Which of these MQ mistakes are you making?

IBM MQ Logo

IBM MQ Tips Straight From TxMQ Subject Matter Experts

At TxMQ we have extensive experience helping clients with their IBM MQ deployments including planning, integrations, management, upgrades, & enhancements. Throughout the years we’ve seen just about everything, and we have found there are some common mistakes that are easy to stay away from with a little insight. Here are some a few tips to keep you up and running:IBM MQ is a powerful tool that makes a huge difference in your life every day, but for most of us you only notice it when it’s not working. One small mistake can cause havoc to your entire system.

1. Don’t use MQ as a database. MQ is for moving messages from one application or system to another. Databases are the data repository of choice. MQ resources are most optimized when considering data throughput and message delivery efficiency. IBM MQ is optimized when messages are kept small.

2. Don’t expect assured delivery if you didn’t design for it! Assured one-time message delivery is provided by IBM MQ through setting message persistence and advanced planning in the application integration design process. This plans for poisoned message handling that could otherwise cause issues and failures or worse, unexpected results. Know your business requirements for quality of service for message delivery and make sure your integration design accommodates advanced settings and features as appropriate.

3. Don’t give every application their own Queue Manager! Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Understand how to analyze what is best for your needs. Optimize your messaging architecture for shared messaging to control infrastructure costs and optimize operational support resources.

4. Don’t fall out of support. While TxMQ can offer support for OUT of support products, it’s costly to let support lapse on current projects, and even more so if you have to play catch up!

5. Don’t forget monitoring! MQ is powerful and stable, but if a problem occurs, you want to know about it right away. Don’t wait until your XMITQs and application queues fill up and bring the Queue Manager down before you respond!

In the cloud, on mobile, on premises or in the IoT, IBM MQ simplifies, accelerates and facilitates security-rich data exchange. Keep your MQ running smoothly, reach out to talk with one of our Subject Matter Experts today!

If you like our content and would like to keep up to date with TxMQ don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter.

[button link=”https://www.txmq.com/newsletter-sign-up” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Stay Informed – Sign up for TxMQ’s Newsletter[/button]

Managed Services: Regain focus, improve performance and move forward.

Managed IT Services Help You Improve Your Team’s Performance.

There is no such thing as multitasking. It’s been scientifically proven that if you spread your focus too thin, something is going to suffer. Just like a computer system, if you are trying to work on too many tasks at once, it’s going to slow down, create errors and just not perform as expected.

You must regain your focus in order to improve performance and move forward.

The fact is, no matter what your industry or business is today, your success is dependent upon your IT team staying current, competent, and competitive within the industry. Right now there is more on your IT departments “plate” than ever before. Think about how much brain power and talent you’re misusing knowing that your best IT talent is spending the bulk of their efforts just managing the day to day. Keep in mind that most of these issues can be easily fixed, and even avoided with proper preparation.

How do you continuously put out fires, keep systems running smoothly, and still have time to plan for the future?

As the legendary Ron Swanson once said “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
Ron Swanson Yep

Don’t go at it alone when you can supplement your team and resources.

Overworked employees have higher turnover (-$), make more mistakes (-$), and work slower (-$)(-$). This is costing you more than you can ever fully account for, though your CFO may try. Think about those IT stars that are so important to the success of your business. You may just lose them, starting another fire to put out when you’re trying to gain, train, and grow.

Managed IT Services Can Put You Back on Track!

No one knows your business better than you, and I’m just guessing but, I bet you’ve gotten pretty good at it by now. However, as any good leader or manager knows, without your focus on the future you could lose out as your industry changes, and if you didn’t notice it’s already changing.

To remain competitive, you need an advantage that can help you refocus your team and let you do you, because that’s what you do best.

At TxMQ we are not an expert in your business, and we would never claim to be one. Our Managed Services mission is to take care of the stuff you don’t have the resources, expertise, or the time for, and then we make it run at it’s best. You can refocus your full attention to improving your business.
Whether your producing widgets to change the world, a life saving drug, or providing healthy food for the masses, you don’t have to spread yourself thin. We Monitor, Manage and Maintain, Middleware Systems & Databases that power your business. As a provider we are technology and systems agnostic.
What we do is nothing you can’t do yourself or maybe, already are doing. If resources are scarce, putting extra work on your existing team can cost you more than it needs to. TxMQ’s Managed Services teams fill in the gaps within your existing IT resources to strengthen and solidify your systems, so that you can focus on everything else.

