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    Strategies for Successful iSeries Integration in 2024

    • Are you considering iSeries integration but not sure how to go about it?
    • Has your experience with AS400 Integration not been exceptional?
    • Or perhaps you’re uncertain about the best approach for IBM i integration?

    If so, this blog post will help you find the answers you are seeking!

    Skipping this blog will result in continued challenges in optimizing your AS/400 system.

    Even after decades AS400 serves as the backbone of business operations for countless organizations.

    There are over 100,000 companies that still rely on AS/400 iSeries technology for their mission-critical operations. These organizations range from manufacturing, banks, government agencies, retailers, and hospitals.

    But loyal users of iSeries, such as yourself, have long been apprehensive about how AS400 applications integrate with other business technologies and data sources.

    The AS/400 system is undeniably one of the most reliable systems available today for business organizations. But its capacity for data integrations and synchronization, as well as the user experience it provides, falls short of modern-day business requirements.

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    With the digitalization of operations and modern customer needs, smooth integration with external data sources is the answer to the much-desired digitization that organizations, like yours, want in order to gain a competitive advantage.

    What will you read today?

    • What is IBM iSeries Integration?
    • Different AS400 Integration services offered by service providers
    • Challenges of AS 400 integrations
    • Different strategies to eliminate the challenges
    • Hybrid integration strategy for iSeries Integration
    • An ideal approach for effective integration
    • An ideal IBM AS 400 integration expert in the USA

    Read ahead to learn how to go about AS400 application integration and fulfill your business requirements.

    But First, What is AS400 Integration?

    AS400 iSeries integration is the process of connecting the AS 400 system with other software or hardware systems to help you unlock seamless data sharing and operational streamlining. The IBM i integration drive effectively addresses legacy system challenges, unlocking the new era of efficiency and connectivity.

    The end goal of IBM i AS/400 integration is to make disparate systems talk to each other integrate them and function as a single system, making operations easier by offering a single source of truth.

    Here’s a quick AS400 integration example: Integrating a legacy AS400 inventory system with an e-commerce platform to access stock levels in real-time, improves customer experience, and reduces order processing errors.

    We offer the whole gamut of IBM i/AS400 System Integration Services to help your business prepare the AS-400 applications for tomorrow and ease your transformation journey.

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    Basics done and dusted? Now let’s look at the key challenges of iSeries application integration.

    Challenges of iSeries Integration

    When AS400 was first developed in the 1980s, it was intended to be used as a stand-alone solution, with integration not being a top priority.

    In retrospect, what now appears to be a shortcoming of the utmost clarity was an unthinkable possibility at the time.

    As a result, today’s businesses such as yours, are aiming to integrate their AS400 software with various software applications within their organization , but they are bound to encounter some significant challenges.

    Challenges because –

    • AS400 is incompatible with Modern apps and SaaS solutions, requiring patchwork integration and substantial customization.
    • The existence of data silos as a result of decades of use makes data sharing and access cumbersome for AS 400 integration.
    • Software modernization or rewriting makes it easy to integrate AS 400 with new generation software applications. However, because it is a complex and costly affair, most businesses give up.
    • IBM iSeries integrations between cloud systems and on-premises AS400 systems are also causing concern among users, such as yourself since they may jeopardize the security of sensitive data.
    • Several users lack the requisite knowledge, tools, and information on the overall architecture of the AS/400 system, causing them to think twice before considering integration or introducing the system to modern technologies.
    • Different systems and software with multi-language application support are working for finance, IT, manufacturing, etc. Thus, you may find it difficult to integrate AS400/IBM i due to compatibility issues.
    • Many AS 400 organizations are clueless about how to progress the integration process due to lack of system documentation.
    • Another roadblock to AS400 software integration is your teams may be overwhelmed with IT backlogs and lack bandwidth to complete the integrations.

    Did these IBM i integration challenges ring a bell?

    You’re not alone.

    As an IBM Silver Business Partner, we understand the complexities and offer solutions to ease your iSeries application integration process.

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    Read on to discover efficient ways you can integrate iSeries with modern software and applications.

    What Are Different Strategies for a Successful iSeries Integration?

    When integrating various endpoints spanning the mobile, web, cloud, and other internal and external platforms, traditional point-to-point legacy software app integration methods might not be the best option.

    Such methods are generally pricey and may potentially result in a single point of failure in the long term.

    Here are some feasible, cost-effective strategies for you to consider:

    Developing the AS 400 iSeries Integration

    Because most organizations function on a dynamic AS400 framework, there is a consistent need to develop new integrations periodically.

