Just a guess, but we’re betting that having to maintain a stack of development tools from day to day is not your favorite activity. Your team likely doesn’t enjoy it either. What you get paid to do — and are held accountable for — is engineering product development and delivering whatever your company keeps promising to customers.
Would managed services truly make my life easier?
This isn’t saying anything you don’t already know. Nor is saying the time you spend on tools and environment upkeep is time you don’t spend on development. So the whole thing about managed services easing your maintenance workload? That’s for you to decide.
All we can do is determine which IBM development tools you use, and pose five questions about the environment in which you use them…
1. How is your relationship with IBM Support?
2. Are you able to automate patching and upgrades within your IBM development environment?
3. How effectively can you monitor your application development toolset to prevent issues?
4. How secure is your existing environment for IBM development tools and users?
5. Do you use application development tools best practices?
The insights into your tools and environment, of course, must come from you. But here’s our response: ClearObject Engineering Cloud and ClearObject Direct Services.
ClearObject just launched an updated version of what we call Engineering Cloud and its Direct Services hosted managed service. Nutshell, as a long-standing IBM Gold BusinessPartner, our Direct Services specialists migrate, deploy and manage your IBM tools on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for you. Along with a favorable monthly cost compared to other managed services, here’s where we feel the true value of our Direct Services offering lies.
,,1. How is your relationship with IBM Support?
Are you satisfied? Could it be better? “It’s ok, I suppose.” Because we are the managed service provider under the covers of the IBM SaaS offering, our relationship withIBM Support is a strong one. IBM realizes we provide managed services for hundreds of their customer accounts. This is beneficial for you in that IBM Support is keenly aware of our deployment architecture for their tools, which eliminates a lot of your early questions in a support scenario. It also lets us provide direct log file access through a secure upload to IBM Support. Translated, when you have a product issue, IBM Support personnel have straightforward access to the logs they need to diagnose the problem. They then get to your fix more quickly because they know the architecture of the deployment.
,,2. Are you able to automate patching and upgrades within your IBM development environment?
Something to consider: If you deploy on premise, every time you do a patch or upgrade it’s the first time you’ve ever done it. Right? So safe to say, there’s no historical context to speed up the process and help you avoid errors. But having completed hundreds of successful projects for patches and upgrades, we’ve been able to automate the process — and have used it now on hundreds of environments. And consistently, our automated approach makes the patch/upgrade process faster, reduces errors, and delivers positive support outcomes.
,,3. How effectively can you monitor your application development toolset to prevent issues?
The bigger question might be, are you able to prevent issues beforethey occur? ClearObject monitors inside your product as well as external basics to keep problems from happening in the first place. Our trick is to perform prognostics based on pattern recognition well in advance. (Looking only at servers misses the big picture.) Even better, monitoring your environment, plus the environments of all other Engineering Cloud customers, generates knowledge that helps our entire customer community.
,,4. How secure is your existing environment for IBM development tools and users?
Security is a constant worry, we know. That’s why our Engineering Cloud Direct Services use Google Cloud Platform and GCP’s security-compliant systems, all protected by a VPN tunnel. Along with deploying your IBM development tools in a single-tenant virtual private cloud, you’re able to monitor activity continuously as all traffic flows through a VPN tunnel. You can even extend this same secure environment to any other 3rd party engineering development tools you use in addition to those from IBM.
,,5. Do you use application development tools best practices?
Add the question, do you always look for ways to make your IBM tools better? We’re sure you probably do. But ClearObject has always invested in research for automation, machine learning, and other features to enhance IBM’s suite of development tools, which we’ll continue to do. By also supporting organizations of all kinds, we additionally identify and implement application development tools best practices across many industries.
So that’s it. Five questions for your application development environment, and five reasons to give some thought to ClearObject’s Engineering Cloud and the Direct Services offering.
If you want more information on Direct Services pricing, benefits in-depth, comparisons to IBM SaaS and IBM Contract Services, and the ClearObject Road Map for continuous product and services improvement, go here.
Or if you want the official sales pitch, it’s this. “You get the knowledgeable and responsive resources of an IBM partner, IBM Support and the IBM development process, all from a single source for managed services.”
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