TxMQ’s Managed Services team helps you refocus, so can concentrate on growth and tackling your industry and business challenges.

If you’re interested in getting more sleep at night and learning more about our Managed Services please reach out or click below for more info.

Learn About Managed Services and Support With TxMQ Click Here!

6 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Database Administration Vendor

Technical managers need access to highly available, extremely skilled technical talent to manage the ‘lights on’ of systems and subsystems. Key among these is database administration. If you are reading this, you likely have already chosen to outsource (either fully, or you’ve chosen a hybrid model) and now you’re shopping for a reputable vendor for your database administration… the fun part. So where to begin?
As you’re interviewing potential database administration vendors, keep these 6 questions in the rotation. If your prospects don’t have strong answers, you’ll know it’s time to check them off the list.

How large is your database administration team and how experienced are they?

Don’t be fooled by tiny shops that don’t have the manpower to support you in the way you need them to. That said, if you’re a tiny shop, you might be okay with a tiny vendor. In any case, be sure you know the capacity of your vendor’s team and know that they’ll be able to cater to your needs.
Beyond just that, you’ll want confirmation that your DBA vendor will assign dedicated resources to “man” your account. So, ask about their industry tenure. Consider questioning them about how many years of experience each DBA has and you might as well ask for a list of their specific certifications.

What is your incident management system?

Even if you’re convinced you won’t have any critical ‘fires’ that need tending, make sure the infrastructure is in place in the event that you do ever need to call up your “highly available” DBA vendor. You’re spending the money, so make sure your dollars are put to good use.
Your DBA vendor should have an extremely well built and reputable incident management tool put in place for you to submit tickets, track progress, and spin up dashboard reports to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. For instance, you might want to justify your monthly expenditures with your DBA vendor, and therefore run a report like “average ticket length from open to close”. If your DBA vendor is dragging their sorry feet through the mud closing out your tickets, it might be time to take your business elsewhere and find a DBA vendor that’ll actually respond at the speed you want them to. If their incident management system doesn’t have this basic functionality, they might not be your best fit.

Do you offer flexible SLAs, Extended Support, and After Hours Emergency Support?

If you’re working with a reputable database administration vendor, all of these points should be fairly well outlined in the proposal or contract. The vendor should have a variety of template SLAs and packages for you to choose from. And, if one of those templates doesn’t work for you, they should be willing to meet your needs by customizing a solution that’ll service your company best.
Typically, DBA vendors will have out of the box, managed service like offerings for you to shop through.   They should include, at a minimum, the following:

  • Standard template Service Levels (SLAs)
  • Tiered customer service levels (usually something like silver, gold, platinum, or basic, premium, VIP)
  • After hours protocol (for after hours, weekends, and holidays) and corresponding SLAs
  • Thorough escalation protocol

If your prospective DBA vendor gives you a blank stare or you hear nothing from them on the other end of the phone as you ask about these topics, you know it’s time to move on to the next prospect.

What is your experience level with my technologies?

There is no substitute for technology experience. Really, there isn’t. If you’re looking into a remote database administration vendor, be sure to check that they actually have the necessary know-how to support your environments. The talent pool within the vendor’s organization should be the best asset they bring to the table and they should have tenure in your technology stack. If they don’t, why not scout out your own sub-par talent rather than paying high-ticket prices for theirs?
Keep this in mind: in many cases, you may opt to add less seasoned talent to your roster to save money in the long run. So long as your junior support staff has the necessary support managing them, it’s okay to have a junior level resource, with only a few years of experience working with your technology stack, assigned to your account

How many resources are available in my technology stack.

A tricky question. You see you might be assigned a very credible group of folks ready to give you the attention you need, but believe it or not, those team members might not all be the best qualified to support your databases. Think it’s a joke? Think again.
If your prospective DBA vendor is offering you a team of 5 resources and only 2 are qualified to take on your specific database administration, that calls for some red flags.

What is your staff turnover?