    This enables organizations to customize their AS400 system to meet their unique needs.

    However, this is a big task. It requires extensive customizations, coding improvements, extended timeframes, and, of course, the capabilities to maintain the iSeries integration in-house.

    This iSeries application integration strategy solves the problem but calls for dedicated efforts and expertise to ensure successful implementation.

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    IBM i Integration Using Integration Connectors

    There are unique IBM iSeries integration platforms available that have pre-built application connectors. They can be used to implement integrations faster and efficiently.

    These connectors generally support thousands of transactions every second and allow AS400 iSeries solutions data and applications to be accessed via a reusable API (application programming interfaces).

    This strategy is effective in speeding up the AS400 IBM integration processes and reducing customization efforts, but it may still require on-going management to adapt to changing business needs.

    AS 400 Integration with the Usage of APIs

    This is one of the most preferred methods of iSeries integration since it provides concrete benefits such as lower costs and an improved user experience than the others.

    Using APIs is an efficient strategy to modernize legacy systems without incurring additional operating costs.

    You can use APIs to enable secure data transfer from the AS-400 iSeries database to consume applications without affecting or altering the source.

    This strategy solves the challenge of integrating legacy systems and facilitating secure data transfer. However, you need to be vigilant during the planning and implementation to ensure compatibility and security.

    Hybrid iSeries Integration Strategy

    It is the most preferred AS 400 integration strategy as it stands out as a versatile and effective approach toward AS 400 integrations.

    Hybrid integration merges on-premises AS400 system with cloud-based applications.

    By leveraging cloud resources, it retains on-premises reliability so your business scale and meet future demands without overspending, bringing you the best of both the worlds.

    This IBM i integration strategy addresses compatibility challenges between AS-400 systems and cloud applications. It also addresses the security and scalability concerns by leveraging cloud resources while helping you achieve cost efficiency by optimizing resource usage and avoiding futile expenses.

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    Curious to know why Hybrid integration proves to be the best AS/400 iSeries integration strategy?

    Keep reading to figure out why modern-day business leaders prefer the hybrid iSeries AS400 integration strategy, and you should too.

    Why Leaders Choose Hybrid Integration Strategy for AS400 Integration and You Should Too?

    Companies that modernize their iSeries platform deliver better, more significant business outcomes than they could ever achieve by remaining loyal to an outdated legacy AS-400 system alone.

    Such organizations that opt for application modernization also deliver better customer experience, increase the stature of security, and achieve an overall superior platform performance.

    However, as we previously discussed, the prospect of modernizing your iSeries system can be overwhelming.

    So, where does one begin?

    Well, setting up a hybrid cloud environment is one important method with which businesses, like yours, can start iSeries integration initiative and enjoy the advantages mentioned above.

    This method makes it possible to move EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to the cloud easily, among other things.

    Still thinking?

    Let’s look at the prime benefits of Hybrid iSeries IBM i integration, to help you get clarity.

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    Improved User Experience

    When you move some software applications off the iSeries platform, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much better the entire user experience is.

    This is especially true in the case of a hybrid integration strategy, as end-users often benefit from improved visibility, a better user interface, and ease of co-ordination and automation for any business operation or transaction.

    Supporting More Protocols Means Supporting Your Business

    If your organization is expanding, you will need to accommodate additional business requirements from your ecosystem entities, which will often take the shape of data formats and protocols.

    The good news is that modern hybrid integration system supports other integration use cases, such as AS400 API integration and other methods.

    When it comes to more conventional B2B protocols, you might have to support not only AS2 but also SFTP, FTP, REST, email, Partner Mailboxes, etc.

    More protocol support enables your business to manage the various needs of the company, whether it is dealing with new demand from an internal stakeholder or an outside requirement from clients.

    Protocol support is vital because, without it, you may risk disappointing your stakeholders, whether they be clients, collaborators, transporters, or co-workers, jeopardizing business relationships that are important for boosting revenue.

    Reducing Your Overall Business Risk

    When going “all-in” on the iSeries integration, there are several business risks to consider. One of the major risks that your fellow business leaders worry about is the security factor.

    According to IT Jungle, security is the biggest IT concern for 75 percent of iSeries enterprises. Another survey says that 3/4 enterprises that use the iSeries are concerned about the system’s lack of security or their inability to secure the iSeries.

