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Blog November 27, 2018

Retain and Grow Your IBM i Customers Through a Strategic Partnership

In order to improve efficiency and productivity, reach new markets, and optimize supply chains, business leaders have taken advantage of information technology for quite some time now. As partnerships form and businesses grow, the supporting technology can seem to grow at almost an exponential rate, leaving many companies in the lurch when the software or services that they have utilized for so long, is suddenly obsolete, no longer supported, or becomes unavailable due to one reason or another.

Retaining your customer base and being able to continue to grow is essential to any business, but when costly upgrades and unexpected changes are suddenly thrown in your path, panic can quickly ensue. Especially in those situations where your options seem minuscule or non-existent.

What is IBM i?
The IBM i platform was introduced by IBM in 1988 and though the name and the technology has evolved over the years, it has proven to be a workhorse with a strong and loyal following. IBM i has typically been used as a System of Record and has been used by successful businesses for their secure data and their most critical business applications for quite some time. However, Systems of Record are evolving and transforming in order to include new insights, new interfaces, and new capabilities, and IBM i is right there with the evolution.

Today’s most successful companies aren’t limited by the restrictive business applications of the past and IBM i clients have a clear advantage in their ability to extend business solution choices. It’s all about providing technical flexibility to help clients solve issues and extend value.

Systems of Engagement, which enable mobile applications and social interaction, are exploding in use and driving many new demands into the core Systems of Record. These new employee and customer engagement systems must deliver game-changing mobile and social capabilities along with cloud integration and analytics.

Utilizing the critical business data accumulated by Systems of Record, Systems of Insight are required in order to facilitate more agile and smarter business decisions. With the speed of these transformations accelerating, companies are expected to drive innovation and growth, but to do so with declining IT budgets, and as a result, your IT choices and your IT infrastructure matter.

Today, the IBM i platform, also known as the Power Systems, features the latest POWER9® processor technology along with the comprehensive data management capabilities and integrated set of resources that are always available with IBM i. Many industries including banking, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, healthcare, and the public sector/government have relied upon the IBM i to drive their businesses and as it evolves, there are many more customers to accommodate.

Today’s Challenges for IBM iSeries Customers
Decades of investments have been made in the legacy applications which run on the reliable and high-performance IBM iSeries, and the vast majority of customers want to continue to leverage this platform. However, there are challenges which pose a threat to those wishing to remaining loyal IBM i customers. These include:

1. Dwindling expertise in managing and administering IBM iSeries environments. Let’s face it, the IBM i is an older operating system and fewer and fewer people have the requisite knowledge to run them.
2. Capital Investments are getting harder and harder to justify. It can be quite expensive to upgrade your IBM i environment to the latest Power Server and O/S.
3. Mounting pressure to migrate to other non-IBM environments.
4. A mandate to move to alternative cloud computing platforms for those who have built long-standing relationships by providing their customers IBM iSeries
solutions and components (e.g. servers, storage, software, tools, professional services).

The risk of losing IBM iSeries business could be devastating.  Unfortunately, if they don’t have answers to the challenges above, the risk of losing substantial IBM i business is real.

A Partnership is the Answer You’ve Been Looking For
A strategic partnership with the right IBM i managed hosting company will allow you to:
•           Protect your IBM i business by ensuring your customers will always have expert, affordable 24/7 IBM i administration and monitoring on-hand.
•           Provide your customers a more flexible IBM i Cloud solution as an alternative to their on-premise environment. Allow them to take advantage of the latest Power Systems hardware and software while having the ability to scale resources up or down as needed.
•           Generate new, recurring revenue streams for your business and more commissions for your sales team.
•           Create the “stickiness” needed to retain your IBM i customers through added services which can grow over time.

A Quick Look at Pricing
A huge reason that you may want to consider a strategic partnership is that one thing that all businesses care about — cost.

An August 2017 study conducted by Quark + Lepton, an independent research and management consulting firm, showed the projected three-year total cost of ownership (TCO) for the three setups to be:
•           Power Systems/IBM i/DB2 – $430,815
•           x86/Windows/SQL Server – $1.18 million
•           x86/Linux/Oracle – $1.27 million

This study concluded that “costs for use of IBM i on Power Systems are lower across the board.” For example, IBM i systems averaged 8% less on initial hardware and software acquisition costs compared to the Windows systems, and a full 24% less than the Linux systems.

A strategic partnership with Connectria is not only going to cost considerably less than all of these options, it’s going to provide for you a partner that has provided award-winning cloud computing, managed hosting and custom hosting solutions for more than 1,000 customers in over 35 countries worldwide, and provides hosting for hundreds of IBM i (iSeries/AS/400) environments within our world-class data centers.

About Connectria
Since 1998, Connectria has been hosting and managing complex IT environments on behalf of its customers represented in over 35 countries around the world. Our managed hosting services extend across a wide range of O/S platforms, databases and applications. This includes cloud solutions within our own data centers, in our customers’ data centers, or in partner’s data centers such as Amazon and Microsoft.

As an IBM partner for 20 years, Connectria has unique expertise and knowledge surrounding the IBM i and AIX platforms. We offer IBM i/AIX dedicated, cloud and remote management services and are regarded as one of the largest IBM i hosting providers in North America with over 900 LPARs under our management.

We also realize that hosting is not right for everyone and some customers’ IBM i environments have to be physically located within their internal data centers for a number of reasons — including security, audit, or network-related issues. If that is the case in your situation, you may still need assistance monitoring or administering your IBM i platforms and that’s where our IBM i Remote Monitoring & Remote Administering can help.

Contact us today for a quote or visit our website for more information on how a partnership with Connectria can help your business retain and even expand your IBM i customer base and much, much more.

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