an episode where the company lawyer is trying to explain how Reynholm's actions are negatively affecting the company and drawing the ire of shareholders:

Reynholm: "Don't worry about the shareholders. I can handle them."

Lawyer: "But you've missed every single meeting with them for the last seven weeks. Where were you last time?"

Reynholm: "Ha ha! You're going to hate me for this, but I fancied a day off. So I took some of the pension money out of the bank, and I lost it on a horse."

Lawyer: "You were gambling with our employees' pensions?"

Reynholm: "Gambling? No! I was riding on a horse and it fell out of my pocket."

But wait! Just a few months ago, RIM decided to refocus back to its roots: the business customer. The business world rejoiced at the idea. RIM is going to focus on servicing enterprise mobility needs.

Sadly, a good portion of the business world seems to like a physical keyboard.

RIM's recent announcement states that the first new BlackBerry 10 devices being shipped, now in Q1 2013, will not have a physical keyboard. That doesn't sound like an enterprise refocus to me. It sounds like they're still competing at the retail level as their primary goal.

The keyboard is the main physical difference between BlackBerry and competing devices. RIM did state that they will eventually make Blackberry 10 devices with physical keyboards. Just not first...later.

While companies stick with BlackBerry because of the security features, many corporate employees like their BlackBerry for the physical keyboard.

This summer, smartphone sales are forecast to be down. People are holding fast until they can get iPhone 5 in October and have a sniff at RIM's new offering. With RIM's disastrous 2012, Q1 2013 will be disappointing as companies will wait for the release of a physical keyboard model.

RIM has plenty of cash in the bank, so they're not in danger of closing up shop. With stock prices slipping fast, there is continued talk of RIM being sold off or split into two companies, which RIM denies.

The Globe and Mail recently reported that BlackBerry is becoming less and less attractive to several young demographics. Simply put, teenagers would rather use an Android or an iPhone.

Morgan Stanley calls the company "essentially broken."

What does all this mean?

Those kids will be working for you in a few short years. No piece of technology can tell you what RIM will look like then. But I'll bet you five bucks the chances are slim that the average 15-year-old with an iPhone today will be a big BlackBerry advocate in three years. Ease of use and the cool factor will trump security from a user perception point of view 10 times out of 10.

I can almost say for certain that unless RIM strongly refocuses to the business customer needs, making attractive phones for the retail market won't measure up to much in a few short years. I think they've fallen too far behind.

That's if RIM, in its current form, still exists by then. I have my doubts. Personally, I see Microsoft taking a piece of it. Microsoft already has a relationship with Nokia and its own Windows Phone 8, but where RIM is mostly entrenched is in the enterprise...for now. Competitors are taking that space. I can see Microsoft buying a portion of RIM because the security reputation of BlackBerry would certainly help erase the stigma of Microsoft being, put nicely, not as secure. As well, it would help Microsoft make deeper inroads into enterprise customers. There would be more business relationships and opportunities to install instances of Windows Server, Exchange, and Sharepoint. The architecture behind BlackBerry Enterprise Server is all running off Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. It's not a bad fit at all.

BlackBerry is known as a business smartphone and is marketed to businesses as a business smartphone, but somehow it wants to compete in the retail market against Android and iPhone. RIM promises change but appears to do the "same old same old." Huh? It's all such a confusing mess.

For long-time enterprise BlackBerry customers, venturing into the calmer iPhone and Android waters is tempting. Very tempting.

The kids see it...and they're smarter than you might think.

Steve Pitcher
Steve Pitcher works with iTech Solutions, an IBM Premier Business Partner. He is a specialist in IBM i and IBM Power Systems solutions since 2001. Feel free to contact him directly atspitcher@itechsol.com.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • 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!

     

  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
    Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
    The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!

     

  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.

     

  • Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

    LANSAProgressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.
    Download this whitepaper and learn:

    • How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
    • How to give your business a competitive edge using PWAs
    • What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.

     

  • UPDATED: Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    FortraIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • 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

     

     

  • 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.

  • 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.

     

     

  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails

     

  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • 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.

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    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.

    Request your trial now!

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

    FortraRobot 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

    FortraRobot 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.