The Search For Intelligent Life Apparently Is Over
April 1, 2019 Orwell
Extraterrestrials from the planet Voltak in the constellation Dithmaar today shared conclusions about their recently completed mission to IS Manager Gerald Hugh’s well-run computer department located on the second floor of Statewide Tire & Rim in beautiful East Plymouth, South Dakota.
“Thank you, Earthlings, for allowing us to examine your planet for the past two years, and in particular, we’d like to give a big shout out to Gerald Hugh’s for letting us monitor his extremely well-run information services department,” tweeted Commander Rahnzo Maxdruv of the 17th Expeditionary Fleet of Voltak Imperial Starship Command from his work account, @alienzforlife.
“When we began our voyage 42 parsecs ago, we had no idea what we would discover,” the green-skinned alien commander continued. “Our preliminary evaluation indicated we would encounter a vastly inferior form of life here on Earth, one that not only lacked basic intelligence, but was also unable to harness technology to any appreciable degree. However, after completing the mission and seeing what a tight ship Gerald runs down at Statewide Tire & Rim, we were pleasantly surprised.”
In particular, Statewide Tire & Rim’s near total reliance on the IBM Power Systems server to power its 400-person operation impressed the fickle Voltakians, who have been known to annihilate entire worlds they deem incapable of advancing technologically – a brutal form of interspecies culling, to be sure.
After a grueling, two-year technology audit performed by the advanced alien lifeform, the East Plymouth company emerged with a passing grade, freeing the company up to continue with its digital transformation and code modernization projects, not to mention saving 7.5 billion humans from certain death.
“I’m honored – and frankly a bit humbled – to have been selected by Commander Maxdruv to prove the capability of human technology,” Hughs tells IT Jungle in an interview conducted through Statewide Tire & Rims’ new Slack channel. “We weren’t sure how this would all end back in 2017 when it all started. To be honest, some folks in the warehouse thought it would be the end! But we pulled through and passed the technology audit with flying colors. I guess that means the 17th Fleet won’t be firing its plasma ray rockets today.”
The IBM i operating system was critical to the company passing the technology audit, Hughs and Commander Maxdruv both confirmed. The combination of a stable and feature-rich operating system, along with the legendary reliability of IBM Power hardware, enables Statewide Tire & Rim to distribute automotive and agricultural tires, wheels, and rims to thousands of clients in the Upper Midwest with extraordinary efficiency.
In particular, Commander Maxdruv appreciated the leanness of the IS staff, which consists of two programmer/analysts and an operator, in addition to Hughs himself. Compared to similar sized companies running equivalently capable core business applications on Windows, Linux, and Unix systems, Statewide Tire & Rims’ IT spend is approximately 57 percent less, owing largely to the lower headcount needed to operate the server infrastructure and maintain the custom applications, which include a combination of free-form RPG, Java, and Node.js.
“Our bespoke IBM i applications give us a sizable edge in the Upper Midwest’s super-competitive tire, wheel, and rim business, and we owe that advantage largely to our digital workhorse, the IBM Power i system,” Hughs says. “With minimal downtime and bullet-proof security, our developers are able to concentrate on serving the ever-changing tire, wheel, and rim needs of our internal users and beloved customers, without worrying about whether the server will catch fire in the middle of the night. We store a lot of tires in the warehouse, so that would not be good.”
Passing the Voltakians technology audit, which Hughs described as “nearly as difficult as last May’s PCI Level 1 audit,” will allow the human race to live a little longer on this planet, which is good in its own right.
But Commander Maxdruv says he has additional plans following his team’s visit with Hughs’ very well-run IS department. According to plans the commander revealed to IT Jungle, the Voltakians are preparing to share Gerald Hughs’ IBM i technologies and management techniques with civilizations emerging on other worlds in the Milky Way galaxy, and beyond.
“This technology is simply too powerful to keep here on Earth,” Commander Maxdruv says. “The universe is in great need of simple yet powerful business solutions, particularly in these trying times. The IBM i server is proof of the existence of intelligent life on this planet, and it would be a shame not to share it in a universal manner.”
The Voltakians are reportedly entering into a distribution agreement with IBM to bring IBM i-based Power Systems server to new markets, including their home world of Dithmaar. It was unclear at press time whether IBM Lab Services or interstellar cloud hosting would be included as part of the deal.