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Exclusive Sneak Peak of COMMON 2017 Sessions

In just a few days, Power Systems professionals from around the world will gather for expert discussions on IBM i, open source and cybersecurity topics at the COMMON 2017 Annual Conference. Known as the largest Power Systems event of its kind, the conference offers over 300 sessions and presented by more than 100 experts in the field.

As the event quickly approaches, we sat down with some of this year’s speakers to uncover their passions, advice to attendees and exclusive peaks into next week’s presentations. Read on to see what each shared.

 

Greg Cannella

Director of MIS at Magid Glove & Safety Mfg

Greg will be presenting at two sessions titled Creating SQL Functions and How to Use the SQL Descriptor. You may view Greg’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?
“I am most passionate about Creating SQL Functions.  This topic has very broad applications and is most likely to appeal to the widest audience.  Once people learn how easy it is to create a function and how much they can do for you, the adoption rate should be very high.  My goal is to provide everything someone needs so they can go back to the office the next day and create a function.”

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?

“Since I am a first time speaker at Common, I am definitely looking forward to those sessions.  I am also looking forward to meeting up with all of the other people that I have worked with in the industry.”

 

Raymond Johnson COMMON speakerRaymond Johnson

Consultant / Owner at iSolutions Consulting, Inc

Ray will be presenting at three sessions titled No More Excuses, Save the Entire System Using the IBM i Default Job Scheduler, Are You Secure? Are You Monitoring the IBM i Audit Journal? and IBM ACS Overview. You may view Ray’s biography and session schedule here.

What’s one topic you’re hoping to learn about at this year’s conference?

“I plan to learn more about VIOS since I now have two VIOS partitions to manage and the AIX environment is NOT like the IBM i (it is not integrated). Everything has its own version and the PTF and upgrade processes are nowhere near as easy (or maybe familiar??) as the IBM i processes.”

What do you predict will be the hottest topic of discussion at this year’s conference?

“I predict system and network security will be a hot topic of discussion.”

 

Carol Woodbury COMMON speakerCarol Woodbury

VP Global Security Services at HelpSystems

Carol will be presenting three sessions, with titles including IBM i Security from the Ground Up and Best Practices for the IBM i Security Administrator.  You may view Carol’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?
I’m probably most passionate about the Best Practices for the IBM i Administrator.  Attendees sit through a lot of sessions about new and advanced technology, but sometimes, it’s not obvious how to apply it. In this session I provide actionable tasks that administrators can take back to their workplace and start making their systems more secure.  In other words, it’s full of practical advice that’s easily applied in their work environment.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer to first-time attendees?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re there to learn! If something’s not clear… ask!

 

Liam Allan COMMON speakerLiam Allan

Product Developer at Profound Logic

Liam will be presenting at three sessions titled Git Fun and Games, Open-Source ILE Concepts and Web Requests in Embedded SQL. You may view Liam’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“I am actually most excited for the workshop I am giving with Alan Seiden and Steph Rabbani. I am not only excited to talk about something I am passionate about, but having the opportunity to do it with two amazing people makes it even more exciting for me.”

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?

“I am most looking forward to hanging out with people that I have worked with in the last year. My favourite part about COMMON is the social element to it.”

 

Bob Luebbe COMMON speaker IBM iBob Luebbe

Chief Architect at Linoma Software

Bob will be presenting at two sessions titled Simplify Encryption with DB2 Field Procedures and Securing Your File Transfers from the IBM i. You may view Bob’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“I am most excited to talk about encryption using DB2 field procedures since a lot of organizations are looking at how to encrypt data at rest.  With field procedures, encryption has greatly been simplified.  Oftentimes, companies do not have to make any changes to their applications to implement encryption.  So it is much easier to do encryption at the field level now.”

What do you predict will be the hottest topic of discussion at this year’s conference?

“I think security is going to be a hot topic since so many organizations are facing strict regulations regarding sensitive data.”

 

Randall Munson

President of Creatively Speaking

Randall will be presenting at three sessions titled WRITE RIGHT! Business Writing for Geeks, Magic of SELLING Technology! and Riding the Rapids of CHANGE! You may view Randall’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

"The presentation I am most passionate about is, 'Magic of SELLING Technology!'. Since working in the IBM development lab in Rochester as the interface between the lab and IBM sales and marketing more than 20 years ago, I have been focused on how to sell IBM i technology around the world. I've helped companies make millions of dollars in increased sales. I enjoy sharing with others what I have learned so that they can improve their marketing and sales. But this presentation isn't just for people in sales and marketing roles. It is also valuable for showing technical people how to sell their own company's decision makers on products and services that would be valuable to them."

