UNICOM Global CEO Perspective on IBM i Computing
What if you could combine IBM i sophistication with a leading-edge user experience?
By Corry Hong ,
UNICOM’s success and longevity is due in part to the capabilities and continuous improvement of its products, but what has made us so successful over the past 40 years is taking the time to truly understand each client’s business and needs.
I am very pleased to see that throughout the years our SoftLanding brand of IBM i solutions has met the changing requirements of the market, making UNICOM a stable and reliable partner for its valued customers. In equal measure, I’m excited at the prospect of future opportunities as we continue to work closely with our customers and help them overcome their digital transformation challenges.
Imagine that you could speak to your IBM i apps just like you talk to the personal assistant on your smartphone or smart speaker: “Hey, IBM i, start up my finance application.” That is not such a revolutionary idea as it may seem. After all, in our roles as consumers we expect frictionless experiences. We interact seamlessly with the gadgets around our house and the apps that drive our everyday lives: swipe and tap. So why should we settle for less when it comes to the enterprise applications that drive our businesses? What if you could combine IBM i sophistication with a leading-edge user experience? My vision is to bring the best of new and emerging technology to the IBM i and to create world-class experiences for enterprise users.
Management Independence Strategy
UNICOM’s answer was to develop the “Management Independence Strategy.” Jobs and roles both represent prescribed patterns of behavior for organizational members. Winners and losers are prescribed by the job content design, according to the Art of War. Over the past several quarters our stakeholders, including corporate advisors, executive management, R&D managers and finance managers within the UNICOM organization have been engaged in an internal technology portfolio management audit. As a result of this internal audit we were able to capture IBM i business insights relating to job content and job design, and then develop a broader framework for an emerging technology investment strategy.
This internal audit practice, in conjunction with the specific architecture objectives of the job content and job domain policy, allowed UNICOM to accelerate its deployment of our vision-to-action digital business plan. That plan has given us an elegant model for:
- Digital business strategy and digital business processes
- Digital data structure and management
- User experience and app portfolio management
- Governing an enterprise information technology architecture to support the new “Management Independence Strategy” model
It is clear that if you couple the IBM i systems with the right enabling technologies you can put IT all together at the forefront of your digital businesses to create new value in business models, customer experiences and the internal capabilities that support your core operations.
The future of enterprise computing
I am also excited because I am seeing the same technology approach being used to accelerate modernization on the IBM i–by removing many of the risks and hurdles usually associated with change. Connecting IBM i and other enterprise applications to a single enabling platform is starting to break down the old application silos. Everything is accessed in the same way, with a common mobile-optimized interface, so the underlying technology becomes much less significant. Whether you are interacting with IBM i applications using a voice-responsive chatbot, or plugging applications into ready-made dashboards and AI and analytics connectors, the principle is the same: augment your mature IBM i applications without changing the underlying code and leave them to carry on doing what they do best: running your business.
The journey continues
On a personal note, my first employee Betty is still with UNICOM, as well as her son Russ and her grandson Jared. My three sons are also in the business. UNICOM is excited to be a part of the next 40 years of the IBM i journey!
Corry Hong is the Founder, President and CEO of UNICOM Global, and founded the company in 1981. Today, the UNICOM Global group consists of more than 55 entities delivering software and services to enterprises worldwide.
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