January 2022 Newsletter

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Well, I thought by 2022, we would be back to normal life, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the start of 2022 is any different than the start of 2021. By now it is clear that both 2020 & 2021 were unprecedented years, and 2022 has already been eventful. Let’s hope that with people getting vaccines and boosters, plus with everyone catching Omicron, getting back to normal is right around the corner.  I said this last year, “It is hard to say what will happen a month from now, much less a whole year!” boy was that ever true.

This is one of the reasons why we stress the importance of planning, preparing, educating, and having the right team. While we are all making resolutions to maximize our opportunities in the year to come, so are hackers resolving to increase their strength and productivity in 2022. So, if you’re making resolutions to improve your health and well-being, let’s not forget about the health of your systems.

Having a good security plan, backup strategy, OS & PTF Upgrade strategy, disaster recovery, and high availability are no longer nice to have, but requirements.

When you add encryption, look at performance improvements, single sign-on, hands-free tape operations, Rolling out new versions of ACS, dealing with the next Log4i, or learning about new features and functions, the average IBM i shop can quickly become overwhelmed.  This is where iTech Solutions can help you. Whether it is a block of hours, bringing us in for an individual project, or having us as your technical support team, we are here to help in so many ways.  We have the knowledge, experience, and know-how to help you with any IBM i project. Start the year off on the right foot, and give us a call.

We installed a lot of IBM Power Servers, and IBM external storage last year, and I think every single configuration was slightly different, but then again every customers needs are slightly different, and we spent a lot of time in computer rooms performing those installs.  Coupled with updates of HMCs, FSPs, and PTFs, plus performing OS Upgrades we did a lot of maintenance to keep customers up to date. Staying up to date is extremely important as the last part of the year we saw a few security alerts that we had to help customers with as well. But that is why we invest in our skills so we are ready to help you when you need it.

As you can listen to the below video, on where our focus will be and remain for 2022.  We are an IBM i Business Partner, and we have no plans from expanding into other areas outside of that domain.  Sure we have external storage, Power Systems, Security, Managed Services, and Cloud, but they all surround IBM i.

Take a listen to our focus on 2022.

A quick review of 2021 here at iTech.

We took precautions like everyone else and tried to make the best of a bad situation. From a company perspective, we knocked it out of the park, even with all the COVID issues going on around the world. We increased our IBM i services and offerings, added significant staff, many new customers, and are continuing to assist our existing customers.

Amazingly, we did 85 virtual events in 2021, with a total of 131 sessions. I don’t know another Business Partner who even comes close to that.  I had someone ask “Why?”  It’s simple. We love what we do, we are good at what we do, and we enjoy sharing our knowledge with the entire IBM i community.  We plan on continuing to be there for you this year and beyond, eventually in-person, but until then virtually.

We continued our very successful bi-weekly webinar series, called Sips and Tricks with iTech when we all first went into lockdown back in 2019.  It started with work-from-home issues, and morphed into everything IBM i, in short, easy to consume 30-minute webinars. We started the iBasics webinar series as a 14-week program in 2020 to teach the basics of IBM i to System Administrators, and due to the comments, suggestions, and notes, we continued that into 2021 with bi-weekly sessions. We continued our IBM i System Administrator Hangouts and had some great conversations. Also, not to be forgotten is the Women in IBM i Hangouts we did over the last 2 years as well.

Last year we held two 2-Day iAdmin events, with the last one on November 9th and 10th for iAdmin Fall 2021. We had 24 sessions over 2 days, to educate not just our customers but the entire IBM i community. We heard some great feedback, and lots of “thank you” messages on the quality, professionalism, and educational aspects of the 2-day event. I am very proud of my staff and the work that went on to put that level of a conference on. Over the last two years, our four 2-day events have had a combined attendance of over 3,100 people.  If you were not able to join us last year, you can still register and watch the event on-demand through our site. We are already starting our plans for iAdmin Spring 2022.

In fact, we are planning on quite a few events for 2022.

Yes, we will continue all our webinars, but we are going to try and get to some in-person events as well.  People need to see and talk to people in-person, not just on video cameras. From baseball games to customer-only events, attending in-person conferences, and some roadshows. We already have quite a few in-person speaking engagements planned like WMCPA in March, NEUGC in April, COMMON in May, and COMMON Europe in June.

We are continuing to publish our monthly newsletters, blogs, IBM i video tips (we call them iTech iTips), and lots of our podcast episodes. These things are our way of helping our customers and the entire IBM i community enhance their skills and learn more about what is happening in “IBM i land”.  We look forward to continuing and expanding this trend. Our VERIFi products have also been enlightening many IBM i shops with a daily email of the health, security, and well-being of their machines. If there is anything that we do that doesn’t exceed your expectations, please contact me directly.

Here are our upcoming webinars:

View our full PDF February Calendar Here

2022 looks like a good year ahead, and for those customers who have been with us a while, I thank you and value your business.  To those new customers who just came on, I would like to thank you for giving us the chance, and you will soon  (or perhaps have already) learn how much we value you and your business as we help you overcome your IBM I issues. To those of you who have been consuming our newsletters, blogs, podcasts, and webinars it’s time to make the switch and see why we have so many happy customers.

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