Staples Transforms IBM i Operations with HelpSystems Automation

November 19, 2012

Staples, Inc., has drastically cut tickets and manual tasks after automating its IBM i operations with Robot systems management software by Help/Systems, the independent IBM i software developer based in Eden Prairie, MN.

Since implementing Robot/SCHEDULE, Robot/CONSOLE, Robot/NETWORK, and Robot/ALERT—automation products for job scheduling and management of messages, resources, and performance—the newly automated operations have transformed a system that "wasn't always so smooth," said Ed Guevara, senior manager for IBM i operations at the Framingham, MA-based office supplier.

Operations on the old system, Guevara said, relied on a "manual runbook with multiple pages of instructions.” Flooded by manual messages, replicating changes on each partition, and often missing full job tables that resulted in outages, the Staples operations team had little time for anything beyond daily maintenance.

Today, Guevara said, Robot/CONSOLE, Robot/ALERT, and Robot/SCHEDULE are set up to run the system unattended, alerting staff only for exceptions. "We don't [have] to hear from the systems when everything is running well," he said, which lets staff "do more important work than just looking around the system and typing commands all day long.”

"It saves time across the business," Guevara said, and it gives his team more control over their operations. With Robot/NETWORK, staff can populate standard message sets or automate processes uniformly across partitions.

The benefits of the Robot Automated Operations Solution have boosted more than the Staples IT department. Automation has increased the efficiency of its help desk for new trainees and has helped its efforts to comply with data security rules for Sarbanes-Oxley, the federal securities law; PCI, the Payment Card Industry group; and the Massachusetts Data Privacy Act.

Help/Systems offers a free 30-day trial of its Robot Automated Operations Solution. The trial includes full product access and free support. For more information, visit or call 952-933-0609.


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