Sidebar

The Trend Toward GDSN: How It May Affect Your Business

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

An interview with GS1 executives reveals what the future holds for the supply chain.

 

Editor's Note: On January 9, 2008, LANSA's Jeff Holzman (JH) interviewed GS1 US Chief Operating Officer Charles E. "Chip" Lloyd (CL). Additional comments were provided by GS1/1SYNC Vice President, Business Development, Dan Wilkinson (DW) and GS1 Director of External Affairs Robert Thibault (RT).

 

JH: Please tell us a bit about your background.

 

CL: My corporate life has been spent in CPG [Consumer Packaged Goods]. I started my career at Lipton, went to PepsiCo and then Best Foods, which was acquired by Unilever. I started in finance and then went into marketing and general management. Prior to leading GS1 US, I was in Asia, heading up the second-largest subsidiary for Best Foods/Unilever.

 

What I bring to the party is my experience managing complex international manufacturing organizations across 16 countries. I've used technology to enable competitive advantage. My breadth of supply chain experience ranges from local customers in Pakistan delivering product with an oxcart to Carrefour and Ahold and Wal-Mart in terms of their highly advanced supply chains and category management operations.

 

JH: Please give us your views on GS1's role in facilitating commerce and e-commerce.

 

CL: One is a foundational dimension where at the core we provide a common language for commerce. This includes common data, common ways of defining objects, processes, and products. Once that definition is identified and established, we also provide and identify things, put them on data carriers, and allow that information to be exchanged amongst trading partners. This is very much about a win-win, what's-best-for-all-trading-partners environment.

 

JH: Are you saying GS1 provides the standards that provide companies a common language for business worldwide, and the processes enable communication for the benefit of all the partners in the supply chain?

 

CL: Right. This notion of what works with one partner and one country will work with another is back into this common language of business. We're trying to achieve scalability across countries and industry verticals. GS1 is all about driving the effectiveness and the efficiency of global commerce.

 

JH: Could you provide an overview of the GS1 US divisions and what each does?

CL: GS1 US is one of the 108 Member Organizations (MOs) of GS1. GS1 US Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global supply chain solutions. GS1 US has multiple subsidiaries: 1SYNC [Data Pool], EPCglobal North America [EPC-RFID], RosettaNet, and BarCodes eComm.

 

Barcodes and e-commerce, started in 1969, is the genesis of our business. It comes from the desire for a uniform product code. It was to facilitate throughput through the check-out counter. There are now over 10 trillion barcodes across the world on a daily basis.

 

The 1SYNC business is the world's largest Data Pool. 1SYNC is in 30 countries, has 4500+ customers and about 1.7 million GTINs, about a 60 percent increase over the last year in terms of connections.

 

EPCglobal [Electronic Product Code] is the third-millennium play to the barcodes. We're spearheading the global initiative. There are close to 1,000 customers globally. Within the U.S., we've got about 700 customers.

 

JH: Would it be fair for the readers to think of 1SYNC as the piece that clearly defines what a product is in the global supply chain and EPCglobal as the piece that defines where a product is?

 

CL: Right. First of all, in terms of where we stand with that business, we've created a suite of 11 standards. We're at the stage now where we are trying to drive adoption of the standards. Our current strengths and presence are mostly CPG. We're migrating into chemical, healthcare, aerospace, and other verticals.

 

JH: Are there any examples you'd like to give for about where RFID can improve the quality of goods and services delivered to the consumers?

 

CL and RT: Two examples: 1) Pharmaceuticals can be tracked from manufacturer to the time it is dispensed to the consumer. It has that pedigree on the chip. As a consumer, the chip lets you know the product's entire history in the supply chain. It ensures that the products consumers are using are authentic and correctly dispensed. 2) A hospital is doing a pilot with blood transfusions in which patients are chipped on their ID tag that has their blood type on it. The blood bags are chipped with EPC with the blood type, so that has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of accidents where the person with AB- blood receives O+. That is a very successful example.

 

JH: Can you talk about specific advances of adoption of 1SYNC/GDSN-based item data synchronization and RFID/EPC in the healthcare industry?

