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POWER > Business Strategy > Competitive Advantage

IBM i helps clients take advantage of new opportunities for innovation

Illustration by Zeitguised

Technology is changing faster than ever, requiring organizations to transform the way they do business. Channels like mobile and cloud offer opportunities for innovation. This is true for small, medium and enterprise-sized businesses.

As a flexible platform, IBM i enables companies to take full advantage of these new applications and channels. From analytics to modernization to agile processes, IBM i is helping clients capitalize on these advances. IBM i is always evolving to integrate new applications and provide good return on investment, says Alison Butterill, IBM i product offering manager, IBM Power Systems*. “IBM i has been ahead of the curve in providing these capabilities to clients.”

“From my point of view, this is one of the exciting things about cloud. You can consume new technology much faster because you don’t have to wait for the customer to be OK with changing the application. You just take care of it yourself.”
—Steve Will, chief architect, IBM i operating system

IBM i has focused on business applications from the start and continues to do so as applications and demands grow. Cloud and hosted applications are the biggest trends for businesses and service providers, and they are changing the marketplace, notes Steve Will, chief architect, IBM i. Some applications are accessed through the cloud; others use cloud sources to grab information in your application. “Either method has an effect on how our application providers are going to their markets,” he says.

Mobile and data analytics are also agents of change. Mobile requires businesses to modernize in a variety of ways, Butterill explains. Although requirements for data analytics aren’t as widespread as mobile and cloud, companies are looking to understand the value locked in various forms of data. “Data is becoming ever more important,” she says.

Some of these transformational changes have grown out of the original idea behind the AS/400. “When the AS/400 was introduced, customers were told, ‘Don’t worry about the platform; just run your software and we’ll take care of the rest,’ ” Will recalls. These days, that concept resonates with anyone doing business in the cloud. A software vendor or service provider can be the one who worries about managing the nature of being on Power Systems and IBM i, and customers can focus on running their business applications, he says.

Manage Your Business, Not Your Technology

Companies making this concept a reality are reaping the benefits. Moorepay Ltd., a U.K. payroll and HR service provider, a division of NGA Human Resources, is one example of a company that has added a cloud-deployed application to enhance a managed payroll solution.

The company had built a successful U.K. business with approximately 10,000 clients, based on a managed payroll service delivered on an application hosted by Moorepay. With the advent of cloud, Moorepay realized it could use an RPG cloud solution to provide end users with access to the software and enhance their service experience. The cloud version launched in 2012, and over 65 percent of Moorepay clients engage with Moorepay via the cloud application. “Moorepay manages the IBM i environment, which makes it possible for customers and their employees to access the payroll application and value the benefits of a cloud-based solution. While the provider manages the system, the customer focuses on running their business,” Will notes.

Alison Dodd, CEO of Moorepay, notes that while Moorepay began as a partner working with clients both on-site and via a hosted managed service, the IBM i environment has enabled the company to get closer to its clients and deliver a wider range of managed services via the cloud. “We have transformed from a payroll managed service partner into a fully managed service provider (MSP) offering a wide range of services to an even wider range of clients across the U.K.,” she says.

Companies like Moorepay have tight relationships with their customers and are now expanding that relationship out to more customers, according to IBM’s Butterill.

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at



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