Hi there. I’m Jim Porell. I’d like to consider myself a technical evangelist for the IBM mainframe, as well as someone that enjoys seeing new business ideas and solutions grow. I decided to write this blog because of the unintended consequences I observed or benefited from in my 34 years of working with mainframe computers. History does tend to repeat itself. I’d like to help make the next go round easier for everyone involved.
I retired from IBM in 2013 as a Distinguished Engineer. I created my own consulting firm, James Porell Consulting, LLC, for the purpose of sharing my experiences in computing and IT architecture, strategy, design and implementation. In 2018, I joined Rocket Software, where I’m now Director, Solutions Advisors and a Solution Architect.
I’m not “just a mainframe” person. Along the way, I learned the value and importance of collaborative computing with other systems. I was a member of IBM’s System Application Architecture (SAA) design council, I worked directly with the Open Software Foundation and I led many of the activities that led to the “opening” of the mainframe to become a valuable member of the internet and allow for a greater degree of application portability and interoperability across systems. I created a consortium called STASH – Smart Terminal Architecture with Secure Hosts. Net of that was to reduce the risk of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) to enterprise computing and business data.
I had a variety of roles within IBM. Within the Server and Technology Group, I was Chief Architect of mainframe software across IBM and led the Software Design Council for the mainframe for about 10 years. My last three years within the Server Group, I led Business Development activities (i.e. Mergers and Acquisitions) as well as marketing for Security and Application Development associated with the mainframe and collaborating systems. As a hobby, I became very knowledgeable and influential in the security space. I collaborated in authoring several books on security, did forensic work for several large retail and insurance firms, following breaches in their environments and that resulted in becoming a member of the US Secret Service’s Electronic Crime Task Force in Chicago.
Prior to retiring, I worked for two years in IBM Federal Sales as its Chief Business Architect. My role was to assist customers in reducing costs, improving security, reducing risk while meeting or exceeding their current service level agreements and providing them investment protection for the future. I worked with a large number of customers in the classified and unclassified space. I held a TS/SCI clearance for over 15 years while working with the government.
Outside IBM, I’ve continued to work on projects and with businesses that I found would be helpful to enterprise computing.
I’m a partner of Empennage, which is an offshoot of Mantissa toward the release of their z86VM product. This would allow PC based software to run as is on a mainframe. That project is currently suspended but could resurface.
I’m was on the Board of Advisors to Malcovery which was acquired by Phishme. This business provides a malware prevention service that can greatly lessen the impact of email and other network attacks on a business.
I’m on the Board of Advisors to Callsign. This business provides a multi factor authentication service that can leverage existing knowledge to secure Point of Sale transactions, utilize ATM’s without a credit card and any other service that requires a level of authentication. It’s a new way to manage your identity.
I was a consultant to Vicom Infinity. They are a Premier IBM Business Partner for hardware and software sales.
And finally, I like to write. Most of the writing is focused on improving business and finding new ways to solve old problems.
I hope you’ll learn something from my writings. If you need any assistance toward meeting a business objective, don’t hesitate to contact me via this blog or at cell phone: +1-914-474-1864.