What do you enjoy most about speaking at COMMON?

"I love teaching valuable information in a way that is fun and memorable. I'm deeply gratified when people tell me things like, 'I've been working on this for 6 years and now I finally understand it!' or, 'Ten years ago I saw you present and I'll never forget what you said!' or 'You've changed my life.' Most people don't have a chance to experience that but speaking at COMMON for 30 years has given me that opportunity and I am grateful."

 

Tom Huntington COMMON speaker IBM iTom Huntington

EVP of Technical Solutions at HelpSystems

Tom will be presenting a session titled High Availability Options for SMB IBM i Users on Tuesday, May 9th at 2:00pm. You may view Tom’s biography and session details here.

What is the largest takeaway that you’re hoping to leave the audience with?
“High availability can be hosted in the cloud and it can be affordable.”

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?
“It’s great to unite with our customers and friends in the industry; I always learn so much from them. There’s a unique energy behind COMMON because it’s run by experts from all different industries using IBM Power Systems running IBM i.”


Vern Hamberg

Senior IT Developer at Ecolab, Pest Elimination

Vern will be presenting at nine sessions, with titles including Query Management: What is it? Why Should I Care?, Fast Modern Excel Workbook Creation Using RPG and Extend Your Reach to Remote Data with Open Access: RPG Edition. You may view Vern’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?
“Although I feel strongly about them all, probably I’m most passionate about the 2 on ‘Fast Modern Excel (XLSX) Workbook Creation Using RPG’. I hope they convey the idea that we should find ways to say ‘Yes!’ to almost any ‘Can you do this…?’ request. And to accomplish this goal in effective and interesting and well-pleasing ways.”

What’s one topic you’re hoping to learn about at this year’s conference?
“I want to learn more about the open source possibilities on our favorite system.”

 

Rich Diedrich COMMON speaker IBM iRich Diedrich

IBM i Wizard at Rich Diedrich Consulting, LLC

Rich will be presenting at three sessions titled Accessing Java from RPG IV, The RPG Programs Used by Madoff and Encryption on IBMi. You may view Rich’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“The RPG Programs Used by Madoff (33CN) is the most fun because it is very different from my other more technical presentations. I get to talk about the experience of being an expert witness in a federal trial, how I did the analysis of the programs, and show the actual code used. I particularly appreciate talking through the code with an audience that understands the code and some of the more humorous aspects of how it was done.”

What do you predict will be the hottest IBM i topic of the conference this year?

“I am not sure what it will be, but based on the presentations and presenters available, this conference will be an excellent opportunity for attendees to think and learn about how their IBM i data needs to be made available in current application environments and the serious security considerations that need to accompany that availability.”

 

Dawn May COMMON speaker IBM iDawn May

Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM

Dawn will be presenting at ten sessions, with titles including Predictive Performance Management, Introduction to the IBM i Performance Data Investigator and Hidden Gems of IBM i. You may view Dawn’s biography and session schedule here.

Which of your sessions are you most looking forward to presenting, and why?

“One of my favorite presentations to give is ‘Introduction to the IBM i Performance Data Investigator’. I find there are a lot of people that have never used this function even though it is included with the operating system and everyone has it. I've really enjoyed it when someone tells me they logged onto their own system to try it out during the presentation.

I also look forward to presenting the ‘Manage Work Better with Better Work Management’ session. IBM i work management is a significant differentiator for IBM i and IBM has delivered some important enhancements that make it even better.”

As a seasoned COMMON veteran, what do you enjoy most about the conference?

“Of course it's the people in the IBM i community! Over the years, I've met a lot of people while at COMMON and there are a set of folks that I only see when at the conference. Each year, I meet a few more people and my professional network gets a little bit bigger. The best part is that the people in the IBM i community are the friendliest!”

