z/Action! Podcast

z/Action! Podcast 

Wed November 30, 2022 10:45 AM

The z/Action! Podcast

z/Action! is back in a new, convenient podcast format. The IBM Z platform has never been more exciting, with ISVs and developers leveraging the latest emerging technologies to maximize client needs.  Each month we meet some of the world's most innovative companies as they share how they're expanding horizons and driving success with IBM Z.  The is IBM Z in action right now -- z/Action!

Browse our episodes below, clicking each title to listen.  Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so you don't miss the latest monthly installment.

Speed, Security, and Compliance: Accelerating Efficiency with Faster Data Distribution
Data volumes are always increasing, and that can cause bottlenecks. “Typically, our customers come to us because they run into a wall,” says Alebra Technologies CTO Bill Yeager. “They have a lot of data that they need to move within a certain window. Pretty soon, you’ve run out of time.” Alebra creates more time for mainframe customers. Bypassing traditional TC/IP, its solution enables rapid data access without affecting production. “We offloaded as much as possible from z/OS, so the processor could do the least amount of work to retrieve the data,” Yeager continues.  “With our Parallel Data Mover, a customer can access large amounts of data at any time of the day without impacting production work.” Listen to learn how faster data distribution improves security and compliance -- crucial advantages as AI becomes more important for enterprises across every domain, including on-prem systems, hybrid cloud, and off-prem cloud.

Relieving Tool-Sprawl with Service, Orchestration, and Automation Platforms
Tool-sprawl is a major headache. “When you look at the amount of automation tools out there, it's literally hundreds of different ones,” says Stonebranch CTO Peter Baljet.  “You can't manage each one individually. Service, Orchestration, and Automation Platforms can do the automation themselves, with everything on that one back plane, so you don't have to watch every tool individually.” Stonebranch brings a quarter-century of workload automation experience to SOAP, helping clients integrate the z/OS platform into the hybrid landscape. Listen to learn how SOAP is empowering business users as citizen automators, and where generative AI might be taking workload automation.

Data-Centric Security: Protecting the Mainframe
“Data-centric security follows two principles,” explains Felix Rosbach, Comforte’s product VP. “Protect the data as early as possible, and then deprotect only when it’s absolutely necessary.” Comforte has been safeguarding mainframe data for more than 20 years. As threats grow, so does the challenge of effective cybersecurity. “Companies want to share data on the mainframe,” Rosbach continues. “They want to use it, they want to analyze it, they want to work with it, which results in a situation where you need to not only consider security on the mainframe itself, but also systems where the data is moving.” Listen as we explore how encryption and tokenization can form an effective perimeter for mainframe data without limiting access -- including the looming impact of AI technology.

Need for Speed: Processing Instant Payments on IBM Z
“Time is ticking once you receive an instant payment,” says Thorsten Völkel, CEO of PPI AG. “You only have ten seconds for the round trip, sending the instant payment to the receiving bank and getting back a notification, and then sending back a notification to your customer.” Speed is about to become very important in the European Union, where instant payments will become mandatory this year.  The IBM Z platform is uniquely suited for rapidly processing such transaction volumes.  PPI AG is a market leader in payment solutions; their instant-payments engine is helping institutions who depend upon IBM Z to comply with the new EU regulations.  Listen for a deep dive into instant payments on IBM Z, from market and regulatory requirements to technical solutions -- including design, infrastructure, cryptography, and AI.

Modernization Without Migration: New Tools for Mainframe Data Access
Data belongs on the mainframe, and new modernization tools are making it easier to give the right people access. “Everyone has an analyst who's not a technical user that needs to get to the data,” explains Greg Weinheimer, product manager with Cloud Software Group’s ibi business unit.  “We take care of that piece, and they can just worry about analyzing the data.” Given that 70% of the world’s data resides on mainframes, connectivity is a critical consideration for hybrid environments – and much more.  As ibi product marketing manager Hannah Knox says, “Mainframes are vital for the future of our world.”  Listen and learn how keeping data on the IBM Z platform improves accuracy, compliance, and security, while promoting skills development and accommodating AI advances.