You might not think to ask this question, but you should. And your DBA vendor should be prepared (and willing) to answer. The last thing you need is to find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place working with a vendor that can’t support you because their staff keeps turning over. The right vendor will support their staff and keep them engaged enough to minimize the pain that turnover can be. Remember, one of the main reasons companies choose to outsource their database administration is because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of hiring and training, and the like. So choose a vendor that will keep the turnover to a minimum and will offer you the highest chance that your support team will be highly available and consistent.
If you have suggestions on any additional questions to ask before putting ink to paper with a DBA vendor, let us know in the comments section!
Looking for more? Read about TxMQ’s expertise in Remote Database Administration services.  Or, read the blog.
 

Upgrading For Federal Reserve Bank MQ Integration

For financial institutions using WebSphere MQ V6.x or older to communicate with the Federal Reserve Bank, your time is running out… and fast. WebSphere MQ V6.x went End of Support on September 30th, 2012 and the Federal Reserve Bank is requiring upgrades to a current, supported version.

WebSphere MQ V7.0.0 and V7.0.1 went End of Support at the end of September 2015. For those of you wondering about WebSphere MQ V7.1, you might want to reconsider. While still technically supported by IBM, V7.1 is likely looking at another upgrade within the next 18 to 24 months.
From a business perspective, I recommend financial institutions upgrade to IBM MQ V8.x. At the very least, you could consider MQ V7.5.x.

IBM MQ V8.x, rebranded from WebSphere MQ is now full equipped with fix pack 3 and has proven to be very stable.

Further, MQ V7.5.0.5 and MQ V8.0.0.3, have deprecated SSLv3 connections due to the Poodle Exploit and reduced the number of supported Cipher Suites. (It is critical you understand the supported connection protocols and Cipher Suites supported by the Federal Reserve Bank.)
But MQ upgrades are only half the story.

If you haven’t been keeping pace with MQ updates, you’ve likely not been keeping pace with OS either. OS updates to supported versions are arguably equally as critical as MQ.

Interested in learning more about your options? Let’s start a conversation. Reach out to TxMQ today.