 

Conrad Feldt COMMON speaker IBM iConrad Feldt

Owner / IT Consultant at Itasca Computer Resources

Conrad will be presenting two sessions titled Windows 7 & 10 Tips, Tricks & Techniques and Improving Your Memory. You may view Conrad’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“My session Tuesday afternoon Improving Your Memory.  It is non-Technical session and it gives a break from the other sessions.  We all know that we do not remember as well as we would like to.  This is an interactive session and has proven to be a lot of fun.  Come to relax and at the same time come away with some useful tips on Improving Your Memory.”

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?

“I enjoy meeting up with past acquaintances from 18 years ago to last year, and meeting new people, sharing ideas, thoughts, and knowledge.  Simply put the networking.”

 

Robin Tatum COMMON speaker IBM iRobin Tatam

Director of Security Technologies at HelpSystems

Robin will be presenting five sessions, with titles including IBM i Security: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly, Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk? and IBM i Security for Programmers. You may view Robin’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“The session I am most passionate about is definitely the enthusiastic discussion surrounding our annual "State of IBM i Security" study.  This is an award-winning session for a reason. Each year, we pour a wealth of resources into compiling what is the only study of its kind, and it always amazes me the provocative things we uncover.  It's a good education for the uninitiated as well as those that mistakenly think that security on a Power Server is correctly and fully preconfigured at the factory.”

As a seasoned COMMON veteran, what do you enjoy most about the conference?

“I thoroughly enjoy COMMON's encouragement of knowledge expansion. While we all gravitate towards sessions that are 100% pertinent to our daily grind, I also encourage attendees to sign up for one session whose abstract is completely outside of the box; just to get some exposure to something new.  It's also an unparalleled opportunity for our team to share what we work on behind the scenes and the expansive suite business solutions (software and services) we bring to the corporate table. From the human side, let's not forget meeting up with old friends as well as introductions to numerous new ones via a networking opportunity like no other!”

 

Gordon Leary COMMON speaker IBM iGordon Leary

IT Manager at AMPORTS, Inc.

Gordon will be presenting at two sessions, the Reception for First-time Attendees and the First Timers Social. You may view Gordon’s biography and session schedule here.

You’ve been attending COMMON conferences for quite some time. What keeps you coming back?

“I have been attending COMMON conferences since 1987 for several reasons. The first is education. The IT business is in a constant state of change, and COMMON has always kept me up to date on this change. Every time I come to a conference, I learn something that I can take back to my organization to use. It may be a new skill, a new relationship, or a new application that can be used to save my corporation time and resources. I can also use this information to take advantage of the year-round learning that COMMON offers.

The second reason I keep coming to a COMMON conference is relationships. The COMMON community is a helpful group of IT professionals. I do not know how many times I did not know how to pursue a problem, but I knew someone else that I met at the annual conference that does know the answer. A short email or phone call always brings help! The COMMON community wants to help and see every member grow in their profession.”

What is one piece of advice you’d offer to first-time attendees?

“Don’t be shy! The speakers are there to help you become a better IT professional. Ask questions, participate in sessions, talk to people outside of sessions.  Talk to the vendors in the Expo. You may not have a need for their product now, but things change. I keep a drawer full of vendor products. It is great to be able to pull out the answer for that new challenging project. If someone give out an email, it is because they truly want you to ask questions at any time. This is a great community, and COMMON is here to help grow that community.”

 

Steven Wolk COMMON speaker IBM iSteven Wolk

CTO at PC Richard & Son

Steven will be presenting at six sessions, with titles including Let’s Learn Linux, Words to Live By: A Blueprint for Success and Command Jeopardy. You may view Steven’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“Of the six sessions I’m presenting at this year’s Annual Meeting, I’d have to say I’m most passionate about ‘Words to Live By: A Blueprint for Success’. While I enjoy speaking about a variety of technical topics that are near and dear to my heart, my true passion in teaching is helping people succeed. Personal success is a topic I’ve studied for many years, and I’ve identified what I believe are 12 key principles we can all follow that will lead to greater success in our own lives. We’ll discuss these principles through the context of meaningful motivational quotes, combined with some very personal stories demonstrating how these lessons can be applied. Many of the stories are funny, while others are poignant, but it’s my hope that they will be remembered – and help attendees be more successful - long after the conference has ended.”

What do you predict will be the hottest topic of discussion at this year’s conference?

