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December 19, 2016

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Issue Highlights

December 19, 2016 | Volume 11 Issue 21

• LEAD ARTICLE: Energy, Vibe, and Atmosphere

• FEATURED ARTICLE: Six Key Drivers That Push Your Business Forward

• NEWS HIGHLIGHT: IBM Watson Virtual Agent Premium Edition

• BUYER'S GUIDE: TLAForms

• EVENT: Coming in 2017: i Can Do Anything at NEUGC

Lead Article - Analysis

Energy, Vibe, and Atmosphere

This is IT. We must be willing to bend.

With a growing emphasis in talking about the state of the current IBM i workforce, also known as the “IBM i skills shortage,” it behooves oneself to keep the noise level to a minimum in order to make even-keeled decisions. In short, don’t necessarily believe all the hype you read.

I’d like to think of this as an extension piece to “The IBM i Skills Shortage Myth.” It’s not necessarily a “part two” per se, but more of a story that runs parallel. I’ve been trying to write this for about six weeks, but some things are just hard to put into words, especially when they involve how you feel as opposed to what you know. Besides, writing what you know is easy. Writing what you feel leaves room for reader interpretation, so you have to be more careful.

MC Press Bookstore

The time is NOW to get the top books for tech professionals at our lowest prices ever!

Pay only $35 each for our newest titles! You save a whopping 40% to 70% off the regular price.

9 of our best titles for just $25 each!  Perfect gifts for your favorite Power Systems pro! Treat yourself or a colleague!

10 titles 70-85% Off. Get your copies today!  Pay just $15 each for popular books on RPG, PHP, Java, Project Management, DB2, and more. Don’t wait – at these prices, books will sell out soon!

19 books for $10 each  Buy them ALL for less than $200. Select every one or just a few before they're gone!

Give the Gift of Knowledge: Over 50 titles for $5 each!  RPG, IBM i, Security, PHP, Programming, DB2, Analytics, and more. Shop now—at these prices, books are going fast!

MC Press Bookstore

An old dog can learn new tricks! Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i is full of clever ways to get data into your IBM i system, as well as new techniques to export and present this data in a modern, business-friendly manner. No more boring spreadsheets or ugly printouts! Your DB2 data will look great in program-generated spreadsheets and browser-based, interactive charts. Whether you’re an old dog or not, you’ll get the most out of your ILE RPG programs with the open source, free tools in this smart new release! Order your copy today!

Just $25 during the MC Press Year-End Inventory Blowout!

MC Press Bookstore

In this new release, data governance expert Sunil Soares walks you through all the available data governance software tools and shows you how to evaluate these tools for your program. Soares explains why your organization should consider tools as a critical component of its data governance program, and explores the various tool offerings. Soares clarifies how data governance tools integrate with big data technologies and shows you how the various software vendors stack up. Get this latest release today!

Just $25 during the MC Press Year-End Inventory Blowout!

Feature - Database

Six Key Drivers That Push Your Business Forward

Integration can be a competitive weapon that can positively impact the bottom line through encouraging revenue velocity, cost containment, risk mitigation, and long-term customer satisfaction.

Written by Mark Denchy

 

Business is moving faster and faster, as customers and business partners demand more automated interactions. IT is no longer supporting the business; it is becoming the core of the business. Digital transformation of businesses requires us to connect and interact with both customers and suppliers in new and unexpected ways.

MC Resource Centers

TLAForms by TL Ashford converts your traditional IBM i spool files into high quality, professional forms.

Use a GUI Designer to create forms using data from a spool file and data from your IBM i files. Forms can be designed with true-type fonts, bar codes – including QR Code and Datamatrix, color images, overlays, lines, boxes and ellipses all in full color.

The software generates your forms as PDF documents that are archived to the IFS, automatically emailed and/or printed. Forms can be printed to IBM i PostScript printers, any printer connected to the network, or any printer connected to a PC. IFS locations, email addresses, and printers can be variable based on data within the spool file, data within the IBM i file or spool file attributes.

No programming is required to generate the new forms from your existing ERP, WMS or in-house application software.

The experienced TL Ashford technical support team will provide any pre-designed templates like the VICS Bill of Lading, and make sure working with the software is as easy and productive as possible!

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Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 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. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • 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 company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY 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. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business 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.

  • 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:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic 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.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? 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: