Make Your IBM iSeries Current and Future-ready

Nov 30, 2020 Anjan Barman
  • 3 Reasons you love your IBM AS400 – It is Robust, Reliable, and Versatile.
  • 3 Things you wish your AS400 setup offered - Ease of Adaptability, Maintenance, and System Integration.

If the two statements resonate with you, you ought to read on, as you might just hit the silver bullet to redeem your AS400 system.

They say old is gold, and examples such as IBM iSeries/AS400 establish that beyond doubt. Built in the late 1980s, the pioneering application has been renamed several times over the years but has safeguarded its reputation of being one of the most capable and popular business applications. Call it AS400, iSeries, or Power Systems; if your business sits on any of its versions, you know what the solution can deliver. And this perhaps has had a bearing on your decision to stick to it despite its limitations that have surfaced over the years and highlighted by the growing demands of modern businesses.

AS400 is magic, but…

Workflow issues are common

As an IBM i user, there are high chances that user engagement is one of your pain points, which is underscored when you contrast the system’s functionality against any of its modern rivals. Changes are often difficult to implement and user adoption is a borderline nightmare, with productivity taking the worst hit.

Strikes a chord?

  • Difficulty in accessing information. Real-time access to inventory, financial data, employee activity, invoice data, CRM data, payment status, operating costs, and shipment tracking and delivery sounds like a dream.
  • You still rely on batch processing of requests (or anything for that matter), even when synchronous information is the need of the hour.
  • Service requests are entered and tracked manually in some spreadsheet (MS Excel is it?), causing delayed resolutions, employee inconveniences, and forgettable experiences.
  • Your ecosystem is closed and unconnected, making it impossible to talk to other systems without those resource-intensive and one-off custom interfaces with silo systems.

What you are doing

Making phone calls, accessing multiple systems, engaging employees in menial tasks, and delaying requests and issue resolutions, and experiencing a stretched SDLC.

What you should do

  • Access real-time information on a single screen for efficient and painless AS400 process monitoring.
  • Have better control over iSeries functions to break inter-departmental silos to promote visibility and transparency.
  • Promote mutual collaboration and communication across globally-distributed RPG teams.
  • Streamline operations for faster delivery by ramping up deployment frequency and recovery times and reducing change failure rates.
  • Automate the delivery pipeline to ensure the reliability and stability of AS400 applications after every new release. Apply automation to release management activities like development, static code analysis, testing, and deployment.

Discouraging your digital strategy

You have heard of what digital transformation of business is and what its advantages are. You want to give your ecosystem a digital touch but are held back by the immense preparations that AS400 demands.

Sounds familiar?

  • Development undertakings are usually a cause of your sleepless nights. The core team busy fighting burning issues while system maintenance and enhancement costs skyrocket.
  • Inconsistent information sharing and accessing causing delays and discrepancies in reporting. Team collaboration is still done the archaic way, and you wonder how your competitors are achieving 10X productivity with roughly the same workforce size.
  • While others are waving some magic wand that boosts productivity, you are engulfed in data silos and integration-resistant systems, which shape the closed ecosystem that it is today.

What you are doing

Depending on processes involving high manual intervention, wasting resources on low-value tasks, letting poor visibility into processes affect your bottom line.

What you should do

  • Improve the AS400 application development lifecycle with DevOps practices to promote innovation and align the development practice to your ecosystem. Integrate and automate security checks throughout the SDLC to ensure quality. Adopt agile methodologies to eliminate the odds of project failure.
  • Save costs on system maintenance and eliminate unnecessary capital expenditure with faster turnaround time through automation. Standardize processes across the organization for easy replication and quicker delivery.
  • Leverage centralized dashboards to monitor operations and view configuration changes made to AS400 servers along with databases and deployments.
  • Adopt a data-driven approach to enable different teams to work together. Deploy analytics and share application graphs, usage patterns, etc. to build processes and improve operations.
  • Analyze risks, identify roadblocks, explore what-if scenarios, and predict outcomes better by auto-pulling data from various sources and subjecting it to advanced analytics. Capture and analyze logs generated by your applications to better understand how software changes affect users.
  • Create the right environment for developers and operations teams to collaborate closely, share responsibilities, combine their workflows, and establish a faster feedback and change request cycle.

The first step to the long-overdue change

The world has marched past the old ways of doing things, discarding outdated applications, management methodologies, development technologies, and support workflows, and is already reaping the benefits of being in sync with the evolving technology landscape. So have you missed the bus? No way! We wouldn’t let that happen. At Nalashaa, we boast of our glorious ten years (and counting) of enabling AS400 organizations to catch up with the modern way of conducting business.

Our extensive industry exposure enables us to devise custom solutions and workflows targeted at the pain points of AS400 users. Our solutions facilitate seamless communication across the organization, including development, operations, and other teams such as marketing and sales, empowering all parts of the business to align more closely on goals and processes.

Significant Areas we can Help you With

  • Leverage new-age methodologies such as DevOps and Agile for cost-effective and efficient AS400 application development. Integrate your AS400 system with external applications using integration platforms for increased productivity.
  • Use application programming interfaces (APIs) to upgrade the AS400 system without additional capital expenditure. Using APIs, we ensure safe data exchange from your AS400 database to the consuming applications without altering the source itself.
  • Shorten the feedback loop and turnaround times with a mature delivery model. We help you to focus on continuous optimization through small, frequent updates and innovation.
  • Enlist the services of global teams for first-rate IBM iSeries maintenance. We develop interactive web-based programs to keep your mission-critical and computing-heavy IBM i applications in the best state.

A few more

  • Engaging mobile apps for ubiquitous access to business data on the go without time or location constraints.
  • Modernize your AS400 application with rich user interfaces to appeal to today’s users and shorten their learning curve, thereby improving their experience and productivity.
  • System enhancements to eliminate the need to invest time and effort in invoice processing, ERP updates, pulling email attachments, data entry, report pulling, data validation, etc.
A chat with us might be the best way to assess our custom AS400 strategies and ascertain how we could help you.
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Anjan Barman

Anjan Barman is a technology enthusiast with primary interests in the applications and possibilities of Cloud, RPA, AI, CRM, and the like in modern businesses. He loves exploring how innovations help organizations improve their efficiency while reducing operating costs and presents the same in an atypical way.