“I think open source will be the hottest topic of discussion at this year’s Annual Meeting. While the IBM i has always been a very open operating system, the interest I’m seeing in running open source software on the i seems to just be exploding. That’s why I decided to present a brand new session at this year’s conference, ‘Let's Learn Linux’. It’s a great way for attendees to get their feet wet with open source software, without assuming any previous knowledge. And the skills learned will be applicable across a wide variety of platforms, ranging from Linux servers, to desktops, to our favorite server, the IBM i!”


Debbie Saugen COMMON speaker IBM iDebbie Saugen

Director of Business Continuity Services at HelpSystems

Debbie will be presenting four sessions, with titles including Essentials of Backup Recovery for Disaster Recovery on IBM i and Getting the Most Out of BRMS Recoveries. You may view Debbie’s biography and session schedule here.

Which one of your sessions are you most passionate about, and why?

“Everyone who knows me, understands the passion I have about IBM i disaster recovery. My session on Essentials of Backup/Recovery for Disaster Recovery on IBM i will help you prepare for being recovery ready should  a system failure or disaster occur.  During this session, I will share true stories from my decades of experience helping companies recover their systems after a disaster.”

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?
“I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends, making new friends and sharing my knowledge about the latest for IBM i Backup/Recovery and Disaster Recovery. Not only do I get to share my knowledge and experiences, but I will also be learning from others!”

 

Ron Byrd COMMON speaker IBM iRon Byrd

Director of Professional Services at Linoma Software

Ron will be presenting alongside Bob Luebbe of Linoma Software at two sessions titled Simplify Encryption with DB2 Field Procedures and Securing Your File Transfers from the IBM i. You may view Ron’s biography and session schedule here.

What are you most looking forward to at COMMON?

“I am looking forward to seeing all our customers that go to COMMON to learn more about the IBM i.”

What is one piece of advice you’d offer to first-time attendees?

"COMMON can be overwhelming for a first-time attendee. Spend time before you arrive to check out online the classes you want to attend. Learning can also happen in the Exposition. There are a lot of talented people working in the Exposition. Stop by and ask the vendors questions that you have about different processes and products. You will find that the vendors are always willing to help people learn."

 

 

From the teams at Linoma Software and HelpSystems, we wish this year’s COMMON speakers the best of luck!

Linoma Software, together with HelpSystems, will be participating in the Expo at booths 413 and 417. Be sure to stop by! For more information on the COMMON 2017 Annual Meeting and Exposition, visit www.common.org/events/annual-meeting/.


Linoma Starts Off the Year with Several Product Releases

When things get hectic and life gets crazy, let's face it, we could all use a release. All puns aside, Linoma Software has been busy the past 5 months issuing several releases which provide our current and future clients the business edge they need in this ever changing market. Linoma released updates for Surveyor/400, Crypto Complete, GoAnywhere Services and last but not least GoAnywhere Director.

In February, Linoma released Surveyor/400 3.7. Surveyor/400 allows users to easily query and download data from IBM i to their desktops and network servers. Version 3.7 provides support for Excel 2007 with custom formatting options to create professional-looking spreadsheets. Surveyor/400 additionally supports earlier versions of Excel, as well as CSV, fixed width text, HTML and XML documents.  Surveyor/400 conveniently provides over 20 IBM i tools in one application.

In addition to Surveyor/400, Linoma also released Crypto Complete 2.20 in February. The new release of Crypto Complete 2.20 incorporated tokenization. Tokenization should be considered when sensitive data is stored on multiple systems. Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification numbers (e.g. tokens) and storing the original data on a central server in encrypted form. By centralizing sensitive data, tokenization helps to thwart hackers and minimize the scope of compliance audits such as PCI DSS. Additionally, Crypto Complete 2.20 offers faster encryption for backups while eliminating the need for intermediate save files.

Let's fast-forward to June; Linoma released GoAnywhere Services 1.3.0. Version 1.3.0 adds enhanced security features with IP Filtering, Syslog feeds and additional Trigger actions, along with other updates and usability options. GoAnywhere Services is a secure file server that provides internal and external trading partners with a secure connection to your system for exchanging files within a fully managed and audited solution.

Also in June, Linoma released a new version of GoAnywhere Director. GoAnywhere Director 3.2.0 provides a connector for sending data using the AS2 version 1.2 standards. This includes support for multiple file attachments within a single AS2 message, synchronous MDN receipts and message integrity verification. AS2 messages can be sent over an SSL tunnel, making it a secure option for the transfer of sensitive data. Version 3.2.0 also includes Syslog server integration, advanced scheduling options, enhanced server certificate handling and FTP checksum validation options. GoAnywhere Director is a managed file transfer solution for the enterprise.

