It’s your InfoSphere environment. Keep it functional for as long as you want.
InfoSphere Information Server is a suite of software tools used to sanitize, qualify, and integrate data across multiple sources and systems. It is likely to be incorporated with multiple business units when included within a large company’s tech estate. Every organization has different goals with the software, which intertwines extremely well but, like most deep-reaching enterprise middleware, tends to create complex issues as time goes on as a direct result of its high adaptability. It requires a viable IBM® InfoSphere support plan that looks beyond the update-replace-release schedule.
Having competent IBM® software support can make a substantial difference in the way you build, modify, and realize your IT roadmap.
IBM InfoSphere Information Server Products
InfoSphere’s long history and IBM’s aggressive push into cloud-powered business technology offerings have left businesses with a lot of options to refine their data processes over the years. There are many components in the InfoSphere family and countless more in the software’s general stratosphere of interoperability.
While far from comprehensive, this list breaks down a few InfoSphere products/components third-party software maintenance (TPSM) providers commonly support and interact with.
DataStage and QualityStage
The foundational offering and in many ways the crown jewel of the InfoSphere suite, IBM® DataStage works alongside its counterpart, QualityStage, to help companies move and transform data between operational, transactional, and analytical target systems at the client layer.
InfoSphere Information Governance Dashboard (IGD)
This Cognos-based suite component measures the effectiveness of information governance initiatives by querying and visualizing metadata from InfoSphere products.
InfoSphere Information Services Director (ISD)
ISD is a component that enables users to rapidly deploy InfoSphere Information Server logic as a service.
FastTrack is a workflow that automates mapping between sources and targets.
InfoSphere Information Analyzer
Information Analyzer provides the ability to profile and analyze delivered data and allows users to create data quality validation rules.
The business case for high-performing IBM® InfoSphere Support
Even among other IBM middleware, InfoSphere typically stands alone in its technical and operational complexity, both day-to-day and in terms of the issues that manifest. Understanding the value it provides, how it goes about creating that value, how to prevent known problems, and how to diagnose unknowns can all require wildly different experience and knowledge.
Consequently, it’s easy to see how managing this legacy software can chew up a lot of an innovation budget – 90% or more in some workplaces. With so many possible product and version configurations in a given InfoSphere deployment, maintaining and securing even simple operations can become a costly albatross.
The following blockers routinely drive companies to seek help from an IBM® InfoSphere support team:
- Interoperability challenges. Pulling data from disparate, highly complex sources at massive scale is InfoSphere’s core functionality. The workflows it manages are often very delicate, meaning small changes in or outside the product itself can kick off cascading operational issues.
- Generational understanding. Even highly experienced professionals might not be familiar with the exact InfoSphere products in the estate or the versions their employer has under the hood. As new employees come in, that gap naturally widens. Over time, this can contribute to a “leave it alone and hope it doesn’t break” mentality – one that works until the precise and chaotic moment something serious goes wrong.
- Root cause sourcing. With or without the presence of interoperability concerns, the one-of-a-kind traits and typically large scale of an InfoSphere deployment can make it extremely difficult to source an issue’s root cause, which can lead to operational uncertainty, poor performance, and costly downtime.
Of course, it’s understandable why a company with working software is happy to leave things be. But often, customers who encounter unexpected InfoSphere issues find the version they’re running has been relegated to end of support (EOS) status by the OEM. That could ultimately require a version update or software upgrade just for the OEM to provide support to attempt to solve the problem.
A company that finds its InfoSphere deployment is EOS might think it needs to update to receive service. However, this is not usually the case.
IBM® Infosphere Support and TPSM
Software like InfoSphere helps companies create a single data repository from a vast array of sources and data types. TPSM providers can help by providing IBM® InfoSphere support, security, and maintenance services that focus on longevity and high interaction quality instead of presumptive upgrades and migrations.
On the maintenance side, keeping an on-premises InfoSphere implementation properly moving can require a combination of legacy product mastery and specialized knowledge an organization might not be able to find or want to introduce to the payroll. A TPSM provider can supply the relevant skills in an active support arrangement, giving the customer company an optimal mix of access, technical reliability, and affordable maintenance spend.
Holding active IBM® InfoSphere support is also a necessity in almost any business utilizing the software. The same TPSM service that provides an expert presence during routine maintenance tasks – which are often anything but routine – can also help quickly get to the source of problems that create uptime, privacy, and security concerns, using methodologies that take advantage of InfoSphere’s unique presence in the average IT stack.
Often, a company that finds its InfoSphere deployment is EOS might think it needs to update to receive service. However, this is not usually the case.
IBM® InfoSphere support issues tend to be challenging experiences. Solutions – let alone clear paths to them – tend to be in short supply. So does the expertise required to get to the root cause. With a TPSM provider on-hand, EOS software is no longer a blocker to addressing those challenges, and you can keep the stack running for as long as your company wants.