The IBM i platform has always been popular in industries where big money changes hands, like banking, insurance, and gaming. Banks use advanced IBM i, iSeries, and AS/400 software in every part of their business, from financial transactions to credit cards to loans to billing statements.
Aside from financial software, every bank should consider using the following types of IBM i software to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, improve security, and improve IT efficiency.
1. Electronic Forms Software – Allows you to replace your pre-printed forms with electronic forms that can be emailed, faxed, or archived, enabling readers to view financial information on a computer or mobile device. Electronic forms packages such as FormFlex convert spool files to password-protected PDFs, so that banks can automatically send electronic statements, bank announcements, and other important notices such as past-due notices. Custom email forms can be generated individually or they can be run in batch jobs to send notices to large groups of customers.
2. Report Re-formatting Software – Many banks have older reports with valuable information in a hard-to-read format. Report re-formatting software repackages information into a more meaningful format, merging report data with electronic forms for improved readability and understanding. Reports can be reworked to user specifications without requiring a programmer, freeing up your programming staff to work on higher value projects and reducing IT backlogs.
3. Convert Spool Files and Reports – Spool file management software can reduce printing and storage costs by securely converting existing spooled files and reports into popular file formats, such as Excel files, PDF, and comma-separated values (CSVs). With an iSeries spool tool like SpoolFlex, a bank can restrict user access to sensitive reports, track where report files have been sent, encrypt PDF files, and view who received reports, allowing the bank to remain in regulatory compliance.
4. Database Query and Report Writing Software – For reporting and analysis, banking data needs to be quickly output into readable formats. Using database query and report writing software, users (not programmers) can select and join information from multiple database files, add calculations and color, schedule and run reports, and save the output in printed format or as a file. This moves report writing capability from programmers to analysts, again lowering programming costs.
5. 24/7 System Notification Software for AS/400 – A monitoring package watches your IBM i, iSeries, and AS/400 systems 24 hours a day. It alerts your staff by email, text message, and instant messaging when a system or applications problem happens. Some packages like DRV Tech’s MessageFlex product can attach “how to” documents to a system alert, sending fix instructions with the notification. Monitoring software can also report on whether key functions such as a bank’s end-of-day job stream have successfully run; whether program errors are being handled or need escalation; and when users with access to critical information sign on to the system.
While a good programming staff can handle many of these functions, you may find that DIY software for the IBM i is rarely a bargain. Most of these packages can be purchased for less cost than it takes to program the same functions, allowing you to use your programmers for projects that can better benefit your business.
IBM i software packages provide a powerful and cost-effective tool to help you automate tasks, easily extract and share key data across departments, and increase customer satisfaction. The time saved in automating tasks allows you to concentrate on other important areas of IT.
Interested in seeing for yourself what our software can do to maximize your IBM i Power System? We invite you to schedule a free on-line demo.