If you need any additional information about any of our product releases or if you need a solution and aren't sure what is the best product for your circumstance, give us a call. If we don't have the product your business needs, we can point you in the right direction.

It has been a great start to 2010 and we would like to say thanks to all of our clients for their continued support.


GoAnywhere Director Receives the "Ready for Power Systems" Validation

GoAnywhere Director, the proven Managed File Transfer solution from Linoma Software, adds another certification to its list this week with the receipt of the "Ready for Power Systems" validation from IBM. GoAnywhere Director was validated through testing by IBM to meet the criteria for applications that run on its Power Systems. The Ready for Power Systems validation demonstrates GoAnywhere Director runs on the i7, AIX, and Linux operating systems for IBM i and p servers.

Before receiving Ready for Power Systems validation, applications are tested to meet IBM's standards - integration with IBM system management software, system and processor energy use, role-based access and application security, application availability for HA, and its ability to run in virtualized environments.

Prior to this testing, GoAnywhere Director also earned the following designations from IBM:

  • Ready for IBM Systems with Linux (i, p, and z)
  • IBM DB2 Universal Database - Verified by IBM
  • IBM i Hardware - Verified by IBM

GoAnywhere Director is an innovative solution for automating data retrieval, translation, encryption, compression and distribution for the enterprise. With GoAnywhere's intuitive interface and comprehensive functionality including XML, you can easily streamline and secure the transfer of data with your customers, trading partners and enterprise servers.

GoAnywhere Director and GoAnywhere Services (a secure file server), are platform independent. They provide the same role-based audit logging, automation, secure managed file transfer, and XML translation on Linux (Red Hat, SUSE), Windows®, Mac OS X, and UNIX (Solaris, HP-UX).

Linoma Software is an IBM Advanced Business Partner.


COMMON 2010 - 50th Anniversary

Linoma Software was happy to be part of COMMON's 50th Anniversary Conference. Linoma has been attending COMMON for 14 years and was happy to see many familiar faces. The weather in Orlando was beautiful and the conference was well-attended. For those of you unfamiliar with COMMON, it is the world's largest community of IBM midrange users providing information, education, and networking among users, IBM, and related third-party solution providers. Linoma continues to develop its well-known IBM i products as well as broaden its scope by enhancing products such as GoAnywhere and Crypto Complete.

During the show, Linoma provided demos as well as conducted a survey. According to our results, 44.1% of companies are storing personal identifiable info (e.g. SSNOs, birth dates) "in the clear," 25% are sending sensitive data unencrypted over the internet, and 48.8% of the companies interviewed are sending unencrypted backups off site. If your company is among the percentage who is not securing sensitive data be sure to contact us and we can evaluate which product would most suit your industry needs.

In case you missed it, Debby Gaffney of Fidelity International, was the winner of our prize give-away... an iPAD! Linoma will be attending COMMON, October 4-6, 2010 in San Antonio Texas. We hope to see you there!

Visit Linoma's facebook page to see photos of the conference.


SQL Field Procedures in IBM i 7.1

Field Encryption on the IBM i just got easier. SQL Field Procedures are a new DB2 feature in version 7.1 that allows a user-specified "exit" program to be called whenever data is read from, inserted into, or updated in a field (column). This is somewhat similar to database column triggers; however there are two distinct advantages:

  1. Field Procedures allow data to be modified on a Read operation, which allows the exit program to automatically decrypt the field value before it is returned to the customer's application.
  2. Field Procedures provide a separate internal space to store the encrypted version of the field value. This allows organizations to encrypt numeric fields such as packed decimal, signed decimal and integer data types without having to store the encrypted values in a separate file.

While IBM provided the hooks into the database with Field Procedures, they rely on 3rd party vendors like us to provide the encryption functions and key management. Linoma worked closely with IBM to test the new Field Procedures and provide feedback to their development team during the early release beta program for 7.1. This also allowed Linoma sufficient time to fully integrate Field Procedures into Crypto Complete for readiness when i 7.1 ships.

We're excited about Field Procedures since it will allow customers to implement column-level encryption on the IBM i without modifying their applications. This is especially important if a customer is running a canned application and/or does not want to modify their source code.