Mainline Information Systems: All-round IT expertise! 3 Decades and Counting...
Jim Dixon, Mainline VP of Software & ServersWhen we think about successful technology companies creating an impact on a global scale, behemoths such as Google and Amazon enters our subconscious mind instantaneously. Indeed these companies have been ruling the technology space with innovations and accreditations for a very long time now, but when compared with the country’s foremost IT solution providers since 1989—Mainline Information Systems—it simply dwarfs the formers' existence The Tallahassee, FL-based Mainline Information Systems, has successfully withstood the test of time—and continues to be one of the country’s foremost IT solutions and services provider. As the demands of their clients transitioned, Mainline ensured that they evolve with the changing technology landscape. “This year marks the 30th Anniversary of our company. There has been a lot of changes in the industry but the one thing that hasn’t changed is Mainline’s focus on helping to solve our customers’ most pressing IT problems and initiatives. Our customers need help with leveraging AI, implementing Security solutions and processes, and integrating hybrid cloud solutions into their environment to gain efficiencies and flexibility,” says Jim Dixon, Mainline VP of Software and Servers. In its three decades of operations, the company has never stood by the notion, ‘if we build it, they will come.’“Every solution we design is for a specific customer need. We develop purposeful, specific solutions that are relevant for our customers,” adds Dixon.
He further mentions that Mainline is continually approached by technology solution providers who want access to its national pool of resources and customer base.“We have a team of enterprise and systems architects and engineers that vet solutions that are brought to the table. They need to be best of class, proven, relevant and based on architectures that will continue to deliver value to our customers for years,” comments Dixon. The company has been successfully assisting its clients in solving business problems while maintaining its skills and relevance in a fast-changing marketplace.
Cornerstone: The IBM Partnership
Mainline has been prolific in evolving with their clients’ needs, backed by their renowned partnership with IBM. “In our interactions with CIOs of leading companies, they tell us they are challenged with four areas: multi-cloud environments, rock-solid security, SaaS solutions, and finding and developing the skills needed to take advantage of new technologies, and the solution that we develop can help them with all these predicaments,” says Dixon.
The IBM solution portfolio—a combination of software and hardware platforms and services—addresses many of these challenges and Mainline’s resources have the skills and experience to recommend the most optimal solution, which may include 3rd party solutions that complement the IBM portfolio. Further, the company’s team holds over 1000 certifications across all of its practices, enabling them to provide the value their customers expect. Dixon highlights that Mainline was recognized as the partner who demonstrates a high level of collaboration in delivering IBM solutions as the North America Excellence Award “Top Infrastructure Business Partner” at IBM Think 2019. “According to IBM, the criteria used in selecting Mainline for this award included business success, skills, and feedback from IBM teams,” he adds.
Leveraging the Best at all Fronts.
Mainline has made significant investments in IBM Cloud Private (ICP) training to help its customers modernize existing applications. The company recently made incremental investments to grow its security practice and is working closely with IBM and their security portfolio, as well as other security solution providers to augment the IBM security solutions to meet their customers’ specific needs.
A lot has changed in the industry in 30 years but the one thing that hasn’t changed is Mainline’s focus on helping to solve our customers’ most pressing IT problems and initiatives
Furthermore, they also continue to grow the IBM Z mainframe certifications as open source technologies and new technologies such as Blockchain and AI are being integrated into their customers’ businesses.
Mainline’s Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters in Tallahassee, FL, enables clients to engage in Proof of Concepts so that they can make informed decisions prior to purchasing. In 2018, with the renovation of its corporate headquarters facility, Mainline also renovated the Innovation Center to elevate the customer experience with improved functional space, AC and HVAC upgrade, IBM Power Upgrades, Palo Alto Firewall, and IP Bandwidth. Some of the solutions that Mainline offers its clients range from the new “SailFish” IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS) Big Data Appliance to Apache Hadoop Appliances, Security Appliances from Palo Alto, IBM Z environment to showcase Linux on System Z, Docker Containers and Blockchain. The Innovation Center will also showcase IBM’s latest POWER9 technology for Linux, AIX & iOS, as well as the latest IBM z14 mainframe. Dixon adds, “There are many other software products that run in our VMware environment including Red Hat Ansible, RedHat Cloud Forms, IBM Cloud Private, IBM ETL Data StageInfoSphere Platform, IBM Big Fix End Point Management and Denodo Data Virtualization.”
Growing with the Industry
Another factor that has steered Mainline ahead of the competition is their collaborative work environment which has resulted in approximately 85 percent of the employees successfully working from home. This demonstrates that the company is a conscientious group of people, focused on the mission of customer success. “An interesting statistic is that the average tenure at Mainline is 9.2 years, and 50 percent of our employees have an actual tenure of 10 or more years. Pretty significant when you contrast that with the average tenure in the IT industry of just 1.8 years,” informs Marie Ashway, Mainline Director of Marketing.
Mainline’s long tenure coupled with its focus on customer success directly results in the long-term relationships that they appreciate and enjoy with their clients. “We enjoy long term relationships with our clients because we consistently deliver the skills and solutions that solve their IT challenges,” says Jeff Dobbelaere, Mainline VP Technical Sales and Services. “We continue to invest in a 2:1 ratio of technical resources to sales resources, which our clients depend upon.”
Moving forward, the company expects to continue forming new partnerships with manufacturers, developers and service providers as their customers’ needs continue to evolve.“On the radar, is the likely partnership with HCL due to their acquisition of part of the IBM software portfolio. We already enjoy a thriving partnership with Red Hat, but we expect that partnership to evolve with IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat,” states Dixon. “We will also continue to develop partnerships with services partners where we need additional skills. And as we have for 30 years, Mainline will continue to explore M&A opportunities to grow our customer base and invest in growing markets.”