November 2020 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and then Christmas right around the corner, the year seems to have flown by. Where did 2020 go? Well, we know that COVID-19 was a big part of this year, and we certainly hope that you and your families are safe and healthy. Quite a lot of us had our lives turned upside down this year, and I only hope that 2021 brings us all a healthy, happy, successful, and prosperous year ahead. Let’s all help one another to be safe.

Right now, we are running on overdrive installing new POWER9s, SANs, performing upgrades, security audits, installing PTFs, and other services. Normally by this time of the year, I am closing in on having traveled over 100,000 miles in the air.  This year has been an exception, and I miss all the conferences, customers, speaking engagements, installations, and interactions with the IBM i community. I surely hope that I get to see you next year.

We moved our emphasis from in-person to virtual. Amazingly, we did 75 virtual events so far this year, with another 7 scheduled.  That will mean we did 82 virtual educational events this year. I don’t know another Business Partner who even comes close to that. I had someone ask “Why?” 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 in 2021, hopefully in-person, but virtually if not.

It’s been another amazing year here at iTech Solutions! We built an amazing team, and somedays I sit back and watch everything we are doing, and I am just amazed.  I certainly am lucky to work with some of the smartest and nicest people in the industry.  I always thought that IBM i was my superpower, but perhaps it is selecting great co-workers. I might be the face of iTech, but my staff is the foundation and cornerstone of the great service that we provide.

So, what was 2020 like here at iTech? 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. We started a very successful weekly webinar series, called Sips and Tricks with iTech when we all first went into lockdown. It started with work from home issues, and morphed into everything IBM i, in short, easy to consume 30-minute webinars. We hosted a spring iTech Virtual Days conference and our Fall iAdmin Conference which had over 1,500 attendees between the two.

We started the iBasics webinar series as a 14-week program to teach the basics of IBM i to System Administrators. We had our first event on Wednesday, and from the comments we received, everyone was very, very satisfied. We started our IBM i System Admin Hangouts and had some great discussions with others in the IBM i industry.

Also, not to be forgotten are the Women in IBM i sessions we did this year as well. We also had our first customer virtual luncheon, where we sent “lunch” to everyone and invited them to hear about IBM i and the future. We continued 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. There is so much to be thankful for, especially the opportunity to work with you. We won’t let you down. If there is anything that we do that doesn’t exceed your expectations, please contact me directly. I hope with the holidays approaching, you are able to spend it with your family and friends, and that you have much to be thankful for as well.

As many of our readers over the years know, this will be our last technical newsletter of the year. In December, we publish the much anticipated How iTech Solutions Helped Santa Save Christmas newsletter.  I am still a big kid, so we do it every year. Our team had our Manager Service Provider call with Santa and the Elves and there are plenty of new stories, so get your stockings hung by the fire and the December issue will be out soon.

By the way, the replays are still available for all the iAdmin sessions, you can register to watch them here.

I understand some of you already have another IBM business partner you work with, but I have to ask what are they doing for you and your organization? What is the extent of communication and education you are receiving from your current BP? Are they providing you with resources such as blogs, webinars, podcasts, quick how-to videos, or monthly newsletters? Are you just another name in their CRM, or does your business partner consider themselves an extension of your team? At iTech Solutions, we invest a lot in the IBM i community. We want to ensure that our clients, partners, vendors, and yes – even competitors have access to high-quality IBM i education.

We will be happy to discuss the issues that you might be having and come up with solutions to meet your needs.  A simple phone call 203-744-7854 or book a meeting with us is all you need to do to take the first step.

[ Book a Meeting ]

iBasics: IBM i Education for the Beginner System Administrator

I want to make sure you take advantage of our IBM i Admin Basics, referred to as iBasics.  It started this Wednesday, but you can still catch the replay.  It is a 14 week series. These weekly sessions will cover the basics of IBM i, helping new people be able to learn about IBM i System Admin. If you have someone in your company who would benefit from these, you can sign up for updates at info.itechsol.com/ibasics. These will take place at 11AM EST on Wednesdays each week, except for Holiday weeks. So the actual sessions will take about 20 weeks to cover the 14 weekly topics.

[ Sign up for Updates ]

End of Support for POWER7 and IBM i 7.2

People keep asking me what is going out of support and when. Let’s just summarize this. Power7 (B&C models) machines are already no longer supported, Power7+ machines (D models) machines, they come to end of support Dec 31, 2020.  Then there is IBM i 7.2, this goes out of support April 30, 2021.  It’s time to upgrade. We can get you into a new Power9 with twice the performance than what you are paying for a few years of maintenance, which is a no brainer.  For less than the cost of one year of Extended Support for 7.2, we can do an OS Upgrade to either 7.3 or 7.4.  Why are you waiting?

Here are our upcoming webinars:

Friday, November 20th, 11 AM ET
Sips & Tricks: Coffee with iTech
Checking Your SAN Firmware
[ Register ]

Wednesday, December 2nd, 11 AM ET
iBasics Series
Basics of IBM i Commands to Help Manage Your System
[ Register ]

Friday, December 4th, 11 AM ET
Sips & Tricks: Coffee with iTech
Checking Your HMC Firmware
[ Register ]

Wednesday, December 9th, 11 AM ET
iBasics
Basics of Libraries and the IFS
[ Register ]

Friday, December 11th, 11 AM ET
Sips & Tricks: Coffee with iTech
What to Know When Switching from Physical Tape to VTL
[ Register ]

Friday, December 16th, 11 AM ET
iBasics
Basics of Printers, Remote Writers, and Out Queues
Registration Coming Soon

Friday, December 18th, 11 AM ET
Sips & Tricks: Coffee with iTech
Manage Change and Its Impact on Testing
[ Register ]

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear that annoying mask, and take care of one another.  Wishing you and yours a happy holiday, and a healthy New Year.  I look forward to seeing everyone when this is all over at the many conferences we will be attending.

This newsletter includes:

 

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One comment on “November 2020 Newsletter
  1. Mark Smith says:

    I know I am thankful for our relationship with your company. You guys are great at what you do. You have helped our company reach many goals in this year of the COVID. Keep up the good work. Blessings to you, Pete and your professional staff!

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