Archives: October 2015
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.
Most IBM i technical people have been working with other departments so long that talking business is normal. That is just how the system was designed to be run—with a lean IT staff that is very close to business operations.
For those individuals who are new to the IBM i platform but come from other parts of IT, this level of business knowledge might be different than what they are used to. It would definitely be to their benefit to sit down and learn a little more about business operations. Almost certainly, if they are now responsible for IBM i, then they are now responsible for the ERP, too. Supporting the ERP requires familiarity with the business processes performed by the ERP system.
I have seen some low key meetings, usually one-on-one, with key business people really helping the IT person who is new to IBM i get a handle on operations. Some of our most successful customers have informal NGS-IQ user groups that periodically meet over lunch to share ideas and cross-train each other on business and software functions. Let us know if you would like to try that, and we'll buy lunch for your first meeting.
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.
If you've taken advantage of one of these sessions with an NGS product specialist, hopefully you and your staff gained new knowledge and discovered we were there to answer questions, teach, and learn — not to sell you more products (although you are allowed to do that, too, if needed).
Other vendors and sometimes new customers ask why we travel when we could be holding Web meetings and conference calls from the comfort of our home office. The fact is, we also do those things every business day, but even with today's technology, we're almost always able to cover more topics in greater depth and reach more people when we meet you face to face.
The next time we contact you about visiting with you or your staff, we hope you’ll remember the benefits of this program.
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.
We speak to customers all the time who are considering such a move. In order to answer some of the common questions we hear, I spoke to one of our long time partners who moved into the cloud hosting business a few years ago for IBM i. Here is a short video where I ask the questions I hear our customers asking. Bob Kennedy of CPS Technology was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer them. Enjoy!
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