 

CL and DW: Healthcare in the USA is a four-tier model: manufacturers/suppliers, distributors, Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), and healthcare providers (hospitals, clinics, doctors...).

 

In 2006, the Department of Defense started a pilot to prove the viability and benefits of GS1/1SYNC/GDSN-based item data synchronization in the U.S. healthcare supply chain. The pilot includes major participants for all four tiers. Over the last 1.5 years, phase 1 of the pilot tested the viability of GDSN in supporting the data requirements in the healthcare industry, specifically supporting the requirements of the DoD. It has been completed and deemed successful.

 

Deliverables of phase 1 include 1) a white paper, which documented the findings from the DoD participants, and 2) an endorsement of the GDSN as a viable solution able today to meet the daily requirements for medical/surgical devices which the DoD is buying in the market and using the GDSN to provide standardized and global item data for their operations.

 

Phase 2 is an expansion of the participant base to 28 participants, which span over many of the largest participants at each level. Phase 2 is to be completed in the middle of 2008. We will then be able to move into a production environment.

 

The Healthcare Supply Chain Coalition, HSCC, has publicly endorsed the use of GS1 standards. This includes the endorsement of the global trade item number (GTIN), global location number (GLN), and GDSN. [You] can learn more from the following resources: GS1 Healthcare US, the Healthcare Supply Chain Standards Coalition news release announcing endorsement of GS1 standards, and the Department of Defense Data Synchronization Pilot Report.

 

JH: It sounds as if healthcare is an area of great focus for GS1 at this time.

 

CL: When I look at where healthcare is vis-à-vis CPG, we're in the position of leveraging our 30 years of CPG experience into the healthcare environment across virtually our entire platform of standards. This is a sweet spot for us. We can add value to an industry that is in dire need of getting into the 21st century. So this is a major initiative for us.

 

JH: Do you see any other industry that deserves more GS1 focus for expansion than healthcare?

 

CL: Another area we talk about internally is "the Internet of things." We look at Google and things like Google Maps. These technologies create tremendous opportunities in terms of our GTINs and GLNs. After 10 years of my career in Asia, I'm very aware of where Japan is in terms of mobile technology. In Japan, mobile phones are scanners, they interact with PayPal. You can order things over the phone.

 

We're in discussions with companies like Google to understand where they're coming from. We have a foundational presence in identification and numbering systems, and we're trying to participate across the platform where we feel that our standards are relevant.

 

JH: What are the most significant achievements at 1SYNC over the past year?

 

CL: 1) The integration of Transora and UCCnet, 2) understanding how to accelerate adoption of this technology, and 3) developing targeted programs to increase adoption and bring new industries on board.

 

DW: Specific achievements: 1) 85 percent increase in number of items processed through the GDSN, 2) USA's first group effort of eight major industry-leading retailers working together, driving the adoption and implementation of 1SYNC/GDSN-based item data sync with their supplier base, category by category, 3) in Hardlines, Lowe's is synching in excess of 80 percent of their purchase orders volume.

 

JH: Could you discuss specific achievements for RFID and EPCglobal for 2007?

CL: We need to put this in the context of what an ambitious undertaking it is to spearhead a new technology. We've done a great job to identify a core group of users who have participated in creating a set of standards. We've created global standards. We've brought customers and solution providers together to make this happen. We're poised now for the adoption phase.

 

The biggest retail adopter for us has been Wal-Mart. Proctor & Gamble (P&G), the former head of which is on our EPCglobal board, has been a strong proponent and user. Using the example of P&G, they will say that a major usage application for them has been sales promotion. But they've also looked in the portfolio to identify what items make the most sense for the EPC. They have detergents and grocery items on one end of the cost/pace continuum and on the other end of the continuum, Gillette Fusion razor blades. A pallet of Fusion razor blades is worth maybe $150,000 dollars. Tracking/tracing is of different value in different examples.

