(Repost from July 16, 2019)
Why do people still order products on DVD, when the may not need to?
I just got out of a meeting, and we were chatting about folks that still use DVDs instead of electronic orders. (Recall: I went on a mini-rant about why folks should use SMP/E RECEIVE ORDER for service here... this post is different, because I'm talking about products.)
First, I totally understand why certain customers that have no internet access and those will never be allowed to have internet access will always order z/OS products on a physical DVD. This isn't directed to those folks.
I'm wondering why if you chose to receive service electronically (using SMP/E RECEIVE ORDER, or even the much less desirable Shopz), why you then would choose to get a IBM product on a DVD? The biggest disadvantage to getting a product on a DVD, is, well, it's physical. Your product has to be produced, and then written to a DVD. Then it needs to be put into a box. That box needs to be mailed to you. The carrier needs to pick it up. Heck, depending on some countries, that box may even sit in Customs. The carrier needs to deliver it to you. You need to pick it up. You need to find a DVD reader. You need to upload it to your z/OS host system. This can take many days for these activities to occur. I'm not sure about your enterprise, but the last time I got something in the mail, it took the mail room a week just to find me to tell me I had something. Get the gist?
It occurred to me that maybe some people didn't know they could download an IBM product that was produced for an electronic order to a workstation or an intermediate location for a subsequent transfer if they were "network challenged" We call this option "store and forward", and it can work quite well if this is a scenario that you can deal with. What happens is you request that Shopz deliver your order electronically, then you download your order using IBM Download Director (which is encrypted, by the way), After the download to your workstation is complete, the package must be transferred to your z/OS host system UNIX environment preserving the directory structure. You must upload the files in binary format from the workstation to the z/OS host. Let's think now...that last part is very similar to how you'd deal with getting the files from a DVD to the z/OS host - so was getting the DVD really necessary and worth it?
When I think about the future, and how IBM products will be installed with z/OS Software Management, will the above still be the situation? Yes. z/OSMF Software Management will still be able to handle electronic and DVD orders. And z/OSMF Software Management will be able to handle staging an IBM product order from the workstation directly (making "store and forward" and even DVD delivery) easier.
So where are we? I think if you are going to order the best operating system in the world - z/OS - it is worth it to get it as fast as possible, and that means electronically if you can.
For all you dandy highwaymen, stand and deliver electronically.