Our blog on advocating for the IBM i drew quite a few comments and while we have responded to some in the blog, not everyone goes back and reads the comments so we thought we'd briefly revisit the topic today.
Tim commented that: "I think Jon you need to spend some time out here in the real world, on a daily basis, dealing with real CIO's that are continually degrading the IBM i as "Old Technology". We do indeed work with many clients where there are CIOs and other senior executives that feel exactly the same the same as the ones he describes. In such cases we do our best to help the IBM i proponents in the organization fight the misconceptions and demonstrate the value of IBM i."
Tim also noted, "... and they think IBM has given up on the IBM i, and I alone can't fight this anymore, need some support from IBM directly. ..." That really is the point we were trying to make. As individuals we can't--that's why we need to work together. IBM is helping in many ways. When it comes to dispelling the notion that IBM has "given up," how much more definitive can you get than the statements from IBM Power Systems GM Colin Parris in the "IBM i Strategy and Roadmap"? His personal introduction concludes with this statement:
"You will find that our commitment to our IBM i clients, ISVs and business partners is solid and unchanged. We continue to make substantial investments in the future of IBM i as an important, strategic element in our IBM systems portfolio."
That document also references the fact that more than 150,000 companies are using the platform. That's companies--not boxes. The number of boxes (and therefore licenses of the OS) is indeed shrinking. One of our clients is responsible for some 20-plus of that reduction. They went from more than 25 systems to five by consolidating their workloads on ever more powerful servers.
In his keynote presentation at the Summit, IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will also referenced the white paper and a number of other studies that demonstrate not only that IBM i is the TCO (total cost of ownership) leader, but it can also be a TCA (total cost of acquisition) leader. This is an issue that Paul raised in his comment. You can find Steve's presentation here (look at the 2nd chart on P4 for TCA figures). We're working on gathering more material of this type together and will let you know as soon as it is available.
In the meantime we'll leave you with part of a comment from Yvonne E. who noted: "While I do agree the frustration is valid how does that help the topic at hand?" We couldn't agree more. Our careers are based on IBM i. Advocating for the platform makes perfect sense if we want to continue to be gainfully employed and not have to go over to the dark side.
It would be wonderful if IBM were to suddenly agree with all of us that the IBM i platform deserves to be singled out as the best business application platform. But even if Big Blue did so tomorrow, it wouldn't dissuade us from advocating for the platform ourselves and encouraging everyone else to do the same. We can't control what IBM does or doesn't do, we can only control what we do. And we choose to advocate for i.