NGS has customers in virtually every industry out there, and we certainly have our share of manufacturing and distribution customers. One increasing trend we have seen is the public display of metrics that monitor operations. Read more
Last month, we wrote a post on business and social media. Now with the holiday season in full swing, I’d like to redirect our focus to being less techie and being more sociable. Everywhere we go, we see people attached to their mobile devices. We spend a lot of time gazing at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, catching up on what others are doing or getting others caught up on what we are doing. What happened to the days when down time while waiting to get that much needed coffee was spent just standing there in line? Read more
Every industry has its inside language that only the inner core understands. Quite possibly, IT is more that way than most other company departments. Within IT, vendor marketing departments come up with new terms constantly. A lot of these terms can be annoying to seasoned professionals. Read more
Navigating IBM software and hardware maintenance programs is not easy. While some things change, other parts of IBM support stay the same. Keeping up with the changes can be time consuming and is usually something that keeps dropping down the task list for most IBM i IT people. Read more
We regularly hear customers say they need and want ongoing education but can’t leave their office to attend a conference, user group meeting, or training class. This problem might be due to job duties, budget, or family obligations. We certainly understand. Read more
New terms come up all the time for IT people. A really interesting new one is “Data Science” and its corresponding job title, “Data Scientist.”
A month ago, I did a video on data science, based on my background, education, and work in this area. There is not much in the video about the IBM i, but it is still one the IBM i IT people should view. Read more
We’re contacted every day by companies who tell us we should hire them to help us gain a competitive advantage and reach new customers through social media. These consultants and vendors say it’s critical for us to have a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. because social media is where our customers and potential customers are spending their time and seeking information. It’s an interesting theory, but our experience tells us this isn’t the case. Read more
Most IT people have to interact with people from some other department in the company. And for most IT people writing reports from IBM i data, this interaction probably happens on a higher than average basis. Writing reports and creating views of data useful to business people requires communicating with others in relevant departments. Read more
NGS devotes considerable resources to sending product specialists into the field to meet face to face with our customers. We initiated this effort, which we call our “Customer Success” program, several years ago to proactively connect with new users who have often never received training and with long-time users who are increasingly wearing multiple hats and spending less time keeping up with new releases. Read more
NGS has customers that have moved their IBM i operations to outside data centers. Most seem to start with simply co-locating their server into data centers. Some go an extra step and move their IBM i processing from their own hardware to a partner's server in a partition or virtual machine. Essentially, they use a cloud service to provide the processing previously done by their on premise servers. Read more
From time to time, nearly all of us resist or postpone developing new skills and learning how to take advantage of new technology. This can be especially true as we age, even among information technology professionals who have had long and successful careers in an ever changing environment. Read more
If you use Google to search for information related to IBM i, what terms and product names do you enter? IBM i, iSeries, System i, AS/400? Google's own search statistics indicate pretty clearly that many people still use them all. As software vendors, we must know what words and phrases people search on because we want our own information and search advertising to appear frequently. Read more
Personnel changes happen more often than technology at many companies. If your company has changed IT personnel from experienced IBM i people to IT people who have little background on the platform, watch this video. Afterwards, IT professionals new to IBM i will come away with a deep background and an understanding of key IBM i concepts. Watch this short video for some ideas to stimulate the discussion in your enterprise.
Programmers are taught early in their career to simplify program maintenance by carefully documenting their work. Companies invest significant time and money developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans in the hope they can minimize risk and reduce recovery time if the enterprise is threatened. But many of these same organizations never document their reports and reporting processes. Knowledge of these practices is frequently overlooked until the environment changes and someone stops receiving a report or file they rely on to monitor and guide their daily operations. That's a bit too late. Read more
ERP systems are the core of your company's operation. They reflect your unique business processes, capture your most valuable data, and represent a multi-million dollar investment over many years. There will always be plenty of people eager to tell you it's time for a new ERP system, but in many cases you can dramatically improve and extend the life of your current ERP system by making a modest investment in modern business intelligence and reporting software. Watch this short video for some ideas to stimulate the discussion in your enterprise.
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