Why Everyone Should Invest In An ITSM Tool

[et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]
We’ve all heard the question before: “Should we invest in an IT Service Management Tool?”
The simple answer is yes. There’s really no counterpoint. Small, midmarket and enterprise organizations will benefit greatly from purchasing and then leveraging an IT Service Management Tool (ITSM) tool.
What Is IT Service Management (ITSM)?
At a high level, ITSM is the backbone of your IT organization. It’s the teams, groups and departments that handle the front-facing communication and support of your IT organization. They’re the ones that receive support requests and provide them to your backend teams, developers, etc. Think about them as the face of your IT organization. They need a management tool to do their jobs effectively.
What An ITSM Tool Can Do For You
There are many ITSM tools out there such as HP Service Manager, Remedy, Service Now, IBM Control Desk, C2 Atom and many more. Each offers its own user interface and reporting structure. Some have additional add-on tools and features or different levels of packages to support your unique needs. No matter the tool you select, the majority will at minimum come with a configuration management database (CMDB) as the backend database for your tool, as well as a basic ticketing system. Both of those tools are critical to the business, so you’re already winning, because your requests and your assets are being tracked in one tool. You can easily escalate and assign tickets for support or enhancements and do some basic reporting as well as track your assets. At a minimum you’ve just saved time and resources by streamlining your ticketing process.
Is that enough to write a use case and convince your company to look at investing in an ITSM tool. Maybe not. But it’s doesn’t stop there. We all know that IT changes, software changes and upgrades need to be put in, and service managers need to track these changes and/or obtain approval. We also need to make sure we’ve properly documented backout plans to ensure there are no conflicting changes happening during the same window. An ITSM Tool can do this for you. The change-management system in most ITSM Tools can automate your change-request process with enhanced questions that can assess the risk of the change and send automatic approval notifications to impacted parties utilizing your flashy new CMDB to get information on who owns the system or utilizes the system and who may be impacted by the change.
What’s so great is that it saves your change information and backout plans for future reference and knowledge sharing. Some even have an integrated change calendar that will show you any overlapping changes or maintenance windows that may impact your change. You’ll also be able to relate a change record to an incident ticket if additional support is needed during the change or if the change causes an outage. This is a more effective way to track any trending or knowledge needed for future changes.
Most ITSM tools also offer a knowledge base as on out-of-the-box option, because knowledge sharing and transfer is key to successful service management. The ability for a developer or network engineer to provide relevant information back to the service desk in a searchable format can increase your first-call resolutions (FCRs), or the time it takes to identify how to escalate an issue. The knowledge base can also be utilized to share knowledge to your user community with basic troubleshooting or automated support for frequently asked questions, issues or known issues with workarounds. This will in turn reduce the numbers or reoccurring calls to your service desk for issues that can be easily resolved by the user, and will free up your service desk analysts to handle more technical requests.
The above-mentioned features – CMDB, ticketing tool and knowledge base – are your basic features of an ITSM Tool. But there are other out-of-the-box functions, plus additional add-ons you can purchase to serve other business needs. These can include trending analysis, reporting/metrics, software-asset management, hardware-asset management, project-portfolio management, event-management integration, self-service portal, automated workflows, SMS escalations or phone-calling tree automation, and application-programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate with other systems to read from or write to the ITSM tool.
Why Do We Need An ITSM Tool?
Look at your IT organization and think for a moment of the services you provide. You most likely have some sort of request process for the service desk via email, phone, instant message or even web requests.
How do the service agents handle these requests? How do they document and resolve these requests? What happens if the request needs to be escalated?
The process you have in place probably works as requests are handled, problems get resolved and that guy on the 3rd floor who wanted a new laptop eventually got one. So why would you need an ITSM tool if everything is great and it works? Don’t fix it unless it’s broken, right? Wrong.
Even if your process seems like it’s working, is it really? Are you tracking changes? Can you easily provide trending analysis on common issues? Do you have a CMDB that stores your people, processes, assets and the lifecycle for them? Are your requests being escalated and turned around in an acceptable service level agreement (SLA)? How are work efforts prioritized? What happens when an outage occurs? Are teams notified? Is the outage documented and follow up on? How many different systems/applications are you utilizing to ensure these efforts happen? How much time, effort, support and money are you spending on these systems/applications to provide the basic functionality of requesting IT services?
Investing in an ITSM Tool will almost pay for itself simply by reducing the cost associated with support, time, resources and reoccurring outages. It’ll enable you to streamline your support process and even automate some of your manual tasks, like tracking, metrics reporting, and communicating about the services you provide to the organization.
Purchasing An ITSM Tool Vs. Building An In-House Tool
Let’s say you decide that an ITSM tool will absolutely help your organization. The purchasing cost is now under review, but you have a team of developers on the payroll that might have some availability to take on a project and produce an in-house ITSM solution. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider before building the tool in-house.
Pros:

  • Everything’s done in-house
  • You don’t need to spend any money up front to acquire a product
  • There’s no licensing
  • Your dev team knows how to support it
  • It’s customized to your specific needs

Cons:

  • Your developers are being paid to work on this project when they could be doing other production development
  • As your environment changes, your in-house solution will need to be updated, which will eat up more development time
  • If your solution is web-based and browsers, scripts and other plugins are updated, it may not work as intended and require more development
  • Knowledge transfer of the tool and how it was developed needs to be documented. If your developer leaves, the next developer must be able to support or upgrade the app
  • You may need to write code to integrate other applications such as email or phone into your app. As those systems are upgraded, the code may need to be revised
  • Requirements for the app may change as the organization matures or grows, which will consume additional development time
  • If and when the app reaches the end of its lifecycle, there’s no support or upgrade options readily available
  • There’s no CMDB, unless your team plans on developing one
  • The system of record will not be easily transferrable to another system of record if needed in the future

These are high-level pros and cons, but each organization will have more specific and customized lists depending on the functionality and requirements needed. Given all the cons, why not let someone else who’s already invested time and resources do the work for you? The tools out there are robust, and some are open for additional customization or in-house development to fit your specific needs. There are also additional support options for these tools to assist your organization when issues arise or during implementation.
Don’t waste your resources or time trying to reinvent the wheel when someone’s already invented one and enhanced it.
Original image by Max Max
 