    Recently, there has been a spike in malware attacking the transport and logistics industries. Part of this is due to the hacking community targeting on-premises environments in the hope of gaining faster access to company systems.

    Hybrid cloud architecture provides a significantly secure environment for your IT assets, potentially eliminating or at least reducing security vulnerabilities.

    In the situation when your internal, on-premises system is compromised, having your AS400 iSeries integration in the cloud assures that your sensitive B2B transactions are not jeopardized.

    Cloud-based EDI systems provide strong availability and reliability as well as a tested disaster recovery plan. This kind of flexibility and protection can reduce some of your iSeries security concerns.

    Improving Customer Experience

    Customer experience is the most powerful growth factor in a modern-day organization. History and research suggest that excellent customer services result in satisfied and loyal clients, higher margins, and lower long-term business expenditures.

    We’ve all seen the statistics probably, but the most recent one was a Walker study that discovered that 86 percent of consumers are prepared to spend more for a superior customer experience.

    While this isn’t breaking news, the best part is that there are several particular ways cloud-based hybrid IBM i integration helps you achieve the best customer experience.

    The goal is to provide real-time visibility to your client workforces, such as customer support or sales representatives.

    To meet all customer satisfaction targets, modern hybrid integration solutions provide your staff members with a totally web-based experience that includes end-to-end visibility, partner scorecards, and comprehensive transaction reports.

    Your teammates can also create or share reports with external stakeholders and internal team members to encourage interaction, promote collaboration, escalate situations, or simply report status (all actions that improve user and customer experiences).

    By giving your teams the power of visibility, they will be able to act with flexibility and guarantee that your customer relationships remain strong.

    Visibility, in particular, can enable your end-users to respond to your external key stakeholders’ questions directly and effectively monitor critical industry trends.

    It will also help your team to work at the personal level and eliminate communication barriers between the client and your company by minimizing resolution time on errors.

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    Moving on, let’s explore how you should approach iSeries IBM i integration before finalizing.

    How to Approach a Successful iSeries Application Integration?

    AS400 integration is connecting AS-400 applications with other applications, devices, or software systems within your organization.

    However, integrating iSeries into modern solutions can be complex and challenging if not approached systematically.

    It calls for a structured approach to ensure successful IBM iSeries integration.

    Follow these simple steps to achieve success.

    Consider All Your Options

    If you choose AS400 iSeries integration as an iSeries user, you have to be specific about the domains you intend to improve and your expected outcomes from the transfer.

    Aside from estimating expenses and establishing a timeframe, the integration tools and procedures to be used must also be determined.

    Make a Thorough Integration Plan

    Once the procedures to target have been established, a thorough plan must be implemented that includes crucial variables such as the data types to be retrieved and transferred, data flow nature (one-way or two-way), data backup plan, and synchronization (one-time or ongoing), etc.

    Hire an Experienced AS400 iSeries Integration Expert

    Because most AS400 organizations lack RPG professionals, it is preferable that a critical operation like integration be performed by experienced AS400 systems development experts.

    A developer with experience in third-party integration can complete the task effectively and accurately.

    Wondering, “But where to find experienced professionals who can adapt to my business’ requirements quickly?”

    Don’t worry; we at Integrative Systems have got your back!

    How Integrative Systems Helps You with AS400 Integration Services?

    We at Integrative Systems are an IBM Silver Business Partner with the sole purpose of helping you achieve your goals by providing exceptional AS400 integration services.

    We have been in this industry for over 25 years and have earned the trust of many leaders in handling AS400 software application integrations of any complexity

    You can leverage our vast experience in moving systems from AS400 to other technologies such as Microsoft Dot Net, PHP, Java, or any open source such as Linux or UNIX.

    To improve and expand your internal workforce, you can recruit AS400 iSeries professionals, RPG programmers from our ready-to-deploy talent pool and get started within 1 day – 1 week.

    So, what are you waiting for?

    Contact us today at [email protected] to discuss your organizational goals and iSeries integration requirements and our team of experts will get back to you within 2 business days.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about AS400 iSeries Integration

    Our Results With iSeries Application Integration Are Not Great. What Should We Do?

    There are various reasons why your service provider’s AS400 application integration attempt has failed. It’s best to consult a best-in-industry integration service provider, such as Integrative Systems, to identify what went wrong and improve the process.

    Do You Offer AS400 Post-Integration Consulting?

    Like other reliable IBM i/AS400 system integration services providers, we offer post-integration consulting services in case you are not satisfied with prior integration efforts.

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