HelpSystems Blog

Technology Investment Points to a Bright Future for IBM i

It was great to see Infor vending at COMMON last year. I took the opportunity to talk with Ross Freeman, IBM i Strategy Lead at Infor, and hear why they are passionate about IBM i—as you know, it’s something we have in common. When the chatter we hear from technology analysts contradicts the evidence we see right in front of our face, it’s encouraging to have moments like this that reveal a deep and shared confidence in our platform.

It’s also important for Infor users to understand the past, present, and future of IBM i, one of the world’s most robust and practical servers running ERP systems.

“It’s getting strong support from IBM, and Infor intends to continue investing in what IBM is doing,” said Freeman in an Infor On-Air event discussing the future of ERP on IBM i. “As far as we’re concerned, the future is just getting better and better for the i platform.”

With 120,000 customers worldwide and a published technology roadmap through 2025, “IBM i is a popular, widely-used ERP platform with the capacity to adapt to rapid changes in users’ needs.”  This server is proven technology that evolves to support the latest technologies yet delivers that secure and reliable experience customers now expect.

When Analysts Get It Wrong

Freeman said recent negative commentary on IBM i bears no relationship to the system’s current capabilities and future potential. “‘Everybody,’ whoever ‘everybody’ is, says the platform is going away. They say it’s declining. They say the analysts are against it.” But actual analysts tell another story. They’ve said that vendors are failing to support the platform. That’s a completely different conversation, particularly in light of the investment IBM i continues to receive and its evolution to meet the new needs and expectations customers bring to their ERP platforms.

Deep Functionality, Great Adaptability

The single biggest shift in ERPs is the trend toward customized platforms, and Freeman said that’s exactly where IBM i is leading the way. With earlier generations of ERPs, “the desired model was monolithic deployment, with one giant ERP in a single instance controlling everything,” he explained. Today, the essential core features are customer retention, deep functionality, large scale, and the ability to adapt as a business matures. That means tailoring the platform to specific industries and giving each customer the value and functionality they expect for the dollars they invest.

To serve a maturing global market, IBM’s technology roadmap for IBM i is built on three cornerstones: a commitment to innovation, a stable global presence, and deep functionality that aligns with the needs of specific industries. Infor supports that path because it “delivers the greatest long-term viability for your ERP solution,” Freeman said. “It’s the most difficult choice to make. And it’s the road that Infor chooses to take.”

Infor and IBM i

IBM Power Servers’ General Manager, Colin Parris, spoke at COMMON about the IBM i environment, that it should be looked upon as “proven technology” and the place you want to run your business. Couple this with the largest ERP provider for IBM i and you end up with one of the most robust, popular ERP systems on the market.

Follow Infor On-Air Events for more on IBM i and the Infor family of products.