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

SharePoint And Why You're Probably Using It Wrong

So you have SharePoint. You acquired it through a package you purchased with other Microsoft products, or you heard about it from someone and decided to stand it up and see what it can do. Either way you spent some time, resources and much-needed network capacity to put this in place.  Now what? That’s a question many organizations ask, and if you’re not asking this question you’re probably still using Sharepoint wrong. Let me explain why.
Many of the organizations I’ve spent some time with have SharePoint. Most have the Foundations version and have no idea why they would pay for the Enterprise license. Foundations is still a strong version and can be utilized to reduce company expenditures on other vendors for products such as hosting your intranet or conducting surveys, as a few examples. I’ve seen this time and time again.  A company has an external vendor that hosts its intranet. The design elements are minimal and the cost associated with development of a product that can integrate with the organizations email client or other applications can be costly.  Why would you spend that time and money when you have the capabilities and product sitting on your network not being utilized to its minimal potential? SharePoint can be your front-facing intranet/extranet site. It can be your employee daily landing page with links to tools, web-hosted applications, announcements, statistics, documents, pictures, knowledge, reports, presentations, surveys, and more.
Think about it for a moment: You probably have a team portal setup for each department or some of your departments.  It’s probably a basic SharePoint template with an Announcement section, Document Repository, Calendar, maybe a fancy logo and a tab at the top to go to the parent site. If this sounds like you, then you’re using Sharepoint wrong.  Remember, SharePoint’s a tool that has many capabilities.
With the basic features offered through SharePoint Designer and the default page and web part templates, you can customize each portal, page and web part to fit many of your business needs without spending money on development.  You don’t need a web developer to manipulate multiple lines of code to embed a video on your page or customize the layout.  You can assign rights to individual teams and with little training they can be off and running on their own – now designing portals specific to their function and needs. I’m not saying go and fire your web developers.  I am saying you can utilize the functionality of SharePoint so your web developers can focus on other projects. You can code pages in SharePoint and design web applications, custom API calls and external facing sites.  So keep those web developers around.
Now that I have you thinking about what you can use SharePoint for, let’s talk about why you might consider the Enterprise license. The first thing I think of when someone asks about the Enterprise license is Workflows. Workflows can be designed to do many, many, many, many automated things. Let’s say you have a employee-engagement survey.  You want to know how your employees feel about the organization or an application that just went live.  You use SharePoint and create a really cool survey that changes the questions based on the previous answers, then take that information and add it to a live, up-to-the-minute graph on your main page. How do you do that? Answer: Workflow.
Maybe you have a form that needs to be filled out, and when someone submits the form, an email needs to be sent to a group for review. How do you do that? Answer: Workflow.  If you haven’t already guessed why the Enterprise license is useful, the answer is: Workflows.
Another thing that comes to mind when someone asks about the Enterprise License is MS Office integration. Yes, I said it. MS Office Integration. It delivers the ability to collaborate on those projects or documents right through SharePoint, or create awesome Visio diagrams on your main page.  Maybe you really wanted to use an Access Database for something and need to easily query the results in a list. I’m here to tell you that SharePoint Enterprise license has MS Office integration.
A few other features you’ll miss without the Enterprise License include business intelligence, robust search features, custom social-media-style profile pages, more design elements, scorecards, dashboards and a better mobile experience.  All versions of SharePoint have Android and IOS support, however, I’ve found the Enterprise version has more features for navigation that work better with the mobile devices.
If you’re not already preparing a use case for SharePoint, and an argument for why you should upgrade your license, then you really should get out there on the Internet and browse some additional topics.  Check out what other companies are talking about.  Really think hard about why you have this product in your environment you’re not doing anything with. There are many resources available to help you start your SharePoint journey.  Why not start it today?
Art work provided by John Norris

Oracle Announces End of Support For JD Edwards EnterpriseONE Technology Foundation

