Help/Systems Adds MSI Systems Integrators to Partner Program
September 22, 2008 Dan Burger
It’s no coincidence that many of the people who deride the i platform as being a relic often have no idea about the analytical tools and automated operations available for this platform. This isn’t a problem tied to a lack of tools or a lackluster technology. Modern business intelligence (BI) and system automation tools are available from a variety of vendors for the box. The fact is, the AS/400 and its successors have had features that are just now available on other platforms–features that are hyped as if they are leading edge.
One real problem at i shops, however, is a lack of operator skills and staff time relating to BI projects, not a deficiency in the platform. In many cases, operators are mired in maintenance and upgrade mode so that scheduling time to complete BI or system automation work remains unobtainable.
That’s the thinking behind the partnership announced last week involving System i software vendor Help/Systems and MSI Systems Integrators, a company that specializes in bringing the necessary BI skills to these System i projects.
Help/Systems, specifically with its SEQUEL product, has System i customers making use of statistical and quantitative analysis and increasing the application effectiveness of companies that exist below the radar of those who hang the ugly legacy tag on the System i. Help/Systems has plenty of customers who can dispute “old school” claims that depict the platform as lacking in the IT graces. The hardware and software has a proven record. And as easily as they can be acquired, so can the skills that result in improving the capture of useful data.
That’s where the systems integrators come into play. Based on the Help/Systems-MSI partnership, the two companies believe their existing installed bases will benefit from the closer cooperation of products and services. Executives from both companies say they share the philosophy of not replacing current IT assets, but redeploying and consolidating current existing environments instead. MSI’s benchmarking facilities and hosting sites are expected to showcase Help/Systems’ BI and system automation products, which is referred to as the ROBOT suite.
MSI’s Technology Enablement Centers provide facilities that can analyze current business and information technology processes, experiment with a range of hardware and software options, explore the potential of on demand IT solutions and identify opportunities for improving business performance.
In addition to partnering on business intelligence projects, Help/Systems and MSI plan to include services built around the Help’s ROBOT automated operations suite that handles System i operations functions such as job scheduling, system backup and recovery, report management, and message management. Web-based educational seminars and user conferences are also in the plans.
Help/Systems, based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has its own education and consulting services, but the partnership with MSI will increase its reach. The company also has a partnership program, but does not list on its Website the firms with which it has alliances, except for IBM.