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New z13 Is Optimized for Mainframe Clients’ Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Needs

Ross Mauri, General Manager, IBM z Systems - Photo by Bill Bernstein

As mainframe clients continue to tackle the challenges brought by mobile and cloud, as well as the increasing need to obtain analytics and insights from their data, IBM has been hard at work reinventing and redesigning the mainframe from the casters on up to further extend the core values and strength of the platform with new innovations, new technologies and new capabilities.

The IBM z13* server, the newest mainframe, represents a whole new platform—one that’s designed to address current and future workloads. General Manager Ross Mauri, who headed development for several previous generations, believes the z13 represents a sea change for the mainframe. “We’re calling it z13 because it is definitely a new generation,” Mauri explains. IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition sat down with him to learn more about what makes the z13 a game changer for mainframe clients.

IBM Systems Magazine (ISM): What client challenges is the z13 designed to address?
Ross Mauri (RM):
This machine was designed to go after the three main workloads that are driving the industry and driving our clients today. That is to take advantage of this explosion in mobile transactions, in-transaction analytics and cloud.

There is absolutely an explosion of transactions going on that is driven by the Internet of Things. It’s driven by mobility and mobile apps and this whole new app economy that has evolved. By 2016 it’s expected that 2.5 billion smartphones will be in use worldwide. They all need to connect with something. They drive transactions. They need to feed data and feed off of data. There are also billions of sensors that are monitoring everything from your car driving down the highway to your refrigerator or your oven to power plants, manufacturing, and electrical grids big and small. That explosion of data along with the increase in mobile data is where you have this huge growth in transactions.

“We’re calling it z13 because it is definitely a new generation.”
—Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems

The number of apps that are available is also growing at an astounding rate. In the next four years 15 times the number of mobile apps are expected. Let’s just put that in perspective. In the old days when you walked into your bank’s branch office, you would, for example, ask to see your account balance. That would be one transaction. Then you might withdraw money from your savings account. That is a second transaction. Today’s mobile apps, especially around mobile banking and mobile payments, are driving 24 to 30 transactions every time a user logs on. This is changing the dynamic of the industry and that’s why we built this machine from the ground up to take hold of this explosion of transactions and really be the system of record that everyone can count on.

Second, let’s just examine how analytics have traditionally been handled. Many organizations offload data from their systems of record or transaction systems, moving it to a data warehouse for business intelligence. It takes time to do that. Some clients tell us those time lags are measured in days or weeks from when they get the data to when they can truly get the insights from it. With the new z13 we can really transform that entire process because the analytics and the transactions can execute side by side, bringing instantaneous insight. It really makes a difference for our clients.

Let me give you an example. You are going into a retail store. Because you have your loyalty card, the system knows your shopping history. As the cashier starts to ring you up, the system can tell instantly what the cashier should cross-sell you. This is a game changer. One of our clients, Slovenian petroleum company Petrol, increased its gas station and mini-mart revenues by 5 percent just by using advanced analytics to cross-sell the way I am describing here and that is on our current z System.

Evelyn Hoover is the content director of IBM Systems magazine. She can be reached at



2019 Solutions Edition

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