Rippe & Kingston pioneers AS/400 eBusiness competency center

Rippe & Kingston Systems, a highly successful US software development, consulting and services firm has been a LANSA business partner since 1989. Rippe received the ‘LANSA Partner of the Year’ award in 1999 for its success with eBusiness.

In 1998 Rippe launched the first AS/400 eBusiness Competency Center where customers can have all their eBusiness needs served with LANSA – from networking and hardware infrastructure support, to application development. ITT-TDS is just one of many successful eBusiness competency center customers.

“You ask me what we have done with LANSA since we first selected it in 1989?” says Thom Davidson, Vice President of Consulting Services at Rippe & Kingston.

“Maybe the appropriate question is what we haven’t done with the tool.”

LANSA is ahead of the curve and we absolutely love the AS/400.

  1. Why LANSA is perfect for eBusiness
  2. Why LANSA eBusiness Competency Centers
  3. LANSA eBusiness extension to Infinium
  4. ITT-TDS web extension reduces costs
  5. XML opens new horizons
  6. Company and System Information

Why LANSA is perfect for eBusiness

Mr Thom Davidson, VP Consulting Services - Rippe & Kingston Systems Inc.
Mr Thom Davidson, VP Consulting Services – Rippe & Kingston Systems Inc.

“We did our first eBusiness application on the AS/400 about 5 or 6 years ago. We wrote CGI and HTML and it was an absolute nightmare.”

“When LANSA for the Web came out it made it so much easier and we have seen it really take off. We are very pleased with its ability to put things up rapidly and to maintain information dynamically in files.”

“We have always used LANSA’s multilingual facilities extensively in our packaged solutions and for our multi national customers such as Rhone Poulenc. Now we can use the same multi-lingual facilities in LANSA for the Web.”

“Also the fact that it is on the AS/400 we absolutely love. The AS/400 to me is really the perfect web server. It is as secure as you can hope to have. The fact that you have such phenomenal reliability on the box.”

“Lets face it, if it is your goal to operate a business and the internet is going to help you grow that business, and you want to service your customer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, then your solution better be reliable.”

“Sometimes a prospect says to me ‘I think I can get it for a little bit less money if I buy an NT’. Then I say ‘Do you realize what 5 percent down time really means? Figure out how many hours a week and days a month that adds up to. Can you afford for your business to be down that long?’ Sometimes it is not until you think in those terms that you can relate to it.”

“But even if your vision is correct, and you put your website up, and it is secured, and it is reliable and the business does take off, then you better make sure that that box can grow.”

“The scalability of the AS/400 is just out of sight now. It is amazing. All those things just make us feel very good about the AS/400.”

Why LANSA eBusiness Competency Centers

“What we are trying to do is open up the doors to existing applications that a company has sitting on their AS/400 and open them up. Most companies have their Y2K issues addressed by now and are ready for extending their core application now.”

“We know that the biggest challenge for companies interested in eBusiness is getting started. Our goal is to assist companies by providing not only the technology, but the people, education, facilities and infrastructure they need to be successful with eBusiness,” says Thom.

“With spending over the Internet forecasted to range from $80 billion to over $255 billion by the year 2000, companies are facing the need to explore eBusiness. The Competency Centers are intended to give businesses the guidance, knowledge and tools to take them from zero to full eBusiness functionality in just 60 days.”

“Each center is staffed by consultants in various eBusiness aspects and offers multiple AS/400’s, LANSA for the Web and Lotus Domino software, one-on-one expert assistance and discussions on TCP/IP and T1 communications connectivity, firewalls and security management, I/NET web servers and web authoring and graphic design.”

LANSA eBusiness extension to Infinium

“Infinium Software is a packaged ERP solution, targeting the larger AS/400 sites. They have a few thousand customers around the world in a variety of industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail and process manufacturing. Previously they were named Software 2000,” explains Thom.

“Historically we know Infinium quite well, because our maintenance management application (Methos) fully integrates with the Financial Modules of Infinium.”

“It is not just a pretty front end what we have developed. The LANSA based eBusiness extension goes quite deep into the application and takes advantage of the Infinium functionality.”

“In his keynote address at the 1999 Infinium user conference, Bob Pemberton, the CEO and founder of Infinium, talked about eBusiness and some Lotus Domino applications that they have done themselves. Then he mentioned that he was particularly excited about what we were doing with LANSA and he launched into our website and showed the audience some of the eBusiness extensions we have developed.”

“The eBusiness extension that we have developed with LANSA are now marketed through the official Infinium channels.”

ITT-TDS web extension reduces costs

“ITT purchased LANSA from us in 1991. We originally worked with them to develop a Freight Billing system, which also incorporates a custom workflow module, IBM® link imaging and heavy EDI. LANSA did a phenomenal job integrating all these technologies. The application was developed 100% in LANSA, not once we had to revert to RPG or Cobol.”

“The bulk of the development in 1991 took 8 months to a year with 4 developers. The more recent web extensions took a couple of months, with one person doing the development. More work was done on dealing with the infrastructure. Getting the infrastructure right for a first web project is always a hassle.”

XML opens new horizons

“One of the most exciting aspects of the ITT-TDS site is our new ability to leverage the existing LANSA applications via XML.”

“LANSA lets us change the way data moves across networks with XML. Encapsulating semantic information about the data allows ITT-TDS to make smart applications smarter. ”

“This information will be viewed on any client or browser. Your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), Digital Phone and a wide host of intelligent appliances can now be serviced by existing LANSA applications.”

“EDI over the Internet can now be intelligently transmitted without infrastructure and application changes by our customers and trading partners. An extra benefit will be the elimination of VAN (Value Added Network) charges, a major cost reduction opportunity.”

We are really excited by what LANSA is doing with XML.

Company and System Information

Rippe & Kingston Systems logo

  • Rippe & Kingston is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a well established software development, consulting and services firm and IBM® and LANSA Business Partner.
  • R&K have developed several packaged solutions in LANSA, such as Methos for Maintenance Management and LMS for Legal Management.
  • R&K has also developed LANSA based eBusiness extensions to Infinium (formerly Software 2000) that are now marketed by Infinium.
  • Noteworthy clients include: ITT-TDS, Bell Atlantic, Rhone Poulenc, Colonial Williamsburg, Norton Abrasives, Hutchinson Technology, Kimberly Clarke, XLConnect and numerous law firms and maintenance operations across
    the United States and around the world.
  • For more information about Rippe & Kingston System, Inc. visit: www.rippe.com