Rock-Solid Reliability: Why Financial Institutions Rely on IBM Z
“Speaking about financial institutions, up-time is really important,” says Sapiens senior system programmer Giora Bar. “If you want a system that actually never fails, I would take the mainframe.” Over four decades, he’s seen first-hand how IBM Z plays a pivotal role in maintaining operational stability and efficiency. That’s why 92 of the world's top 100 banks rely on mainframes to host their core systems. Giora and Sapiens eMerge Unit VP Mordi Tzamit join us to explore the advantages of mainframes, best-practice methodologies, and why financial institutions continue to rely on the IBM Z platform. Listen to hear their views on innovation and modernization prospects for 2024!

Talking COBOL: Source-Code Recovery for IBM Z Modernization

“The world is running on COBOL,” says IBM’s Tom Ross, aka Captain COBOL.  He’s not exaggerating: Some 220 billion lines of COBOL process $3 trillion worth of commerce every day – and 1.5 billion new lines are written each year. Modernization is constant, and that can present challenges when the time comes to compile updated programs.  “When programs don’t get touched for a period of time, they become forgotten,” observes Jim Rahm, co-founder of Source Recovery. “You can’t fix the problem if you don’t have the source.” Recovering COBOL source code is his business. If you love COBOL, this deep-dive into source-code forensics is a must-listen!

Making Assembler Accessible with Dave Cole and z/XDC
Dave Cole remembers his first encounter with the TSO TEST command, back during the mid-1970s. “I said to myself, I can do better,” he recalls, concluding, “I did better.” Four decades later, ColeSoft z/XDC is the benchmark of assembler tools, relied on by IBM Z developers worldwide for analyzing code. z/XDC continues to evolve -- and it’s helping train the next generation of IBM Z talent. “It’s exciting to get younger people coming around,” Dave says. “We can generate some real excitement once we get somebody who’s committed to that direction.” Listen and hear where z/XDC is headed next … Antarctica, perhaps?

Delivered with a Blue Bow: Unboxing the IBM z16 Rack Mount 
“When ours rolled into the warehouse, it had a blue bow on it,” Jim Fyffe recalls with a chuckle. He’s not kidding; the IBM z16 rack mount is a special machine. This new system is designed with sustainability in mind.  It’s the same IBM z16 with the Telum processor, and the security and reliability of IBM z16, but in a rack, delivered in a configuration for clients who want a smaller footprint and more co-location options.  Listen in as Jim Fyffe and Scott Rudin of Evolving Solutions share their experiences with one of the very first IBM z16 rack mount units: what installation was like, and how their customers are responding -- including a preview of AI capabilities and LinuxONE compatibility.

AI Has Entered the Chat and It's Shaking Up Cybersecurity
With the sudden onset of AI, data threats have changed and increased in velocity almost overnight.  “This wave of change is going be a lot faster than some of the previous waves that have hit technology,” says PKWARE CTO Jason Dobbs. “It's important that everybody hits this head on, almost immediately.”  PKWARE has used AI and machine learning for years.  Listen and learn how PKWARE and IBM collaboratively protect sensitive data, and how you can begin to prepare for the latest round of oncoming threats.

 The Importance of Advocacy in Building a zSystems Career
“Advocacy is all about sharing,” says Mainline Information Systems’ Dusty Rivers – and he walks the talk.  Dusty has been an advocate throughout his entire career. As an IBM Lifetime Champion for zSystems, he’s inspiring a new generation of zSystems professionals.  Join IBM advocacy leader Shari Chiara as she and Dusty discuss the ongoing mission of evangelizing mainframe innovation, modernization, and the growing career opportunities on the zSystems platform.  “The legacy I want to leave is making people successful in the area where I started,” Dusty says, “and leaving it better than when I got into it.” 

Meet Data-Migration Challenges with a Modern Web UI
Data migration doesn’t have to be daunting.  A modern Web interface can help reduce friction, making the process faster, easier, and more productive.  With tools like the IBM Transparent Data Migration Facility (TDMF) for z/OS, scrolling through green screens is a thing of the past. Join 21st Century Software’s Brandon Wilkie and Chris Hartley, and IBM’s Fiona King, as they take a deep dive into what it takes to scope, plan, and execute a data-migration project – and how powerful DevOps tools contained in IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) accelerates plug-in development.

