In its first release, Smart Business supports applications that run on IBM i on Power and Linux on x86 processors. This creates exciting new opportunities for System i application providers.
First, Smart Business can introduce IBM i applications to an entirely new market. For years, our loyal and robust ISV community has enjoyed the benefits of a highly integrated platform, which includes ease of deployment, simplified systems management, and lower total cost of ownership. But a source of frustration has been the ISV’s ability to reach new markets.
Almost every solution catalog IBM has ever created includes “platform” in the search criteria. Usually, customers have to know that they want a System i application before they are introduced to solutions that run on that platform. Correspondingly, when businesses are evaluating potential solutions for purchase, they often include platform as one of the criteria.
Smart Market diverges from the IBM tendency to focus on platform. Instead, customers are led to solutions based on criteria that make sense for them: size of business, industry, business department, or solution category. Once introduced to a set of solutions that meet their search criteria, customers can then run side by side comparisons of them.
This is exactly what IBM i ISVs have been asking for: the ability to sell an application around its features and competitive strengths. Smart Market visitors will see IBM i applications in the same way and in the same context as applications that run on x86. This creates prospects for your solution that you might not get otherwise.
Second, the smart business platform breathes new life into applications that employ older technologies. Our test team easily packaged a couple of RPG-based applications as a pilot. RPG applications posed no new technical challenges and in fact were very straightforward to package for Smart Business.
Green screen interfaces also get a boost from Smart Business. Applications that use green screen interfaces do so for a reason: it’s what the end users prefer. Even so, executives and other decision makers often want to see a more modern user interface when making an IT purchase. Green screen interface applications integrated with Smart Business get the modern and highly autonomic features of the Smart Desk while still keeping the highly efficient features of the green screen, thus bringing the best of both worlds together.
The basic value proposition of IBM i continues to ring true, and when coupled with Smart Business, more customers will enjoy those benefits well into the future.