"We Saved Over $46,000 On Our New IBM Power i, Got The Easiest Migration In My IT Career, And Our Peak-Load Web Response Time Dropped From 5 Seconds To Instantaneous."
"SDP makes a point of understanding what our business needs are. I believe this is the first time I was handed a questionnaire in order to determine what I was looking for. I think that shows the extra mile that Source Data goes to determine what our needs are and not sell us a pre-configured server that makes the seller the most profit.”
The Screening Pros Advances Their Technology For A Competitive Business
The Screening Pros, LLC located in Southern California is in an industry leader of applicant risk mitigation within the multi-family housing market.
Given the ever changing demand for delivering the industry’s most powerful risk mitigation services while still focusing on maintaining the highest degree of data protection, The Screening Pros developed their custom applications specifically for the multifamily housing industry to reside on IBM’s AS400 to leverage reliable technology and security.
The Screening Pros’ distinctive application architecture allows it to easily and rapidly change filtering by its clients so they can better pinpoint their needs and respond to trends. The Screening Pros’ ongoing innovation to help its clients mitigate their risk helps them outmaneuver its competitors with better information, products and better customer service.
“Our customers know that while we are a credit reporting agency”, Harold says. “We are also a technology company. We need to stay abreast of the newest technology to incorporate encryption, security, and speed, as well as leverage the reliability of the IBM POWER i server.”
The Screening Pros Growth Plans Are Hampered By 9406-820 Limitations
As The Screening Pros had been experiencing continual growth with plans to grow expeditiously, President of The Screening Pros Gary Glucroft knew they needed to stay ahead of their hardware demand. However, the 9406-820 was approaching its performance limits.
“Mondays are our business days. Our web response rate could take as long as 5 seconds,” explains Harold. “While that may still be fast for our high-quality background check, we know that feels like an eternity for our customers.
“To expand into new regions of the country and take on more customers, we knew we needed more capabilities than our 9406-820 had,” said Gary.
Harold knew their 9406-820 system was nearing full capacity and they needed some of the newer capabilities offered by IBM POWER7, such as tape encryption security.
“We noticed that occasionally our customers in the field were experiencing delays when they would come to our web site and with the increase in customers, we knew that we needed to deploy a stronger solution to mitigate our customer’s potential service delay.”
The Search For IBM Business Partner Includes Source Data Products, Inc.
Beginning in mid-March 2011, Gary and Harold began to review their options. They contacted the supplier of their 9406-820, a prominent regional IBM Business Partner. They also invited Source Data Products to compete for their business.
Source Data Stands Out From The Start Of The Evaluation
“We felt the most critical aspect in our evaluation of IBM suppliers was their ability to listen to what we defined as our needs” Harold continues. “We wanted our vendors to respond specifically to those needs.
“We also wanted the vendors to point out considerations that we may not be aware of.
“From the beginning, Source Data really stood out. In all my years in IT, Source Data was the first to send me a comprehensive questionnaire to assess our current environment. Source Data came for an onsite meeting after they had reviewed the questionnaire. They wanted to see our setup – our Windows servers, our networking, our firewall and our current 9406-820.
“They had more questions about our business, our operations and our software. I felt Source Data really listened to our needs and sincerely wanted to generate a system that fit our growth.
Gary adds. “Source Data was focused on truly earning our business and that is what set them apart from the field. Additionally, Source Data was very responsive when we needed additional information.”
“Source Data always seemed to be on top of newer technologies that became available to us during our evaluation” Harold explains. “For example, Source Data recommended IBM’s new Gen2 Disk Expansion Chassis that saved us money as well as rack space. Source Data was the leader in proposing the right system.”
Source Data Researched How Our Web Application Functions In OS400 – And Saved Us $46,000
Harold adds, “Most web applications are written in HTML, Java and Java script. Our application is written in Profound Logic’s RPG Server Pages. The RPG replaces the actual Java function.”
“Source Data researched how Profound Logic RPGSP functioned. As a result, Source Data proposed unlimited web access instead of unlimited concurrent users. This SDP recommendation alone saved us $46,000 in IBM software fees.”