Long title. What’s this about?
In short, back in 2010, Oracle announced the withdrawal of JDE EnterpriseOne Technology Foundation. The final nail in this coffin comes on September 30, 2016, when technical support officially ends.
What this means is that for many customers (and I’ll get into particulars shortly) there’s a requirement to make a critical decision to either move to Oracle’s Red Stack, or procure new IBM licenses in order to remain on IBM’s Blue Stack.
There’s a variety of customers running the stack, and nearly as wide a variety of options for how companies may have deployed their JDE solution. WebSphere with DB2 is the original and most common. WebSphere with Oracle as the backend is another common combo. And there’s a variety of other blends of supported web/application servers, database servers and related middleware.
Regardless of the configuration, in most cases, these products were part of the bundled solution that customers licensed from Oracle, and now a decision point’s been reached.
This doesn’t mean Oracle’s dropping support for IBM products. This does mean there’s a change in the way they’re licensed.
So what is “Technology Foundation”?
To quote from Oracle’s documents verbatim: Technology Foundation is an Oracle product that provides license for the following components:

  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Core Tools and Infrastructure, the native design time and runtime tools required to run JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application modules
  • IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows, limited to use with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne programs
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server, limited to use with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne programs
  • IBM WebSphere Portal, as contained in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Collaborative Portal

Technology Foundation is also referred to by the nickname “Blue Stack.”
If your license for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications includes an item called “Technology Foundation” or “Technology Foundation Upgrade,” this affects you.
If there are any other terms like “Oracle Technology Foundation,” then this change does NOT affect you. This is also different then the foundation for JD Edwards World.
So what now? In short, if you have Blue Stack, you should contact TxMQ or IBM immediately to acquire your own licensed products to continue to run your Oracle solution. TxMQ can offer aggressive discounts to Oracle customers subject to certain terms and conditions. Contact us for pricing details. We can help with pricing, as well as with any needed migration planning and implementation support.
Contact chuck@txmq.com for immediate price quotes and migration planning today.
Image from Håkan Dahlström.

How Do I Support My Back-Level IBM Software (And Not Blow The Budget)?

So you’re running outdated, obsolete, out-of-support versions of some of your core systems.? WebSphere MQ maybe? or WebSphere Process Server or Datapower…the list is endless.
Staff turnover may be your pain point – a lack of in-house skills – or maybe it’s lack of budget to upgrade to newer, in-support systems. A lost of times it’s just a matter of application dependencies, where you can’t get something to work in QA, and you’re not ready to migrate to current versions just yet.
The problem is that management requires you to be under support. So you get a quote from IBM to support your older software, and the price tag is astronomical – not even in the same solar system as your budget.
The good news is you do have options.

We were able to offer a 6-month support package, which eventually ran 9 months in total. Total cost was under $1,000 a month.

Here at TxMQ, we have a mature and extensive migration practice, but we also offer 24×7 support (available as either 100% onshore, or part onshore, part offshore) for back-level IBM software and product support – all at a fraction of IBM rates.
Our support starts at under $1,000 a month and scales with your size and needs.
TxMQ has been supporting IBM customers for over 35 years. We have teams of architects, programmers, engineers and others across the US and Canada supporting a variety of enterprise needs.
Case Studies
A medical-equipment manufacturer planned to migrate from unsupported versions of MQ and Message Broker. The migration would run 6 to 9 months past end-of-support, but the quote from IBM for premium support was well beyond budget.
The manufacturer reached out to TxMQ and we were able to offer a 6-month support package, which eventually ran 9 months in total. Total cost was under $1,000 a month.
Another customer (a large health-insurance payer) faced a similar situation. This customer was running WebSphere Process Server, Ilog, Process Manager, WAS, MQ, WSRR, Tivoli Monitoring, and outdated DataPower appliances. TxMQ built an executed a comprehensive “safety net” plan to support this customer’s entire stack during a very extensive migration period.
It’s never a good idea to run unsupported software – especially in these times of highly visible compliance and regulatory requirements.
In addition to specific middleware and application support, TxMQ can also work to build a compliance framework to ensure you’re operating within IBM’s license restrictions and requirements – especially if you’re running highly virtualized environments.
Get in touch today!
(Image from Torkild Retvedt)

The Business Value of SOA (or How to convince your line-of-business executive that integration is worth the cost)