 

There is a settling out of usage applications where some companies have seen tremendous benefits within four walls. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a case in point where they've seen a lot of that. H-P has seen a lot of benefits of this four-wall application. Kimberly-Clark is an interesting case in point. A pallet of diapers isn't going to go for $150,000, but they've spearheaded the technology. They've seen tremendous benefits in terms of sales promotion, execution. You take for granted that with technology where it is nowadays, you wonder why a pallet can't get off the store floor when the TV ads are breaking, but they don't. The reality is that out-of-stocks are still very persistent.

 

I think there's been a lot of very good, deep analysis of the applications of this technology, and the challenge now is to apply that to come up with the case studies that come to grips with the ROI, the real benefits, the totality of the investment for a prospective customer to review and say, "What's the price tag? How much pain will it cost me? What are the real benefits?" We're at the stage, now that the standards have been created, we need to translate the business success stories out into the marketplace.

 

JH: When you say "within the four walls," are you are talking about closed, non-EPCglobal implementation of RFID? When you say "within the network," are you referring to RFID adoption using the EPCglobal network? You're saying the key adopter so far has been Wal-Mart?

 

CL: Yes on the definitions, and the retailer leading the charge has been Wal-Mart.

 

JH: Any idea how many suppliers are going through EPCglobal with Wal-Mart and what their goals are for 2008?

 

CL: There are 600 EPC customers spread throughout. The preponderant number of customers is Wal-Mart-related. As it relates to pure play, Wal-Mart is the guy stepping up to make this happen. They dominate the CPG vertical, but they also dominate the total customer base for us.

 

JH: Are these at the pallet level, the case level?

 

CL: It's across the board, though the item level is a bit spotty. 

 

Kimberly-Clark is far down the path to pursuing this technology, so I think that where we are right now with Wal-Mart is trying to profile their universe of suppliers into some case studies. As I mentioned before, sales promotion is a major application for a lot of the customers. We're trying to take those learnings and condense it down in terms of what is the incremental investment, the incremental return, the business case study that we can use to be able to then propagate it out for further adoption.

 

JH: Are there any goals that you know of for Wal-Mart, for companies to be participating in EPCglobal for '08 as well as goals for EPCglobal itself for '08?

 

CL: Everybody is looking at the technology and saying, "What do we have and how do we apply it?" At Wal-Mart, their phase is bringing Sam's Club on board.

 

RT: They want to bring 300 new suppliers for Sam's Club.

 

CL: Dealing broader, as we look at this technology and our business system throughout 150 countries, we're looking at this global supply chain and we're doing a range of pilots.

 

RT: There are specific pilots I would like to discuss using EPCglobal: 1) container tracking from time of shipment in Asia to reaching the transload docks (dock-to-dock) and then pallet-level tagging to trace the individual goods from manufacturer through delivery to customer.

 

JH: You're saying that you tag pallets at the manufacturer in Asia, tag the containers at the port in Asia, and track it from manufacturer to departure port to arrival port through crossdock and then inland to the distribution center, retail site, or manufacturing site using components of the original manufactured products at the factory in Asia?

 

RT: Participants in the transportation and logistics pilot include Alien Technology, DHL, iControl, Oracle, Lockheed Martin - Savi Technology Division, Schenker, Schneider National, Symbol/Motorola, UPM RAFLATAC, and WhereNet. What they're doing is tracing the cargo that's associated with the container. The container comes off the ship, is loaded onto a truck, goes to a transdock where it's taken out of the container and loaded onto other trucks. Then it goes to a corporate distribution center or manufacturing plant, in this case. Then the trailer is tagged, and that freight is associated with that container. So you are able to watch your goods from the time of manufacture until it shows up on your line. The benefit is that you used to know that a shipment was coming but didn't necessarily know exactly what was on the truck. Now they know that it's a shipment of Part A, and they can do things like when demand goes up, instead of going to a transdock, the container truck goes directly to the manufacturing plant.

 

JH: Are there any time frames for this pilot to occur?

RT: It's happening now. We were down in Long Beach at the transdock last week, where they broke up the container and it headed to the manufacturer. A couple of benefits: In addition to giving visibility and transparency to the supply chain, we expect it to help with new import regulations in terms of security. DHS has been involved as well as Homeland Security so that inspection of containers can go faster and be easier and cheaper with EPC on the container and individual pallets within.

