CM First Webinar: Hosting IBM i Applications in the Cloud

This webinar is about CM First Group and its partner Abacus Solutions, and looks at the various reasons why moving your portfolio of IBM i applications to a hosted cloud service such as Abacus may come with both business and technical benefits.

This conversation is hosted by Mark O’Brien, a CM First Business Director, and features two panelists; John Rhodes, CTO of First Group, and Patrick Schutz, VP of Managed Services at Abacus Solutions. Throughout the conversation and by answering questions asked by webinar viewers, Schutz illustrates how and why Abacus is able to provide invaluable and incomparable services to their clients.

To begin the webinar, Mark introduces the panel and conducts the first half of a brief poll with the audience. The first question asks users what version of CA 2E they are using, and the second question asks them what IBMi operating system (OS) they are using. Their poll found that, for Question 1, 46% of users were using CA 2E 8.7, 8% were using 8.6, 23% were using 8.5, no users were using 8.1, and 23% were using a version older than 8.1. For Question 2, they found that 33% of users were using IBM i OS 7.2, 42% were using 7.1, 17% were using 6x, and 8% were using either 5x or an older operating system. At the end of the webinar, Mark finishes the user poll by asking two additional questions: are users using IBM 8Power Technology, and how concerned are users about IBM ops staffing? For IBM 8Power Technology, 40% of users responded ‘yes’, while 13% responded that they are planning to move to 8Power in 2018 and 47% responded ‘no’. The panelists conclude that this feedback is generally representative of the market at large. Regarding IBM ops staffing, only 7% reported that they are very concerned about staffing. In comparison, 21% reported that they are somewhat concerned, while 71% reported that they are not concerned.

After a short presentation by John arguing for the benefits of transitioning to the cloud and for moving responsibilities to a hosting provider such as Abacus Solutions, Patrick provides insights on the Abacus perspective itself. He begins by offering an overview of who Abacus is, what services they offer, and where they fit into the market. As a platform-focused, full solution provider, Abacus Solutions works with clients and customers of all sizes and verticals to help them decide whether it is more productive to transition to the cloud or remain on-premise, and then provide support for their choice.

The remainder of the webinar spends time answering questions directly from the audience, weighing the pros and cons of hosted versus on-premises alternatives. Topics covered include the potential effect of moving to a host on licensing, the benefit of working with a host, the size of Tier 2 or 3 environments, production workloads, backups, and more.