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Business Partner Newsletter

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Bill Langston

Opportunity Awaits for Companies Still Using Microsoft Access

Recently, we’ve had several conversations about Microsoft Access with potential new customers and longtime NGS Business Partners. While it doesn’t get much press anymore, Microsoft Access is still widely used as a reporting tool in small to mid-size IBM i shops. The companies talking to us are eager to move away from Microsoft Access, but only if they can find an affordable, easy-to-use, point-click alternative.

Most of these companies have small information technology departments with one or two staff members doing all of their IBM i and network management tasks. In every case we’ve encountered, reliance on Microsoft Access originated many years ago as a “work around” when these IBM i customers assigned database reporting responsibility to a Business Analyst with Microsoft Windows and Office skills, but minimal understanding of IBM i.

It’s a credit to these desktop wizards that so many were able to get so much mileage out of such a modest database tool with little support or training. But anyone who has worked in an environment like this is familiar with the weak data integrity, data latency, control, and security it breeds. Additionally, Microsoft doesn’t seem very committed to future Access development.

Next time you are speaking to one of your IBM i customers, ask if they transfer DB2 data to Microsoft Access for reporting. If they do, suggest they evaluate NGS-IQ. We’ll work with you to schedule demonstrations and free trials to help your customer step forward.

IBM i on Power – An Inheritance to Appreciate

Once upon a time, you could assume that any mid-size or large company running IBM i had an IT Director with a strong foundation of IBM i knowledge. Today, companies usually have an IT Director who inherited the environment and needs education to appreciate what it has to offer. It’s a testament to the ease of managing a small IBM Power server running IBM i that smaller companies also often delegate responsibility for the system to a Human Resources Manager or other non-technical executive. These managers, too, need at least a foundation of knowledge.

NGS’s Benefits of IBM i page has links to resources that can help these managers. The first link on the page, Getting Started with IBM i, directs you to a terrific IBM website written especially for people in this position. We also provide a link to a new Total Cost of Ownership study conducted by the market research firm Quark + Lepton. Those who are evaluating IBM i and x86 servers and software costs should download and read this document.

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