 

JH: Can you tell us about structural and business focus changes at GS1 and how they help GS1 meet its objectives and better serve its customers?

 

CL: Part of it is in building the GS1 brand. Our foundation of brand awareness is UCC. We're trying to build this GS1 brand and have it stand for something. Secondly, it's to be technology-agnostic.

 

We need to understand our clients' business needs, understand the totality of the clients' value chain and where we can help. First, listen to where your pain points are. Secondly, to be able to take that insight back to the ranch and have cross-collaboration teams that have a grip on technology, have a grip on business processes, customer segments, and be able to weave it all together to provide a tailor-made solution for what ails you and notches into a fuller solution.

 

In the old days, it was four discussions with a small sliver of the pie, and we'll let you sort it out. In the future, it will be a value chain. Part of our reorganization is to say that... where today one person will push data sync, one will push EPC, and another will sell you GTINs, we want one face to a customer.

 

JH: I'm hearing a major change here. Instead of having three, four, or five AEs represent GS1 in major accounts in the market, you'll have account reps that will be responsible for understanding the overall need of a client and bringing together solutions for those accounts.

 

CL: I want to create a bias for action. We're going to talk to anybody about business issues and try to identify common ground. The phrase I use is "coopetition." I'm relaxed in being a competitor but also want to cooperate with you, for us to have a common understanding of where the areas of opportunity are. My challenge with this company is that we have great people, great products, lots of great stuff. I want to create an environment that creates a lot more business opportunities that we'll be chasing. We'll be more relaxed in defining ourselves and have a certain area of overlap in terms of our skill sets and have a better peripheral knowledge of what each person is capable of doing-a flat organization that is customer facing. That is where the buzz is coming from when we talk about reorganization.

 

JH: That brings up an interesting point. What is the role of business partners at each GS1 operating area?

 

CL: At a broad level, we have to have a better comfort factor in looking at the marketplace for multiple angles. Until now, we've been executing a given platform of things. We've integrated the organizations; we're in a qualitatively different stage now. When I look at apparel as a case in point, they've taken a pragmatic approach to data synchronization. It doesn't involve a lot of 1SYNC. We need to have an ability to challenge ourselves to say, "If we want to have 1SYNC be the pervasive provider of anything having to do with data synchronization, we need to understand how to build better mousetraps and be pragmatic in challenging the status quo with our go-to-market strategy." Dan would bear that out. We're having internal discussions about how to work the synergies of 1SYNC and EPC and laying that out with barcodes and weaving it all together. What does that do for the small business guy for getting to the on-ramp of cool commerce and supply chain initiatives? I think it's going to be a little bit of an iterative process to say with solution partners, "Where do we partner up?" Will it be purely to execute something to get faster to where we want to go quickly? Or will it be to define territorial boundaries-no-fly zones? Dan, where do you see the challenges that blur some boundaries but define others?

 

DW: You take our core competency and look at 1SYNC specifically around data management with global data standards, and then what we do with our expertise and knowledge [is] work with partners to leverage their expertise and existing business relationships to ensure successful implementations for all the community...whether that's helping to enable the particular suppliers to retailers or it's focused on business partners to take what we have to offer the community and have those business partners integrate that data into back-office applications for that retailer so it becomes part of their production systems. So it's leveraging the best of both worlds. That's one step. The other step is data is the foundation levelment of supply chain. If we're the source of the data, or say, the facilitator or repository of the data of the global community, we have to work with those business partners who have solutions and services and applications that make use of the data, whether that's replenishment tools, point of sales, analytics, or wherever it might be. I think a good piece of the business partnership is working together in an alliance to enhance the value to the customer by using our hardcore data and using their respected and reliable and much-needed solutions that are in the marketplace today.

 

JH: In summary, you're saying, work with the business partners, leveraging their relationships to help GS1 get into industries for industry expansion and using the partners to deliver actual working solutions using the GS1 model.

