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Leveraging Your SNA Gateway to Enable End-to-End Print Management and Business Intelligence

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When it comes to host integration, channel connectivity is the key to maximizing your investments

Great teamwork is as important in host connectivity, print management and business intelligence systems as it is in business. Now that you’ve decided to implement an SNA gateway, or upgrade an existing one, it pays to consider the rest of the team you’re going to need in order to enable Enterprise Report Management (ERM), data mining, Web-to-host, and application integration.

Host Integration 101: Channel-Attaching Your SNA Gateway

If you are considering implementing an SNA gateway, make sure you find a channel connectivity provider that supports your system. Barr Systems, for instance, supports a variety of SNA gateways, including Microsoft SNA Server, and plans to fully support Host Integration Server 2000 as its launch date approaches.

NJE: A Peek Inside the Entry Module

Connecting to your mainframe is just the first step toward advanced business intelligence solutions like enterprise reporting. The next step is actually retrieving the data and transforming it into a manageable format in preparation for distribution.

IBM pioneered a powerful way to route data between mainframes called Network Job Entry, or NJE. Today, NJE is useful for peer-to-peer network-based communications with the mainframe. It allows users to route jobs in ways that are far more convenient and adaptable for ERM than any alternative method. For instance, when used in conjunction with a compatible print management system, routing information in headers allows you to automatically send paychecks directly to the printer, while sales reports are distributed electronically to reporting systems.

With all of these advantages, it is easy to see why NJE is perfectly suited for companies embracing ERM.

Calling All Hands: Distributing Business Documents Electronically

If you've worked in a large data center, you've probably seen 'sneakernet' in action: documents are printed out and physically distributed to their intended recipients. Enterprise Report Management now threatens to relegate this way of life permanently to the 'out' box.

So, what is ERM? It's based on electronic print distribution, which means documents can be processed far more efficiently and intelligently than was possible before. For instance, that spreadsheet can be stored electronically for retrieval by accounting personnel anywhere on the corporate network. Similarly, customer service representatives can view statements just as they appear to customers—as part, in effect, of the same print process that produced the statements.

This is just the beginning of what ERM is all about, however. Since documents are now processed electronically, they can be automatically indexed and distributed by email, Web, corporate intranet, or fax, greatly reducing distribution costs and increasing productivity. ERM can also drive sophisticated data mining solutions that analyze indexed data.

The Barr Solution

Few companies have the expertise required to get these communications solutions off the ground. Barr Systems leads the industry, with more than 20 years of experience in host connectivity and print management. In the channel connectivity arena, Barr supports a variety of SNA gateways, including Microsoft SNA Server, and is committed to fully supporting Host Integration Server 2000 as its launch date approaches.

Barr's complete line of hardware, software and service solutions also includes the Barr Enterprise Print Server, a host connectivity and print management system, and its state-of-the-art NJE-based solution for job entry. Strategic partnerships and exemplary service solutions also make Barr a one-stop connection for ERM, data mining, and Web-to-host systems. These systems allow companies to leverage their host applications, SNA gateways and printing infrastructure and are rapidly becoming mandatory for larger organizations.

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