In this digital economy, your company cannot afford to be hindered by inflexible IT. As we throw around phrases like “vendor lock-in” or “vendor consolidation,” the truth is, successful business thrives on harnessing the power of the next big thing. Sure, you might have one option today, but tomorrow you could have one hundred or one thousand. That’s why integration strategies are vital to both business and IT growth. One way to ensure your multiple programs, systems and applications integrate effectively is through SOA.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Defined:
To an IT professional, SOA integrates all your systems, so that different programs and applications, all from different vendors and running on different machines, can communicate smoothly and effectively. This also means that your legacy infrastructures can coexist with your new cloud services.
To a business executive, SOA creates a more competitive business edge by improving the efficiency of collaboration between business processes and IT. SOA drives growth by boosting productivity, enhancing performance and eliminating frustrations with IT.

LOB executives command the budget; therefore, they wield ultimate decision-making power when it comes to purchasing the software and hardware to meet your IT needs. Engineers, developers and IT talent inhabit the nooks and crannies, so they must prove that these nuts and bolts translate into profits. Looking to convince your LOB executives to open the coffers a bit wider? Here are a few ways to add some business value lingo into your tech-heavy talk.
Bottom Line Value of SOA:

  • Integrates with current infrastructure: SOA means you can keep your mainframe and leverage existing legacy applications. IT developers can build additional functionality without having to spend thousands rebuilding the entire infrastructure.
  • Decrease development costs: SOA breaks down an application into small, independently functional pieces, which can be reused in multiple applications, thus bringing down the cost of development.
  • Better scalability – Since location is no longer an issue, the service can be on-premise, in the cloud or both. SOA can run on different servers. This increases your company’s ability to scale up to service more customers, or scale down if consumer habits change.
  • Reduce maintenance and support costs – In the past SOA could get costly, but now services like IBM’s Enterprise Service Bus can bring down those operating costs significantly. New capabilities can be delivered quickly and more efficiently.

So after you’ve spent your lunch hour elegantly wooing your LOB executive, consider partnering with TxMQ to execute your SOA needs. We can help at any point in the process, from assessment to deployment, and even maintenance and support. Request your free, no obligation discovery session and see exactly what it will take to boost productivity and profitability with a more secure and agile integration of your various applications.

How Do You Support Your Software?

Software/OS services & support not your core competencies? We support more than just WebSphere.

In today’s reality of constantly evolving technology, managing software support is critically important. There are never-ending changes to core products, changes to deployment options (on-premises, cloud, hybrid), and a new generation of changes is most certainly lurking around the corner. Especially in IBM’s Systems Middleware world.

The effort to support this endless hodgepodge has grown increasingly complicated. In point of fact, most companies run multiple versions of software on different operating systems, which makes support options even more confusing. That’s why more and more companies are facing hard decisions about whether to continue their vendor-support agreements for software and OS, and why more and more companies are running unsupported software and OS, even if it’s occasionally side-by-side with a newer, supported version of the same.

That’s why more and more companies are partnering with TxMQ for support of their IBM environments, WebSphere systems and far more.

TxMQ is uniquely able to design and deploy support solutions across almost any software/OS environment. And we’ll design a solution that fits right – whether it’s short-term support until the patch/upgrade is finished, or long-term permanent outsource options and partnerships. All options are available 24/7/365.
In addition, we’re one of the few firms that supports legacy mainframe, systems I and P (aix), alongside Linux (all major flavors), Solaris, Windows and other variants. So yes, we’re a lot more than just pure IBM.
A few other notes about our capabilities…

Additional Offerings
TxMQ support customers can also take advantage of reduced rates for TxMQ services, discounted purchasing of IBM software and hardware, and related services like software asset management (ILMT, SUA, SCCD), patch management and other managed services.

Implementation Support
TxMQ’s deeply technical talent can also help with planning for upgrades, replatforming, license optimization and integration services. In select cases, we can also work with in-house development teams to offer support for custom home-built applications.

Custom Solutions
TxMQ engineers and developers can work for you, or with your teams, for custom-application development needs. As with the above services, customers under support agreements with TxMQ are entitled to these services at a discount.
Let’s start a conversation on the advantages of getting back to basics and focusing on your core competencies, then letting TxMQ worry about your support.
Email info@txmq.com or chuck@txmq.com for more information, or call 716-636-0070 x222.