Source Data Gets Lease Financing That Was Significantly Less Expensive
“Source Data also did a great job in helping us to get lease financing. We were a new company without credit history when we got our 9406-820 from our last supplier. Unfortunately for us, our previous hardware leasing company never reported lease payments so when we went to finance the new POWER7, our credit history had not been updated. Source Data shopped rates and secured a very attractive lease that was significantly less expensive than our previous vendor.”
The Easiest Migration In My Career – And SDP Was Also Less Expensive
Harold continues, “Overall, not only was Source Data dramatically less on the POWER7 i configuration, they were also $4,000 less for the professional services to migrate our system from our 9406-820 to the 8202-E4B. For us, those were significant savings.
“Not only was our migration less expensive with Source Data Products, it was the easiest migration in my IT career. What really made the difference was the approach that Source Data takes to migrate the system. We gave them a complete backup and they did all the work offsite. Our production continued to operate and we tested our new system remotely until we were ready to bring it onsite.
“I have migrated from a System/38 to 9406-D40, to a 9406-300, to a 9406-500 and to a 9406-720 before our 9406-820. I have had marathons where I was up all weekend praying the migration went well. This migration from our 9406-820 to our new IBM POWER7 felt about as close to turn-key as possible.”
Source Data Pre-Loaded Our Application On Our Server For Offsite Testing
“We gave Mark Breisacher, one of Source Data’s senior techs, a full backup tape of our system. He preloaded that onto our new POWER7 at the SDP tech center. When he delivered our POWER7 we were ready to start testing right away without delay. The only open issues had to do with changes to V7R1 which were relatively minor and easy to correct.”
Source Data Was Always There With Expertise When We Needed Help
Harold explains, “Mark initially came on site to get our system set up for testing. Then several weeks later, the night before we went live, he was here to make sure everything was perfect.”
“We get credit reporting information from a variety of credit reporting agencies, so integrating and testing the feeds we get from them with our application on the new POWER7 was essential. Before we went live, we discovered an issue with one of our credit bureaus so we had to address that and reschedule the go live.
“When the actual change over did occur, Mark Breisacher was here again to make sure everything went smoothly.
“Mark Breisacher is very knowledgeable and up-to-date with IBM technology. I found Mark to be very personable as well. That’s a quality I don’t always see with really good techs.
“Now that we have gone live, we notice that speed is a major factor. When our customers obtain their reports on our site, the web pages appear instantaneously.”
Source Data Configured Our Logical Partitions (LPARs) For Top Performance And Our New HMC Console Simplifies Managing OS400
“We also notice the improvement with the newer management tools on the GUI console and the HMC to manage our LPARs. Source Data set up our LPARs so they dynamically allocate our POWER7 resources for best performance. I used to have to do that manually. The new set up takes out all the guess work and makes it automatic. I expect this to be a major aid to keep our performance up for many years.”
We Struggled To Get Our IBM Software Keys – And Source Data Was There To Help
“We found the staff at Source Data to be very responsive, even when it came to helping us with getting our software keys. We migrated from 9406-820 with ValuPak, a version of IBM software that included the PRG compiler. We found out that IBM did not have an equivalent when we migrated to WebSphere Development Studio for V7R1. SDP jumped right in on our behalf with the IBM Key Center to rectify the issue of entitlements and software keys.”
Our POWER7 Investment Will Allow Us To Grow And Better Serve Our Customers
Harold tells us “Gary, our president, is very pleased. When he walks in on Monday mornings and everything works fine — and a whole lot faster – he is very happy.
“Our investment in our new IBM POWER7 gives us the capacity to grow and will deliver a huge improvement in the response time to our customers. We believe that will add to their loyalty and bring in additional referral business.”
“I would whole-heartedly recommend Source Data Products”, says Harold. “SDP makes a point of understanding what our business needs are. I believe this is the first time I was handed a questionnaire in order to determine what I was looking for. I think that shows the extra mile that Source Data goes to determine what our needs are and not sell us a pre-configured server that makes the seller the most profit.
“I clearly felt Source Data took the time to understand where we were and where we wanted to go and the most cost-effective way to get there with the newest technology.
“Everyone I dealt with at Source Data – from technical, to sales, to support staff – was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.”