 

CL: Also the point is the product development things we've been working on, managing small businesses. If you're an IT guy, you have 15 things on your list and data synchronization isn't one of those. We're motoring through a recession now; we're trying to meet people where they're at rather than telling them what they have to do. We're doing whatever we can to take the pain out of implementing this technology. This is where we have to be. We're approaching it from a more holistic approach.

 

JH: About 20 percent of MC Press Online readers are software companies and service providers, and I'm sure some have partnered with you. We all make significant investments to tie to 1SYNC; it's important for our businesses to comply with the standards. It's not free, and it's a lot of work. Is there an aspect there that you don't want to cannibalize those businesses partners have built? Are we viewed as complementary? Will the products and services we provide be offered by 1SYNC?

 

CL: The name of the game is sustainability. We work with partners in creating an environment-we're a not-for-profit-and one of the interesting things that Danny Wegman talked about at the last board meeting: what are the imperatives. First, serve the community. Second, do the right things. Third, find the money to do the first two. For me, if we can cover our costs of doing business and have a little bit left over, that means we can do more cool things. For me, doing business in a sustainable way means respecting people who have competence in doing what they do and serving the customer.

 

JH: And invest.

 

CL: And invest and have a business to go forward. To take a short-term attitude, which we won't be doing, it would be to get very precise about things. We need to look at our core competence. The reality is we're a very small organization, spread very thinly, doing a lot of very cool things and a lot of very complex things. We need to narrow our field of vision, make sure we're doing a few things very well and working with the right partners to be able to do it and execute properly in the marketplace. The solution providers will be around. We need a more strategic view of ourselves and of our partners, and hopefully that creates a win-win situation for everybody.

 

JH: Can you please detail programs that foster adoption in 1SYNC? Personally, I've found programs that 1SYNC offers today that weren't offered five or six years ago that make getting a distributor's suppliers on board much easier. These are things that the community would benefit from knowing about as well as 1SYNC and GS1 benefit from having them more well-known. Can you talk about these programs?

 

CL: From a strategic marketing way: It's a bit of the tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it. We've created a lot of good stuff, foundational stuff, and we talk about addressing some of the limitations, but I think we have to do a much better job of marketing these programs to a broader constituent group. We've got a twofold challenge: 1) package it in a way so that the message clearly communicates what we're about and the cool stuff we're bringing to the market, and 2) get that stuff into as many media channels so that stuff can happen. We've really done a lot of things in the last seven or eight months when you think about reorganization, integration, dealing with EPC, dynamics of new technologies. So I think we're poised to getting down our value proposition, what we bring to the market; we have retrained an organization so the sales guys in the front line talk in a more coherent and bigger way to our customers. We have more marketing horsepower back at the ranch to get the message out to a broader community. We've put a lot of that into place. Dan, speak to the products.

 

DW: A couple of things we have in place. We realized to get these initiatives going we had to have retailers ready and willing to use the data. We've invested a significant amount of money over the last couple of years to build implementation services and support. We have a retailer center that takes best practices learned from those retailers already in production with GDSN sharing their experience with the newest retailers adopting principles, standards, and processes. We put people on site at a retailer to help them do that workload process and help them understand where that ROI will come from and what they have to do at a project level to successfully implement a data synchronization project.

 

JH: You have employees who can go to a retailer to help them understand how to implement data sync in their environment and understand the benefits?

 

DW: Best practices are shared. They learn knowledge from retailers willing to share their best practices so they can enable the larger community.

 

JH: I've worked closely with you folks over the last couple of years, and we've heard concerns from retailers that it's a major effort to get their suppliers on board to publish data to 1SYNC. I've heard there are specific programs that make this easier and cost-effective for the retailers. Can you talk about how this drives adoption?

 

DW: We've learned that we need to actively support retailers on board their suppliers. We now help the retailers and demand-side wholesale distributors create the communications to their suppliers, plan the project, and provide customer service for implementation support to train, educate, and provide necessary wherewithal to both the retailer and the supplier. We help them through the process and give them a clear and prescriptive implementation road map and then educate them so that the data they are going to sync is cleansed and accurate. That will benefit the supplier by enabling them quickly.

