Tom Huntington

Executive VP, Technical Solutions
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Tom Huntington is Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions at Fortra, and has been with the company for nearly 35 years. He helps manage the worldwide Fortra software engineer team that works to integrate and promote our automation and security solutions to partners and customers around the globe.

Tom often speaks on enterprise scheduling, security, automation topics, IBM i technology, and the Fortra products, and hosts technical presentations on a variety of automation topics. He is the author of the Fortra IBM i Marketplace Survey and has written articles on automated operations, security, cloud computing, and business intelligence for leading trade journals and newsletters. He was named an IBM Champion the past seven consecutive years for his more than three decades of advocation and thought leadership on the IBM i platform.


External Resources from Tom Huntington


Q & A with Tom

Why do you think IBM i continues to be so important at so many organizations?

Well, it's all about the applications. It's the applications that customers have built or customized over the years that are unique to their businesses. That's kind of a general statement. However, there are certain industries where IBM i is important because of its reliability and scalability. So in financial institutions, like banking, you see IBM i a lot in that type of customer because of the reliability of the system. In other other industries it's more tied towards the uniqueness of the applications that have been written for IBM i. You know whether it's manufacturing or distribution – there’s a lot of real niche type applications.

What's the most interesting or impactful IBM i project that you've seen when working with a customer?

Well, I'm a big productivity person, so our Robot Schedule product that runs on thousands of servers every single night, running millions and millions of business processes. The productivity that that has given back to the community that runs IBM i is incredible – because they're often night processing their business processes and their IT processes every day run continually unattended for them. You can’t beat that.

Have you had the chance to collaborate with IBM directly in shaping the platform or developing solutions for the platform?

Absolutely. I've worked with IBM Rochester where the IBM i platform is built. I've been an IBM champion for the last eight years, so we meet periodically either virtually or in person to talk about future. I think I've played a bigger role in helping to promote the ecosystem around IBM i and the value of the platform. You know the IBM i Marketplace survey that we started some nine years ago. I hate to pat myself on the back, but I was the author and main driving force behind that. IT Jungle helped out some with that too.

But we're working on year 10 and that marketplace survey is used by IBM. It's used by business partners around the globe to help steer their thought process on how they approach this market around IBM i. And IBM uses it as a way of what to work on, what to do next within, as they come up with new features for the platform.

What’s the best way for IBM i shops to remain secure in this time where cybercrime is so prevalent?

Antivirus, ransomware protection, and exit point monitoring. Basically, what you're doing there is you're protecting yourself from ransomware, which unfortunately can happen on IBM i because people have poorly configured their access to it and somebody executes ransomware from another server and it encrypts IBM i.

Then the other tool is the Powertech Exit Point Manager for IBM i technology from Fortra that basically builds a firewall around your DB2 database. IBM i is a database server and the most important thing on it is your data – and that particular product can track and block who's accessing the data through FTP, ODBC, JDBC, and all kinds of forms of communication things that people use. So that's where I would invest in initially to protect myself.

What I'd probably do first if I have no idea and I need to gain tribal knowledge about my cyber security on IBM i, I would do the free Security Scan that runs in a couple minutes and then have a conversation with our team and we'll enlighten you on what you need to fix cybersecurity wise.