May 25

Version 3.1 RAP is ready for release

Version 3.1 of Shield’s Receiver Apply Program (RAP) is ready for release. The new version will have many new features, this will unfortunately spell the end for a single tier pricing policy for the product.
We have struggled to hold the price of RAP and with this release will price by IBM Processor Tier in the same way as the other availability products. if you currently have pricing from us we will abide by our commitment, however all new pricing for Version 3.1 will be at the new levels.

New features for Version 3.1

  • Email support for message escalation
  • Improved status reporting
  • Receiver Management on target system
  • Better switching capabilities
  • JobQGenie integration

For pricing and free trials contact us.

Chris…

May 09

Object Compression using IFS and GZIP etc

I was looking at the compression ratio’s for objects in an attempt to understand how best to do object compression for transfer to remote systems.
Here are the results.

Original Object 585728 Bytes
Saved to save file with no compression 487,424 bytes
Saved save file to IFS with no compression 473,088 bytes
GZip of IFS File with no compression 35,451 bytes
Saved to save file High Compression 73,728 bytes
Save to IFS High Compression 45,408 bytes
GZip of IFS High Compression 20,226 bytes

GZip is the free version of GZip available from the web (only supports IFS based files so could not compress save file in library structure).
High Compression is as set when saving to the save file (additional parameters)
IFS numbers are simply copying the save file object to the IFS.

Result GZip is the bets compression method and outperforms the IBM SAVF Device Compression. But significant results can be achieved simply using the compression parameter on the SAVOBJ command.

Chris…

May 07

Dont shoot the messenger!

In todays environment the last thing most people need is to have a cold call from someone who just happens to have your contact information and telephone number. We are all bombarded with emails, telephone calls written mail and every other type of advertising you can imagine.

At the moment we are looking at ways to improve our company image and trying to get the products known within the market space so we are trying to find acceptable ways of getting the word out there. Thats not as easy as it may seem!

We have started with the traditional email blasts where we have lists of emails that we have accumulated over the years and simply generate material which we feel the readers (if any) of the email would find of interest. Looking at the numbers we are provided for tracking the success of email campaigns, the results are not that impressive. Who can blame people, we are also tired of getting adverts about how we can increase our manhood or how we can save money by buying drugs over the internet! But email is a very effective route if you can grasp the attention of your audience, so we have to keep moving down this path and hope that someone actually reads the email once in a while! If you get an email from us and want to be removed from the list just let us know and you will be removed. Honest!

We have also started to advertise in the magazines which look after the IBM solutions so expect to see more of our adverts out there. This is early days for this kind of advertising so we don’t know just how effective it will be over time? It is very expensive, so doing it every month is not possible, especially for the full page adverts we ran in the IBM Systems Magazine recently. Maybe future adverts will be placed in multiple magazines and distributions so people understand what we can offer, they will be smaller of course!

The Blog is another avenue, we always consider why people come to the blog, they don’t want to be sold to every time they read an entry but usually don’t mind some subversive selling such as mentioning the products in the Blogs. The biggest problem we see with this is the amount of junk mail and spamming that we get from crawlers etc that just love to trawl through your site trying to break in and place unsolicited ads of their own! Luckily we have software which stops the majority of this before it even gets to us so its not such a major concern. The biggest problem is identifying the traffic these methods generate and what is real reader traffic to the site! The blog has taken a back seat recently due to other important activities but we do expect to get back to adding regular content soon.

Cold calling is our latest attempt to get known in the market, we have subscribed to a number of lists and have people calling to introduce ourselves and the products we sell. Having tried some of this “Cold Calling” I have to admit this is probably the worst time I have ever had! Occasionally you get through to someone who has the time to spend understanding what you have to sell, the rest of the time you end up either with Voice mail or the “nice” person who decides you have little to offer and becomes rude and agitated when you try to explain what your company and products offer. I understand why people get frustrated with calls coming through from people you don’t know, but to be rude and offensive really isn’t necessary. The problem is I may have a solution they need but can’t make it past the first few seconds because they don’t have the decency to listen for 1-2 minutes and say no politely. Unfortunately we have to keep treading this awkward road so if I call you please don’t shoot first and ask questions later, I may actually have some important and worthwhile information to pass on to you!

We do try to be good citizens in all advertising campaigns we run and hope not to offend anyone. So if you want more information and like the idea of the products we sell please take the time and call us, I promise to be friendly and informative and not put the phone down on you. Otherwise I simply have to keep calling those nasty arrogant people and feel bad for the rest of the day! (feel some pity):-)

Chris..