• Subject: Stand Alone AS/400 and e-Business
  • From: Leo Lefebvre <leo@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 15:33:04 -0500


Last week we had a speaker at our meeting of members talking about the
e-business and the AS/400. His topics were "Positioning your AS/400 for
e-business" and "Choosing the right e-business technology".

After the meeting, I received this note from the speaker:
-------- Start quote ---------
"A few people came up to me after my presentation last week and asked how
flexible the AS/400 truly was, as a web-server.  They asked if they could build
real e-commerce applications over the web, on an AS/400.  I was truly blown

I had just spent the last couple of hours talking about the AS/400's
extensibility to the web, and it really threw me that a number of people still
didn't get it.  Either I wasn't being clear enough in my session, or they just
didn't "hear" what I was saying.

Well, let me reiterate then, and try to be clear:  THE AS/400 is a FULL-FLEDGED

Just look at sites like HMV - www.hmv.com, Henry's - www.henrys.com, Hockey Hall
of Fame - www.hhof.com, SongFile - www.songfile.com, The Riviera Hotel and
Casino - www.theriveria.com.   All of these sites were developed on the AS/400 -
NO OTHER HARDWARE!  You don't need a SUN, an NT, or an HP Web Server - you don't
need Oracle.  All you need is an AS/400.

Perhaps IBM is missing it by not letting people know just how COOL this box
really is!   Wake up people!   Shed that Green Screen mentality!   The AS/400 is
an e-business server.  NOW!  TODAY!  Not in beta!  In real life!"
------------ end quote ----------

We posted his message to our director and here a reply I received:

------------ start quote ----------
" I Think (Hope) most people "get it". ................... In general we (they)
all know how versatile the 400 is and how web enabled the 400 can be.  We also
know that nothing in life is free... you need to invest in people, training and
support to make things work properly.
The speaker is a consultant, and to consultants everything is 'Easy'.....we are
in the real world and, as I'm sure we all know, in our world things are not
always as simple and easy as they should be and things don't just happen. I do
agree however that when the knowledge and infrastructure is in place the 400 is
a GREAT platform for E-Bizz.
Just my comments,"
------------ end quote ------------

and here is my comment:
------------ start quote ------------
I am not so sure that the majority of the members knows exactly what the AS/400
is really capable of.  I think people
need more examples of WHAT and HOW it can be done. People need to be shown
concrete examples (sometimes
with actual coding and setup). Remember how people "learned" how to code RPG
sub-routines? They took the
examples directly from the IBM book, using the same field names and set of
indicators to control the sub-routine
People also need to be given ideas, approahes, to apply directly to their
business. I have a client who is constantly
saying that he does not sell 'retail' therefore the internet does not apply to
his company.
Basically what the speaker was saying last week was "Yes it can be done on the
AS/400, beleive me".... but he never showed the members HOW to do it! He never
put together the AS/400 pieces to prove his point.
------------ end quote ------------

Here is my question:
Do you think IBM would gain a lot if they were offering HAND ON education/demo
at almost no cost to the attendees on "How to connect the different pieces
together"? Of course there are some "expensive" courses on the market and
because they are expensive, people cannot get budget to attend them and they
stay "ignorant"". "They don't know what AS/400 is capable of, on its own, they
won't buy into it"
I do beleive AS/400 people/users are attracted to other technologies because
they really don't know what they really have in their shops.
Don't just say "It can be done", Do it in front of the people
The more people know about the AS/400 (for e-business) the more they gonna buy.
IBM should gain that way!

Leo Lefebvre
Toronto Users Group for Midrange Systems
Visit our home page at <http://www.tug.on.ca>
Ph: (416) 606-5960   ---   Fx: (416) 495-0100

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