Virtual Conference

Virtual Conference

The Virtual Conference is two full days of online education, presented in a conference format on leading topics, delivered by industry expert speakers. We offer two per year, complimentary to anyone, and typically take place in the Summer and Winter. 

The 2020 summer conference is themed The Art of the Possible on IBM i on July 29-30, 2020. The first grouping of sessions has been announced and is listed below!

Stay tuned for more information for the next Virtual Conference! 


Session Schedule

Wednesday, July 29

*Note: All times listed are Central Time.

10:00 AM 

Case Study: Innovation in Business - A Customer Story 

Gordon Leary, Amports, Inc.

We will detail two ideas which developed innovative projects. These projects simplified cumbersome processes and improved efficiency.   We will also discuss methods of identifying innovative ideas and ways to justify those ideas in your workplace.  Use the power of the IBMi to deliver your next innovative project.

10:25 AM 

What Should I be looking at on my IBM I

Pete Massiello & Steve Pitcher, iTech Solutions Group 

To properly manage your IBM I, there is quite a lot of information that you should be monitoring.  Keeping up to date on PTFs, performing regular backups, watching disk growth, identifying problem & alerts, knowing security settings, system values, along with other things are all essential in managing your IBM i.   Having information delivered to your fingertips each morning, or looking at your email via a single pane of glass makes things easier for you.  Yet honestly, this is essential information that will allow you to identify problems before they happen, as well as allow you to make decisions.  Even something as simple as knowing how much has my disk space grown over the last week, month, or more. Steve and Pete will discuss issues with this, as well as show you our VERIFi solution that provides this information right to you.  In addition, we will cover PTF methodology, and how often you should be doing PTF, HMC, FSP, and OS upgrades.

11:30 AM 

Improve IBM i Developer Productivity by 50% 

Ray Everhart & Stephen Flaherty, Fresche Solutions

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "There has to be a better way to do this?”

With automated IBM i analysis and modernization tools, you can reduce the time spent managing applications and onboarding new developers, move projects forward faster, and reduce the risks involved in making changes to your code.

In this session, Fresche’s Ray Everhart and Stephen Flaherty demonstrate the business value derived from application documentation, analysis and better understanding of your IBM i applications. 

You'll see: 

  • Automated graphical documentation that makes it easy for IT to visualize and understand application design and flow
  • Powerful impact analysis that tracks “where used” information so you can make code changes with confidence
  • How IBM i organizations have used Fresche's X-Analysis to save significant developer time and better understand their applications 

12:30 PM 

Case Study: Guarding Your System Against Ransomware 

Jim Oberholtzer & Sarah Jacob, Agile Technology Architects

Ransomware is everywhere today, and it is getting smarter. What can you do as a System Admin to configure your system to withstand most of the effects of a ransomware attack? This session will take you through a case study of a business that, with a properly configured IBM i, succeeded in preventing a new ransomware virus from affecting the IBM i system. We will also take you through the steps to configure and apply those safeguards. Learning objectives:

  1. Learn how a business’ IBM system survived a very smart Ransomware virus
  2. Learn how to configure the IBM i to minimize the damage done by an attack.

1:20 PM 

Portalize: Low-Code Reimagined 

Tony Graham, Lansa

Portalize is the world’s first fully functional, fully scalable, fully customizable portal framework built entirely with low-code. In fact, Portalize was built with the Visual LANSA low-code platform, which is the only enterprise-capable low-code platform that can run natively on the IBM i. The capability, the speed, and the security of Portalize are validation that low-code is not only a viable development tool but one that can outperform traditional coding in efficiency and effectiveness. Both Portalize and Visual LANSA are testaments to what can be accomplished when applications are developed with low-code on the IBM i. In this session, I will highlight the out-of-the-box features of Portalize and how it can be customized with the Visual LANSA low-code platform.

2:05 PM 

5 Ways to Leverage APIs to Transform Your ERP System 

Charles Jones, Rocket Software

You’ve invested in your ERP system for decades, and it holds valuable knowledge about your business and customers. But do you ever wonder if you’re taking full advantage of its potential when it comes to meeting the user experience demands of today’s workers and customers?

Modernizing ERP solutions by rewriting or replacing them is a costly, risky, and time-consuming process. It can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this webinar, Charles Jones, Senior Sales Engineer at Rocket Software, will discuss the top five ways companies of all sizes are modernizing their ERP systems without replacing them or rewriting a line of code, helping them:

  • Use APIs to bridge the RPG skills gap: hear how one financial services company optimized resource availability to meet demands
  • Evolve ERP UXP for the next 30 years: learn how to improve customer and employee experiences in call center, warehouse/logistics, and point-of-sale environments
  • Improve the ERP API ecosystem: learn how APIs can foster collaboration across your user community

3:05 PM 

Case Study: Beyond Modernization with 3D Configurator, Blockchain, and Node-red & iOT 

Koen Decorte, CD Invest

For many people, the term “Modernization” means simply adding a pretty interface to an existing application. And while this can improve a system’s usability, we are finding now that companies are beginning to embrace new technologies and sources of information to enable them to add key functionality to their IBM i applications and add value to their business. And with modern programming languages this may be easier & less costly than we think. 

We will demonstrate some examples of what can be achieved with a little imagination….
See a 3D configurator on IBM i in action. Explore how blockchain works and finally discover
first-hand how to tune your production and get more insight using node-red and IOT.

Thursday, July 30

*Note: All times listed are Central Time.

10:00 AM 

Case Study: Filing Tax to the Government
Andy Youens, FormaServe

The IBM i has taken great strides forward in recent years, modernising the platform and allowing it to become a launchpad for a wide array of open source technologies. 