Running to the Mainframe: Modernization Without Disruption
“I ran to the mainframe,” Rocket Software CEO Milan Shetti says with a chuckle, recalling his journey to the IBM zSystems platform.  “Mainframe is the backbone of so many industries, and it’s the greenest platform out there.”  After decades pioneering IT innovations, Shetti joined Rocket in 2020 with a mission of driving modernization without disruption. In today’s environment, companies need to modernize systems without interruption -- upgrading existing mainframe technology without any effect on their operations, investments, or other related processes. It’s a much safer route for gaining access to the latest software tools and solutions, as compared with riskier "rip and replace" or "lift and shift" alternatives. In this podcast, Shetti and IBM zSystems Ecosystem VP Meredith Stowell discuss Shetti's journey to the mainframe, feedback from clients and the community based on his recent interaction, and what's resonating in the market in these rapidly changing times. Listen for their insights into where zSystems is headed during 2023!

Embracing the Challenge: Women and the IBM zSystems Platform 
When UNICOM’s Michelle Harris started her career in the IBM zSystems world 30 years ago, women were a rarity.  Today there are boundless opportunities for women on the zSystems platform, but nurturing them requires dedicated attention.  Programs like IBM Z Xplore and innovations like Zowe are making zSystems more accessible and more attractive.  From recruiting talent, to developing skills, to navigating job roles, Michelle shares practical guidance for organizations looking to improve diversity -- encouraging women to embrace the challenge and forge their own path in the zSystems domain.

Powering Modernization in the Financial Services Industry with IBM zSystems
The IBM zSystems platform is leading digital modernization in the financial services industry, offering superior value and performance.  Finwave is at the forefront of this transformation, including factoring, leasing, banking, securities, consumer credit, compliance, and more. Hear how Finwave is helping clients integrate new paradigms like mobile and hybrid cloud by exploiting z/OS technologies like Unicode, Unix System Services, z/OS Connect, and CICS.

Ransomware is Everybody’s Problem – How to Protect Your Data on IBM zSystems
Ransomware is real.  Years of ever-increasing cyberattacks have made cyber resiliency top-of-mind. Chances are your most-important data resides on your IBM zSystems platform.  How do you protect it?  Architectural concepts around air-gapped, third data copies -- sometimes referred to as “safe harbor” or “cyber vault” -- have become very popular. Join us as we dive deep on how cloud object storage can provide an additional fast, secure, and cost-efficient solution for your z/OS data-protection needs, particularly on the powerful new z16.

Secure, Reliable Managed File Transfer with Connect:Direct for z/OS
More than 50% of B2B integration is by managed file transfer (MFT). Data processing often involves processing by multiple business applications – IBM zSystems regularly handle data that was created on or consumed by various non-Z systems, both upstream and downstream.  Securely and reliably bridging this gap is crucial.  Capgemini’s Ed Peters and Lawrence Morland explain how Connect:Direct for z/OS (CDZ) expands the systems that IBM zSystems can interact with, handling critical data movement for payroll processing, bank transfers, insurance claims, tax payments, and healthcare processing.

Fit-for-Business Purpose Means Security and Resiliency
You can’t afford to have data at risk.  In today’s hybrid-cloud environment, security and resiliency are top-of-mind. Listen as 21st Century Software CEO Rebecca Levesque and IBM zSystems Ecosystem VP Meredith Stowell discuss the current business landscape and how security is a foundation of the IBM zSystems platform, including operational resiliency, availability, disaster recovery, encryption, and quantum-safe technologies -- innovations that are also attracting fresh talent for a sustainable workforce.  The future is fit for business!

Driving Digital Transformation with Modernization and Hybrid Cloud
Digital transformation means different things to different people.  It’s not all about technology.  According to UNICOM CTO Neil Evans, a smart approach begins with driving business outcomes.  Hear how UNICOM is helping clients modernize on the IBM zSystems platform with innovations like hybrid cloud and AI – enabling enterprises to deliver real business value to their customer base.  You won’t want to miss Neil’s thoughts on possibilities with the new z16 platform.

Security Beyond Privileged Users: Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for All
Security is only as good as your authentication policy. In this world of work-from-home and ransomware attacks, passwords or even passphrases just aren't enough anymore. Rocket Software's Jim Porell should know -- with decades of IBM security experience in industry and law enforcement, he's seen it all. Join Jim and IBM's Mike Zagorski as they review real-world examples illustrating why multi-factor authentication is essential for every zSystems user, and how you can implement it in your organization. A must-hear episode, even for hardened security professionals.