 

JH: Are you saying that 1SYNC and GS1 have a program to work with retailers to craft the message right for them to their suppliers-be it email, mail, whatever-and identify what suppliers should be synchronized at what time and a program to actually implement that-people to do the calls, write the letters, to drive adoption?

 

DW: Correct. The most obvious example is the multi-retail pilot going on now with the eight industry leaders driving that from a retail perspective. That has been over the last six months.

 

JH: Are you also saying that since you've crafted that program to make adoption more rapid and cost-effective for the retailers that to make sure they get quality data that they can use for their enterprises that you've also created programs that help ensure the suppliers have their implementations working properly in getting the right data in and over to retailers and distributors?

 

DW: Correct. The strongest aspect of 1SYNC is experience in getting companies into the GDSN, all size of companies, all manner of supply side. Because of that experience and share of best practices from our members, we're very knowledgeable about where the issues reside relative to data accuracy. So being able to educate and train and bring awareness to others as part of the implementation process is very helpful. That's what's helped expand the GTIN registration and connections within the network.

 

CL: Dan's talking about cross-leveraging the barcode franchise; the product we're working on really takes the small business owner that is already there with barcodes and working that franchise in a more aggressive way to provide products and services that allows for them to easily engage in data synchronization. We're working on new products that will finally address the needs of the small business user and what has limited them from synchronizing data in the past. It's not forcing compliance; it's realizing that we have tools that enable the realization of data synchronization, which makes it a different ballgame than in the past.

 

CL: Also, we're addressing the small business person who doesn't want to get into the technical details, the guy who wants to press a button on his computer that allows him to do all this stuff. We're trying to sequence users who have big IT departments and complicated business systems as well as the one guy and his dog making chili sauce in the back of his garage. We have a full suite of solutions that allow the retailer to deal with the entire range of their supplier base.

 

JH: Are there any programs that incent the retailers to get a larger portion of their suppliers on board?

 

DW: They're able to earn credit against their 1SYNC fee by getting more and more supplier connections active. We're not-for-profit, which means we're a cost-based structure. If we can identify areas where we can eliminate costs, we can share the cost of the network across many more customers versus fewer customers, which should make it more efficient for each customer from a cost perspective to participate in the GDSN. In a sense, because we can spread the costs over more users while accelerating the time in which it takes those customers to get to the GDSN, then we're able to provide cost credits back to the retailer in subsequent years.

 

JH: By getting a larger percentage of their community on board, they can reduce their costs of participating.

 

CL: The real benefit goes back to the new ways of working together. In the absence of perceived benefits, it all comes down to price. I don't know a lot about the pricing structure details, but I can guarantee that the benefits of getting data sync right trumps anything having to do with cost. The challenge for us is to create this ecosystem that allows people to participate in this way and it takes the collective pain and barriers to entry and adoption away. For us, every retailer we've worked with, the revenue we get from them is insignificant relative to the benefits we're providing to them, and the challenge for us is to look them in the eye over the table with conviction and tell them what we're bringing to the party. We're bringing good things to the marketplace.

 

JH: Would you care to share any closing comments to leave with the readers?

 

CL: One, Jeff, I want to say that we really appreciate your time. This is part of our marketing ourselves and getting into the marketplace. We have to work a lot better with guys like you, and we appreciate the time you've spent with us. Going forward, you have my assurance that whatever you need from us, clarity of message, we welcome you. Our mission and cause is quite noble, and honestly, back to this little model, we need to get money to fund cool stuff in the marketplace, and that only happens by adding customer value in the marketplace. It's all about getting the story out, and we're appreciative of the opportunity of you stopping by and having us participate in this interview.

 

JH: We thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts with our readers.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile 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.

    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!

  • 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.

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

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL 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 from Maxava today.

     

  • 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!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • 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

    HelpSystemsIT 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

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    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
    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.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping 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.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan 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

     

  • 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 GenericWatch 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!

     

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, 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.

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

    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.

    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).

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou 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 discuss:


    - 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

  • 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 5541Whether 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:

    • 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

     

  • 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_GenericIt’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. 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_GenericLet’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 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_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. 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

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    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_GenericGet 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.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn 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.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. 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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • 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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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