This customer story showcases how the IBM i and open source technology can be used to develop a modern application to interact direct with UK government systems without a complicated middleware requirement.

Hear about the technologies we exploited including development, open source languages and modern application engineering techniques. 

10:25 AM 

How 2020’s Events are Changing How IBM i Organizations Focus their Digital Efforts

Nick Hampson, Fresche Solutions 

There is no doubt that 2020’s events are changing how IBM i organizations focus their digital efforts. Many of us are under pressure to adapt to urgent business needs. However, it is also important to examine how we can improve resilience by innovating and preparing our IT environments for future business opportunities and threats. Identifying IT initiatives that will drive immediate change and bring value to the organization is where we are seeing the shift in IT budgets. 

Please join Fresche’s Nick Hampson for this session where he will highlight how to identify these high value efforts and how to align them with key business objectives. He will also discuss how to lead your organization into a digital era and why so many companies are focused on digital transformation.

You will learn about:

  • Responding to challenges when disruption occurs
  • Culture and initiatives for digital transformation
  • Incremental modernization strategies that maximize time-to-value
  • Business benefits derived from modernization and integration

11:15 AM

Case Study: Using SQL to Overcome Challenges When Consuming XML

Vern Hamberg, Ecolab

In this new world of mobile data collection by our field specialists, we ran head-on into special characters as well as emojis. This case study tells the tale of overcoming the hurdles we were stumbling over to deal with them.  Learning objectives:

  1. Learn what issues can be raised when using mobile devices to collect information from the field
  2. Learn how XML support in Db2 for i was used to resolve these issues

11:45 AM 

ERP, WMS and TMS on IBM i: Reduce Complexity, Increase Capacity and Save Money

Paul Gray, Friedman Corporation and Logimax  & Charlie Hawkins, Varsity Logistics

When departments are siloed, they miss opportunities to share information and improve efficiencies. The same is true of your software.

In this session, learn how companies have increased capacity, generated double-digit growth, reduced time-to-customer, and saved significant shipping costs by integrating their ERP, WMS and TMS software on IBM i. 

You’ll also get brief overviews of these three software products that work alone or in combination on IBM i to help you Make, Move, and Ship products:

Friedman Corporation’s Frontier ERP software: The best ERP for complex, make-to-order or assemble-to-order products, with real-time online ordering for customers and/or dealers, a powerful configurator, CAD integration, and more. 

Logimax WMS software:  Exceptionally robust, reliable and affordable warehouse management software that integrates with your other systems and shopping carts, with tools for kitting, yard management, cross-docking, and more.

Varsity Logistics’ ShipSoft TMS software: Multi-Carrier shipping software for Parcel and LTL from within your existing IBMI i-based applications. Supports all advanced shipping processes such as optimization, ship at packing, rate shopping, pick-to-label, and more.

12:35 PM

Case Study: Keeping Food Supply Chains Moving with IoT and IBM i 

Shelley Koch & Brenda Boese, K&J Trucking & Scott Andrews, Group33

K&J Trucking was started by Dave Koch in 1979 with the goal of becoming a top refrigerated carrier in the industry.  The company runs their entire business and trucking operations on IBM i and Power Systems S914. K&J utilizes IoT (Internet of Things) applications on IBM i to monitor and track their truck fleet and ensure cargo stays fresh and safe. Each trailer has a device and application from Orbcomm that monitors temperature of the cargo, reducing the costly risk of a shipment of fresh meat or produce going bad and having to be thrown away. If the cargo is getting too warm, the driver will be notified, and a correction can be made. This application is running on IBM i and Power Systems S914, and all trailer data is stored in their Db2 for i database.

1:00 PM

How Can I Get my IBM I to Process Inbound Emails into my Document Management System with No Effort from my Users” 

Monty Chicola, Real Vision Software

An explanation of RVI’s ability to accept inbound Accounts Payable emails containing attached invoices, automatically index the invoices, and route the invoices through RVI workflow to the appropriate person.  Workflow Analysis features will be discussed.  

All in a GUI environment

On the IBM I. That is all available today. 

1:45 PM

2020 Sales Tax Changes: Mid-Year Update

Scott Peterson, Avalara

Now halfway through the year, COVID-19 has affected everything from buying habits to business operations, and even tax policies. Learn more about what’s changed in the world of sales tax in the first half of 2020 and what to expect for the rest of the year in our upcoming webinars. Our VP of U.S. Tax Policy, Scott Peterson, will shed light on the current state of sales tax obligations, the changes you can expect to see over the next six months, and how it all impacts your business. You’ll learn:

  • The COVID-19 tax relief efforts that are still available to businesses
  • How future tax policy may change as states look to recoup revenue lost from the pandemic
  • The latest on economic nexus laws and marketplace facilitator laws
  • Answers to your own questions

3:20 PM

Case Study: Open Source Applied 

Justin Reock, OpenLogic by Perforce

This isn't your typical case study, this is the reality of open source: One hundred percent of organizations use varying degrees of OSS, yet we still focus on one particular package or layer when it comes to sharing best practices. The reality is, when we get stuck, it's the configuration and operational interrelationships between packages that matter.

This session takes open source support data across multiple organizations to examine three different scenarios that represent the most common issues we see today (in fact, 80% of the cases we see are due to configuration and package interrelationship issues). Justin Reock covers e-commerce, mobile PaaS, and high performance computing examples to illustrate top problems and solutions for stack selection, infrastructure implementation, and production troubleshooting.

If you use or are planning to use Apache web server, ActiveMQ, CentOS, Docker, Kubernetes, Nginx, OpenSSL, Puppet, or PHP, these stories cover how most organizations use them. Even if you're not using these specific packages, the information presented here also applies to other technologies.

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