eBusiness Solution Pros Inc. (eSP), a software provider and IBM iSeries Business Partner, recently introduced Stay-Linked, a real-time enterprise solution that reliably extends IBM AS/400-iSeries applications to wireless devices. The solution features wireless 5250 terminal emulation that runs natively on the AS/400-iSeries, the same platform that hosts the applications.
Stay-Linked is the only solution of its kind that leverages the nearly 100% reliability of the AS/400-iSeries, the computing platform most commonly used by manufacturers and warehouse distributors worldwide. Accordingly, Stay-Linked is especially ideal for adding wireless device access to supply chain and warehouse management, inventory control, and ERP (enterprise resource planning) environments.
"In this tight economy, manufacturing and distribution companies need every employee to be efficient, and mobile connections have not always been capable of delivering that in the past," said Julie Fraser, principal and analyst with Industry Directions Inc. "Stay-Linked provides benefits not only in reliability but also in cost of ownership and productivity."
As its name implies, Stay-Linked prevents dropped user scanning sessions, which are very costly in terms of lost productivity. Its AS/400-iSeries server software acts as a session handler that manages the condition and status of all connected wireless devices from a single, reliable location. Stay-Linked keeps interrupted wireless scanning sessions alive on the AS/400-iSeries host and automatically returns users to their original session exactly where they left off prior to the disruption. The resulting benefit is a dramatic reduction in the negative impact of unplanned outages.
"Dropped scanning sessions routinely happen several times a day, and it's the number one problem in wireless environments," said Patricia Converse, eSP's vice president, sales and marketing. "Conventional solutions require costly IT staff intervention to determine the individual problem sessions on the host and clear the associated hung processes. For wireless device users, it's a nightmare just trying to get back to where they were when the unplanned interruption occurred, which wastes valuable time."
With Stay-Linked, all terminal emulation software and client device/session control runs on the AS/400-iSeries host; only a very thin Stay-Linked client runs on the remote wireless devices. This approach allows for optimum availability and productivity. Traditional fat-client and PC gateway solutions fail to take advantage of the AS/400-iSeries' reliability, making them inherently much less stable by comparison. Without Stay-Linked, IT staff and scanning users remain vulnerable to the full negative impact of unplanned outages.
"There are inherent benefits to having the wireless functionality running on the same host platform as the parent applications," said Iain Gillott, principal and founder of iGillottResearch, Inc., a market research consultancy focused on wireless and mobile industry. "Through its host-based emulation technology, Stay-Linked allows enterprises to add mobility without compromising the reliability of the existing application environment."
Stay-Linked features include licensing and configuration updating through a centralized, non-dedicated PC interface, which eliminates the time-consuming process of updating clients one-by-one. Moreover, because Stay-Linked uses existing IBM 5250 application screens to enable specific transactions in real time, there is no need for custom application coding to support wireless devices.
Price and availability
Available from eSP-authorized resellers, Stay-Linked is licensed according to the maximum number of concurrently active user sessions required. Client licenses are not fixed to a specific device, and there is no limit to configured users. Stay-Linked is competitively priced at $995 for the Stay-Linked server license, which includes the Stay-Linked administrator and multi-host access, and $195 per concurrent user license, with volume discounts available. Annual maintenance, which includes eSP technical support and software updates, is $30 per concurrent user license, $300 per server license.
About eBusiness Solution Pros
eSP has been in business since 1990 and an IBM iSeries Business Partner since 1999, primarily focused on selling and supporting AS/400-iSeries enterprise software, hardware and professional services solutions. More information on Stay-Linked is available from eBusiness Solution Pros, Inc., 15991 Redhill Ave., Suite 210, Tustin, Calif., 92780; telephone 714-918-7700; fax 714-918-7727; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or on the Web at www.stay-linked.com.